The coffee community has been anxiously awaiting the Baratza Virtuoso Preciso for over a year. Now that the Preciso has arrived, it certainly will not disappoint.
The Virtuoso has been a wildly popular home grinder for quite some time, garnering high praise for its reliability, efficient operation and compact frame. But if espresso lovers had one gripe, it would be the grinder's lack of micro adjustments. While the 40 standard grind settings are more than adequate for most people, there are some people who desire greater control over their grind. The Virtuoso Preciso is made to cater to them. Along with the 40 macro settings, the Preciso offers an additional 11 micro settings. Each micro range is equal to one macro setting, so you'll be able to fine-tune your grind to get exactly what you need, coarser for French Press or finer for espresso.
Aside from expanded grind adjustments the Preciso also comes with upgraded 40mm conical burrs. Designed for precision, these burrs deliver uniform coffee as well as very precise espresso grinds. With the improved burrs, the Preciso has seen remarkable speed improvements as well. Depending on the grind, you're looking at producing 1.8-2.5 grams per seconds—pretty impressive speeds for a home grinder. Though the first series of the Preciso grinders did not come equipped with these upgraded burrs, Baratza will be happy to replace your burrs if you have purchased one of these units. If your grinder was purchased before November 15, 2010, chances are it was equipped with the old set of burrs and is now eligible for an upgrade. (Be sure to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)
Expanded grind adjustments and enhanced burrs are sure to make the Preciso a highly sought after grinder, but this model has not strayed too far from the winning Baratza formula. It retains a small, kitchen-counter friendly footprint and easy-to-use controls—attributes that have made previous Baratza grinders so popular with home users. The 480-watt gear reduction motor is powerful enough for most users and the Preciso is relatively quiet for its class. The burrs operate at only 450rpm to reduce heat transfer to your coffee and help preserve flavor and aroma. As an added bonus, the Preciso comes with a hands-free portaholder. Use it in conjunction with the integrated timer and you'll be able to set your portafilter in place, program the grinder to deliver the exact amount of coffee needed and walk away. At under $300, the Preciso is a great investment for espresso lovers looking for a precise, utilitarian burr grinder.