If you have been looking at the Baratza line of grinders for your next upgrade you probably have noticed the Preciso and the regular Virtuoso. You also may have notice that the two look almost identicle except that the Preciso has another row of adjustment to fine tune the grind. So you tell yourself, I might grind for espresso someday,but other than some adjustment on the Preciso it's the same and I'll save myself a hundred dollars!
Not so fast! I am here to tell you the Preciso has more going for it than some handy notches that will improve the adjustabilty of grinding!
The biggest difference between the two are the burrs. These burrs produce a more consistent gind across all type of grinding, take a look at Baratza website and this paper written by Mr Coffee Geek himself Mark Prince. Just check out these speed test he ran grinding 25 grams of coffee for drip, the Preciso 11 seconds, the Virtuoso 21. If you read other blogs about coffee you are sure to notice that a lot of people are getting Precisos and it isn't because they look pretty.
Let's not discount those micro notches just yet, now I think I can taste a bit of difference when grinding for drip with them, but my wife thinks I am crazy! However, if you have or intend to have the intention of grinding for an espresso machine you are going to need these little notches. For espresso the fineness of the grind only needs to be adjusted slightly to produce big changes in the time of brewing. So if you want to get 25 seconds, but are at 22 second on your last espresso shot, one or two notches and you are probably at your goal. However, with other grinders that only have say 40ish big macro notches a one notch change might just make the 22 second pull not a 40 second one!
/files/u13866/100_1990.jpg" width="300" height="225" align="left" />Have I said anything about grind retention? This is a picture after a month of grinding, almost nothing in there and certainly nothing that will come out when you grind some more coffee. Bigger commercial machines that are designed for a big cafe can hide 15 to 20 grams of coffee just waiting to be used, which means you next morning shot is from yesturdays beans!
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There are some problems thought with the espresso set up for this machine, namley clumping and the mess grinding directly into the portafilter produces. Now I have been use to grinding into a bin, so those with bigger machines might think this is rather a small issue. To illustrate I just ground directly into the portafilter without the holder that comes with the machine as I think this is less messy than the holder. Basically at least a gram is lost to your hommies that came before you as you can see. Then to make matters worse, look at those clumps! That's a medium roast and that doesn't look so good. The problem with those clumps is they will make your espresso puck more prone to have an uneven extraction and get a bad flavor in your cup!
There is an easy fix tho, grind into the bin. This allows you to avoid the mess and break up most o/files/u13866/100_2005.jpg" width="300" height="225" align="right" />f those clumps!
Overall this grinder is excellent and you will notice a different in your cup as it grinds more consistently, which means better brewed coffee whatever you poison is!