Reflecting on the Sette Series

Posted on January 15, 2018 by Alexander Choppin in Baratza Company, Blog, Grinders, Innovation, SetteSeries

In the fall of 2016, we released the much-anticipated Sette 270 and 270W: the two flagship grinders of Baratza’s new design aesthetic. This series introduced a revolutionary design to home espresso grinders, and enabled incredible functionality for home users.

The path we threaded through design, testing, and release taught us a great deal about building innovative grinders. Now that the Sette has been in the hands of real-world users for a year, we’re looking back to see what we’ve learned since the launch.

The biggest piece of feedback we’ve seen and heard from users is about grind consistency. Almost everyone agrees – from home baristas to legends of third-wave coffee: the Sette is a phenomenal espresso grinder.

The mouthfeel and flavor clarity of espresso pulled on the Sette out-classes other home espresso grinders. The density of features offered by the Sette makes dialing in espresso simple and hassle-free. Step-less micro-adjustment gives even the most attentive taster room to explore delicate layers of sweetness, acidity, and body for all types of espresso from classic Italian dark roasts to progressive light roasts. The grind quality on the Sette covers a wide breadth of espresso styles from dense, syrupy shots to high-yield, tea-like extractions. With this same technology that proved efficiency and reliability for espresso enthusiast, we decided to include an entry-level espresso option in the series – the Sette 30 AP.

But when it comes to grinding for manual brew on the Sette, the jury is still out. Some users reached out to us early on looking for improved coarse grinding, although others found it satisfying. However, the consistency of coarsely ground coffee created a difficulty in dialing in for those looking for the clarity of flavor required to explore delicate layers of sweetness and acidity. Yet the users who prefer a more consistent flavor profile – one which leans towards body and balance – did not find that difficult.

In our own brew tests with the Sette, we found that a higher concentration of very small coffee particles (fines) are produced during the grind. There is some debate around the usefulness of fines in brewing coffee, but in our experience this created some difficulty in dialing in a good brewed coffee. We explored this in-depth in a previous post.

From what we know so far, the Sette is a fantastic espresso grinder. As a brew grinder, however, it’s not the right fit for everyone – yet. Staying true to our promise, we are hard at work exploring ways to create top-notch coarse grinding on par with the rest of our product line up. Stay tuned, 2018 will be a great year!