I have to say that this grinder looks great on the counter. The brushed metal look is very pro looking. Very nice. It also has some weight to it as well to keep in from moving the counter. So far you would think this it a good machine.. Look below
Negative Product Points
Plastic parts make up the inner workings of the machine.. The timer is really useless. The power cord is long which is a good thing but no place to store extra.
I have had this machine for 2 months now and I believe that it wasn't working correctly out of the box. Here is the issue. There is a plactic ring that sits on the gear mount that has popped out of position when it hit a hard bean. I was told by Baratza to remove the bean hopper and push it back in place. First of all, this would have worked if the homing pin on the black plastic ring was directly over the hole that it fits into. I later learned this when I opened the case up and looked closer on the design of the machine. Well, the "push back into place" technique didn't work. I phoned Baratza and they indicated that over the years they have had some design issues and one of the issues is this exact problem. They gave me two options.. Glue the ring in place or opt for a new machine. I have chosen the later and am now waiting for my new machine. This past weekend I was dieing for a double espresso so I figured I have nothing to loose but to try to get the machine working. I opened the case up. There should be a better design for opening the case up than with a flat blade screw driver. My Dad always said, never use a flat blade screw drive for anything other than taking slotted screws out. I find it funny that a company would design a machine that required this tool to open the case. A very poor design at best. It's easy to mark the case. I fit the ring back in place. I realized that if I applied pressure to the hopper, the ring would stay in place. Not a good design.. I will see how the new machine behaves and I will report back to you. For the money I paid, even though Baratza has been very helpful, I shouldn't have to muck around with a $300.00 grinder as I have. BTW, I had my first terrific grind for a 25sec, 2oz espresso with tons of creme for the first time with this machine.. once I firgured it out.
I will report back once I get the new machine from Baratza
UPDATE!! Its been about a month since I have received my replacement and it seems to be working perfectly. I do still probably from habit, find myself folding down the hopper in fear of it popping up. I would at this point recommend this machine to anyone looking to grind for a perfect espresso. I will update my scored now.
WLL has been terrific. I bought my Expobar from them and this grinder. I am not so sure I would be recommending this grinder until Baratza gets all the bugs out.
Three Month Followup
Ever since the manufacturer replace a grinder it seems to be working perfectly at this point. I do however seem to put slight downward pressure on the bean hopper so that the ring will not pop out again as in the first grinder. I grind at least 4 times a day and the grinder has been working flawlessly. I have now started to roast my own beans with the FreshRoast sr500. More on that later. Howard. Hcohen@justneon.com
One Year Followup
Not bad.. Since I bought this grinder, I have bought other commercial grinders. For home use, the Baratza is holding its own. One thing that I have been doing perhaps as a result of the first grinder that I sent back, I have been holding the bin with steady downward pressure. This would prevent the bin from poping out of place if the burrs should encounter a hard bean. I would not recommend this grinder in a small cafe, busy office or some other venue where the grinder is used offen. It probably won't hold up but then again, the grinder is not designed for that type of use. So all in all, its been a good grinder. Would I recommend it for a home use environment.. YES. I would.. ..