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Baratza Virtuoso Preciso - Robert Fitts's Review
Posted: February 14, 2012, 12:00am
review rating: 5.6
feedback: (3) comments | read | write
Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso Preciso has 24 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso Preciso has been rated 6.91 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since January 28, 2011.
Arrow Baratza Virtuoso Preciso reviews have been viewed 108,040 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Katie Robinson 10.00
Damian S 10.00
Nick C 10.00
Donald Varona 9.00
Sam Decock 9.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 2.4
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 0
Average Price: $300.00 Usability: 5
Price Paid: $299.00 Cost vs. Value 0
Where Bought: Clive Coffee Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 year Overall 0
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: bodium, Starbucks
Bottom Line: Considering a Baratza Preciso? Do yourself a favor, don't.
Positive Product Points

Heavy duty, nice design. Grinds coffee with precision. When it works it is a great machine.

Negative Product Points

I purchased the Rancilio Silvia and the Baratza Preciso coffee grinder on September 2011, the Baratza Preciso coffee grinder failed on December 2011 (within 3 months of the original purchase). Baratza replaced the defective Baratza Preciso unit with a new unit and it failed on February 2012 (within 6 months of original purchase). According to Baratza the Baratza Preciso has had issues with a gear box failure as well as cracked or broken adjustment rings.

Detailed Commentary

Since 1998, I have ground coffee beans, and pulled shots for my family every morning (the exception is when I am on a business trip or vacation). I make this the thing I do in the morning to serve my family before we all head out for the day.  I began this journey with a basic coffee grinder and espresso machine from Starbucks and thought it was good coffee back in the day.  Over the years, I have learned to appreciate good coffee and espresso. In my latest quest for a better cup, I purchased a Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine ($629.00) and a Baratza Preciso coffee grinder ($299.00) from Clive Coffee in Portland, Oregon on September 2011.  

With the initial purchase of the Rancilio Silvia and the Baratza Preciso, I struggled to pull a decent espresso shot.  Shot pull times were unpredictable even with changing coffee vendors (sorry Clive Coffee, your coffee is awesome). I researched the net and YouTube for answers. No matter what I tried, I could not get a consistent shot with the new equipment. I pulled and discarded about ten plus pounds of coffee (truly), attempting to get a consistant shot of espresso with the new equipment.  A frustrating experience to say the least as I know my way around a espresso machine and coffee grinder.

On December of 2011 (3 months after original purchase) the Baratza Precisio became a paper weight; it began whirring and would not grind.  I called Baratza for help. After an attempt to have me repair the machine myself, the gentleman at Baratza sent me a new replacement machine.  

The new replacement Baratza Preciso worked flawlessly, it dialed in quickly and allowed for perfect shots right out of the box.  I realized the first Baratza Preciso I purchased was defective out of the box.

The replacement Baratza Preciso worked flawlessly until it failed on February 12, 2012. To my disappointment the Baratza Preciso began shaking and making strange noises. The failed Baratza Preciso would only pull three second shots on the finest setting. I had another paper weight on my hands.

I called Baratza and spoke to a gentleman who informed me that they were having issues with the Baratza Preciso. He volunteered that the Baratza Preciso has been experiencing a 5% failure rate due to a failing adjustment ring and gearbox. He informed me that they are manufacturing all new units with a adjustment ring made of fiberglass and a new gear box.

The gentleman at Baratza informed me that if I did the repair myself, I could dismantle the Baratza Preciso, superglue some part and replace some other parts. He offered to send me the parts to repair the Baratza. I informed him that I would prefer a replacement as I did not want to repair the grinder myself.
Baratza ship a refurbished unit out right away, I received it within three days.

I invested $299.00 in the Baratza Preciso with the expectation that it would perform as advertised, endorsed and reviewed by others. My experieance with the Baratza Preciso simply has been one of total product failure. Yes, Baratza is honoring their one year warranty and replacing the defective units. I have lost confidence in the Baratza Preciso . If it were possible (according to Baratza it is not) I would return the Baratza Preciso for a refund and purchase another product with a proven performance record.  If the Baratza Precisio fails again, I will simply take the financial hit and move on to a more reliable product.

Buying Experience

Buying experience at Clive Coffee in Portland, Oregon was great. Good people, good customer service.

Three Month Followup

Yes, another product failure in August 2012.

It is not reasonable to assume that when purchasing a quality product that it will perform well for the lifetime of the product?  My assumption one year ago that the Baratza Preciso was a quality product and would perform reasonably well for the lifetime of the product was misguided.  Yes, I have been the privileged owner of four Baratza Preciso coffee grinders within one year (one purchased new and three warranty replacements).

Yes, another discussion with the folks at Baratza of how they have had problems with the Preciso but have fixed the problems.
Yes, the company promptly replaced the defective machine with another refurbished machine.
Yes, I have been the privileged owner of four Baratza Preciso coffee grinders within one year (one purchased new and three replacements).
Yes, my experience with the Baratza Preciso simply has been one of total product failure.
Yes, the one year warranty expires this month.
Yes, I am done, so done with whole mess.

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review rating: 5.6
Posted: February 14, 2012, 12:00am
feedback: (3) comments | read | write
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