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Baratza 586 Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder
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- Let the Virtuoso’s professional-grade 40mm conical burrs perform their magic for a consistent, fine grind. How about a French Press? The Virtuoso can handle that too, with a particle size uniformity that gives you consistency from cup to cup. In fact, the Virtuoso is so consistent at both the coarse and fine ends of the grind range that we consider it to be in a class all by itself — and so do many of the micro- and specialty-roasters who swear by it.
- The secret to the Virtuoso’s consistent, smooth grind is: an efficient DC motor keeps your beans cool, even during extended grind times, while a combination of electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup.
- The Virtuoso’s exterior is just as finely tuned as its interior — a convenient front-mounted pulse button allows for grinding directly into an espresso filter basket, while a 60-second timer means that it’s easy to replicate the ideal grind time. With the Virtuoso, the look goes beyond merely functional.
- A sculptured metal top and base give this grinder an expensive, elegant image that adds a sense of class and quality to kitchen counters and coffee shop workspaces alike.
- Speed to Grind: 1.5 to 2.4 g/sec.; Bean Hopper Capacity: 8 oz (227g); Grounds Bin Capacity: 5 oz. (142 g); Weight: 8 lbs. (3.6kg); Dimensions WxHxD cm: 12x35x16 cm; Power Rating (North America): 110 V AC 50/60 Hz. 1 Amp; Power Rating (Other): 230 V AC 50/60 Hz. .5 Amps; Safety Listing: UL/CSA/CE/EK; Designed & Engineered: Seattle, WA, USA
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|Sold By||SupplyBoost||Barista Lab||Amazon.com||WayDeals||Kitchen Kapers||J.L. Hufford|
|Item Dimensions||2.56 x 5.91 x 5.31 in||4.72 x 6.29 x 13.77 in||7.75 x 5 x 10.5 in||—||—||4.7 x 9.8 x 13.8 in|
|Item Weight||7.15 lbs||6.83 lbs||3 lbs||8.73 lbs||—||15.4 lbs|
|Material Type||Brushed satin metal, Black plastic||Stainless Steel||stainless-steel, zinc||—||—||Stainless Steel|
Burrs: Manufactured in Europe, the Virtuoso’s 40 mm conical burrs grind coffee at 1.5 to 2.4 g/sec. depending on the setting. But what really sets the Virtuoso burrs apart is that these burrs can do a very uniform grind, with a distinct lack of fines across its grinding range. So the Virtuoso burrs are exceptional for espresso, drip, manual brewing methods and Press Pot. These conical burrs are durable and will remain sharp for many years. The burrs have a precision mounting system to ensure a stable platform for accurate grinding.
Gearbox: In 2012, Baratza introduced the second generation Gearbox (GB 2.0). With GB 2.0, Baratza has significantly increased the strength and durability of the drive transmission while decreasing noise.
Grind Adjustment: Turn the hopper and with 40 settings you can quickly adjust from fine for espresso to coarse for French Press. The grind range is from 250 to 1200 microns.
Grinds Left in Grinder: To maximize freshness, the Virtuoso minimizes the ground coffee left in the grinder.
Brewing Method: The Virtuoso is a great all around grinder, from manual brewing to espresso.
Motor: A powerful, high torque DC motor effortlessly drives the burrs. This motor turns slowly resulting in cool, quiet operation and permits long grinding duty-cycles.
Calibration: An innovative burr calibration system ensures that each grinder has the full range of grind.
Speed Control: With unique speed control, the Virtuoso uses a combination of gear and electronic speed reduction to control the rotation of the burr to 500 RPM. The electronic speed controller is adjustable from 405 to 495 RPM in the event that specific user conditions require modification of the speed.
Timer Switch: The Virtuoso has a 60-second timer with segmented graphics.
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Well, after countless hours, days, weeks, and yes, months of reading reviews and articles, I finally decided it was time to try a burr grinder, and the one I decided to try was the Baratza Virtuoso.
What swayed me was to this machine was the Baratza USA website. Of course we all want our grinders to give us a lifetime of no hassle grinding, but with a machine like this, after a while, things are bound to need attention. With many grinders you'd probably have no choice but to toss them out and get a new one, but If you go to the Baratza USA website, to the support section, you'll see they have an entire list of .pdf files and videos detailing every possible in-home adjustment and repair that can be done to this machine.
During the process of showing how to take the machine completely apart and repair everything from a knob coming off to replacing the motor, you begin to gain an appreciation for how thoughtfully this machine was designed.
Are you an espresso person and want a bit more control on the finer grinds? No problem, they show you how to go in and make a simple adjustment that will shift the grind range more toward the fine end.
Are you a French press person and want more control over your coarse grinds? They show you how to adjust it that direction too.
Do you like dark, oily beans....... then you will probably get better performance by slowing the rotation of the center burr a bit (from the factor set 550 rpm, down to 450 rpm), and they show you how to adjust a potentiometer inside the machine to do that.
And, if at some point you experience a problem, they show you how test it to find out what the problems is, then show you the part you need to order, and then show you how to install it yourself, saving you from having to ship your machine back to them.
Plus, all the parts are readily available at reasonable prices.
Of course that's all after the fact, I mean, what you're really interested in is how well it grinds. Well it grinds beautifully, with very even particle distribution, and after testing, I found that I typically only lose about one tenth of a gram during each grinding, not bad.
Plus, it's super easy to clean. Just pop off the bean hopper and the ring burr lifts right out, leaving plenty of room to get a brush down inside the grinding chamber. 5-10 minutes once every month or so and you've got a like-new clean machine.
But let's get serious. Bottom line. Can I taste a difference between this and my blade grinder? Absolutely! For one thing, while I occasionally got a good cup of coffee with my blade grinder, after dialing in this burr grinder to the right setting for my pour over method of brewing, I'm getting a consistently excellent cup of coffee. It's all about getting consistently good, repeatable results, and that what this grinder gives me.
Now, why the Virtuoso over the Encore. I think the Encore would probably suit many people, but the Virtuoso has a better set of burrs, giving a more even grind, especially towards the coarse end. It also has a 1.5 amp 180 watt motor rather than the Encore's 1 amp 120 watt motor. And it has more metal in the chassis than the Encore, giving a more solid feel. Is that enough to justify a $100 difference in price? That's something each person will have to decide. It was enough for me, and I've been more than happy with my choice.
After getting the Baratza, I ended adding a kitchen scale to precisely measure the amount of coffee and water I use, and now I'm finally getting that excellent cup of coffee every single time. Happy brewing!
UPDATE 1-5-15 Ok, I finally found a minor issue that needs addressing. On the bean hopper there is a small 1/2" vertical piece of plastic that is supposed to mark the number of the grind setting (between 1 and 40). The problem is that the piece of plastic is the same color as the rest of bean hopper, so for my aging eyes it's extremely difficult to see the grind setting.
SOLUTION: I remembered I had some leftover white adhesive backed address labels, so I took one and cut a small sliver off the end, and it's width was a PERFECT fit for the length of that little plastic marker piece on the bean hopper. Then I cut a small piece of clear tape and put it over the top to help keep it clean, and BINGO, I can now easily see where my grind setting is set. Yippeee.
The grinder itself continues to be a joy to use.
Now, I have to say, in addition to not being a coffee snob, I'm also not made of money, so when I saw the $200+ price of these grinders (granted, Baratza makes one for about half the price, but indulge me here), I balked. I mean, my measly little blade grinder lasted me probably five years, so why not just spring for another of the same model? Does anybody need a $200 coffee grinder?
Still I read the Amazon reviews on the Virtuoso carefully, and checked out their website, read the manual they provided, and became convinced that this was a TOOL, and I am always about choosing the right tool for the job and getting what you pay for. Needless to say, I plunked down the cash, and couldn't be more pleased.
Solid, well-built, and surprisingly quieter than my old blade grinder, the Virtuoso comes well-packaged and arrived in great condition. It was a snap to assemble, just a silicone gasket and the timer switch. Adjusting the grind is similarly easy, and we've figured out that a setting of 32 (out of 40) gives us exactly the right coarseness that both releases maximum flavor w minimal mug mud. The motor is powerful and seems like it will last a good long time. So yes, it was more than 4 times the cost of a replacement blade grinder, but our coffee is rich and flavorful and gunk-free, and we have an appliance that is well-built, seems reliable, and looks good on the counter. Yeah, I'm quite happy with this purchase. If you're considering one, I encourage you to go on the Baratza website and look at the manual (it isn't included in the box, only a quick-start card is).