The Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder [REVIEW]
40 Adjustable Grind StepsSuitable for all grind range.
Durable & Compact DesignLong-life burr and superior build quality
Easy to Use & CleanSimple interface and comes apart easily
I’ve had my Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder for about a year and I wish I had bought one sooner. I never realized how much difference the grind could make on the taste, but now that I have, I know that I could never go back to pre-ground beans ever again. The aroma is better, the flavor is richer, and the overall experience is simply fantastic. I especially recommend this grinder to coffee newbies who don’t want to settle for a cheap blade grinder and instead yearn for the high-quality coffee produced by a burr grinder, but who aren’t ready to jump right to a highly advanced, extremely product.
Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder Specifications
The Baratza Virtuoso isn’t commercial-grade, but it is exceedingly sturdy and well-built, especially for its price point. I can see it easily lasting me a few good years of heavy use. Everything feels solid, and no parts feel loose or clunky.
- Dimension: 4.7' x 13.8 x 6.3'
- Weight: 8lbs
- Burr: 40mm steel conical
- Hopper Capacity: 8oz
- Bin Capacity: 5oz
- Grind Speed: 1.5 - 2.4 g/sec
Overall, this grinder is a great little machine perfect for both amateurs and seasoned alike, but it does have its flaws.
What We Like
- 40 grind settings give you plenty of options as a beginner
- Conical burr allows for precision, uniform grinding
- Easy to use: simple controls
- Large hopper capacity
What We Don't Like
- Timer knob falls off easily, which is annoying
- Usage can cause a little bit of a mess, with grinds dripping down the exterior of the machine
- Uses plastic parts
- Costs over $200, but it's still considered an entry-level grinder.
Baratza Virtuoso's Ideal Owner
The Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder is ideal for residential use, due to its compact design, half-pound bean capacity, powerful motor, and a build quality that allows for everyday use with no problems. If you’re looking for a grinder to use in a coffee shop, café, or similar establishment, then this is not the grinder for you. It produces just the right amount for one pot of coffee, which is perfect for most home-users, but definitely not efficient in a commercial setting. Plus, while it does have an admittedly strong motor, it’s not heavy-duty enough to withstand the strain of repeated, constant usage throughout the day.
The people at Baratza say that their product’s 40 adjustable settings make their grinder capable of handling everything from a fine grind for espresso to a coarse grind for French Press. I would have to slightly disagree with them on its suitability for grinding beans for espresso. I know some users have been able to coax their perfect espresso grind from this machine, but I have not. So I’m not saying that it absolutely cannot grind finely enough for espresso; I’m just saying that it can be really hard to find that sweet spot and you might be better off with a dedicated grinder for espresso.
The Virtuoso Video Review
Main Features of The Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder
Design & Appearance
One of the first things I noticed was that this grinder isn’t flashy. Its design is simple; the style is unobtrusive. It fits seamlessly into the background of any kitchen décor, and the brushed stainless steel exterior is attractive and elegant. The compact size (4.7’ x 13.8’ x 6.3’, weighing in at 8lbs.) makes it perfect for kitchens of all sizes, even those that lack counter space.
The Virtuoso uses European-made 40mm steel conical burrs to achieve a uniform grind. The burrs are easy to clean and to make the process even simpler - Baratza throws in a special cleaning brush to go with the grinder and user manual. The burrs are easy to remove as well.
Other than the metal top and base, and the steel burrs, the Virtuoso uses mostly plastic parts. This would normally be a major turn-off for me, but the plastic used in the construction isn’t flimsy; it’s actually fairly sturdy, so I’m not going to complain.
How Easy Is It Use?
Stepped / Unstepped
The Virtuoso is a stepped grinder, meaning that it comes with pre-determined grind settings, rather than a range of options; in this case, it has 40 grind options to choose from. I think that a stepped grinder is much easier for beginners to use because it allows them to discover what kind of grind they like. The Virtuoso can also be calibrated by the user.
As far as controls go, you can’t get much simpler than the Virtuoso. It has a pulse button on its front; grind is controlled by turning the hopper. The manual comes with a handy reference table that can help you get started if you’re not sure of what grind is right for you. Lastly, there’s a 60-second timer with 10-second increments represented by segments around the dial.
So far, I’m of the opinion that no coffee grinder is particularly quiet (unless it's manual), but the Virtuoso is probably one of the quietest of all of the grinders I’ve used. It’s not silent, but you won’t wake up the whole house when you want a cup of coffee at 5am.
Warranty & Customer Service
Baratza offers a one-year limited warranty for the Virtuoso, and while I have never personally dealt with their customer service department, those who have all seem to walk away satisfied. The staff is knowledgeable, and the company isn’t dodgy about replacements. I don’t expect customer service to ever be an issue if I have a problem with my Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder, but so far, it’s running perfectly, churning out perfectly-ground beans that make for tasty and delicious coffee.
The Coffee Barrister's Verdict
Overall, The Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder is ideal for home-use – it’s designed to be compact, easy to use, and easy to clean. In my experience, the coffee grinder produced consistent grinds at the coarser grind range, so if you’re looking for perfectly-grounded beans for a Filter or French Press, then the Baratza Grinder is perfect for you!