There’s nothing that takes your coffee to the next level more than freshly ground coffee beans.
The truth is, coffee beans start to go stale as soon as they’re ground and while they’re still perfectly drinkable they’re not as flavorful as when they’ve just been ground.
If you want to make the best coffee at home you need to buy a grinder and grind your coffee beans.
When you’re ready to invest in a coffee grinder there are a ton of options on the market.
How do you know which one is right for you?
In our Baratza Virtuoso Plus review, we’ll look at its design, grinding ability, ease of use, and share what we do and don’t like about it to help you decide if it’s the best grinder for you or if something else would be better.
Don’t feel like reading the full review? Catch all the highlights here.
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Baratza Virtuoso Plus Review
The Baratza Virtuoso+ is the upgraded version of the popular Baratza Virtuoso.
The Virutoso was released in 2005 and hasn’t been changed since then. Needless to say, it was an excellent grinder but, after years of feedback from users Baratza implements a couple changes and updates for an improved version of the high quality machine their customers love.
The black body with metal accents give this machine a modern look. A new design feature for the Virtuoso+ is the backlit grounds bin and digital timer.
The LED backlit grounds bin isn’t all for show, this change was made based on customer feedback.
As the beans grind you can keep an eye on your coffee and ensure there are no grounds backing up into the burr mechanism and damaging it.
The bean hopper has an 8oz capacity and the grounds bin has a 5oz capacity. The bean hopper is made of food grade translucent plastic while the grounds bin is opaque.
The LED light combined with the 40 second digital timer, capable of being adjusted to a tenth of a second makes accuracy and consistency with this machine a breeze.
The Baratza Virtuoso+ has a compact footprint measuring 4.7 x 6.3 x 13.8 inches and it weighs 8 pounds. It will look great on your counter but is also small enough to be stored in a cabinet or pantry.
Burrs and Motor
The Virtuoso+ stands out from the competition with 40mm conical burrs that grind coffee at 1.5 to 2.4g/sec depending on the setting.
Manufactured in Europe the burrs have a precision mounting system to ensure a stable platform and this in turn delivers an extremely uniform grind.
The burrs are high quality and will remain sharp for years to come. They’re perfect for drip and manual brewing methods, espresso, and French press.
A high torque DC motor drives the burrs. The Virtuoso+ uses gear and electronic speed reduction controlling the rotation of the burr to 550 RPM.
It’s one of the quieter burr coffee grinders on the market. The motor turns slowly allowing for a cool and quiet operation that noticeably stands out from its competitors.
This permits long grinding duty-cycles and helps the beans feed smoothly into the burrs.
Baratza has also equipped the Virtuoso+ with an automatically resetting thermal cutoff switch to prevent the motor from overheating in the event of excessive use.
You have 40 different grind settings to work with.
Baratza shares that the grind range is from 200 to 1200 microns which means the Virtuoso+ can grind fine enough for espresso and coarse enough for French press with no issues.
If you’re looking for a versatile grinder capable of the correct grind size for different drinks the Virtuoso+ delivers.
Adjusting the grind size is simple.
There’s a metal ring at the bottom of the bean hopper that’s labeled with 1-40. 1 is very fine and 40 takes you all the way up to very coarse. Just adjust the ring to fit the grind size of your liking.
Ease Of Use
Using the Baratza Virtuoso+ can be as simple as the push of one button or more complex if you want to customize grind times and rotations.
If you don’t want to mess with the options and use the machine out of the box it will be set to its basic 450 RPM and 40 grind settings which will work just fine.
However, if you want to adjust the RPM you’ll need to open the gearbox. It can be set anywhere from 405 up to 495.
You’ve got some serious dosing control with this machine.
The side mounted timer switch that was on the old model has been replaced with a dial that’s located front and center on the Virutoso+.
Right above the dial is the digital display making it easy to see the time as you set it. The digital timer can be adjusted between 1 to 40 seconds and 0.1 second increments.
The dial also acts as a pulse-grinding switch which is really convenient if you want to grind directly into a pressurized portafilter.
The Virtuoso Plus is the best of both worlds, super easy to use and also has the ability to be customized if and when you’re ready.
During our Baratza Virtuoso Plus review period, we found it very easy to maintain. We’ve used it daily for 2 weeks and quite honestly will continue to.
There always seems to be a debate on cleaning electric grinders. We don’t think it’s necessary to clean every single inch of your machine.
You will need to keep the conical burrs clean and the Virtuoso+ has a removable top burr that makes the process easier.
The hopper and the grounds catcher will both need to be cleaned too.
This is especially important if you vary your grind size – you don’t want fine ground espresso getting into your coarse ground French press.
Don’t incorporate any water when cleaning your grinder. Just get yourself a brush, it’s really a simple process that won’t take much of your time.
This is a quality machine but, there’s no doubt it will eventually start to show some wear and tear as time passes especially if you use it daily.
Baratza grinders are designed to be maintained like commercial grinders. Meaning, if something breaks don’t trash the whole machine.
Baratza has exceptional customer service and replacement parts are readily available. Their motto is “don’t dump it, fix it!”
There are plenty of Baratza Virtuoso Plus reviews that question its value because it’s at the expensive end of the price range for home grinders.
We however, think it offers a lot of value.
This is a high quality grinder that, like all Baratza products, comes with a one year warranty. It delivers a consistent grind, is versatile, and made of high quality materials.
With the availability of replacement parts you also won’t be forced to replace the entire machine if something breaks.
What We Like
The Baratza Virutoso+ is user friendly for beginners or anyone looking for one touch grinding yet still offers advanced options for experienced home grinders.
Even if you’re just starting to grind your own beans this machine will serve you well down the road if you decide to dive into more customization.
Speaking of customizing your grind, with 40 options for grind type you can explore a broad range of brewing methods.
Aeropress, automatic brewers, Espresso, French press, and pour over are all easily achievable with the Vertuoso+ coffee grinder.
Each increment of grind option is just a tiny change making it easy to achieve the perfect grind.
The Virtuoso+ is a quality built grinder with a powerful motor and commercial grade conical burrs. It really stands out from its competitors with the consistently uniform grind that it delivers.
Baratza has fabulous customer service and we really like that they’ve designed their grinders to be maintained like commercial grinders.
They believe in sustainability and repair options instead of trashing the entire machine which is a big value add.
What We Don’t Like
If you use the highest RPM and longest grind time you can overheat the grinder and burn your coffee beans.
There’s a difference in size between the grounds bin at 5.1oz and the bean hopper at 8oz. This might sound nitpicky but, because the grounds bin is opaque it can be annoying if you’re testing out different volumes of coffee beans and can’t see when the grounds bin is getting full.
Who Is Baratza?
Baratza was born in 1999 and is located in Bellevue, Washington. Created by Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy the company is known for its high quality, state of the art grinders.
They’re also known for their customer service and make it their mission to get a working grinder into the hands of their customers as quickly as possible in the event the grinder they have stops working.
Who’s The Virtuoso Plus Best Suited For?
The Virtuoso+ is perfect for anyone looking for a burr grinder that’s straightforward to use, has a respectable amount of customization options, and excels in consistency.
You won’t have to do any guesswork with the settings, it’s as user friendly as burr grinders come. Nothing high-tech to try to figure out here.
This grinder is for home brewers that value quality. When you buy Baratza you’re getting a machine that’s designed to be maintained like a commercial grinder.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The Virtuoso Plus?
This machine isn’t for someone who doesn’t want to spend much on a grinder. If you love the Virtuoso+ but, just can’t justify the price then check out the Baratza Encore. You’ll sacrifice on some features but, the grind quality is comparable to the Virtuoso+.
Espresso lover? If you eat, sleep, and breathe espresso this probably isn’t the best grinder for you. Yes, it can grind extremely fine but, you’re better off with a grinder dedicated to espresso so that you can fine-tune it to pull the perfect shot. Check out the Baratza Sette 270 or Rocky Rancilio Espresso Grinder instead.
This is not the grinder for you if you want something high-tech with endless features. It’s suitable for all levels of experience but it’s not for the high-tech gadget fans.
The Baratza Virtuoso+ is perfect for coffee lovers who value a consistent grind.
It’s great if you’re a beginner and just starting out because it has one touch brewing. As you get more comfortable you can then tap into the more advanced options without the need to buy a new machine.
At the same time, it’s also well suited for anyone who has been grinding their own coffee for years. Tweak the rotation speed and grind size to achieve your preferred custom grind.
The Virtuoso+ will fulfill your needs for all types of coffee. We really like it because of its versatility and consistently uniform grind.
However, as we mentioned earlier it is not meant for anyone who makes fine tuning espresso their daily mission.
If you want control over your grind while still having a machine that’s user friendly and high quality this is it.