Gaggia MDF VS Baratza Virtuoso: Which Grinder is Best?

Gaggia MDF vs Baratza Virtuoso

Simplicity itself can give value to your purchase. When you are looking at coffee grinders, simplicity again reigns supreme. There are many grinders, with many different options to dial the grind down to your specifications. For the average consumer, these options may be lost and underutilized. To help you get the most out of your grinder, we are going to compare the Gaggia MDF and the Baratza Virtuoso.

Both are simple grinders that excel in what they do.

Both adjust by turning the hopper and both grind by pushing one button. The decision between the two will rest on YOU and how YOU prepare your coffee at home.

Gaggia MDF: An Industrial Grind from the Comfort of Your Kitchen

This Italian made machine was built to grind coffee. The Gaggia MDF was also made to last years in a commercial coffee shop setting. In a home setting, it will last even longer.

This is a doser grinder, meaning that it grinds into the dosing chamber before it is dispensed with the doser lever. Each pull of the dosing lever dispenses about 7 grams of coffee for precise dosing. 1 pull is one shot, 2 pulls dispenses enough coffee for a double shot.

Durability and quality are at the heart of this design. Simple to adjust controls make it easy to get the grind you want. A versatile grinder, the Gaggia MDF can grind for espresso as well as coarse for french press.

Its compact design also makes it possible for it to adorn your counter without taking up too much room.


  • 50 mm flat stainless steel burrs
  • 34 grind adjustment settings
  • Removable Hopper bin
  • Doser dispenses about 7 grams of coffee per pull, 2 pulls yields enough for a double shot of espresso
  • 100 watt motor connects to the grinding burrs through a gear reduction system which enables it to grind large amounts of coffee without heating the coffee.
  • Made of impact resistant plastic to protect the grinder and reduce noise.
  • Simple controls:
    • Grind settings adjust by turning the hopper
    • On/Off toggle switch controls the grindre
    • Doser lever dispenses coffee

This is THE grinder for espresso aficionados that also prepare drip coffee. It can grind for the everyday drip coffee maker but also for the espresso machine. Made by the company that revolutionized modern espresso machines, you could say they know a thing or two about coffee.

Baratza Virtuoso: A Home Grinder for Your Morning Cup

The Baratza Virtuoso is an elegant versatile grinder that can do everything from espresso to french press. And while it won’t dose your portafilter directly, (unless you buy the extra portaholder), it will certainly produce espresso grinds to produce the most wonderful crema.

This is a home grinder, not a commercial one like the Gaggia MDf. It won’t hold up to extremely heavy use, but it is more than adequate for typical household use.

It is sleek, compact, and fairly quiet. It can grind espresso to french press and everything in between.


    • 40 mm conical stainless steel burrs
    • 40 grind adjustment settings
    • High torque motor turns the burrs with gear and electronic reduction for quiet and cool grinding
    • Simple controls:
      • Grind settings adjust by turning the hopper
      • Pulse switch on the front allows for precise grinding
      • Timer on the side allows you to set it to your preferred time up to 60 seconds
  • Optional portaholder allows you to grind directly into a portafilter
  • Grind speed of 1.5-2.4 grams/second

This is a great little grinder for home use and allows you to grind both for manual pour overs and french press but also for espresso. It is compact, sleek and easily adjustable. If you are only making one or two espressos a day, this grinder will excel.

The Decision Between The Two

Espresso Grinding

If your primary use for a grinder is for espresso, then you may prefer the Gaggia MDF. Its built-in portafilter holder and the doser makes it easy to bring the cafe home to you.

The Gaggia is designed around espresso, specifically made for espresso machines. While both machines can grind espresso, the Gaggia MDF performs flawlessly and effortlessly to grind and dose precisely into your portafilter.

While the Virtuoso can grind directly into a portafilter if you buy the extra accessory, it is not a dosing grinder that gives you the same amount of coffee every time. You have to hold the grind button down in order to fill your portafilter to the right amount.

One thing that the Virtuoso does do better than the Gaggia is that it grinds coffee directly into the hopper instead of into the dosing chamber. This reduces the waste of coffee grounds and ensures the freshest coffee. If you are just making one or two espressos, the Virtuoso may be a better fit for you.

Auto Drip, French Press And The Rest

For the rest of you that just want a quality burr grinder for your auto drip machine, pour over, or french press, the decision is a little simpler. You don’t need a doser. A dosing grinder is nice to have if you want to dose directly into your pour over apparatus or filter, but it is not necessary.

The Virtuoso is a great option for a basic burr grinder that isn’t too expensive. It is also a little more attractive than the Gaggia and looks less like a commercial grinder on your counter.

Two Very Different Machines

As you can see, these are two very different machines for two very different purposes. When you are trying to decide between these two, your end goal will help you make your decision.

The Gaggia MDF is a primary candidate for those of you who want a durable espresso grinder and want to dose directly into your portafilter.

The Baratza Virtuoso is a typical residential countertop grinder that can do many things and not take up a lot of space.

Both are simple burr grinders to use, both are quality products, but your end purpose for them will determine your decision.

Coffee shouldn’t be complicated, nor should your grinder.

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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