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.
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.
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.