Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Last updated date: April 23, 2019
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We looked at the top 1 Burr Grinders and dug through the reviews from 10 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, The Coffee Chronicler, Dripped Coffee, Foodal, Little Coffee Place, Your Best Digs, Kiku Home and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Burr Grinder you should buy.
In our analysis of 82 expert reviews, the Baratza Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder placed 4th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note May 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best Burr Grinder for a detailed review of all the top burr grinders.
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From The Manufacturer
With the Virtuoso, the look goes beyond merely functional. A sculptured metal top and base give this grinder an expensive, elegant image that adds a sense of class and quality to kitchen counters and coffee shop workspaces alike. When you want it all, the Virtuoso is the grinder that will get you there with function, elegance, and style. A convenient front-mounted pulse button allows for grinding directly into an espresso filter basket, while a 60-second timer means that it’s easy to adjust and replicate the ideal grind time. Featuring 40 individual grind settings, from fine to coarse, the Virtuoso has an average grind of 2g/sec. The Virtuoso has an accurate medium to coarse grind for the popular manual brew methods such as Aeropress, Hario V60, and Chemex. 40 mm quality high-carbon steel burrs, engineered in Lichenstein, Europe, consistently produce the quality grind that is going to make the key difference to the taste in your cup. The secret to the Virtuoso’s consistent, smooth grind is two-fold: an efficient DC motor keeps your beans cool, even during extended grind times, while a combination of electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup. With its small footprint, the Virtuoso fits nicely under most kitchen cabinets. The hopper can hold 10 ounces of whole beans. The quality engineering and build will give you years of grinding pleasure. Additional resources and parts are available as needed to ensure value for your investment.
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An Overview On Burr Grinders
Why buy a coffee grinder? Once you’ve had your first cup of coffee made with fresh ground beans, that question gets answered within a few sips. Within minutes of grinding, the aromas and oils locked inside a coffee bean start to lose their potency through contact with oxygen and air moisture. Simply put: The fresher the bean, the fresher the taste.
There are two general types of coffee grinders: those that use blades and those that grind the beans between burrs. Take a look behind the counter at any coffee shop, and you’ll most likely see a burr grinder, with good reason. These type of grinders work by pushing the coffee beans down between a pair of serrated plates, or “burrs.” The burrs then rotate, grinding the beans down to a particular size depending on the selected setting. The grounds are pushed out through the sides or bottom into a container, ready to be brewed.
By comparison, a blade grinder doesn’t technically grind at all. It slices the beans with tiny blades. While those blades might rotate faster or longer when the settings are adjusted, they won’t produce grounds of a uniform size. And even though that’s still better than pre-ground beans, the result isn’t ideal for true java aficionados. Smaller stray particles might slip through the filter in a French press, for example, or clog up an espresso machine.
All this means that yes, you might expect to pay a little more for a burr grinder. That cost can vary widely based on the variety of grind settings, capacity of the container and other bells and whistles.
There’s also material to consider. Increasingly, you’ll find that the burrs in burr grinders are made of stainless steel. The reasons are ones you might expect: Stainless steel is sharp and won’t corrode or rust. It will blunt over time, however, and also conducts heat — which can subtly affect the taste of the oils in your coffee.
This is why higher-end models may use ceramic burrs. While they aren’t as sharp, they will keep that edge longer and stay cool, no matter how fast the grinder runs.
DYWM Fun Fact
Many of us couldn’t function without our morning joe, but did you know that coffee can be used as fuel for more than just your job? In 2010, a team of British engineers converted a Volkswagen Scirocco into the Coffee Car Mark 1, whose converted combustion engine burned used coffee grounds. While it needed an entire 22-pound sack of beans to travel 55 miles, it nonetheless made an initial run from London to Manchester. Three years later, the updated Mark 2 coffee car broke 65 mph, a land speed record for any java-powered jalopy.
The Burr Grinder Buying Guide
- When choosing a grinder, you’ll find models that advertise a number of different settings, allowing you to choose between near-microscopic variations in ground size. It’s a particular advantage of burr grinders, which can be adjusted in a more exacting way than their bladed counterparts. So what grind size do you need? It seems like every year there’s a new fad in coffee making, and your method of choice will determine the grind size. In general, you’ll want coarse grinds for French press, medium-size ones for traditional filter brewers or pour-over and fine grinds for espresso. If you only make coffee one way, congratulations! You might not need a huge variety of settings. Still, finding your perfect grind can be a zen part of the process. It all depends on your palate — and the amount of time you have to experiment.
- Speaking of time, a grinder with a high storage capacity can save you a lot of it. It can be very convenient to stroll into the kitchen for your morning brew and find a reservoir of beans already in the hopper, waiting to be ground. Many grinders even have an automatic timer that will start the process before you even wake up. Just bear in mind that keeping beans out in the open too long can affect the taste.
- If you’re buying a grinder at all, you care about the taste. Keep that taste consistent with frequent cleanings. How easy that is can vary greatly between grinders. Some are easy to take apart, and some require tools. Once you’ve got the burrs open and ready to be cleaned, you’ll want to use a brush or some other dry method.
- Wipe-downs with a damp cloth are fine for the exterior, but you’ll typically want to keep the burrs as dry as possible, even if they’re stainless steel. If all that sounds like too much hassle, there are cleaning tablets that you can simply run through the grinder periodically, and they’ll take care of the majority of stray oil and grinds.