Who then is the target audience for the Virtuoso? There are nice grinders for a little less, and nice grinders for a little more. I personally wonder how long it stays in the line up but for someone looking for an awesome coffee grinder with limited yet viable espresso capability, the Virtuoso has been an awesome choice. I caught wind of a rumor that Williams Sonoma was closing out these grinders. I checked with my local store and found they had three left - after all was said and done I ended up getting one for $50 plus tax. My expectations were not that high - I figured it would be a little better than the Maestro.
After unpacking the grinder I noticed a lot more heft - this is not a light weight item. The style is attractive and the timer dial on the side was a welcome feature too. The front button allows for dosing into a portafilter (if it wasn't designed for espresso this feature would have been left off) one handed by using your thumb. The burrs are 40mm conical burrs shaped very similar to the popular 68mm conical burrs found on very expensive espresso grinders. Mod it to step less and watch it go to work. It really shines grinding for drip and press - the flavors are clearer with this grinder than with my Maestro.
If I was buying a grinder today the $200 price tag might send me up toward the Preciso or down to the Maestro Plus, but I might just buy the Virtuoso - it is a proven product and still a lot of grinder for the money.
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