Product review – Solis Maestro Classic.
This was the first grinder I ever owned that I tried to use for espresso. Sure I had a series of cheap blade grinders, but when I got my first real espresso machine I realized quickly that people had not been lying to me when they said that it was not up for the task. I went to the extreme of buying preground coffee and rushing home right after it was ground to use it while it was still fresh, but that did not work either because dialing in a grind is way too picky for that and so you would either need to be amazingly lucky for this to work or even if you did happen to get just the right grind (which I never did while I tried this strategy) you would quickly run into two problems – the coffee would not stay fresh very long (ideally coffee should be used within fifteen minutes of grinding) and even if it did as the coffee ages it needs a slightly different grind, so the perfect grind the first day would not be the perfect grind the fourth day.
I decided to go wild and crazy and spend almost one hundred dollars on a grinder. It made a huge difference. I went from undrinkable espresso to passable espresso. Sometimes I would even get a good shot if all the starts aligned.
I cannot say I could recommend this as a really good espresso grinder – for that I think one needs to step up to something like a Mazzer Mini, Macap M4, Baratza Vario, or a Super Jolly, etc, but for brewed coffee I think it is a great bargain. When I was using it for espresso I did not try it for brewed – I just used a blade grinder. I didn’t believe the upgrade would be substantial using the burr grinder, but it is. You can probably pick one of these up used for very little and I think it is worth it. If not, check out Roaste sponsor Baratza for the Maestro Plus, which will be a slightly better version of this same grinder.
(edited to fix formatting)