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Baratza Virtuoso Review 2021: The Best Conical Burr Grinder

Dave Carter

January 4, 2021

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One of the easiest ways to level up your cup of coffee at home is by investing in a quality grinder. A good grind is crucial for proper brewing, and experts insist it's the most critical element in making good coffee. That's because even if you have the best coffee beans or brewer, you won't be able to enjoy its potential if your grounds aren't uniformed, leaving you with a below-average drink. One of the best grinders used by professional and home baristas alike is the Baratza Virtuoso grinder. But which is better? The classic Virtuoso or the newer Virtuoso plus? In this Baratza Virtuoso review, you'll find out which model is the best for you.

This comprehensive review breaks down all the features, highlights, and other offerings of these popular coffee grinders, helping you decide which model is the right choice for your kitchen counter.

Baratza Virtuoso Review Products:​

One of the most neglected yet essential aspects of brewing is the grounds itself. The grind size can affect the drink's overall taste no matter how fresh your coffee beans are or advanced your brewer is. So it only makes sense to add a grinder to your coffee-making arsenal for the best brews at home. The leading brand in the industry producing quality grinders is Baratza.

The classic Virtuoso and Virtuoso+ Baratza are some of the most popular models of Baratza to date and have been providing the freshest cups for homeowners and cafés alike. Here are their offerings in 2021, providing features that every coffee lover would appreciate.

Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Digital Timer Display​

The Baratza Virtuoso+ is an upgraded version of the classic Baratza Virtuoso, boasting a fast and consistent grinding performance. It features sturdy conical burrs, base, and overall exterior, allowing you to grind coffee beans seamlessly without worrying about it vibrating out of calibration. One of this product's unique functions is that it has a digital timer that makes it easier for you to grind the same amount of coffee for each brewing cycle. It's the best grinder for those who want to make coffee quicker but still want consistent results.

FEATURES

Precise Conical Burrs Grinder

The Virtuoso+'s 40 mm stainless steel conical burrs mills are produced in Europe, ensuring high quality and durability. The sturdy burrs of the Virtuoso+ allow you to grind uniformly minus the lack of fines on the grinding area, making it an excellent machine for espresso lovers, or those who prefer drip, French press, or more robust coffee in general. Additionally, it comes with a precision mounting system for stable and precise grinding, giving you consistent grounds for consistently great coffee.

High-Performance Motor

The product comes with a top-of-the-line DC motor and high torque drives that enable it to operate the burrs seamlessly and quickly. However, despite its fast performance, its motor runs slowly, giving you a soundless operation for a long grinding cycle, allowing you to make your fresh grounds without disrupting your quiet mornings or lazy afternoons. Additionally, its circuit has an automatic rest thermal break up settings, ensuring safety.

Speed Control

A first for Baratza's grinders is the speed control on its grind settings, and Virtuoso+ is the pioneer. This feature allows you to control the burr mill rotation using the electronic gearbox and speed reduction settings at 500 RPM (Revolutions per minute). It will enable you to minimize heat, electricity, and noise while confirming the beans' flow into the grinders.

Simple and Functional Gearbox

Despite boasting more advanced features than its predecessors, the Virtuoso+ features a functional yet modest direct drive and gearbox to transfer energy from its motor to the rotational conical burrs. Additionally, it has thermal overload protection settings that protect its motor from overheating, ensuring maximum safety.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A unique feature to the Virtuoso+ is its 40-second digital timer settings that allow you to control the motor.
  • The grinder boasts a burr calibration system that confirms the full grind range.
  • It comes with 40 grind settings that let you grind your beans from coarse for a French press to the finest/sand-like ground coffee for espresso.
  • The grinder has a grind retention system that reduces the amount of ground coffee left in its mill, maximizing freshness in every cup.
  • It's a versatile grinder that you can use for several brewing methods, from the classic drip brew, French press, to the intricate espresso brewing.

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Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder​

The original Baratza Virtuoso is what many coffee lovers refer to as the modern classic. It's a no-frills and simple grinder made for home use. Still, despite this, it easily stands against expensive commercial or professional coffee gear with its quality build and features. The product comes with a high-performing motor and burrs, ensuring grind consistency, making each cup more delicious and smooth. Additionally, it boasts a bean hopper that can hold up to a pound of coffee beans, allowing you to make fresh grounds for everyone in the household. If you're looking for a professional-quality machine at a modest price, the classic Baratza Virtuoso is the one for you.

FEATURES

Consistent Grind Consistency 

The Virtuoso's 40 millimeters conical burrs help produce uniform grounds, giving you more balanced brews. It also has 40 grind settings from 0 being the finest for espresso and 40 being the coarsest for the French press brewing method. These settings take out much of the guesswork during your grinding process, allowing you to achieve a broad grind range of particle sizes, matching all brewing techniques.

Easy to Use

Its minimalist design makes it relatively simple to use, allowing even those without experience to make great brews at home. The product comes with a pulse button on its front and a timer dial that only requires twisting, leaving the rest of the grinding process to the grinder.

Timed Grinding Operation

When it comes to the classic Virtuoso, you can grind your beans in two ways. The first one includes manual grinding, allowing you to release your specific desired amount of ground coffee. The second involves a timer dial that can continually grind for up to sixty seconds. You can remove the grounds container and dispense each fresh batch directly into a portafilter for espresso or chamber or French press.

Low-Speed High-Performing DC Motor

The product's high-torque, direct-current motor provides smooth grinding operations and keeps the burrs' speed at 450 RPM, bringing heat and static to an all-time low. Additionally, the low RPM allows the grinder to remain quiet, giving you a noiseless operation during lazy mornings.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The classic Virtuous features a large bean hopper that can hold up to one pound of beans.
  • It has an adjustable digital timer and pulse button that ensures you only get precise grinds.
  • It has a built-in gear speed reducer that slows down the 40mm burrs' operation to 450 RPM, giving you a noiseless and safe grinding process.
  • The grinder's unique Gearbox 2.0 design improves drive transmission, decreasing noise.

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Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder​

Baratza is an American company that has been producing some of the best electric coffee grinders globally. Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy established the company in 1999, and they've been making some of the most accessible, affordable, and best-performing coffee grinders for the home brewing market. One of their best products is the Virtuoso, which has provided fresh grounds since 2005, offering uber-consistency, classic style, and quality grinds.

The machine boasts 40 grind settings that let you make sand-like grounds for robust espresso shots to the coarsest ground coffee for a full-bodied cup of French press coffee. Besides its abundant grind settings, the product also features an efficient DC motor that keeps your beans cool, consistently grounded, and delicious, minus the noise. It has an iconic sleek and straightforward design that's been sitting at home and professional cafés' kitchen countertops for over a decade.

It's the coffee grinder that every coffee lover needs, providing consistent, fresh, and uniform grounds for better cups and days.

Is Baratza Virtuoso Good for Espresso?​

The Baratza grinder uses top-of-the-line conical burr blades and high-performing motors that promote grind consistency, providing individuals delicious, fresh, and uniform cups of coffee. The machine comes with 40 grind settings, with 0 being the lowest and producing the finest or sand-like grounds, which is the perfect consistency for espressos. Generally, the classic Virtuoso is fully capable of grinding beans fine enough for a single espresso shot. Still, it can't make the small adjustments needed to dial in an espresso shot, meaning you'll have to see how much beans or grounds you need to use for each serving.

However, if you don't mind having more potent or mellow espressos every other day, this coffee grinder is a great choice.

Is the Baratza Virtuoso Worth It?​

This classic burr grinder costs around $300 or more, making it a bit more expensive than other coffee grinders like the Breville smart grinder, so you may wonder if it's still a wise idea to invest in a Baratza Virtuoso. However, with its quality construction, durability, efficiency, style, and performance, it's well worth the extra hundred dollars. Additionally, the product offers more features and grind settings than other brands or models, giving you the best value for your money. Although the company made it a home grinder, many cafés and restaurants use the Baratza Virtuoso for their brews.

Where Are Baratza Grinders Made?​

All grinders from Baratza are designed in Seattle, United States, but get manufactured in Taiwan. Additionally, their steel burrs are exclusively imported from Europe and distributed through their ever-expanding global network, providing quality grinders for everyone to enjoy. All Virtuosos have durable plastic ground bean hoppers that make it easier to pour grounds on small brewers or filters while making it easier to clean. Although most of the products' exterior parts are plastic, it ensures top-quality materials in its internal design. Its burrs are being made from commercial-grade stainless steel, ensuring durability, safety, and efficiency.

The Best Coffee from Baratza Virtuoso - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder​

The Baratza Virtuoso grinder is a fantastic mid-tier machine that virtually anyone can use, from inexperienced home baristas to professional baristas. It's perfect for individuals looking for a broad grind range and consistency but wants to save money. Its 40 grinding options should be enough to provide you robust French press brews or specialty espresso-based drinks. That's why many people consider it one of the best grinders on the market, allowing anyone to enjoy good brews minus the hassle.

If you're still not convinced, below are more reasons why the Baratza Virtuoso is one of the coffee industry's best grinders.

  • Grind Settings
    The machine comes with a 40-setting, including its newer version, the Virtuoso+. This feature allows you to micro-customize your brews, giving you the exact tastes you want from your favorite beans. From espresso, Turkish, to French press, you can achieve anything. All you need to do is turn the hopper to the marked setting to grind for your preferred brew.
  • Digital Timer Display
    Both the Virtuous model features digital timer displays that enable you to program the grinding time within one-tenth of a second using its knobs. This feature allows you to make the perfect grounds tailored to your tastes every time. If you still don't know what grind size you should use, the machine's pulse button allows you to explore precise and consistent grinds.
  • Quality Stainless Steel Burrs
    The model features 40 mm conical steel burrs imported from Europe, ensuring quality and high performance. This feature allows you to create the most consistent grinds for any brewing method, from espresso, drip, to classic French press. That's because conical burr blades are cone-shaped, meaning it provides more control over the grinding.
  • Compact and Sturdy Design
    The small grinder only weights at 9 pounds and takes less room than other brands, making it a perfect companion for individuals looking to save space on their countertops. All parts of the machine are made from top-quality materials, ensuring longer-lasting grinding for fresh brews at home.
  • Ease of Use
    The great thing about Baratza grinders is that all their products are easy to use, as it only features a simple user interface consisting of a pulse button and grinding settings. All you need to do is adjust its hopper, set the desired grind size, place your beans, rotate the timer knobs, set a grinding time, push the knobs, and start grinding the beans. If you want to have more control, you can use the pulse grinder to grind directly into the filter chamber of a French press or pressurized portafilter.

When it comes down to it, when you compare it to the Breville smart grinder and other brands, the Baratza Virtuoso tops them all, especially for individuals looking to replicate a great cup of joe they'd usually get at their favorite coffeehouse. From the consistent grinds to its powerful motor and relative quiet operations, it's an excellent home grinder that can rival even professional versions, making everyone happy — and caffeinated.

Taking Advantage of the Baratza Virtuoso Sale​

Although Baratza Virtuoso machines are great machines, they come with a steep price tag, ranging from $200 to $300, which are costs not many people are willing to spend. So, if there's a sale online or at your local shops for these machines, grab it. However, these products are well worth your money because they offer you exclusive benefits, making your favorite brews better than before. Below are some reasons why you should take advantage of sales or splurge your money for this grinder.

  • Powerful Grind - All grinders from Baratza sport a powerful high-torque direct-current motor that powers the steel burrs, crushing the coffee quickly, efficiently, and evenly.
  • Intuitive Controls - Every model from the manufacturer is relatively simple to use, making it a perfect entry-level product for aspiring baristas. The grinder features two mechanisms, including the grind adjustment and pulse button.
  • Hassle-Free Grinding - The product comes with a processor designed to make your experience as hands-off as possible, giving you a quick and convenient grind process.
  • Consistency - The signature function of all Baratza grinders is its consistent results, providing you with quality grounds that allow you to enjoy better brews.
  • Reliable - When you buy this machine, you can expect it to serve you for several years as all its components, parts, and structure are made from tough and durable materials, making it resilient against scratches, dents, or rust.
REASONS TO BUY​

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Conclusion: Who Makes the Best Burr Coffee Grinder?​

Fresh and uniform grounds are crucial for a properly brewed cup coffee. That's why if you're looking to make more delicious cups for better mornings at home, investing in a grinder is a must. But with the numerous manufacturers producing this essential coffee gadget, it can be overwhelming to pinpoint the best one you can add to your brewing arsenal.

However, if you're looking for an uber-consistent, no-frills, fully functional, and the overall best coffee grinder, Baratza's classic Virtuoso, and Virtuoso plus are great choices. These two are a perfect addition to any coffee lover's kitchen, allowing them to channel their inner barista in the convenience of their home by enabling them to grind their favorite coffee beans evenly, efficiently, and hassle-free.

We hope this Baratza Virtuoso review helped you see which of these coffee grinders can be the best addition to your kitchen countertop, giving you fresh grounds for barista-quality brews at home.

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