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  • 23 SEP

    Who could use WBG?

    Monday, April 25th, 2011

    Wow, what a week it’s been! Our new weight-based grinding products, the Esatto and Vario-E were announced last Tuesday (4/19). We knew that this would cause a stir and we were right! The Twitter world has been a chorus of chatter! Our phone and email conversations just got WAY longer – everyone wants to talk about it. We’d have to say that pretty much all the feedback has been very positive, so we know for sure we’re on the right track. Sure, we have had some pushback, and that is to be expected whenever you come out with a new product. However, overall we are so impressed with the thought and debate that the industry is giving to the introduction of weight-based grinding (WBG). People are trying to figure out how it might work for them, especially in their work/cafe settings. We’ve had conversations with many coffee people who would like to try the products out, not just at SCAA, but testing it real-time in their cafes. Here’s the thinking from Kent Chappell of Thump Coffee in Bend, Oregon on how the Esatto could help provide a solution to his increasing customer demand for pour-over.

    “We would use the Esatto with our pourover bar and our existing Preciso. We are currently pre-weighing little canisters of beans for the pourover. But, as the brew method is gaining in popularity, keeping track of the contents and amount in each container is becoming cumbersome. We are also wrestling with the issue of serving more than 1 size of drink, which means having different amounts pre-weighed in the same kind of canisters. We have a complicated system of marking each canister and updating a chart with the varietal, roast date and mass of its contents. This system will eventually break down as the pourover program continues to grow.

    The Esatto would be a perfect fit for us, because we feature 1 premium bean on pourover at a time, and it would allow us to serve different sized cups. All we would have to keep track of is what is in the hopper. It would also allow us to skip the tedious steps of pre-weighing and charting. We would improve quality by making fewer mistakes with our manual weighing and charting system. And of course we love the Preciso for its consistency and accuracy (for this application, I believe it produces a better cup than even the Vario)

    As for the quantity, we serve an average of about 80 pourover cups per day. We are currently limiting the pourover to certain time periods when we can handle the additional labor it takes to prepare a single cup. As much as our staff and customers seem to like the single cup service, it has been difficult to integrate the pourover bar into our current workflow during busy times. I see the Esatto as a potential component in streamlining that workflow.”

    The Esatto will be a great solution for Kent and Thump Coffee. We’d love to hear more stories like this, come and talk to us at the SCAA this week (booth # 1825), or send us your thoughts at

  • 23 SEP

    The right weight, without the wait – every time!

    Thursday, April 21st, 2011

    We’ve been at it again – we can’t stop! We love to innovate and give our customers improved products and functionality everywhere we can. Not just innovate for the sake of fun or wow factor. Of course we love those aspects, but we’re truly about giving you an improved coffee grinding experience that will result in a consistent and delicious cup of coffee, and support you in giving your customers a ‘wow’ experience that has them becoming repeat customers.

    Last year at the SCAA in Anaheim, we were talking with Jared at Noble Coffee, all about the on-going rise in manual brewing. Jared talked about what a great tool our grinders were for this, but the whole pre-weighing of beans –especially in the busy café, was a pain. What could Baratza do? Well we love a challenge, so we focused this year on how to marry the weighing with the grinding of beans. We developed an accessory, the Esatto, that is designed specifically for use with your Maestro Plus, Virtuoso or Preciso. This innovative addition to your grinder will allow you to grind precise dosages of coffee using real-time weight-based control. With its easy assembly and simple operation, you will be automatically dosing ground coffee to within +/- 0.2 gram repeatedly.

    In addition, we have designed a new Vario, the Vario-E, that is a fully integrated weight based grinder. Baratza’s groundbreaking Vario-E uses real time weight-based grinding with a built-in electronic scale. Set the weight you want, the Vario-E does the rest, weighing the ground coffee within a tenth of a gram while grinding, and stopping automatically.

    How cool is all this?! We are so excited about it as we feel that it’s going to be a real game changer for so many cafes/coffee shops. Many cafes want to showcase a selection of beans at one time, be they a Single Origin or seasonal blend, offering the customer a choice for the bean and the brew method. Using the Baratza solution you could easily set up two to three dedicated grinders, each set to match the particular weight and grind type best suited the particular bean, and all that for the price of one ‘commercial’ grinder. We’ve even come up with a new hopper extender. With one extension, you can hold about 17.5 ounces (500 grams).

    We will have the Esatto and Vario-E ready to ship in June.

    Come check us out at the SCAA. We’ll be at booth #1825. This year we’re having our own manual brew bar, manned by some great local baristas. Come see the newest weight based grinding solution – we feel you will be charmed, intrigued and desirous!

  • 23 SEP

    Comprehensive Review of Baratza Grinders by Mark Prince, Coffeegeek

    Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

    Mark Prince’s comprehensive review of Baratza grinders is informative about the capabilities of the specific Baratza Grinders, but also helps all of us understand what we should look for in a coffee grinder. Baratza Grinders SM (3)

  • 23 SEP

    Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

    Friday, July 2nd, 2010

    Or when given a present, be grateful for your good fortune and don’t look for more by examining it to assess its value. This is good advice, but….

    My 17 year old daughter recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica , bummer that I did not get to go along. She brought everyone in the family a specially selected gift that she thought they would love. Well she brought me coffee of course. What else would you buy a coffee lover when visiting a coffee producing nation? She handed me the bags with great excitement explaining that the guy at the store had told her these were the best in Costa Rica. One was whole bean Italian Espresso roast and the other was ground (bummer). She explained that she understood that ground coffee was not a good idea, but she loved the design of the bag.

    The next morning she came out to ask how I liked the coffee. I looked at my delicious Ritual Sweet-tooth cappuccino and said that it was up next. As I opened the bag, I dipped my nose in to smell the rich aroma a fresh roasted coffee. Not!! The beans smelled stale and tasted stale.

    The coffee from Costa Rica was an incredible and thoughtful gift, because it made me appreciate even more the coffee I drink each day and the people behind the coffee. Just this month I have had the pleasure of drinking Blue Bottle, Barefoot, Ritual, Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Pacific Bay, Four Barrel, Verve, Zoka, Metropolis, Klatch, Cherry Hill and Luna. I wish everyone was lucky enough to experience the great taste of fresh roasted, fresh ground quality coffee from around the world. I am truly bless.

  • 23 SEP

    How Long Will My Burrs Last?

    Friday, June 4th, 2010

    The life expectancy of a burr varies depending on the type of coffee, degree of roast, grind size, and any rocks you may run into. However, as a good rule of thumb you can expect to get about:

    • Maestro, Maestro Plus, Virtuoso burrs 300 to 500 pounds of coffee
    • Vario 500 to 1000 pounds of coffee

    I mainly use a Vario to grind espresso. My household makes about 8 double shots a day. Dose for the shots are about 16 grams. The Vario is grinding 128 grams a day or around 46,592 grams a year. There are 453 grams of in a pound. So I am grinding about 102 pounds a year. This number is a little low since once a month I use my grinder to cater a coffee hour at church and serve about 100 drinks. I also grind for cupping, French press, Aeropress, and there is always the wasted coffee dialing in a new coffee. So I estimate that I grind about 150 pounds of coffee a year. My Vario burrs should last about 3 to 7 years.

    It is difficult to know when to change the burrs. One clear indication that it is time for new burrs is your grinder is not capable grinding coarse any more.