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Baratza Virtuoso Preciso - Ben Hirsch's Review
Posted: January 31, 2011, 3:40pm
review rating: 6.0
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso Preciso has 22 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso Preciso has been rated 7.02 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 93,724 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
Hal Remz 9.00

Previous Review  
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 9
Average Price: $300.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $275.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: 1st line Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: Just starting Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Great all in one grinder, and best at this price point.
Positive Product Points

Wide range of grinds (turkish - french press), fine-scale grind adjustment, little ground retention, smooth feeder, and easy to clean/operate.

Negative Product Points

Stepped grind adjustment (this is both positive and negative), timer option isn't great, and the grinds completely fly out of the portafilter if you don't use the WDT method/

Detailed Commentary

I'm an espresso newbie. I needed a relatively inexpensive grinder for my first machine (Lelit PL041). I considered getting a Lelit PL53 for a similar price, but the Lelit doesn't grind course enough for drip (and having drip capabilities are really important for me). I really wanted an all-in-one machine that would both work for drip grinding and could be adjusted fine enough for dialing a great shot. I considered the Baratza Vario, but didn't want to spend that much money. I heard about the Virtuoso Preciso, and that it was about to come on the market soon. Normally I would have liked to buy this after it had been on the market for a longer time so I could read reviews and see how well it works for others, but in this case I didn't really have that option (my old Briel grinder was useless!!!). It also looks like Baratza has a really good reputation and this model uses an upgraded set of burrs. At first try, I wanted to use the grinder timer for measuring out grinds. Bad idea! The timer doesn't work that well. It is much easier to weigh out a dose, grind the entire shot, then dose again. Being a newbie, I also wasn't aware that that is typically the best option anyway. I'm not sure how well the Vario timer works, but the VP timer isn't really  worthwhile in my opinion (although others may disagree). The major problem I've had with this grinder is that it was shooting grinds all over! For other reasons (clumping of stale beans and uneven tamps) I decided I really needed to use the WDT method. When I cut down a yogurt container and placed it onto my portafilter, all the messy grind problems went away. With this addition, there is very, very little coffee wastage or grind retention. This has made my espresso routine much easier and reliable. Lastly, I know that there have been complaints that the Virtuoso doesn't have enough grind steps to properly dial in a shot. This hasn't been a problem for me with the Preciso. If my shot needs to be dialed in, I simply jump an approximate number of steps in the needed direction, try it, readjust, etc.... Each micro step makes a difference, but not hugely so. It is very much possible to dial in to the proper grind. It might be helpful to have finer control...but so far I haven't run into a problem where I couldn't adjust the grind to the right level. I am always able to dial in my shots to the right time/volume without needing some nonexistent intermediate step. I think this machine is a nice addition to the Baratza lineup, and barring any major issues, they will sell a lot of these. Maybe call it the poor man's Vario.

Buying Experience

Super easy. Quick delivery, very nice support from 1st line.

Previous Review  
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review rating: 6.0
Posted: January 31, 2011, 3:40pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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