*Which* Baratza grinder for drip/press?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
jamori

#1: Post by jamori »

I've been thinking more and more lately about transitioning from using my Super Jolly as a multi-role grinder (espresso, drip, press) to buying a second grinder so that I don't have to keep making the huge adjustments on my SJ, losing my set point, etc whenever I want to pull a couple shots. I've ruled out hand grinders for this purpose, as drip is generally what's brewed at home when we don't have time for espresso...

I've narrowed down to one of the [non-Vario] Baratza grinders for a variety of reasons (excellent customer service, consistent recommendations in similar 'which grinder for drip/press' threads, good prices on refurb grinders, etc), but am hung up on which to pick.

I've seen some posts saying that any will do fine, others that clearly prefer the Virtuoso, and then this from Baratza when asked for their recommendation:
The grind from the Maestro burrs, Virtuoso burrs, and Vario burrs are all very different.
I think you will be happy with a Maestro or Virtuoso for what you are talking about.
I usually hear that people like the Virtuoso better than the Maestro for all types of coffee.
This morning, I got an in-depth evaluation from a well known European roaster that said that the drip and press grind from the Maestro was outstanding, better than the Virtuoso.
So... Maestro, Maestro+, or Virtuoso? Does anyone have particular thoughts here?

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sweaner
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#2: Post by sweaner »

If I wanted a Baratza for only drip/press I would go for a Maestro Refub, $67.

http://www.baratza.com/refurb.php
Scott
LMWDP #248

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kschendel

#3: Post by kschendel »

The Maestro drip grind is just fine. For press, I get a bit of dust, nothing annoying for me but it's there. I would think that the Virtuoso is a bit better for the coarse grind. I haven't used a Virtuoso myself, but you can find any number of old H-B or coffeegeek posts praising the Virtuoso at press grind.

If the additional $100 isn't a big factor, I'd get the Virtuoso and not look back. If price is a factor, the Maestro or Maestro+ do a very good job. I believe the only difference between the two Maestro models is the timer and pulse button on the Plus, the grind is the same.

I have to believe that the report preferring the Maestro at drip/press was either an outlier, or a poorly set up or worn Virtuoso, or a Maestro that got lucky with an unusually good build and burr-set.

ppopp

#4: Post by ppopp »

I have one of the original Solis-badged Maestros, and it's about 7 or 8 years old now and still works fine for my morning cup (Clever Coffee Dripper or Aeropress). My Maestro has the pulse grind button on the front, which now only comes on the Maestro Plus or better. I only grind using the pulse button (one cup at a time into the filter), so I'll be buying the Plus when I replace mine some day.

Note that the Plus has a metal base and is double the weight of the Maestro, which will make it more stable. The refurb prices on all of these grinders in the link above is a great value.
Peter

Know beans, know coffee. No beans, no coffee.

jamori

#5: Post by jamori »

kschendel wrote:If the additional $100 isn't a big factor, I'd get the Virtuoso and not look back. If price is a factor, the Maestro or Maestro+ do a very good job.
While I'm certainly not made of money, I'd probably be willing to spend a bit extra to get the Virtuoso if it would make a significant difference. If I shouldn't expect a huge difference in grind quality, I'll probably keep the $100 and get the Maestro.

It's sounding like the grind difference is relatively minor, so unless anyone can convince me otherwise I think I'll go with the Maestro :)

portamento

#6: Post by portamento »

The Virtuoso does have a different conical burr set than the Maestro and Maestro Plus. So the grind profile is likely different. However, I have used a Maestro on several occasions and I own a Virtuoso. I'm not convinced at all that the Virtuoso produces a cleaner (i.e. less fines, more consistent particle size) grind at drip/press settings.

In fact, I'm quite intrigued by the findings by one roaster (cited below) that the Maestro was found to perform better than the Virtuoso for drip/press. That wouldn't surprise me, honestly. Burr designs are complicated science, and there's no empirical reason for the Virtuoso to outperform, even if the build quality is a step up.
Baratza, via jamori wrote:This morning, I got an in-depth evaluation from a well known European roaster that said that the drip and press grind from the Maestro was outstanding, better than the Virtuoso.
Ryan

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#7: Post by Baratza »

It is always interesting to read threads on Home-Barista, especially those concerning a comment I made. As you all know, there is a huge personal taste component in coffee. There are strong opinions on whether conical or flat burrs are better or how the size, cut, material (ceramic/steel) of the burr changes the taste profile. Over the years, we at Baratza have heard conflicting information about which of our grinders or burrs is best for a style of coffee or a certain roast. With all of this in mind, I would recommend the Virtuoso (over the Maestro) because it gives a more accurate grind. The Virtuoso is our best selling grinder and the majority of our resellers recommend the Virtuoso for drip and French press.

earlgrey_44

#8: Post by earlgrey_44 »

Baratza wrote:it gives a more accurate grind.
Forgive me, but I really have no idea what that means. In what way do you mean a grinder is more accurate than another?
Trust your taste. Don't trust your perception.

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#9: Post by Baratza »

Accurate meaning a Virtuoso delivers a more uniform grind with less fines/dust.

earlgrey_44

#10: Post by earlgrey_44 »

That's interesting. A particle size distribution graph for the Vario was posted on the Marco Uber Project website. Does Baratza have any particle size distribution graphs for the less expensive grinders?
Trust your taste. Don't trust your perception.