Upgrade to Baratza Sette 270?

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Coastie44
Posts: 22
Joined: June 19th, 2017

Postby Coastie44 » Jun 19, 2017, 3:22 pm

Hi - I have a 10 year old (or so) Solis Maestro which appears to be about equivalent to a Baratza Virtuoso.

I'm thinking of upgrading to something like a Baratza Sette 270. I'm able to choke my Gaggia Espresso (similar to a classic I think) fairly easily. We really only drink milk-based drinks (latte, cappuccino).

Is this level of upgrade worth the dough? With good beans i like the flavor we get. Of anything, i'd prefer to get a machine with a "real" frothing wand and better steam, but i read so much here about the grinder.

I'm also not against a hand grinder (though my spouse would never use it). I prefer to get something I can buy through Amazon so I can use some work-based awards paid out through amazon gift cards. :-)

Thermosiphon
Posts: 29
Joined: January 9th, 2017

Postby Thermosiphon » Jun 19, 2017, 8:05 pm

By all accounts, the Sette 270 should be a pretty substantial step up in terms of grind consistency and taste in the cup.

The most important question to ask when you are shopping for a grinder is: what is your budget?

While the Sette is certainly worth the upgrade (in my opinion), there may be a better value proposition (e.g. the Vario) depending on what your budget is. But if you are sticking with Gaggia Classic for the long term, it probably isn't worth going for a large conical or flat anyway. If you are open to upgrading that down the line, then I would try to make one big grinder purchase now and never upgrade again.

If you can afford a "last grinder you'll ever need to buy" type of purchase, you can go with a Kafatek Monolith (flat or conical) if you can get your hands on one. Or you can go with something more affordable and in stock, such as the Ceado E37S (more counter space friendly than most commercial quality grinders) or the Compak K10.

But if you're just looking for a relatively inexpensive grinder that will give you the biggest boost in your coffee flavor profile for the smallest investment possible, you probably do want a Baratza Sette 270 or a Baratza Vario. I don't know which people generally prefer overall for espresso, as I have never owned a Baratza product. Their reputation for unusually good results in the cup for the size/cost of their products is well established, however.
Cheers,
Bill

DaumierS
Posts: 108
Joined: May 4th, 2017

Postby DaumierS » Jun 19, 2017, 8:26 pm

I own Baratza Vario for 2 years, and I am not happy about it. I had it once replaced under the warranty, and another time I sent to the factory to fix and calibrate. This was easy, their customer support is outstanding, but still the quality of the grinder itself and the consistency of grinds are mediocre, at best. I am now upgrading to one of the top grinders. They cost about 4x more, though.

I am wondering how Quamar M80 compares to Sette 270? The price is almost identical, and it has 63" flat burrs.

Coastie44
Posts: 22
Joined: June 19th, 2017

Postby Coastie44 » Jun 19, 2017, 10:39 pm

Well, the Vario is easily within my price range. But I'd rather purchase a $250 manual grinder and keep the trusty old solis around for a while longer! I just can't bring myself to spend $1000 for a grinder.

For me, I value most the following (in no particular order)

Low maintenance,
Easy to dial in,
improvement in quality,
Lower noise

A manual grinder fits that bill. But I'd spend up to about $600 or so...

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takeshi
Posts: 161
Joined: December 6th, 2006

Postby takeshi » Jun 20, 2017, 11:07 am

Coastie44 wrote:Is this level of upgrade worth the dough? With good beans i like the flavor we get.

It's really up to you to determine if it's worth it to you just as it would be on any topic as worth is a very subjective matter. If you're happy with what you're getting now then it may not be worth it to you.

That said, there is a lot of room for possible improvement from the Solis Maestro and what you're happy with is going to depend on your experience. I was happy with a blade grinder and a Krups espresso machine way back when I had no experience with better lattes. Get out and try lattes and cappucinos from good coffee shops to see what's possible and to help you decide if a better grinder is worth it to you.

Coastie44 wrote:I'm able to choke my Gaggia Espresso

This doesn't really mean much. There's much more to grinder performance than just how fine it can grind.

Coastie44 wrote:though my spouse would never use it

How important is this? You state this and later on mention that you'd rather get a hand grinder. It would help to have a prioritized list of what you need/want from a new grinder.

$600 or so should get you into the range of some more durable electric grinders that should also be a bit less noisy.

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slipchuck
Posts: 340
Joined: April 12th, 2017

Postby slipchuck » Jun 20, 2017, 4:54 pm

If you aren't American you might want to take a look at the Bezzera BB005. I have had it for a month and have been very happy with it.(espresso only)

Good luck with your purchase

Randy
The only bad decisions are the decisions you didn't make

Coastie44
Posts: 22
Joined: June 19th, 2017

Postby Coastie44 » Jun 20, 2017, 11:34 pm

takeshi wrote:It's really up to you to determine if it's worth it to you just as it would be on any topic as worth is a very subjective matter. If you're happy with what you're getting now then it may not be worth it to you.

That said, there is a lot of room for possible improvement from the Solis Maestro and what you're happy with is going to depend on your experience. I was happy with a blade grinder and a Krups espresso machine way back when I had no experience with better lattes. Get out and try lattes and cappucinos from good coffee shops to see what's possible and to help you decide if a better grinder is worth it to you.


This statement is really not helpful. How am I to know what is making the "good" espresso-based drinks at decent coffee shapes taste good??? Is it the coffee? The experience of the barista? The grinder? The espresso machine?? I was hoping to get some actual advice! I want to know how much the result is influenced by the switch from what I thought (at the time) was a decent grinder, to something better. All else being equal.

takeshi wrote:This doesn't really mean much. There's much more to grinder performance than just how fine it can grind.

Like what? I mean, I've been spending a few days reading here so I assume you mean things like the consistency of the grind, timed or weighed doses, durability, etc. But since I have no experience with these other grinders, or tasted the difference in my own kitchen, I was hoping for a little more detail than "there is more to it."

though my spouse would never use it

takeshi wrote:How important is this? You state this and later on mention that you'd rather get a hand grinder. It would help to have a prioritized list of what you need/want from a new grinder.


Its not important. I will use whatever grinder I get. My wife can have the Solis which she says "is just fine" :-)

takeshi wrote:$600 or so should get you into the range of some more durable electric grinders that should also be a bit less noisy.

Which ones??

DaumierS
Posts: 108
Joined: May 4th, 2017

Postby DaumierS » Jun 21, 2017, 2:59 am

You may wish to also consider Eureka Mignon or Quamar M80, they are both in this price range.

EDChris
Posts: 107
Joined: January 23rd, 2017

Postby EDChris » Jun 21, 2017, 8:11 pm

Coastie44 wrote:Well, the Vario is easily within my price range. But I'd rather purchase a $250 manual grinder and keep the trusty old solis around for a while longer! I just can't bring myself to spend $1000 for a grinder.

For me, I value most the following (in no particular order)

Low maintenance,
Easy to dial in,
improvement in quality,
Lower noise

A manual grinder fits that bill. But I'd spend up to about $600 or so...


Just as a note, the Sette is not what I'd consider quiet. It's blazing fast compared to the other Baratzas, so it's making noise for less time, but it has a higher pitched, more piercing operation noise.

Coastie44
Posts: 22
Joined: June 19th, 2017

Postby Coastie44 » Jun 21, 2017, 11:31 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. My spouse says she just wants to use our trusty Solis so I decided to order a Helor hand grinder instead just for me to use. I realize I can just sell it easily if it doesn't work out for me. I will do a little research on those, but it seems the Helor is a good one to buy (albeit a little expensive.

 
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