The Baratza Maestro was my first real grinder. Before the enlightening about what coffee could be I used ground coffee or stale beams ground up in my Krups blade grinder. Once I understood some coffee is better than others, I started looking at my prep methods. I decided that the grinder upgrade step was long overdue. I started doing research on line because I did not know anybody that used a quality grinder - most people I know still buy pre ground to be honest.
My search led me to the Baratza Maestro. I briefly considered the Virtuoso but for $200 for just a grinder, it was not going to end up on my counter. Having come to terms that I was saving a hundred by choosing the Maestro over the Virtuoso, I was almost ready to pull the trigger and order it. I remember adding the Maestro to my cart a dozen times but never pulled the trigger - $100? Come on, just to grind coffee? Then I saw a Black & Decker burr grinder in my Sunday sales paper for a great price - The word "conicaI" was missing from the description but I did not understand the important difference yet. I aimed myself at my local Target and purchased a $25 Black and Decker burr grinder and $75 savings in my pocket.
I hated it - kept it a week and nearly (not really) wept with joy when Target removed that offense from my charge card. The Maestro was ordered the same day and I have never regretted spending that $100 for the Baratza. It is lighter than it's more expensive stable mates so the noise and vibration are noticeable unless you put it on a rubber mat. Old mouse pads work great as portable anti vibration pads too. The grind quality and lack of static impressed me as much as the improvement in the taste of my coffee. Looking back, getting over the century mark is a struggle mentally in any hobby or quest for quality. I am glad I decided to make the jump.