Tag Archives: Forte

Baratza at SCAA 2014 – BOOTH 10041

Baratza at SCAA 2014 – BOOTH 10041

We are in the final countdown to The Event of #SCAA2014. We’ll be in our hometown of Seattle for this 26th Specialty Coffee Association of America Expo – Score! It’s going to be a hugely exciting few days of connecting with our customers and the specialty coffee community – in our booth, at parties, at competitions, in classes and all over town! It feels like we will be everywhere this year! To give you some tips on where you can find us and our grinders, we’ve gathered what we know, so far! Be sure to stop by the booth to say hello! See you soon!

Where we’ll be:

All day, every day – Booth 10041 – Kyra Kennedy and Kyle Anderson, Baratza co-owners will be in the booth, as well as Joyce Klassen (Marketing) and Sarah Dooley (Education), plus a rotation of Colin Francois, Pierce Jens and Greg Girton from our support team! Come and check out our complete line up of our grinders – home and commercial.

In our own booth we’ll have the ‘Forté Tasters Choice’ a daily espresso tasting opportunity by Sarah Dooley featuring the Forté BG and AP. In the last few months we’ve been doing a lot if internal testing with the BG for espresso and we have to say – we LIKE it! Flavors are coming out really sweet and clean. Sarah Dooley is scheduled to do daily tastings (1-2 pm) using the LaMarzocco GS/3. Come taste and see which you prefer!

We will also have Bill Crossland with the brand new Crossland Brewer (hush hush!) on booth doing demos. Don’t miss seeing this! .

BrewBar in our booth – come taste great coffee from a rotation of wonderful roasters, including Ladro, Slate, Stumptown and Chromatic.

Skybridge Café – We’re partnering again this year with our friends from LaMarzocco, Kalita USA, Marco, and Prima to provide espresso and coffee service. A select group of roasters will be delighting you with delicious coffees throughout the day. The café will have a focus on the home brew experience with La Marzocco planning to offer a hands-on experience on their GS/3s on one side of the cafe, while coffee is prepared and served on the other. We will have a couple of Forté BGs on the Brew Bar and a Forté AP with a GS/3, if you’d like to try it out there!

Slate Coffee Roasters – Guest Café – at Expo entrance
Slate Coffee, winners of the 2013 America’s Best Coffee House have been invited by SCAA to host the Guest Café, at the entrance to the show. The Slate team will be sharing their coffees and will have Virtuoso/Esatto combos plus Forté–BG’s on bar, so you can see how the grinders work in a busy bar setting!

In addition, you can see Forte grinders in the booths of:
• Curtis booth (right opposite our booth!)
• La Marzocco
• Café Imports
• Blossom, at the UNIC booth

• National Barista, Brewers Cup and Cup Tasters Competitions
• Thursday night, after the Opening Ceremonies – The NWTNT series has organized another brilliant event – yes there will be a grinder to be won!
• US National Aeropress Championship, happening on Friday at the Stumptown Roastery
• Java Jog – Saturday morning to support Women in the Congo

Fun Events
• Thursday – we co-host the ‘Made in Seattle’ party at Von Trapp. Come one, come all!
• Friday – join us on the Java Jog for a Cause, the monies raised will go to support women’s coffee groups in Eastern Congo, South Lake Kivu region. We may not be actually jogging – but walking yes! Join us for chat and connection.
• Saturday – we co-host a party at Kuma Coffee’s Roastery

Need help finding all the booths and events? Download the SCAA App or follow Joyce on Twitter @bartazatalk

See you next week!!

Forté AP with Portafilter

Smart Dose – grinding for espresso by weight!

Sarah Dooley, Baratza Quality Control & Educator

The Forte Series is packed full of amazing accessories and features! If you plan on using the PortaHolder you will appreciate our built in software feature that converts weight to time dosing- the Smart Dose.

For accuracy of dose, it is best to dial in your coffees while in WEIGHT mode with the grounds bin in place. Once you have the grind dialed in by weight, it is an easy transition to Smart Dose, see instructions below and in our Baratza Series, Smart Dose video.

Once you are dialed in:

• Dose out a shot in WEIGHT mode with the grounds bin in place
• When it is finished, IMMEDIATELY Press the TIME button on the touch screen
• Next, Press and Hold a preset of 1, 2 or 3 until the touch screen blinks at you
• Now insert the PortaHolder accessory and grind directly into your portafilter for hands free dosing!

We have all been grinding by time for a while. The bragging point of this feature is it’s ability to be accurate to dose while in TIME mode. The Smart Dose software converts the time it took for you to grind out your shot while in WEIGHT mode, allowing you to customize your dose to the coffees in the hopper. All you have to do is save it where you like the extraction with the steps in bullet points above. This software feature allows you to be within a half gram of your WEIGHT preset (equivalent to 3-5 beans), with our hands free PortaHolder accessory!

Making subtle changes to the grind, changing to a different single origin, or loading in a new coffee will change the accuracy of your dose while in TIME mode, therefore I recommend you switch back to WEIGHT mode and dial the extraction to it’s optimal taste. Follow the steps above to convert the WEIGHT back to grinding by Time.


Commercial applications: Forte vs the Vario/Vario-W

by Kyle Anderson & Kyra Kennedy, Co-Owners of Baratza

December 12, 2013

Our experience with the Vario grinders over the last 3+ years has helped us understand the unique requirements of Baratza grinders in a commercial setting. We have continually improved these grinders to be more stout, however, without starting from scratch, it is not possible for us to make them as durable as the Forté. Even with improvements, the Vario adjustment arms can be accidentaly knocked out of adjustment or stones in the coffee beans can cause the drive belt to strip. We would recommend the Vario and Vario-W for about 1 lb./day in a light commercial setting. Any higher use than this is better suited to a Forte.

In contrast, the Forté was designed for commercial settings where grind accuracy, durability and reliability are paramount. The Forté is built around an all metal grinding chamber which produces an extremely accurate grind. The upgraded belt drive is capable of delivering 3 times more torque than a Vario belt drive. A faster gear ratio, combined with a powerful DC motor, increases the speed of grind and duty cycle. An all metal macro and micro adjustment system delivers a positive feel and secure grind settings. We recommend the Forté for about 5 lb/day on a continuous basis in the demanding environments of restaurants, cafés, and farmer’s markets.

Many cafés and roasters have made the decision to choose the Forté to support their businesses and here are just a few examples:


Four Barrel Coffee Roasters, use the Forté-BG for their outside events. The weekend of the Renegade Fair, three Forte-BG grinders provided all the grinding action for approximately 700 pour overs each day, estimating that one grinder did about 300-350 cups over a 6-7hr period, while the others did between 150-175. At 24.5g per cup, that’s about 40lb of coffee per day.


Counter Culture CoffeeThe Variety Show – the second installment of Counter Culture Coffee’s annual Works in Progress series – explored botanical coffee varieties with the owners of Finca El Puente, Moisés Herrera and Marysabel Caballero.  Erin McCarthy, 2013 World Brewers Cup Champion traveled with the tour using the Forte-BG to brew coffee for the tastings!



1237594_10151856083010560_1344480058_nIntelligentsia Coffee Roasters – The Forté-BG is the grinder on truck for all their pour-over coffee on the“Mini Bar” parked at the High Line Hotel, in Chelsea, New York City. See Sprudge review




Onyx Coffee Bar in Bellingham, Washington




new fortes

The Slow Bar at Steamdot Coffee in Anchorage, Alaska

Kyra & Nick Cho at SCAA Cafe

Forte Feedback from the Professionals!

June 4, 2013

At SCAA in Boston, there was a satellite cafe at the entrance to the show, organized by Nick Cho and Elise Hogan of Kalita USA. They invited Prima Coffee, Marco, La Marzocco, and Baratza to join them in providing the coffee service. They also invited Baristas and coffee professionals from across the US to come and prepare coffees offered from some of the best Roasters in the industry. The attendees were guaranteed excellent coffee every day!

The Forté was on the brew bar – it’s first ‘outing’ – and was really put through it’s paces from a multitude of baristas who had never seen it before, not to mention the huge crowd constantly lined up for coffee! We were anxious to hear what they had to say and reached out to ask about their experiences around the areas of:

  • Ease of Setup
  • Ease of Use with Interface
  • Intuitiveness
  • Consistency
  • Durability
  • The new Shut-Off Hopper

The feedback below from professionals from Intelligentsia Coffee, Sightglass Coffee, and Four Barrel Coffee all point to a grinder that answers the requests we’d received for a quality, commercial, weight-based grinder.

Jesse Raub, Wholesale Educator, Intelligentsia Coffee:

“It seemed super simple to set up. The interface was great — after a minute of studying it, I was able to set the dose without even thinking. Everything on the grinder seemed spot on. I was able to use it without any extra instructions. The weight function was great — I set it for 30g and got 30.1g everytime. It was really amazing. I was grinding right around the middle setting across the board, and was grinding 30 grams at a time. I went through a kilo in three hours, so it cranked out 30 batches with no trouble at all. The Shut-off Hopper worked great!”

Annie McGee, Wholesale Account Representative, Sightglass Coffee Roasters

“Ease of set up was great, I was able to hop on the brew bar and immediately make the needed adjustments to begin service. I think what really impressed me was the volume that the grinder could handle while still providing consistency. In a 4 hour period I brewed 5 lbs of coffee, which is an incredible amount for a pour over station. During that time the grinder was able to keep up with my flow of service and remained consistent with dose and grind.”

Alex Powar, Education, Four Barrel Coffee Roasters

“Overall I’m really impressed with the sturdiness of the build and more than anything else, I’m particularly excited for what this grinder means for high end restaurant accounts that are looking for a grinder that can satisfy their coffee brewing needs. One of the biggest hurdles in restaurant coffee is convincing accounts of the necessity of spending time to weigh out coffee in and coffee out. The dream scenario from a wholesaler perspective is to find a durable grinder that produces consistent particle size and predictable integrated weight-based dosing that one can lock in so that it’s not as easy for baristas or restaurant staff to void the programmed parameters.”

SCAA Boston April 2013 – What a Show!

April 30, 2013
by Joyce Klassen

Specialty Coffee Association of America held ‘The Event’ this year in Boston. What a show! What an event! We are still reeling from it, two weeks on!

Prior to ‘The Event’ was the two day Symposium, which Kyra Kennedy and I were fortunate enough to attend. On day one, we got to learn about the super critical issue of our times, in coffee – Coffee Leaf Rust – what it is, where it is prevalent and what is being done to deal with it. Truly this is a shocking situation and impacting plants and people at all parts of the chain. Coffea genetics followed, appropriately, as the industry deals with the rust challenge and searches to find solutions. From coffee scientists working all over the world, we got a crash course in coffee varieties, breeding, and biology. Being where we are, at Baratza, on the second to last stop for coffee, before it’s consumed, there was so much fascinating information on what it takes to get the beans into our grinders, that rarely shows up on our radars!

Day two brought talks on the topic of the importance and success of collaboration in facing challenges in Speciality Coffee plus inspirational presentations from innovators within and outside the coffee industry. Ask anyone there about the Mushroom guy – amazing! We enjoyed listening to Keith Gehrke from Able Brewing about how he developed his products and were also lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit with him at lunch and get to hear even more about his journey:) Symposium ended with a video and talk on the changing face of the coffee consumer.

In between all these presentations we had great meet-ups with so many people that we often only get to see once or twice a year! There was a ‘conversation lounge’ hosted by Curtis and the mega cool part, (beyond Brant Curtis, Krista Reddington and Jeff Landy – Team Curtis!) was that it was the FIRST time we got to see our new Forté grinder, live and in action! Curtis paired it with their Gold Cup Brewer and it worked brilliantly, out of the box, serving up delicious coffees for two days. It was a great kick-off for it and our thanks to Curtis for trusting us and showing it!

Katy Goulding, SCAA’s Business Development Manager was one of the delightful face to face meetings we had! Sarah Dooley from La Marzocco, aided by Bennett Cross of Blue Bottle, led a team of Baristas from across the US, serving exceptional coffee to all the attendees. We were spoiled by Sarah’s graciousness and incredible sense of service. All in all – a packed two days!

‘The Event’ happened at the Boston Convention Center from Friday – Sunday, and literally we had people in our booth non-stop for the whole three days. It is our biggest show of the year and each year it gets better! Kyle Anderson and Quinn Anderson were on the booth with Kyra and me. It was beyond amazing to meet old friends, connect with people that we’d previously only met via email or social media and also meet new people. It’s the people, the Specialty Coffee community, that always makes the show so special. Many attendees were already quite familiar with our product range, but there were a lot of people who are setting up new businesses and wanted to learn about all we have to offer and were delighted that we had grinders to meet their customers, wherever they are in their coffee journey!

The highlight for Baratza, was the launch of the Forté grinder, our new commercial grade grinder that is solid, innovative and multi-functioning. It has the ability to grind by time or by weight. In addition to having the grinder at our booth, we had a few working in some high profile spaces – the Satellite Bar at Expo entrance, the Curtis booth, paired with the Gold Cup Brewer, and at the Brew Bar on the La Marzocco booth. The feedback was incredibly positive and the Baristas and Brew Bar owners felt like we really answered their need for a ‘beefier’ grinder to support their brew bars, catering events, wholesale accounts, restaurants and more. It was very encouraging indeed to feel people’s excitement about the grinder and to hear so many requests to actually start buying them! The other group that were super impressed were the SCAA judges as the Forte was voted “Best New Product-Coffee or Tea Preparation and Serving Equipment (Commercial) – SCAA 2013″. We were honored to receive this industry recognition.

Actually, Baratza grinders were visible throughout the show, from fundraisers for Café Femenino Foundation and Coffee Kids, to multiple competition prizes, as well as being in many of our partner’s booths. Check our Facebook page for photos! Facebook – SCAA Albums

We were proud to partner with Kalita USA, La Marzocco, Prima and Marco to provide a very special coffee bar for SCAA Expo attendees, right at the entrance to the Expo. It was a gorgeous set up, designed by Nick Cho and Elise Hogan of Kalita USA and was our first stop every morning for invigorating cups of deliciousness. We are delighted that they used both the Preciso/Esatto combination and the new Forté to support the Kalita manual brew service!


Each day, in our booth we were spoiled by the opportunity to taste more amazing coffees, expertly brewed, and that does not mean by US! Elise Hogan of Kalita USA shared the Kalita brewing method one day, Mark Barany and Andy Kwon brewed up some of their special Kuma Kochere and on the last day Brandon Paul Weaver of Slate brewed up some coffees that he’d used in his Brewers Cup competition. He uses the Esatto/Virtuoso combo in their Airstream cafe right now so shared plenty of stories with other people at the booth about his experiences – thankfully all good – phew!

While we were busy engaging with people in our booth and being on the expo floor, there were competitions going on all day for the Barista Championship , Brewers Cup, and Cup Tasters Challenge. I barely got to the Competition Hall and managed to catch Lem Butler of Counter Culture in the Semi Finals. He’s such a class act to watch and experience. I wish I had more time to soak up the atmosphere of the competitions, but thanks to the great coverage from Sprudge I was able to catch up afterwards on all the excitement of the events. We were delighted to be a National Sponsor of the three events and give grinders to all the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed in each event. They deserve it for their courage, strength, perseverance, endurance and passion to pull off their performances. We did have a major snafu on the prizes not being on hand in Boston, and apologize to the winners, but we have since dispatched them all out. Mea culpa.

No SCAA happens without some major play time too! We caught up with my fellow countrymen Paul and Drewry from Marco at the Counter Culture Party and managed to escape before some of the excitement that happened later. Another night, we got conned by the NZ and Aussie humor, with resulting belly-aching laughter, and on the last night we had a seafood feast with our Urnex friends. Plenty of very silly moments, deep conversations and great connections to remember!

Without a doubt, the Boston SCAA will also be remembered for the tragic events that happened the day after the show. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the events and we hope for healing in their bodies and hearts.

Our thanks to SCAA organizers, attendees, customers and friends for all the contributions that made SCAA so special.

New Products – Forté Grinder and Removable Hopper

March 25, 2013

OK, so the word is out! We have new, exciting products to share!! We sent an email to our customers last week giving them the heads up about what is going to be released and they seem so delighted that they are spreading the news ahead of us. Hard to be mad when we’re glad!

We have two new products, the Forté – a commercial grade, dual-function grinder, capable of grinding by weight AND time, plus a new Removable Hopper. Both products will be launched at the SCAA in Boston in April. Here are some of the details. If you are going to SCAA in Boston, be sure to stop by our booth #1136 so you can see these products for yourself!

Forté Grinder:

Many of our café/roaster customers have been using the Vario-W for the past 1-2 years and love it. It has proven itself to be an incredible work horse in the brew bar setting with accurate, durable,and consistent grinding, producing coffees with great flavor. However, we’ve also had requests for something ‘beefier’ and more commercial. Kyle kicked his creative juices into gear and designed an incredible, innovative multi-functioning grinder that is solid. We’re very excited about this new addition to our grinder line-up and feel that it will answer the needs of café, roasters, and coffee geeks. Below is a teaser.

Key Features:

  • A new DC motor with 70% more power than the current Vario and with twice the duty cycle (>50% run time)
  • All metal enclosure
  • All metal grinding chamber
  • New graphic touch-screen user interface
  • Integrated Weight and Time based grinding
  • Auto-dosing feature that converts weight to grind time, automatically, to allow precise direct grinding to portafilter
  • New belt drive system (to handle the additional power)
  • Metal detents for positive feel and setting of grind
  • New bean hopper with 20% greater capacity and bean shutoff feature
  • It will be available for general release in July, 2013 and can be purchased with your choice of burr – Ceramic MSRP $950 or Metal MSRP $970
New Removable Hopper

In the process of talking to café operators about the Forté, it became clear that we needed to offer a hopper that could be removed, while beans were still in it. So that’s what Kyle came up with. It’s incredibly cool and functional!

Key Features:

  • Built-in bean stopper to allow hopper removal with beans in it.
  • Backward compatible to Vario/Vario-W and (with minor modification) to all Baratza conical burr grinders
  • Accepts Baratza hopper extender
  • Dimensions 5.25″ Diameter X 5.25″ high
  • Capacity 300 grams/10 ounces
  • Available July 2013 for MSRP $35