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Baratza Virtuoso+ Review

A consumer-level model that is built more like a durable, commercial-level machine
Baratza Virtuoso+
Credit: Baratza
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $269 List | $249.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Good grind consistency, burly components
Cons:  Expensive
Manufacturer:   Baratza
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Aug 9, 2021
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Grind Consistency - 35% 7
  • Cleanliness - 25% 7
  • User Friendliness - 25% 7
  • Noise - 15% 7

Our Verdict

Most consumer coffee grinders are designed with general home use in mind and thus shouldn't be expected to last too long if you're consistently grinding more than 10 cups of coffee's worth of beans day after day. However, if you do have enough caffeine addicts in your home that this is a regular occurrence, we think it would be worth spending a bit extra on the Baratza Virtuoso+. Though it does cost more than most of the models we tested, that extra money goes into more commercial-grade components that are much more likely to stand the test of time.

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Baratza Virtuoso+
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Baratza Virtuoso+
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $269 List
$249.95 at Amazon
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Pros Good grind consistency, burly componentsGreat grind consistency, intuitive interface, relatively clean and quietGood grind consistency, relatively inexpensiveQuiet, modern design, user-friendlyRelatively clean and easy to use, quieter than most blade models
Cons ExpensiveNot ideal for coarser grinds, expensiveSomewhat loud, can make a messExpensive, inconsistent grind quality, messyProduces inconsistent grinds
Bottom Line A consumer-level model that is built more like a durable, commercial-level machineThis grinder provides top-notch performance in every category except for the coarsest of grindsExcellent performance and one of the best values on the market make this a great choiceIdeal for those that value aesthetics and minimal sound, but the grind consistency was unfortunately subparOne of the better blade models on the market, but definitely don't expect it to produce consistent grinds
Rating Categories Baratza Virtuoso+ the Smart Grinder Pro Bodum Bistro Fellow Ode Mr. Coffee 12 Cup E...
Grind Consistency (35%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
4.0
Cleanliness (25%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
User Friendliness (25%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Noise (15%)
7.0
8.0
3.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Baratza Virtuoso+ the Smart Grinder Pro Bodum Bistro Fellow Ode Mr. Coffee 12 Cup E...
Grinding Mechanism Conical burr Conical burr Conical burr Flat burr Blade
Burr/Blade Material High-carbon steel Stainless steel Stainless steel Stainless steel Stainless steel
Dosing Mechanism Timer Timer Timer Manual Timer
Best Brew Application Pour over Pour over, espresso Pour over, french press Pour over Pour over, french press
Dimensions 6.7" x 6.7" x 12.6" 12.5" x 8.5" x 16.3" 7.6" x 7.1" x 12.5" 9.4″ x 4.2″ x 9.5″ 5" x 5" x 9"
Weight 7.05 lbs 6.4 lbs 3.2 lbs 9.9 lbs 1.7 lbs
Cup Material Plastic Plastic Plastic Metal Plastic, metal

Our Analysis and Test Results

Because of its extra burly components, we think the Baratza Virtuoso+ is a great choice for large families, small offices, or any other setting where a grinder is going to see heavy use.

Performance Comparison


The Virtuoso+ was one of the more consistent grinders in our testing.
The Virtuoso+ was one of the more consistent grinders in our testing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Grind Consistency


Our first grind consistency tests involved running pour-over-sized grinds through a set of 5 mesh sieves to see how many of those grinds ended up in the ideal size range. In this test, the Virtuoso+ kept 59% of the grinds in that ideal size range, with an additional 23% sitting just on either side of that ideal. That means that only 18% of the grinds sat at the extreme fine or coarse end of the spectrum, which are the grinds most likely to impact a brew negatively. Very few models were able to best this mark in our testing.


In our pour-over testing, we were able to get the Virtuoso+ very close to the ideal extraction time of 3 minutes. We also found that cup-to-cup, this extraction time varied very little. This is a good indication that the grinder is dishing out similar results time after time, making it easier to get your ideal cup of coffee every morning.

The Virtuoso+ managed to keep most of the grinds within the ideal...
The Virtuoso+ managed to keep most of the grinds within the ideal size range in our tests.
Credit: Michelle Powell

We did find that this machine got a bit less consistent at both the finer and coarser ends of the spectrum. This isn't a huge deal on the fine end, as this machine doesn't really get fine enough to make proper espresso grounds anyway. However, the extra fines (coffee dust) it produces at the coarser end of the spectrum could over-extract your French press brew a bit. We highly doubt it will totally ruin your French press brew, but there are other machines that perform better in this aspect.

The Baratza Virtuoso+ created great pour over grinds in our testing.
The Baratza Virtuoso+ created great pour over grinds in our testing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Virtuoso+ is also relatively good at dosing or producing the same amount of grinds every time. When we measured multiple sets of grinds produced from the same dosage setting, we found only a 1.32-gram discrepancy, making it an above-average performer in this test.

Cleanliness


In our testing, the operation of the Virtuoso+ was cleaner than most, but certainly not the cleanest.


On a day-to-day basis, the Virtuoso+ doesn't require much cleanup. Neither the grind cup nor the grinding chute hang on to too many grinds. This reduces spillage and means that very few grinds manage to make their way out of the cup during the grinding process. However, the few grinds that do find their way out tend to gather in the little gap where the base of the machine meets the body. Once those discharged grinds build up enough to be noticeable, they can be a bit gunky and hard to clean.

Like all models, the Virtuoso+ tends to spill some grinds, but it...
Like all models, the Virtuoso+ tends to spill some grinds, but it generally keeps those spills to a minimum.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

User Friendliness


We had almost no complaints with the day-to-day use of the Virtuoso+, with the only small annoyances arising when we took the machine apart for deep cleaning.


This machine has one large, analog grind collar for setting the grind size and one smaller dial with a correspondingly small digital display for setting the grind time (dose size). Neither of these functions are programmable (i.e., you can't program multiple settings and then summon them at the push of a button), but they will stay where you set them. Therefore, if you tend to grind the same amount/grind size of coffee each morning, you won't have to fuss with the settings.

The Virtuoso+ doesn't offer many advanced functions, but it is...
The Virtuoso+ doesn't offer many advanced functions, but it is simple to use.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Once we opened up the machine for deep cleaning, things got a little less streamlined. While the process itself is straightforward, we found the lower burr to be quite resistant to being taken out. Once the cleaning was done, we also had some issues getting the rubber gasket to line up and stay where it's supposed to be. While we certainly didn't enjoy this process, it's something that only needs to be done once in a while and thus shouldn't be considered a dealbreaker.

Noise


Despite a sturdier construction, the Virtuoso+ manages to keep things on the quieter side. The pitch is a bit higher than we'd like, but the sound stays very consistent and steady without any screeching accents that would otherwise upset your eardrums.


Value


Multiple models on the market perform just as well, if not better, than the Baratza Virtuoso+ while selling for significantly less. However, this machine is likely to last longer than most when subjected to heavy use. Therefore, that price premium may be worth it in the long run if you regularly make more than 10 cups of coffee in a day.

The components of the Virtuoso+' are a bit more sturdily made than...
The components of the Virtuoso+' are a bit more sturdily made than most.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The Baratza Virtuoso+ is a good all-around grinder that really shines as a workhorse for large families, small offices, or other situations where a grinder will be asked to grind much more coffee than the average small household.

Max Mutter and Michelle Powell