It seems like most of the conversation today centers around the Baratza Vario and Preciso while the work horse like Virtuoso is not mentioned at all.  The other two grinders are deserving of the recognition they gain, but the Virtuoso should be more popular that it is currently among coffee lovers.  It sits in an odd place in the Baratza pricing matrix though. For a hundred dollars less you can get a very nice Baratza Plus. For a hundred dollars more you can get all the features of the Virtuoso but also have fine adjustment capability for espresso by selecting the Preciso.

Who then is the target audience for the Virtuoso? There are nice grinders for a little less, and nice grinders for a little more. I personally wonder how long it stays in the line up but for someone looking for an awesome coffee grinder with limited yet viable espresso capability, the Virtuoso has been an awesome choice. I caught wind of a rumor that Williams Sonoma was closing out these grinders. I checked with my local store and found they had three left - after all was said and done I ended up getting one for $50 plus tax. My expectations were not that high - I figured it would be a little better than the Maestro.

After unpacking the grinder I noticed a lot more heft - this is not a light weight item.  The style is attractive and the timer dial on the side was a welcome feature too.  The front button allows for dosing into a portafilter (if it wasn't designed for espresso this feature would have been left off) one handed by using your thumb. The burrs are 40mm conical burrs shaped very similar to the popular 68mm conical burrs found on very expensive espresso grinders.  Mod it to step less and watch it go to work. It really shines grinding for drip and press - the flavors are clearer with this grinder than with my Maestro.  

If I was buying a grinder today the $200 price tag might send me up toward the Preciso or down to the Maestro Plus, but I might just buy the Virtuoso - it is a proven product and still a lot of grinder for the money.

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Comments

Submitted by wakeknot on
I saw that sale at the time and thought it was really a steal. I already had enough grinders so I did not pursue it, but I did think long and hard about who might need one that I could point it out to because it was such a deal.

Submitted by jbviau on
Agreed that the Virtuoso is nice and can be made to work for espresso. Thanks to your heads up I got two at that crazy price and immediately sold one at cost to a friend locally. My own Virtuoso served me well until I upgraded to the Preciso, at which point I sold the former for $100. Even at that price it made someone very happy.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>The price was nice and at the time I only had the Maestro as my main grinder - it was an offer I couldn't pass up.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>wow - you really made out then - $50 profit and a happy friend!

I agree that it is at an interesting price point now that Baratza has the Preciso, but it was here before. I imagine that it probably stays around as not everyone will research a ton before buying a grinder, and this one is very capable. I would think this would be a great gringer for someone that isn't really wanting to get into espresso but wants something better than the Maestro.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I agree - it is nicer than the Maestro and not everyone drinks espresso - for just drip $100 less than the Preciso has an appeal I can see being appreciated.

THat is a steal at $50. I wonder if it is still available in Chicago WIlliam Sonoma?

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>It would be worth a phone call to find out - great grinder for that price.

Baratza Virtuoso - A Grinder With Many Virtues

| by

It seems like most of the conversation today centers around the Baratza Vario and Preciso while the work horse like Virtuoso is not mentioned at all.  The other two grinders are deserving of the recognition they gain, but the Virtuoso should be more popular that it is currently among coffee lovers.  It sits in an odd place in the Baratza pricing matrix though. For a hundred dollars less you can get a very nice Baratza Plus. For a hundred dollars more you can get all the features of the Virtuoso but also have fine adjustment capability for espresso by selecting the Preciso.

Who then is the target audience for the Virtuoso? There are nice grinders for a little less, and nice grinders for a little more. I personally wonder how long it stays in the line up but for someone looking for an awesome coffee grinder with limited yet viable espresso capability, the Virtuoso has been an awesome choice. I caught wind of a rumor that Williams Sonoma was closing out these grinders. I checked with my local store and found they had three left - after all was said and done I ended up getting one for $50 plus tax. My expectations were not that high - I figured it would be a little better than the Maestro.

After unpacking the grinder I noticed a lot more heft - this is not a light weight item.  The style is attractive and the timer dial on the side was a welcome feature too.  The front button allows for dosing into a portafilter (if it wasn't designed for espresso this feature would have been left off) one handed by using your thumb. The burrs are 40mm conical burrs shaped very similar to the popular 68mm conical burrs found on very expensive espresso grinders.  Mod it to step less and watch it go to work. It really shines grinding for drip and press - the flavors are clearer with this grinder than with my Maestro.  

If I was buying a grinder today the $200 price tag might send me up toward the Preciso or down to the Maestro Plus, but I might just buy the Virtuoso - it is a proven product and still a lot of grinder for the money.

Category: BLOG

@Son Ton

November 9, 2011 | by EricBNC


It would be worth a phone call to find out - great grinder for that price.

wow, a steal

November 8, 2011 | by sontondaman

THat is a steal at $50. I wonder if it is still available in Chicago WIlliam Sonoma?

@intrepid510

October 22, 2011 | by EricBNC


I agree - it is nicer than the Maestro and not everyone drinks espresso - for just drip $100 less than the Preciso has an appeal I can see being appreciated.

I agree that it is at an

October 21, 2011 | by intrepid510

I agree that it is at an interesting price point now that Baratza has the Preciso, but it was here before. I imagine that it probably stays around as not everyone will research a ton before buying a grinder, and this one is very capable. I would think this would be a great gringer for someone that isn't really wanting to get into espresso but wants something better than the Maestro.

@broseph

October 20, 2011 | by EricBNC


it's all in good phun! ; )

better than the philter pun

October 20, 2011 | by donnedonne

better than the philter pun ;-)

@jbviau

October 20, 2011 | by EricBNC


wow - you really made out then - $50 profit and a happy friend!

@wakenot

October 20, 2011 | by EricBNC


The price was nice and at the time I only had the Maestro as my main grinder - it was an offer I couldn't pass up.

Yup

October 20, 2011 | by jbviau

Agreed that the Virtuoso is nice and can be made to work for espresso. Thanks to your heads up I got two at that crazy price and immediately sold one at cost to a friend locally. My own Virtuoso served me well until I upgraded to the Preciso, at which point I sold the former for $100. Even at that price it made someone very happy.

nice pick up

October 20, 2011 | by wakeknot

I saw that sale at the time and thought it was really a steal. I already had enough grinders so I did not pursue it, but I did think long and hard about who might need one that I could point it out to because it was such a deal.

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