The Baratza Virtuoso vs Sette: Which Grinder is Best for You?

Deciding which grinder will suit your coffee-making needs for years to come can be a big, daunting decision to make. There are so many different grinders, in a variety of sizes, grinding methods, and extra features.

When you’ve finally got it narrowed down to a brand, it can feel like a huge relief. Now that you’ve ruled out other competitors, you can really lock down what it is that you need out of your machine.

Choosing between two products from one brand is difficult on its own, but when there isn’t a lot of wording on what sets the different models apart, all of the features can become convoluted. Comparing and contrasting the features of different models can help you narrow down what it is you’re looking for from your next grinder.

If you’re struggling to choose between the Baratza Virtuoso and the Baratza Sette, you’ve probably noticed how difficult it can be to really distinguish which product is better for your lifestyle.

We’ve compared and contrasted the two grinders to make your decision easier. Being aware of all the functions and what they are used for can help narrow down your choice and assess exactly where your money is going.

Read along to see what sets the two apart, and help figure out which is best for you.

Main Features of the Baratza Virtuoso

The overall look of the Virtuoso is very clean and minimal. The machine appears to just have a button on the front, and a knob on the side for different settings. It looks very clean and sophisticated, and I can imagine it sitting well with most other kitchen appliances.

The Virtuoso is claimed to grind at twice the speed of other similar grinders. If you’re looking for the most efficient, this product would get the job done quickly.

It also comes with 40 different grind settings, meaning you can choose from the most coarse grind to the finest. This comes in handy for someone who like to use different brew methods on occasion. You can get the perfect coarse grind for a pour over or French press, or you can get the finest possible grind for a delicious espresso.

The machine is able to grind so quickly, and offer so many different settings because it comes with an advanced burr that improves efficiency.

A timer is included on this grinder, which is really helpful because “eyeing” the progress of your grind is not the most accurate way to get a consistent grind. With this feature, you can set the timer to grind for 60 seconds before turning itself off.

This means you can start the grind, take care of something quick from your morning routine, and return shortly after to continue making your coffee. It also means you can figure out what the perfect setting for each type of grind is, set the machine to correct the number, and come back to a consistent grind every time.

If you want to switch from the bin to collect grinds to inserting a portafilter directly under the machine, the option is easy to do. You simply remove the collector, and place the portafilter in the designated area, and can collect your grounds to directly go in an espresso machine.

The grinder is large, with a metal base and top. It looks very sleek and modern. Be sure to check the pricing as it sometimes fluctuates.

Main Features the Baratza Sette

This grinder offers 270 different grind settings, meaning you have a huge amount of control over the texture of your beans. Like the Virtuoso, this ranges from extremely coarse to extremely fine, but just happens to include a lot of other options in between.

The many options is great for enthusiastic connoisseurs who enjoy experimenting and really honing in on what makes the perfect cup. With 270 settings, you can really get in and see what is best.

This grinder is also very fast, able to grind through five grams of coffee each second. The outer burr grinds quickly, while the inner one remains fixed in place. It is designed for minimal retention, so you don’t have to worry about wasting any grounds.

A useful feature included in the Sette is an LCD display that allows you to program with. I prefer when I can see what settings I am choosing displayed in this way, as I often find myself wondering if I’m doing the right thing if the whole display is manual.

The LCD display is capable of saving your previous grind settings, so you don’t’ have to come back and reprogram each time. This is super helpful especially if you can’t be bothered to keep track of exactly what you do each time. If your coffee comes out perfectly one day, it sure comes in handy to be able to go back and see exactly what setting you used.

And if 270 settings is too much for you, there is another variety of the Sette grinder that works better for entry-level grinding. This one has 30 grind settings, which still offers a great range of textures for different brewing methods.

Keep an eye on the product listing for the most accurate prices.

The Main Differences

Now that we’ve looked at the main features of the two grinders, we can take a closer look at what sets them apart.

The appearance of the two grinders is an immediately noticeable difference. The Virtuoso is tall, but very minimal and not forthcoming with all of its features. The design is very simplistic, with a black body and a metal base and top.

The Sette on the other hand looks more high-tech, with clearly distinguishable settings and an LCD display. All of the separate pieces to this grinder are more visible than the Virtuoso.

The Sette also has 190 more grind settings than the Virtuoso. This is a huge difference, and comes down to how much precision the user needs. The Virtuoso still offers 40 settings, ranging from extra coarse to extra fine.

The Virtuoso has a 60-second timer that lets you grind for a minute without having to be present. If you keep track of what the best setting for your brew method is, you can simply set it to the number and do a timed grind while you get something else prepared.

While the Sette doesn’t have a timer setting, it does save previous settings selected to allow someone to easily recreate their last delicious cup.

They are both high-quality grinders, so you can rest assured you will get a good grind each time.


The Baratza Virtuoso and Baratza Sette are both great grinders that allow users to get their perfect grind each time. Deciding what your specific needs are will help narrow down the decision making.

If you are looking to upgrade you daily brew, starting with choosing a quality grinder is a great first step.

The Baratza Sette is typically around $150 more than the Virtuoso, so if the extra features of the grinder are not important to you, it might not be a great choice. However, if you need precision down to 270 different settings, the Virtuoso simply won’t meet your needs.

If you just want to start getting the most out of your coffee, the Baratza Virtuoso would be a great choice. You have 40 settings to choose from, meaning there is a lot of freedom for control over your coffee. It’s also cheaper than the Sette, which is a big selling point.

For me, I have to go with the Baratza Virtuoso. The extra features of the Sette are useful and wonderful, but not so much to my specific lifestyle. I don’t care about consistency as much as other coffee lovers do, and I don’t have any need to go back and find an old setting I used.

I also feel that 270 settings is too many for me, someone who just brews a few different methods. If I became more invested in what goes into my coffee, I may eventually find that I need to upgrade to a grinder with more settings than the Virtuoso. But realistically, 40 is great for now.

If you are looking for extra functionality, and price is not a huge factor, the Baratza Sette is the better choice. But it really comes down to what you need.

Consider the differences between the two grinders, and how those tie into the type of coffee you plan to make. If you are set on just one brew method, then 270 settings is way over the top for something you will probably only grind one way. For some though, 270 is just the right amount.

This article should help clear up any confusion around the two products of the same brand. While they have a lot of similarities, the differences are quite vast with these two grinders. This offers a lot of flexibility for the consumer to choose exactly what they need.

Take this information into account as you embark on choosing the next grinder for your coffee-making needs.

Baratza Virtuoso Vs Sette Coffee Grinders

Baratza Virtuoso vs Sette Coffee GrinderWhen it comes to enjoying great coffee, the grinder can make all the difference. Conical burr grinders are the most precise and desired type of grinder but there are so many to choose from. Baratza is a brand that is well known for its high quality and well made grinders.

Today we are going to look at a few of their grinders: The Virtuoso and the new line of Sette (Set-Tay) grinders.

These are grinders that are designed primarily for home use but could be used in light cafe type usage as well.

Adjustability, consistency, and ease of use are all important factors when choosing a grinder. And these grinders vary. Let’s start with the simplest and most easy to use of these Baratza grinders.

Baratza Virtuoso

The Baratza Virtuoso is an improved and updated model based on the Encore, their most popular grinder. It has an on-demand button on the front for pulsing into your portafilter and a timer feature on the side to control how long you grind.

Adjusting the grind is easy with just a simple turn of the bean hopper that allows for 40 different adjustments. From espresso to french press and even for cupping.

Features of the Virtuoso Grinder

  • 40 mm conical burrs manufactured in Europe
  • Grinds 1.5-2.4 grams/second
  • 8 oz bean hopper
  • 5 oz bin capacity
  • grind range 250-1200 microns
  • 60 second grind timer
  • Burrs can be user calibrated as well as easily removed for cleaning

More features and pricing info can be found here.

While the Encore was Baratza’s entry level grinder, the Virtuoso is the next step up, improving upon the design. The high torque DC motor turns slowly and quietly and will not heat up your coffee as it grinds, even during long grind cycles.

Not only does it grind your coffee well, it looks elegant with its sleek new design. The hopper does come off once it is emptied of beans so that you can clean the grinder and access the burrs.

Baratza also makes a hopper extension that can add an additional 9 oz of coffee. If you want this grinder for espresso, they also make a portafilter holder so that you can grind directly into your portafilter. The portaholder is installed in the the place of the grinds bin.

This is a great option for anyone that wants to get into a burr grinder and wants reliability, consistency and the ease of adjustability and use. It also comes with a 1 year warranty.

What’s Different About the Sette Line of Grinders?

Baratza set out to completely redesign and rethink the way it makes coffee grinders with the Sette. They really thought out of the box for this one. The nice thing, is that they have created 3 different options within the Sette line and each offers a little bit more as the price steps up.

They have used the unique 7 shape to not only give it a new look, but also lets you easily grind directly into the grounds bin or your own portafilter. This new design is possible because of how the burrs work, the outer burr spins while the inner burr is fixed. And the quality is assured with these steel European burrs made in Lichtenstein.

The hopper features a shutoff valve controlled by a key like lever that lets you easily close the beans hopper to remove your coffee so you can switch between roasts. If you change coffees often, you will love the minimum retention of grinds that the Sette offers.

All of the Sette models were designed to be able to fit under standard kitchen cabinets at 24″ tall. So it can fit in your kitchen easily. The grinds hopper is made of anti-static plastic and has a pour spout so you can easily transfer your grounds into your preferred brewing device.

Sette 270

The Sette 270 is the debut grinder of this series featuring the new technology. Thanks to how the burrs are situated in the grinder, this has a minimum retention of grinds, which ensures you have the freshest ground coffee.


  • 40 mm steel conical burrs
  • Grinds 3.5 g/sec fine, 5.5 g/sec coarse
  • 10 oz hopper capacity
  • 5.5 oz grounds bin capacity
  • Digital control timer within 0.1 seconds
  • 3 adjustable timed presets
  • Adjustable holder for hands free portafilter direct dosing
  • Macro and micro grind adjustment
  • Removable hopper with shutoff valve

A time based grinder, the Sette 270 features a digital display with 3 presets that are adjustable to get the precise dosing you need. The two time adjustment buttons allow you to dial the time within 0.1 sec.

It has a macro and a micro grind adjustment allowing over 300 possibilities for grind size. The macro has 30 steps of adjustment and the micro has a stepless adjustment with 9 indicator marks that you can move between for your precise grind.

The grinder is remarkably fast for a home grinder, yet still produces espresso with amazing crema.

The adjustable arms are easily moved and hold the included anti-static grinds bin, portafilter or even a manual brewing device such as the Hario v60 or Aeropress.

To hold your portafilter, the arms swing down and an adjustable fork swivels out to hold onto the portafilter for hands-free grinding. This fork adjusts with the included allen wrench to get the perfect fit.

The bean hopper holds 10 oz (approximately 300-400g) and Baratza sells a hopper extender accessory to fit an additional 10 oz of beans. If you do a lot of manual or french press brewing, Baratza sells an additional burr for accurate coarse grinding since this is primarily an espresso grinder.

This grinder as you use it, will settle as the burrs break in, making it difficult to get a finer grind. A kit is included with extra shims to overcome this issue.

Sette 27oW

For serious coffee and espresso enthusiasts, the Sette 270W pulls out all the stops. This is a weight based grinder which saves you time trying to figure out how long to grind the weight of the coffee you need. Like the 270, it has all the features that sets it apart but then improves upon it with the ability to grind by preset and custom weights. Depending on the dose you need, you can set it to within 0.1 grams.


  • 40 mm steel conical burrs
  • Grinds 3.5 g/sec fine, 5.5 g/sec coarse
  • 10 oz hopper capacity
  • 5.5 oz grounds bin capacity
  • Digital controls for weight within 0.1 g
  • 3 adjustable weight presets
  • Adjustable holder for hands free portafilter direct grinding
  • Macro and micro grind adjustment
  • Removable hopper with shutoff valve

This is a powerful grinder at the top of the Sette line because it is weight based. While it is designed as a home grinder, it might be able to withstand some light cafe use because of its abilities to quickly and accurately dose your coffee. The adjustable forks are connected to the scale so it doesn’t matter what you grind into, your coffee will be weighed either way.

The only difference between this model and the 270 is the weight based functionality. If you weigh your coffee scrupulously, this is the grinder that would probably suit you best. It is a revolutionary home grinder that won’t disappoint.

Sette 30 AP

The Sette 30 AP is the most basic and inexpensive of the Sette line. It is nice to have an affordable option with this new technology. It still has some of the great features of the 270 for those who don’t want to pay a lot of money for their burr grinder. It produces exceptional espresso grind still but also is a great grinder for manual methods such as the Aeropress or Hario V60.


  • 40 mm steel conical burrs
  • Grinds 3.5 g/sec fine, 5.5 g/sec coarse
  • 10 oz hopper capacity
  • 5.5 oz grounds bin capacity
  • Digital control timer within 0.1 seconds
  • Adjustable holder for hands free portafilter direct dosing
  • Removable hopper with shutoff valve

The Sette 30 AP offers 30 steps of adjustment and uses the same AP grinder burrs as the Sette 270 and 270W use. This makes it possible to still get some of the options of these higher end grinders at a fraction of the price.

It is a digital timer based grinder with two time adjustment buttons within 0.1 seconds. It also has a play/pause button to allow you to pause your dosing to check your grind or adjust how it is filling your portafilter.

The two arms that hold the grinds hopper are adjustable to fit your portafilter still or other brewing device.

The Final Call: What’s the Best Value for Your Money?

These 4 grinders from Baratza offer a little bit more options with each step up. It really depends on how serious you are about your coffee.

If you are just getting into grinding your own, the Virtuoso or Sette 30 AP may work for you just fine depending on your needs. For a little bit more, you can get the time based 270 but in my opinion, why not go for broke and get the 270W?

I weigh all my coffee anyway so it saves a step and reduces extra equipment on my counter by eliminating the need for an additional scale.

The Sette models offer the ability for the user to calibrate the grinder with extra shims and also the extra accessories like the coarser grinding burr for french press. The 270W really becomes a versatile grinder with these additions and the already great features it has.

We are glad Baratza thought outside the box for this grinder. It is refreshing to see a company transforming and creating new machines that are well made.

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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