Published by Ben PiffApril 7, 2016 10:29 pm
Have you heard the latest news from Seattle? Well, I know some you have because I’m already getting excited calls, emails, and pre-order requests about the upcoming Baratza Sette 270 and 270W conical grinders. Here at Clive we were excited to be early testers of this design last year, and we’re now testing the fully-sorted production Sette 270. We simply cannot wait to see how these grinders are received at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCCA) 2016 show in Atlanta!
The 270 and 270W are likely to be THE names to remember for newcomers to the espresso world, as they are the replacements for the iconic Virtuoso Preciso. Oh and don’t worry, flexibility for different brew methods has certainly not been forgotten in pursuit of better in-the-cup performance and the ability to weigh the dose in real time. It’s a true all-purpose grinder, easily switchable even to French press and pourover. The Sette includes an adjustable portafilter holder and grounds bin, and can also grind directly into most of the popular brewing devices (Hario, Clever, Able Kone, Aeropress). Also, the macro and micro adjustments are directly connected to the outer burr, which will create a more instant and intuitive change. I find the grind adjustment to have great feel and be very intuitive. It’s clear that the micro adjustment was at the center of the design from the beginning, and it will pay dividends in a faster learning curve. Efficiency is also significantly improved, with estimated grinding times for espresso at 3.5 g/sec and manual brew at 5.5 g/sec. But my first tests of the production Sette 270 for espresso were even faster than that. A 19 gram double shot in 5 seconds flat! Setting the grind timer is fast and easy, a real treat to use. This pleasure is further heightened by the hilarious speed of the thing. I found myself thinking, “No way, did it really just single dose in less than six seconds? Wait, less than five and a half seconds?” The grounds are super fluffy and kept overflowing the basket until I set it at five.
We love the drop through burr layout for its cleanliness (noticeably lower static), efficiency and low grind retention. The build quality of the pre-production Sette was super impressive, and the finished product is even better. It feels like the design will be very easy to service, and the new technology will offer a lot more information about the lifetime weight of coffee ground (helpful for maintenance planning). The prototype that we tested was not setup for espresso, but this week we’ve just started pulling shots with the production Sette. It will be very interesting to compare shots between the new Etzinger conical burrs and the Vario and Forte’s ceramic flat burrs, as well as how Acaia’s smart scale expertise affects the accuracy and repeatability of the dose. So far, our Lovejoy blend has a more pronounced acidity in the Sette than it does in the Forte. The differences in the cup are immediately very noticeable, but I need to pull more shots and experiment with different coffees and brew ratios so that I can better describe the strengths of each.
We’ll be in Atlanta checking out these grinders next week, so keep an eye on this blog for more details or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. We’ll soon be offering pre-orders, with Baratza advising an estimated ship date of June of this year. The Sette 270 will be priced at $379, and the 270W will be $499.
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