Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder 586 Review

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baratza-virtuoso-coffee-grinder-586

Introduction

Baratza Virtuoso 586 is the second burr coffee grinder in the Baratza line up from low to high end. While it’s priced above $200, it’s still considered as an entry-level model with 40mm conical burr and 40 grind settings. The Virtuoso 586 is an upgrade to the previous 585 with an improved gearbox and burr. This is the same burr used in the next model, Preciso that’s up to twice as faster in grind speed with better consistency in grind size. You can read more about the upgrade in Baratza’s website under the heading of Gearbox.

So what makes Virtuoso a highly sought-after burr grinder? First off, it’s designed and marketed by Baratza, a Washington-based company that does nothing but focusing on coffee grinders. Secondly, it’s the performance that really counts at the end of the day in producing consistent grind size for various brewing methods from coarse for French press to fine for espresso. The affordability factor is another selling point for many casual home baristas and the like. Certainly the well-constructed and built product with a small footprint to conserve precious counter space wins many over.

Table of Contents
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1. Introduction
2. Grinding
3. Hopper Size & Material
4. Controls
5. Dispensing
6. Housing Material
7. Additional Features
8. Clean & Maintenance
9. Included Accessories
10. Dimensions & Weight
11. Warranty
12. Pros & Cons
13. Consumer Reviews
14. Price
15. Summary

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Grinding

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The Virtuoso is equipped with a 40mm burr size which is smaller than a typical commercial type of 50mm or greater. The size of the diameter determines the contact surface between the burr and the beans, the bigger, the better. The conical shape is in contrast to the flat burr. The burr is made of steel that’s durable and easy to clean.

The unit is capable of grinding 1.5 to 2.4 grams per second depending on the grind setting. The coarser the grind, the faster.

The motor rotates at 450 RPMs (Rotation Per Minute) for a slow and steady feed to the burn while minimizing noise level, heat and static generation. The less heat it produces, the more flavor it retains from the coffee.

Hopper Size & Material

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The coffee bean hopper holds half a pound of beans and it’s made of ABS plastic with a cone-shape to allow beans flow into the burr easily. The hopper is not removable so changing coffee beans can be a bit challenge as you’ll have to turn the entire unit upside down to empty the container.

Controls

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40 settings are available for all purpose brewing. The grind is controlled with either a pulse button being pressed down in the front or a timer of 60 seconds on the right hand side. To adjust the grind setting, you’ll have to turn the hopper from side to side while the motor is running.

Dispensing

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The ground coffee container is smaller than the bean hopper with 5 ounces in capacity. If you host a big party, you might have to grind several batches and use a bigger container that would fit into the space. It’s possible that you grind into a portafilter basket directly by removing the ground coffee container.

Housing Material

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The exterior is made mostly in ABS plastic with some chrome accent on top. The unit weighs about 8 pounds which is heavier and sturdier than many similar products on the market. It has a sculptured look that takes very minimal counter space in the kitchen and the color of the main body is brown.

Additional Features

An optional portaholder enables you to grind coffee into a portafilter basket hands-free.

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How to Clean

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Removing the bean hopper and the top burr to have easy access to the bottom burr. It’s recommended to use a dry brush to clean out the coffee residue from the burr from time to time to extend the life span.

Included Accessories

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User Manual in English, French, Dutch, German and Spanish and a cleaning brush

Power & Cord

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  • Motor Power (W): Information not available
  • Voltage/Frequency (V-Hz): 110/50/60

Dimensions & Weight

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  • Dimensions (W x D x H inches): 4.7 x 6.29 x 13.77
  • Weight (lbs): 8

Warranty

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The unit is manufactured and assembled in Taiwan with the burr manufactured in Europe. Baratza offers a one-year limited warranty from the date of purchase. You can email support@baratza.com or call 425-641-1245 regarding warranty. Register your purchase at www.baratza.com with the serial number located on the bottom of the grinder and the date of purchase. Keep the original recipe handy should you encounter any issue in the future.

Pros & Cons

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Pros

  • Consistent grind for different brewing methods and fine enough for espresso.
  • 40-settings to fine tune the grind size to fit your needs.
  • Quieter and less static with the anti-static property in the coffee receptacle.
  • Well-designed and made in a compact size.
  • Baratza’s commitment to its excellent customer service and replacement parts are readily available and affordable.
  • Easy to operate and for cleaning.

Cons

  • Hopper not removable that makes changing beans quite cumbersome.
  • Smaller ground coffee container not best for grinding a large quantity of beans.

Consumer Reviews

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4.1 out of 5.0

78% of the reviewers have been pleased with the grinder citing it’s a versatile grinder for different types of use. The coffee grounds are very consistent and contribute to great-espresso making with crema.

Complaints about the product ranging from the timer knob loosely attached (already fixed by Baratza at this review) to no on/off button. A few customers reported issues upon delivery.

Price

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It’s under $250.

Summary of Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

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The Baratza Virtuoso 586 is indeed an improved version to 585 in grinding speed as well as grind consistency. It’s very user-friendly to operate and doesn’t take much to clean to keep it in tip-top shape. If you use it for different brewing methods but not too picky with micro-level grind adjustment, this is a great machine to consider. As you gain more experience in espresso brewing, you can always upgrade to a bigger and better grinder.

 

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