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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, 03:35 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

    Comment


      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.

      Comment


        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).

        Comment


          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.

          Comment


            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.

            Comment


              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.

              Comment


                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.

                Comment


                  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?

                  Comment


                    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.

                    Comment


                      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.

                      Comment


                        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?
                        A belated response for you, but I have not had any issues with jams in the one I have owned for 2.5 years and depending on the season I range from medium to dark roast. I do keep the grind in the mid range though around 20. When I purchased mine, one item the shop recommended if I needed to clean it was Grindz Coffee Cleaner, which you run through the machine.
                        "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

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by NWhikergal View Post

                          A belated response for you, but I have not had any issues with jams in the one I have owned for 2.5 years and depending on the season I range from medium to dark roast. I do keep the grind in the mid range though around 20. When I purchased mine, one item the shop recommended if I needed to clean it was Grindz Coffee Cleaner, which you run through the machine.
                          Thank you so much!

                          I grind French roasts, exclusively and I make a powdery grind, and I pack it tightly.

                          I don't drink coffee but my husband like his, really dark and strong, I can only get that with French roasts, which tend to be very oily.


                          So I hesitate to invest in a machine that will be bothersome to work with, I'd rather buy ground coffee.
                          Last edited by backpack; 06-01-2021, 10:55 AM.

                          Comment


                            backpack, I totally understand! After using various brewing methods from Aeropress to others, I finally decided to make it easier for myself and got a Bonavita Metropolitan coffee maker around the same time I got the Baratza Encore. The ideal grind for that is less fine than it sounds like you would be seeking. Enjoy your coffee, however you decide to prepare it.
                            "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

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by backpack View Post
                              GrussGott said: " the removable hopper has a gate and medium roast occasionally get stuck there so I'm guessing dark for sure would".
                              sorry! To be clear that's my much more spendy Compak grinder - I was just making the point that oily beans will be tough for any grinder no matter the price / quality.

                              The Baratza will be fine and NWhikergal has it exactly right:

                              You have to use Grindz to clean the machine every month or so depending on how many beans you run through it - though that only cleans the grinding part and the hopper will need to be hand cleaned to get the oil residue off - ideally I'd wipe it down the inside of the hopper with hot water on a clean cloth & then dry after every use (i.e., store your beans in the freezer and only grind as many as you need for each batch of coffee)

                              Comment




                                The Kitchen Aid I have was bought at the latest 10 years ago or at the earliest 15 years ago. It is very simple, a shallow bowl with a grinding wheel on top of body that hides the motor and operates by simply pressing the lid.

                                It has handled all kind of roasted beans without problem, until now.

                                Simply engineered coffee grinders like the one I have, and I think ones made by Krupp around that time, are still available but have awful reviews on all kind of retailers' sites.

                                From motor failures after a month of use, to breaking blades (which are such a really horrible safety hazard, you'll think the products would have been taken off the market), I don't really know where to turn to get a good simple grinder that will give me a powdery dark roast.

                                On this forum, the Breville and Vitamix brands have been mentioned, do they make coffee grinders?
                                Last edited by backpack; 06-01-2021, 10:56 AM.

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