Upgraded (majorly) from Baratza Forte to Eureka XL - WOW!

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
DrBalance

#1: Post by DrBalance »

I tried to up my Espresso game over the last few weeks. I went from a Rancilio Silvia and Baratza Preciso to a Bezzera Unica and Baratza Forte.

Bezzera Unica:
A major upgrade to the Silvia in every way, nothing to discuss here. The PID alone! The Silvia though will always have a special place in my heart... my first machine
and served me well for many years, just time to move on I guess. The Unica is built like a tank and so beautiful. Love the E61. I upgraded to wood trims handles. Gorgeous and the coffee is unbeatable.

Baratza Forte AP:
A major DOWNGRADE from the Preciso. I went through 3 brand new Forte exchanges and with each one I was chasing my the grind up and down and all over the place, waisting of pounds and pounds of coffee in the process. Once I thought dialed in, the next day it was off again. So frustrating :| I went back to the Preciso and pulled consistent shots with with the Bezzera Unica shot after shot, after shot. I returned the Forte and took some time to do some research.

Eureka XL:
*Released in Canada just days ago*
I friggin' love this thing! The fit and finish is outstanding. The Baratza Forte kind of feels like a toy compared to the Eureka, tbh. So easy to dial in and the grind stays put, shot after shot and for the last 3 days! This feels like a professional grinder, it feels like I'm in the game now 8)

There is one issue with the XL right now, the screen. It seems to freeze and it becomes unresponsive every now and then. The retailer says they'll exchange it but I suspect or wonder if the next one will do the same, and I'm all dialed in now lol. Just wondering if anyone has had this issue with the screen fitted Eurekas (Specialita, Mignon, etc.)?

Thanks for reading everyone!

makspyat

#2: Post by makspyat »

This does not mirror my experience with Baratza.

I have an all-plastic Vario-W, which only needed a small adjustment every few days, when it was used for espresso, as beans aged. I treated it well, and cleaned every time I'd change beans between pour over and espresso and as a result, it would allow me to set adjustment to the same value after I'd switch beans.

There was only one problem: sometimes I would grind 2 doses before I'd feel the final result of previous adjustment, while dialing in for a new espresso. This was mainly a problem of me not single dosing, but that's because Vario-W grinds by weight.

In a short while I upgraded Vario with steel burrs and relegated it to pour over duties.

Now I use Ceado E5SD for espresso. How does it compare with Vario-W ? Sure, the Ceado is built better, and it tastes sweeter, less acidic in the cup. But the improvement is not anywhere near the 2.5 cost difference.

I do like, however, that there is no need to purge Ceado every morning.

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DrBalance (original poster)

#3: Post by DrBalance (original poster) »

Yeah, could be Baratza is having issues with a recent batch of Fortes. Either way though, even if I got a 4th one and it worked, I'm so happy it didn't work because I LOVE this XL. It's faster, quieter, built way better, and grinds consistent with less to zero retention (no need to purge). The XL is also a little cheaper which makes NO sense.

As far as the screen, in case anyone has similar issues in the future with their XL, I found that as long as one of my fingers is simultaneously touching the metal on the side of the screen (actually a natural position when making input changes) the screen responds flawlessly. I'll give it a week and decide if I'll exchange it for another one.

coffeechan

#4: Post by coffeechan »

This mirrors my experience moving from Vario and Forte to Ceado E37S and Monolith MC1.

My grinder upgrade path went through Vario -> Forte AP -> Ceado E37S -> Monolith Conical MC1 with a Breville Smart Coffee Grinder as a backup. The Vario and Forte are good grinders, but I found them to be finicky when it came to grind adjustment. Starting with the Vario, I personally felt like the macro and micro dual adjustment combined with the plastic build led to a lot of wasted coffee. Sometimes it felt like a guessing game as to figuring out the right settings to dial in a grind. One had to deal with the double adjustment, grind retention (it was good, but ofc not nearly as good as modern more expensive single doser), and what I felt was setting drift as adjustments had to be made with a running motor. Flat burr grinders tend to be prone to jamming if one did not (this has happened occasionally and rarely with the vario, forte, and E37s). The Forte AP fixed many of these problems mostly, but I kept on upgrading anyways due to the influence of the original titan grinder challenge on HB.

I'll caveat my experience a bit as I was much more inexperienced. Baratza also encourages users to routinely maintenance and repair their grinders, and maybe I was not up to that task as well. I would still consider the Sette if I had to pick a grinder in that range, but also I feel like Eureka has done a great job with their offerings in this bracket as well.

myke2241

#5: Post by myke2241 »

I have one of the original Forte grinders. During the time I have owned it, I have only had two issues where the grinder was sent back. The first time the repair was free of charge. The second time $90 standard cost repair. From a support and repair perspective, you will be hard-pressed to beat Baratza. If you have not already, I would recommend contacting Baratza directly with issues like you described. What I don't like about the Forte is after a while you can get coffee buildup in the exit chute.

myke2241

#6: Post by myke2241 »

BTW, If it were me I would be very inclined to returning the Eureka XL and waiting 6 months to a year. Sometimes issues like this can be nothing, but it could also be a hint of something brewing. I have been guilty of waiting too long and missing the return period. Just me though!

LObin

#7: Post by LObin » replying to myke2241 »

I would return it and not worry about it. It's Eureka (Nuova Simonelli) after all. Add to this that the grinder has been out in Europe (220v) for a few months now...
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myke2241

#8: Post by myke2241 »

I think you meant to say "wouldn't"? If there is the case keep in mind typical customers are not heading to HB to vent and Eureka has no obligation to publically disclose any issues that exist.

Perhaps beyond the scope of this thread. There is a mico processor/component shortage. I wouldn't be surprised if there are batches of inferior or rejected components making their way into the supply chain with the current global strain on supply.

LObin

#9: Post by LObin » replying to myke2241 »

I meant the OP should return his XL and not worry too much about having potential issues with the replacement. If there was a recurring component issue, it would've already been discussed on UK forums, reddit or elsewhere. Probably not on HB since the NA version is just out.

That's just my opinion.
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PastorChemex
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#10: Post by PastorChemex »

How would you say the XL would handle filter grind as well as espresso?

I have been interested in the forte BG for the ability to do both fairly well, and by weight - which is awesome.

I'm guessing you bought the Eureka Oro? I didn't find eureka's webpage to be incredibly intuitive discussing the different grinder's ability to do filter or espresso well.