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  • 24 DEC

    How to Upgrade to Virtuoso 586 Burrs

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    We made the recent announcement of the upgrade to the Virtuoso by the change in burr set to using the Preciso burrs, and the name change from the Virtuoso 585 to Virtuoso 586. Since then, many customers who own the Virtuoso have requested information on how they could make this upgrade to their own machines. Here is a .pdf file with step by step instructions on how to do that. It will also be posted in the SUPPORT section of this website, on the troubleshooting page for the Virtuoso.

    How to Convert the V585 to V586

    Please contact support@baratza.com if you have any questions.

  • 24 DEC

    Baratza’s Weight Based Grinding – answers to FAQ’s

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    By Kyle Anderson

    We launched the innovative ‘grind by weight’ grinder, the Vario-W and accessory, the Esatto, at the SCAA in Houston in May 2011.  At that point, they were pre-production models.  Having put them out to test with various Roasters and users we went into full production and distribution in September.  Since that time the number of users who have purchased these grinding solutions for their home or café has been amazing.  We have been thrilled with how well the concept and the grinders have been received and how well they have functioned in a variety of settings. As with all new innovations, our grind by weight solutions have a few design features that raise questions for our support team.  Below we address a couple of those.

     Achieving desired grind weight

    I want to share the “logic” we use to get as close as possible to the desired weight in these two weight-based grinding devices. We knew we would have to anticipate the desired (programmed) weight by some factor (i.e. we could not wait until the total programmed weight was in the bin to stop the grinder). Like most things in life, if the target is moving, you must lead it a bit or you’ll miss. After a lot of coffee grinding at espresso, filter and press pot, we picked an average “lead” of 0.7g. Our goals in designing the Vario-W and Esatto were twofold: absolute accuracy and repeatability.  At mid scale for grind (filter) the absolute accuracy is very high. The flow rate of coffee thru the grinder varies from 1.5g/sec at espresso to 2.5g/sec at press (these are almost the same for Preciso and Vario). We know that on espresso grind setting we will come up about 0.2g shy of the target and for press, we’ll come up about 0.2g long. Though we miss the mark of absolute accuracy (at the two extremes), the good news is these values are VERY repeatable. If you are experiencing challenges in hitting your desired weight, I would suggest that when requiring 20.0g of espresso, you program 20.2g. Conversely, when grinding for 20.0g for Press, program 19.8g.

    The Display on my Esatto or Vario-W is showing “EEE” or “out”, what do I do?

    When this shows up in the display, re-Calibrating the scale will correct the issue. You will need a 200g weight. You can make your own weight if you have a secondary accurate scale. Put your (Vario-W/Esatto) grounds bin on the scale, add water until you reach 200g (total weight bin + water). Once you have the 200g weight, you are ready to calibrate the scale. Unplug your Vario-W or Esatto and make sure that nothing is on the scale platform. Plug the grinder in and while it powers on, hold buttons 1 &2. Display will come up with a value (approx 310-350). Press button 1 again (display will read “cal”) and set the 200g weight on the platform. Display will show “pas” and then show 200. Remove the bin, empty and dry it, place the bin back on scale and TARE. Your scale should work correctly at this point. If you get a number far outside the range of 310-355, please contact Baratza as the load cell is likely damaged and will need to be replaced.

    Our goal is to make grinding by weight as easy, accurate and repeatable as possible.  We are continually reviewing and revising our design, so we do want to hear from you with issues you have.  Please e-mail us at support@bartza.com

     

  • 13 DEC

    Virtuoso Upgraded with Preciso Burr

    December 13, 2011

    Effective immediately, all new Virtuoso grinders are built with Preciso burr sets. We feel that it’s a great upgrade to a very stable, solid grinder. Please read our blog page, on this website, for the background to this upgrade.

    The Virtuoso Upgrade Details: Effective December, 2011, all Virtuoso grinders have been built to include the Preciso burr set. With this change we are leaving the name of the grinder the same, but have changed the item # to 586. We also changed the pricing of the grinder to reflect the improved performance. The MSRP of the Virtuoso (586) is $249. The original Virtuoso retails for $229. New speed of grind is 1.5 to 2.4 g/sec. Old speed of grind was .8 to 1.1 g/sec.

    Below are images of the burrs, so you can see the difference in design:

    Preciso Burr

    Virtuoso Burr Virtuoso Burr

  • 08 DEC

    Baratza Virtuoso Upgrade!

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    You’ve probably heard that this month (December 2011), we upgraded the incredible workhorse – the Baratza Virtuoso. At Baratza, we are continually trying to improve our products and sometimes those improvements come more from listening to our customers than some long-term product plan schedule, so we thought you might be interested in hearing how this particular change came about!

    In November 2010 we introduced the Preciso grinder with a new set of conical burrs. We were excited about the burrs because they seemed to reduce the fines in all levels of grind and increase the speed of grind from about 1 g/sec to about 2 g/sec. After a year, the feedback from countless consumers and coffee professionals is that the Preciso produces a great grind profile for Manual Brew, Drip, and Espresso. We are always excited to hear that people can taste the difference and many could, when comparing the Preciso burr with other burrs.

    When we introduced our Grind-By Weight solutions many Roasters and café owners chose to use the Vario-W, or the Esatto paired with the Preciso, for their manual brewing stations. They use the preset programmable weight buttons for the preparations they typically offer e.g. Aeropress and Clever Dripper and consistently report efficiencies in terms of labor, process steps, wastage, and footprint plus repeatability and consistency of grind. The grinding speed of these two grinders is about the same and, with the addition of the Esatto, the operation and performance of the grinders is very similar. Having used the new grinders for many months now, Roasters and café owners have told us that they think the grind profile of the Preciso is as good, or better, than the Vario-W for manual brewing.

    Since the Esatto/Preciso combination was being used for manual brewing, the micro adjust on the Preciso was not essential and added unnecessary complexity to the grinder. So, we started producing custom Virtuoso grinders with Preciso burrs to be used in cafés on brew stations. After a while it was evident that the improved performance of the Preciso burrs would be a great upgrade to the Virtuoso and we made the decision to build them all with the new burr set. Now, everyone can benefit from the improved performance, not just customers in the café setting, but also those who are passionate about making great coffee in their homes!

    Here’s an example of the Virtuoso, set up in Esattos, on the brew bar at Milstead & Co, in the Fremont suburb of Seattle:

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Virtuoso Upgrade Details:  Effective December, 2011, all Virtuoso grinders have been built to include the Preciso burr set. With this change we are leaving the name of the grinder the same, but have changed the item # to 586. We also changed the pricing of the grinder to reflect the improved performance. The MSRP of the Virtuoso (586) is $249. The original Virtuoso retails for $229.   New speed of grind is 1.5 to 2.4 g/sec.  Old speed of grind was .8 to 1.1 g/sec.

    Below are images of the burrs, so you can see the difference in design:

    Virtuoso Burr

     

    Preciso Burr

     

    So there you have it! The whole story on the Virtuoso upgrade!

  • 30 NOV

    Win a Maestro Plus

    November 30, 2011

    Would YOU like a gift this holiday season too? Here’s a chance for you to win your very own Maestro Plus, along with the wonderful Aeropress. “Like” us on our Baratza Facebook page & when we get to 500 new “likes” we’ll do a random drawing for the Maestro Plus & Aeropress.

    We’ll also draw about 10 other names for the handy dandy Baratza scraper – brilliant at clearing up coffee grounds from your counter top!

    Don’t forget to tell your friends to “Like” us too!