It’s about time to introduce Baratza Virtuoso Plus, one of Baratza’s grinders, as it’s something that I was missing on my CoffeeXtraction blog.
Baratza was founded in 1999 by Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy with the only purpose of produce quality coffee grinders for the speciality coffee industry. They also make grinders for home use, like the Virtuoso and the Virtuoso plus coffee grinder.
So, today, I’m going to review the Baratza Virtuoso plus coffee grinder, the last one in the house.
I had the first look of it pretty recently: it was last year in Boston at the SCA Expo at the Baratza booth.
Well, do not expect much change from the previous version (if something works, why change it?), the Virtuoso coffee grinder. The company was working more on usability, the overall experience.
Baratza Virtuoso vs Virtuoso Plus
Internally, nothing has changed: the Virtuoso plus coffee grinder features the same, conical coffee burrs. What has changed is the introduction of a digital timer at the front with programmable timed and a lighted bin. I’m fully going to tell you all its features for everyone that are not familiar with the previous version.
Main features of the Baratza Virtuoso Plus coffee grinder
The Virtuoso plus coffee grinder has been designed for home use. It has:
- 40mm steel conical burrs: you can grind up to 2.4 grams per sec, depending on few variables such as how much coffee beans you put in the hopper and the coffee itself (density of the coffee beans). The burrs provide a very uniform grind, with a small part of fines. Consistency is guarantee thanks to a precision mounting system that keep the burrs stable and therefore to grind accurately;
- 40 grind setting: you can play with the particle size by simply turning the hopper. The Baratza Virtuoso plus is recommended for brewing filter/immersion coffee but thanks to its wide range of settings it can be used also for espresso coffee and cold brew. You can grind from 200 to 1200 microns;
- Display: a led display comes with this grinder to enhance the ease of use. The grinder delivers ground of coffee by the time you set to get out the same amount of coffee ensuring repeatability every time. By turning the central button you can change the grind time up to a tenth of a second;
- Pulse mode: the pulse mode was featured already on the previous model. Just by holding the central button you can activate the pulse mode and get out just the small amount of coffee you need. This feature is nice also when you want to change coffee: you just need a small amount of the new coffee beans to purge what’s left on the burrs and you’re ready to go;
- Gearbox: a direct drive gear reduction transmission has been built to move power from the DC motor to the cone burr. Overheating the motor is then prevented by a thermal overload cutout.
All grinders make noise, we cannot avoid that. But we can reduce the noise to make everything smooth and pretty quiet. Baratza has made sure to minimize the noise by running the grinder at 450 RPM which is pretty low for a home use one. Not only that, but a slow RPM minimizes heat and so minimising the static charge inside the grinding chamber.
Another good thing is about the hopper: it’s about 225g which is good enough to brew consistently espresso-based drinks as the more beans in the hopper and the more grind quality you get out. Whether it’s conical or flat burrs, burrs need the right amount of pressure from above. That’s why is always recommended to keep the hopper filled for at least 2/3 of its capacity.
Also, the grounds bin capacity is about 140g which is good enough to brew a filter coffee and share it with a great number of people.
Aesthetically, is simple, sleek and easy to put on a kitchen counter as it’s just 13 inches high.
About the result you get compared to the price you pay, is awesome. The grinder delivers consistent grind size with fewer fines particle. I recommended it for brewing filter coffee such as V60, Chemex or Aeropress as the grind range is not that wide (i wouldn’t expect anything different from a mid to low budget home grinder). Well, you can go the finest or coarsest side possible but you won’t get the ideal grind size you can on a coffee shop. If you’re not too fussy though, you can also appreciate decent espressos or French press coffee (in case you’re the one that embraces the idea to grind pretty coarser for this brewing method).
Of course, it’s not been designed to grind a kg per day: in that case, you should upgrade with the Forté AP. Don’t you have the budget? You should consider buying a professional hand grinder such as the Comandante or the Kinu M47. But it’s also important to note that you can compensate your poor skills at pouring with a good grinder while you cannot do the same with an inconsistent ground particle size. That’s why I always recommend to wait and save money for what really makes a difference for your brewing as your skills improve over time.
Why you should buy the Baratza Virtuos plus coffee grinder
The Baratza Virtuoso plus coffee grinder is on sale for $250.
Honestly, that’s a fair price for what you get. A solid grinder that does everything you need like a professional barista in a coffee shop. It delivers a clean cup for a long time as the hardened steel burrs maintain their shape for very long.
I have already said in a previous article that I’d rather go for flat burrs over conical ones but having said that, I would be recommended it if you are a filter coffee lover as it does its best when grinding coffee for pour-over such as V60 or Kalita.
It’s also clear from the very beginning that the Virtuoso plus coffee grinder is a good one once a company doesn’t make any change from the previous version on what is meant to have more impact on the quality.
I am an Italian coffee lover that pushed for the love of this “amazing drug” decided to come to London to study about coffee and its different extraction procedures and tastes.