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    Darcy, I have been very happy with my Baratza Encore as an entry level electric burr grinder, though their Virtuoso would be a nice upgrade pick. If I had gone manual, I considered a Hario. I am not the coffee geek that some here may be though. Also, that is an awesome looking espresso maker.

    ETA: When I purchased mine a couple of years ago, I visited one of Seattle Coffee Gear's retail shops, and it was a great opportunity to test out several in action.

    ETA2: If you are mainly drinking espresso, I am intrigued by the Baratza Sette 270, but I have not seen it in person.
    Last edited by NWhikergal; 04-19-2021, 02:35 PM.
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

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      Darcy This is a very timely question because I have a grinder to avoid: Oxo Conical Burr Grinder. I wanted an upgrade from my hand grinder, and after some research (and a Wirecutter recommendation), went with the Oxo. I've had it for just under a year and have to disassemble it about once a month to clear clogged grinds (even when I use light roasted beans). Just learned today they are sending me a replacement, but I think the issue is with the design. The Baratza Encore is what I'm saving up for once this replacement goes kaput.

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        Originally posted by k_p View Post
        Darcy This is a very timely question because I have a grinder to avoid: Oxo Conical Burr Grinder. I wanted an upgrade from my hand grinder, and after some research (and a Wirecutter recommendation), went with the Oxo. I've had it for just under a year and have to disassemble it about once a month to clear clogged grinds (even when I use light roasted beans). Just learned today they are sending me a replacement, but I think the issue is with the design. The Baratza Encore is what I'm saving up for once this replacement goes kaput.
        I had the same experience with the Oxo grinder. Got slowly worse over a year or 2, to where it would take forever to grind enough beans for a single pot. No amount of disassembling or cleaning would fix the problem. Very happy with the Barartza Virtuoso (and love the timer function).

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          Originally posted by NWhikergal View Post
          Darcy, I have been very happy with my Baratza Encore ... their Virtuoso would be a nice upgrade pick
          Wow Darcy that Cafelat is SUPER cool! I have a ton of their other stuff (tampers, cups, etc), but had no idea they made that thing ... funny because we're thinking of moving and I have an older giant espresso maker that is probably time to go, so the Cafelat is now on my list!

          I have the Baratza Virtuoso and the Vario, both are 10 years old now, and both still work awesome. I also have a same vintage Compak K10 pro and comparing all three over the years I would say, for my skill level at least, there is very little difference between the K10 and Vario (which has ceramic flat burrs) for small batches. I've found the Virtuoso isn't quite able to get the lemon cookie or blueberry bomb notes the others can so it just depends how picky I feel that day. The real differences come with large batches where the Virtuoso will lose its consistency fast, the Vario is consistent but shuts down after a few minutes of grinding, and the K10 could go forever.

          Not sure if any of that helps other than to say the obvious which is grinding with a quality burr less apt to get dull DEFINITELY shows up in the cup. Any of the Baratza grinders are the real deal, and if I have to ever buy a new one I've been happy enough with their consistency and longevity I'd buy another.

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            Super helpful NWhikergal k_p GrussGott ayazgood -- thank you! Baratza it is.

            GrussGott I was given a very old, large and broken-ish Wega machine, which is what got me going on the whole home espresso journey. I love(d) that machine but it went from broken-ish to broken, and it's been tough to find someone who can repair it. I haven't given up hope -- I think that machine is quite something and deserves another shot (ha ha) -- but I'm really loving the Cafelat. It's fun to use and pretty cool looking to boot.

            As long as we're on the coffee topic, let's talk beans: in addition Birds & Beans I'll give shout outs to Fulcrum (our neighbors!) as well as Haiti.



            Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

            Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

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              Originally posted by Darcy View Post
              Super helpful NWhikergal k_p GrussGott ayazgood -- thank you! Baratza it is.

              GrussGott I was given a very old, large and broken-ish Wega machine, which is what got me going on the whole home espresso journey. I love(d) that machine but it went from broken-ish to broken, and it's been tough to find someone who can repair it. I haven't given up hope -- I think that machine is quite something and deserves another shot (ha ha) -- but I'm really loving the Cafelat. It's fun to use and pretty cool looking to boot.

              As long as we're on the coffee topic, let's talk beans: in addition Birds & Beans I'll give shout outs to Fulcrum (our neighbors!) as well as Haiti.


              Thanks for turning us on to Birds & Beans a few years ago. I don't drink coffee, but I like birds, and my wife isn't much of a birder, but she loves coffee and Birds & Beans in particular. I'll have her try Fulcrum as well.

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                Coffee update! My Baratza grinder arrived and it's perfect. Still loving the Cafelat Robot.

                Originally posted by John1970 View Post

                Thanks for turning us on to Birds & Beans a few years ago. I don't drink coffee, but I like birds, and my wife isn't much of a birder, but she loves coffee and Birds & Beans in particular. I'll have her try Fulcrum as well.
                That sounds like it works out perfectly Glad you're both enjoying B&B coffee, each in your own way!

                Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

                Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

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                  Numerous reviews, on retailer's sites, say that the Baratza grinder has a tendancy to jam. Baratza has even videos about that problem.
                  Do Baratza owners have that problem?

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                    No jams in 1st 6 months of Baratza Virtuoso. In any case, it's designed to be easily cleaned and repaired, unlike most of the other brands. And Baratza has an excellent customer service reputation. When I was researching grinders, there were not any on the market that did not have at least some negative reviews re jamming or other issues. Seems to be the nature of the beast.

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                      Originally posted by backpack View Post
                      Numerous reviews, on retailer's sites, say that the Baratza grinder has a tendancy to jam. Baratza has even videos about that problem.
                      Do Baratza owners have that problem?
                      Tricky question & issue - IME "jams" will happen to any lower priced grinder if you put older oily/sticky beans through it ... and maybe not jam as much as just not be able to grab the beans as they stick to each other and can clog the shoot. IMO this has more to do with the beans than the grinder.

                      Said differently, my big grinder wouldn't jam even if you put a fork in it (I'm guessing ), but the removable hopper has a gate and medium roast occasionally get stuck there so I'm guessing dark for sure would - I don't ever use dark roast (i.e., "2nd crack roast" which will get oily) so I don't know.

                      Another related thing I've seen happen is the Baratza grind size is adjusted by twisting the hopper - if you have it set to the largest setting (for, say, cold brew) the grinding vibration can rotate the hopper one more notch which triggers the safe off. I've seen people thinking their grinder is jammed or broken, but all they have to do is turn the grinder hopper one notch back. BTW, by "people" I mean me


                      In summary I'd say if one uses primarily espresso roast (i.e, medium, light, or 1st crack roast) there won't be a problem with most grinders, but if one favors dark roasts, then the oily beans can cause more challenges.

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