Description and Review
Baratza Virtuoso Review
Another remarkable product comes from a very well known company specialised in state of the art coffee grinders. Baratza manufactures its conical burr grinder in Europe to ensure their high quality standard. Baratza Virtuoso excels in making a uniform grind consistently and is suitable for many kinds of coffee such as espresso, drip, manual brewing or press pot. Since 2012 their models utilize the exceptional Gearbox 2.0 that includes a drive gear filled with 15% thermoplastic. This one reduced the noise significantly, is more durable and shock resistant.
The grind can be adjusted in 40 steps, from 200 to 1200 microns. This way you can grind any kind of coffee imaginable, from espresso to french press. The slow turning but powerful motor contributes to the reduction of noise too. The speed is kept automatically at 500 RPM to ensure less heat generated and support steady beans feeding. A 60 second timer at the right side can be adjusted to replicate grinding for consistent results.
Metal parts at front and bottom add durability and provide an elegant style. Additionally a push switch is placed in front also to power up the grinder conveniently anytime. This one works in conjuction with a portafilter that should be purchased seperately. On top sits the plastic hopper that can hold up to 8 oz of coffee beans. On the other hand the grounds bin capacity is at 5 oz.
Initially you just have to add the coffee beans into the container and secure the cap. Afterwards you just have to select the grinding output by turning the conteiner itself in 40 steps. Living up to its promises the procedure is surprisingly quiet for an electrical grinder and fast!
The output was tested repeatedly for various selections and the result was always consistent for each one. The grind was decent and produced a wonderful coffee. Furthermore cleaning is very easy too. You just open the bean hopper and the ring burr is exposed. It is advised to perform this once month to prevent clogging.
The dark colored container makes it a bit hard to see if the beans are flowing or just stuck inside though. A clear transparent one would serve better. Another flaw was the timer knob which has a sloppy feeling and calibration marks are non existent. So it would need some testing until figuring out the correct position to avoid over or under grinding. In any case you can use the front power button and keep it steady for as long as you need.
Finally you should be careful to not overfill the container as the smaller bin will not be able to handle the extra amount. This way you will avoid clogging. So if you need to grind more, you should better do it in several steps.
Virtuoso is excellent for providing a grind to make a wonderful cup of coffee. The build quality is top notch, it is fast and reliable. It is a perfect match for mid to high class coffee makers such as Technivorm Moccamaster KBT-741 which is highly recommended. It may need sometime until you find the perfect calibration but if you care about a flavorable result you should not bother at all!
- Time Consuming Calibration