1] Make , Model & Year
Baratza Preciso 2012
$330 (web price from retailer)
2] First impressions
Looks plasticy, fairly simple
3] Pros & Cons of your grinder
VERY little grind retention (almost none)
Grinds container or interchangeable portafilter holder
Timer (on the side) or front push-button
440+ stepped adjustments (macro and micro)
USA designed, European-made Conical 40mm burr
Accurate (excellent grind consistency)
Ease of switching grind settings for different brew methods (EG from espresso to filter)
Very easy to re-calibrate (if needed)
Incredible customer support (email, and social media (FB and Twitter)
Looks less attractive than other grinders
Portafilter holder whilst a good idea is a little messy
(but does catch excess or fallen grinds for easy tipping in to the PF after dosing)
4] Your journey from the beginning to the present
Mazzer Mini (still own)
Spong #3 (still own)
Baratza Preciso (obviously still own)
5] Recommend or Not
Highly recommended for someone that wants to be able to easily grind for multiple brew methods, quickly, quietly, with little mess. Especially if switching brew methods regularly throughout the day. This grinder is VERY easy to adjust back and forward from espresso to filter thanks to being stepped. Although not your traditional inaccurate stepped grinder thanks to micro adjustments.
It's very fast (11 sec for a double spro), quiet (when grinding, but a little loud when the hopper is empty), holds back almost no grinds (excellent).
(older burr shown in photo)
The consistency of the grinds from this unit across all coarseness is something to see. It outperforms grinders that cost 4-6x the price of this one in some areas including consistency (lack of fines) and retention.
In the cup, for espresso, I noticed no difference in taste compared to my Mazzer Mini. I have not been able to compare filter-brewed coffee's just yet but I expect there to be a difference due to the fines that the Mazzer Mini produces at coarser grind settings.
Baratza are a bunch of coffee geeks like us, the support from them is brilliant. These grinders (I think) are distributed in AU by 5Senses, who also have outstanding customer service. The Preciso and Vario have undergone a number of burr re-designs which has improved them every time. Finally we are seeing really serious grind quality from grinders that are designed for use in the home by coffee enthusiasts.
This grinder was recommended to me by a world-known Q-grader and origin traveller who personally uses one.
Baratza grinders were also recently provided for use on the WBC2012 Marco brew bar.
6] Mods to date (if any)
7] Closing notes
This grinder fits somewhere in between sunbeam/breville for aesthetics, cost and build. But don't be fooled, it's far heavier than it appears. As for quality of output I would put it in the $1k-2k grinder range.
If you like to brew different methods, or only brew filter coffee, seriously look at this unit. If you only brew espresso coffee, the portafilter holder might annoy you a little
8] Anything else that's interesting
Designed in USA, Made in Taiwan, burr's from Europe.
Multiple improvements made over time including new (quieter) gearbox and revised burr's