Founded by Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy in 1999, BARATZA has since been a leader as one of the world's greatest coffee grinder manufacturers. The company's founders, who are actually also behind the first commercial super-automatic latte/espresso machine and are the founder and Director of Sales and Marketing of Acorto, decided to take their knowledge and passion for coffee to bring quality coffee equipment into the home. Currently, BARATZA is well-known as a global leader of coffee grinding equipment and accessories. Even Starbucks has collaborated with the brand to produce some of the finest coffee grinders on the market.
In 2001, BARATZA introduced its first coffee grinder, the Maestro, to the world. The grinder rose straight to the top with its multiple settings, optimized customization, and durable commercial-grade conical burrs. An early trademark from BARATZA, the commercial-grade conical burrs featured on the Maestro rotate slowly for precise grinding at any setting. They don't rust, and they can withstand the toughest of beans! The Maestro also offered something many of its competitors didn't at the time: 40 different grind settings. This allows maximized precision perfect for a range from espresso to French press, giving you accuracy that is hard to find anywhere else. Of course, most other brands have tried to follow BARATZA's example, but the Maestro is still seen as the precedent for quality coffee grinding.
In addition to its phenomenal grinding process, the Maestro also features a motor with unparalleled efficiency. The coffee grinder combines a powerful 240-watt DC motor and an electronic speed controller to ensure that beans feed into the burrs smoothly. The motor spins at less than one-third the speed of AC motors, which reduces both noise and heat. Additionally, the Maestro includes a thermal safety device that protects the motor from overheating by shutting off the unit and automatically resetting it once the motor cools.
The Maestro Plus, introduced just two years later, offers all the features that come with the Maestro, plus 3 extra features that add stability and even more precision. The front-mounted pulse button allows you to improve precision for short-duration grinding, while the 60-second timer lets you replicate grind times as you use the convenient on/off dial at the side of the unit. The Maestro Plus also comes with a durable stainless steel base that increases stability as you grind.
Going Further: Virtuoso and Virtuoso Preciso
Adding to its innovative developments, BARATZA presented the Virtuoso in 2005. The coffee grinder features a design fit for both home and commercial grinding purposes. The Virtuoso, developed with convenience and precision in mind, features a six-setting timer dial as well as a high torque DC motor with commercial-grade conical burrs to allow easily replicable grind settings that provide quality precision every time. The Virtuoso also includes an 8 oz. bean hopper and a 5 oz. grounds bin, so you can grind more coffee at once. And with the included bristle brush, cleaning the conical burrs has never been easier. The new grinder was such a success that BARATZA even upgraded its design on the Maestro and Maestro Plus to match the accuracy and precision presented by the Virtuoso!
Delving even deeper into the possibilities of maximized precision and fine-tuning, BARATZA finally introduced its Virtuoso Preciso to the world. What makes the Virtuoso Preciso stand out among both competitors and the other BARATZA grinders is that the unit features 440 steps of adjustment instead of the standard 40. The company has managed to take precision and accuracy to a level never reached before! The Virtuoso Preciso retains the same 40 grinding steps featured on the Virtuoso but includes a second micro adjustment lever that further divides each step into 11 distinct settings. This is beneficial for coffee lovers who know that just one small adjustment in the way coffee is grinded makes the biggest difference when it comes to taste.
Just like the Maestro, Maestro Plus, and Virtuoso, the Virtuoso Preciso is UL- and ETL-listed. This means that the unit is not only safe but efficient, as well. With one of BARATZA's four models, you know that you are using one of the best grinders to help you make the best-tasting coffee possible.
To go with its incredible coffee grinders, BARATZA offers a PortaHolder for extra convenience. This addition allows hands-free operation as you wait for the Maestro, Maestro Plus, Virtuoso, or Virtuoso Preciso to provide fresh coffee grinds. You can simply insert the portafilter into the PortaHolder, set a timer, and wait for the coffee grinder to make coffee. Because the PortaHolder fits snugly into all BARATZA grinders, clean-up is quick and easy - usually, there won't even be a mess! Although it's specially designed for BARATZA grinders, the PortaHolder can actually fit into many coffee grinders made by different brands.