Baratza Preciso - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
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- The Preciso is a beautifully designed conical burr coffee grinder that works as hard as you do to create the perfect espresso experience. It doesn’t stop there of course; the Preciso has also received high marks from coffee experts as an exceptional grinder for the increasingly popular manual brew methods.
- The Preciso is true to its name — a precision grinder with a micro-adjust system that can be dialed in like a commercial grinder. This, coupled with a coffee throughput that is 1 gram/second faster than other 40mm conical burr grinders, makes the Preciso exceptional for espresso.
- Baratza’s popular 40-grind adjustment options, the Preciso adds a second micro-adjustment level that further divides each of the 40 steps into 11 distinct settings. This means you have significantly more control over your espresso grind.
- The Preciso features the quality internal parts and external elements you’ve come to expect from Baratza. It also comes equipped with our innovative PortaHolder, allowing you to grind your espresso hands-free, directly into the portafilter for quick setup and cleanup.
- Whether you are looking for an exceptional espresso grinder or a grinder to help you explore that extensive range of brew methods, the Preciso is the perfect grinder for you.
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Burrs: Manufactured in Europe, the Preciso’s 40 mm conical burrs grind coffee at 1.5 to 2.4 g/sec. depending on the setting. But what really sets the Preciso burrs apart is that these burrs can do a very uniform grind, with a distinct lack of fines across its grinding range. So the Preciso burrs are exceptional for espresso, drip, manual brewing methods and Press Pot.
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: Macro Adjust: Turn the hopper and with 40 settings you can quickly adjust from fine for espresso to coarse for French Press. Micro Adjust: A secondary micro adjust lever further divides each of the 40 Macro positions into 11 distinct steps. These steps (10 microns each) enable you to precisely dial in the grind for the perfect shot.
Grinds Left in Grinder: To maximize freshness, the Preciso minimizes the ground coffee left in the grinder.
Brewing Methods: The Preciso is exceptional for espresso and manual pour brewing methods.
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 Preciso uses a combination of gear and electronic speed reduction to control the rotation of the burr to 500 RPM.
Portaholder: The Preciso comes with the Portaholder which permits hands-free grinding into an espresso portafilter and makes clean up a snap.
Top Customer Reviews
Caveat #1: I don't make espresso at home, so if you are considering this grinder for espresso, by all means look at other reviews. I can't help you except to repeat what the expert reviewers say (see caveat #2).
Caveat #2: If you haven't read the expert reviews from Coffee Geek, Home Barista, Coava, Prima, Intelligentsia, etc., you really should. You'll get a detailed perspective on what to expect from a decent grinder. And you'll be able to better judge the experience level and value systems of your fellow Amazon coffee drinking reviewers (from clueless to elitist).
Detailed review follows...
Consistency of grind: Excellent for non-espresso
My experience is limited to using just a few burr grinders of similar quality to the Kitchenaid. I can't tell you how this grinder compares to other more expensive grinders. The expert reviewers say it is better than grinders costing over $1,000. All I know is that the grounds it produces are more consistent than the Kitchenaid. Fewer large chunks, and overall more even sizing. As for minimizing fine sediment, here is where this grinder really shines. I was able to produce an amazing cup of coffee with less bitter fine powder than I ever have before. The brew also tasted more flavorful, both because the fines weren't there to mask some of the flavor and also because I could grind a bit finer than I had before (which allowed me to cut back on my brew time and maintain a higher temperature throughout the process). This is Baratza's major selling point for this grinder, because unlike any other model in their line, this grinder has burrs that are optimized for coarser grinds. The burrs feature special cutting edges and a refined angle of attack that not only causes beans to get sliced with less crushing, but causes the throughput to be noticeably faster even though no changes have been made to the motor speed.
Minimizing static: Good (but remember caveat #1--you'll get more static when grinding finer)
I used to prepare coffee using a grinder valued at half the price of this one. I bought the KitchenAid Pro Line burr grinder for its build quality and excellent control of static (all my friends have <$100 grinders that puff clouds of fine grounds everywhere when they open the bin). Others report that the Preciso controls static well MOST of the time. I'm happy with it as well. But here is where you'll find the static problem cropping up: grinding for 30 seconds or more, and with grounds piling-up in the bin, you'll see grounds start to get attracted to the metal front plate. Touching the plate at that point, I got a static shock! Then I read that doing shorter grind runs repeatedly controls that. So now I don't let the grinds pile up to within a couple inches of the top. Problem solved and I've had very good results ever since. Also, I've noticed the plastic catcher bin is very static-free. Baratza supposedly uses a special plastic--not a spray-on coating--that is inherently anti-static, and has paid special attention to minimizing static buildup after listening to customer feedback. Still, there's clearly room for improvement. I think it could be a problem when grinding into a portafilter.
Grounds retention: Excellent
*** Addendum March 2013 *** I now always tilt the grinder forward and pat it on the back to make sure all trapped beans are processed, and to dislodge any grounds in the chute. The Preciso consistently retains only about 0.1 to 0.2 gram of material. Most of the stuck grounds will be released right after grinding. The next day, a few pats before grinding typically releases a bit more.
It is important to qualify how these grounds are retained. Some grinders have nooks that can store old grounds way past their freshness date, releasing the occasional rancid particles into your otherwise pristine grounds. The Preciso does not appear to have such a problem. The path from the hopper to the burrs is short and violent, with a small finger guard keeping you a fraction of an inch from the spinning mass. Once inside the burrs, the exit point is on the outside circumference of the grinding chamber and the exit chute is a short and steep drop into the bin. I saw reviewer after reviewer comment that the burrs looked much cleaner than they expected after a lot of use. I saw Gail from Seattle Coffee Gear open-up several Baratza grinders and find the burrs to be cleaner than she expected.
Motor noise: Very good
It's not too loud--about the same as my KitchenAid.
Grounds heating up: Not noticeable
Other reviewers reported grounds feeling warm when they grind very fine. I haven't had any issues at the levels I grind--but I don't run the motor for a full minute, either (the grounds bin isn't large enough to contain that much grounds!).
Adjustability of coarseness: Very good
The Preciso is special partly because it does such a good job of allowing repeatable fine adjustments. But I noticed that in order to get the coarseness I needed, I had to set it one click before the maximum position. So someone looking to grind even coarser for press pot would maybe need to consult with Baratza on how to adjust the calibration. Others have not reported this problem. Maybe I tend to grind coarser than I realize?
I bought this grinder partly because it is so well-designed from a human factors standpoint. The bean hopper and top burr are easy to remove without tools and easy to brush clean. The instructions book is very clear. I almost bought a Rancilio Rocky grinder and cancelled at the last minute when I saw the nightmare that went into maintaining that horrible design. Even my KitchenAid was not fun to clean (place on back, untwist front screws, watch gooey black oil spilling back into grinder housing and onto kitchen counter). I haven't yet tried a repeatability test to see if the calibration is affected when you remove and replace the top burr for cleaning, but I can't imagine how it could possibly change given the design. All parts fit very precisely into their original positions with no slop and no way to alter the position without deliberately changing the grind setting. On this point, I'll mention that one or two reviewers had commented on looseness or travelling settings due to vibration. They followed-up by saying Baratza responded and made sure later manufactured units did not have that problem. The same issue and resolution was reported for the Vario. I can attest to the firmness of the adjustment clicks and the fine tuning lever--I do not believe my grinder will ever change settings due to vibration.
*** Addendum Feb 2012 *** I just finished cleaning my grinder and can attest to how easy it is. Baratza supplies a very small stiff bottle brush, but you'll want to buy a pastry brush to sweep the dust off the burrs and to break up the compacted dust lodged inside the bottom of the burr housing. Even so, it will be necessary to hold the grinder upside down and tap it to dislodge the grinds that get stuck at the bottom. I did find that I started seeing some old shavings coming out the chute with increasing frequency, but after one cleaning, I think they won't make an appearance for another month. Overall, it was quick and easy to get all the parts clean and to reassemble the burrs.
Build quality and predicted reliability: Good
*** Addendum April 2015 *** I had bought the first version of this grinder, which had numerous design issues. When I noticed the grind losing consistency, I called Baratza within warranty and their response was stellar. I received a fully updated grinder with new gearbox, among other improvements. It's been approx. three years since receiving the rebuilt grinder and I have been happy with its performance ever since.
Others have reported excellent out-of-the-box build quality, but long-term use may be problematic if you don't want to occasionally replace plastic parts that wear out. You should know that a professional quality grinder will tend to have less plastic around the burrs. The Rancilio Rocky is reportedly all-metal (but unlike the Rocky, there's no slop in the Preciso). And if you bought the Baratza Vario, you would find less plastic than the Preciso and more metal construction where it counts (a good short list of best espresso grinders in their price range would have the Preciso under the Vario, with a refurbished Mazzer Super Jolly being the next step up from the Vario). Baratza states that they used fiberglass/plastic seating elements around the burrs in the Preciso because it's a cheap part and will be the first thing to break if you accidentally start grinding a rock. One reviewer reported that the company was very good at replacing this part when that exact thing happened--and they did it for free (they mailed the part and it was easy for the user to install). The motor is very robust, but again, you will see even stronger motors in more expensive units (including the Vario). As for my own assessment of long-term reliability, I am happy so far, but reserve judgement until I've used this grinder for at least another year or so.
Customer support: Excellent
*** Addendum March 2013 *** See my comment, above, regarding the warranty replacement. As I've said, Baratza has been stellar in their customer support.
Reviewers say this manufacturer is the best in the industry when it comes to helping their customers, providing fixes, improving their product rapidly based on feedback, and just basically caring about the user experience.
I need to contact the company for help and I will update how it was going .
1) This machine is amazingly precise and consistent with an enormous range of grain sizes. So far as I am aware, nothing in this price range comes close. Compared to the 100 dollar grinder I had previously, this is 100x better. Shot after shot of espresso comes out perfectly, and you can make microscopic adjustments to fine tune the time it takes to pull each shot. Due to the control it gives you over grain size and the way it dispenses consistently, you get correspondingly greater control over flavor.
2) Baratza customer service is amazing. They respond same day, are very helpful and honest and will not make a fuss about sending out replacement parts when the machine breaks.
3) The machine is quite easy to repair when it breaks. The first time, it took 10-15 minutes to disassemble and maybe 5-10 minutes to reassemble when the new part arrived.
1) The machine will eventually break. This is guaranteed. Those ultra-precise controls over grain size are made possible by tiny pieces of plastic that are fitted together very tightly. If you get an unusually hard bean or rock or you adjust the machine while it isn't grinding (or you just get unlucky while it is grinding) you can easily break off one of 6 tiny tabs that control the course/fine internal adjustment mechanisms. You'll know this has happened when your espresso grind suddenly goes from fine dust to wood chips. The website has videos that walk you through taking apart your machine and finding which exact part has broken and then they will send you a replacement part that will arrive 1-2 days later. If this is annoying, you can send it in for warranty repair, which is slightly more of a hassle. I did the repairs myself when a tab broke off and it took about 10 minutes of careful work once the part arrived.
Though frustrating, I'm glad about the screw up! It forced me to rethink my needs. I'm not going to be making espresso. I don't need the Preciso's micro adjust to grind for press pot, Chemex and Aeropress. Therefore, I ordered the Virtuoso 586 from another vendor for just a bit over $200 shipped, which includes a free bag of beans! Perhaps I'll put the money saved towards the ultra-convenient Esatto weigh scale accessory.
As always, thanks Amazon for the easy return procedure, but PLEASE fix this page to correct the item description and show the only the Virtoso 586 photos (remove the Preciso photo with the portafilter)!
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