Baratza Sette 270W Burr Grinder Review
Sure, new brands have entered the market and small new ‘features’ have been added, but the underlying technology has pretty much been the same for ages.
The Baratza Sette is so significant because it attempts to change some of the fundamentals of grinding. It attempts to turn grinding upside-down (literally) and in doing so it’s already ahead of most other grinders out there.
Baratza Sette 270W Review
Baratza is one of the biggest players in the grinding industry. In fact, this company only produces grinders. Both for the consumers and the professional market.
Baratza has long been famous for their great customer service by offering a quick and easy warranty, resolving problems over the phone, an easy to use troubleshooting guide, and even instructions on how to fix grinders on your own.
Compared to the Sette 270W, the original Sette 270 is pretty much the same grinder except slightly cheaper and excluding the weight mechanism, hence the “W” in 270W.
If you’re the new kid in coffee grinding class, the Sette 270 might be for you. If you prefer to grind your beans by weight, then you should consider the 270W.
ISSUES WITH THE 270W?
There’s been some controversy with the W-model in the past concerning weight consistency issues when grinding directly into a heavy portafilter.
Baratza has worked to develop a new set of softer feet that do a better job of reducing vibration and improving accuracy.
They additionally offer replacement feet if the grind weight of the 270W is still significantly off or if the motors turn off after only grinding a fraction of the required dose.
While it might be quite annoying that the scale is slightly off, you can still work around it, by underdosing slightly.
a few things we like
Baratza has paid a lot of attention to how this thing was designed.
Sette means ‘seven’ in Italian, and that’s how this grinder is shaped when you look at it from the side.
Compared to a normal grinder, the two burrs are switched around on this one, meaning that the upper burr is motorized, while the lower one is static. This has never been done before on an electric grinder and is quite revolutionary.
It also means two things:
- The Sette is faster than most grinders out there.
- There is no chute – the grinds fall directly from the burrs and into your bin or portafilter. Chutes have a tendency to clog and build up residue, so this is another major win.
Being that the Sette 270W is relatively new to the market, I can’t say that much about its durability. It does seem to be very sturdy, however.
Because a lot of grinders tend to leave a bit of a mess behind, the plastic used in the bin is antistatic so that you won’t build static electricity as you grind.
Baratza claims that the motor can run for 150 hours or so, which means if you make 10 shots of espresso every day (and clean the machine well), the grinder should last you more than 20 years. This is great for home use but bear in mind that these numbers will look less favorable in a pro-environment.
EASE OF USE
The controls are very user-friendly and accessible right on the face of the grinder. There are three different time settings you can choose using the backlit LED panel with indicators that let you go back to your preferred grind size.
The hopper’s conveniently large shape makes it easy to fill and empty, and because the Sette 270W grinds vertically, everything drops down directly into your receptacle so there’s no room for stale grounds.
On the other hand, the Bluetooth functionality of the 270W allows you to use the Brewbar app to look at and collect useful statistics on your grinder as it supplies the weight mechanism. This can be quite handy if you regularly experiment with different grind settings.
The Sette 270W have vertically placed conical burrs. The edges of the grounds stay smooth and keep the ideal amount of friction so that you can tamp down the coffee properly as you make espresso.
In short, the 40mm conical burns allow for precise grinding whether you want to have a coarser V60 grind or extremely fine Turkish coffee or espresso. It’s important to remember that as the burrs wear down, you could get more inconsistencies in your grinds which may not bode well if you’re trying for Turkish coffee.
The Baratza 270W can grind coffee at an impressive 3.5g to 5.5g/sec, providing uniform grinds across its different grinding settings. The digital controls have three programmable buttons that allow for grind time setting within 0.1 seconds and a simple push of the start button delivers a precise dosing.
HOW’S THE ESPRESSO GRIND?
The no-fuss hopper can hold around 300-400g of coffee and the Sette has a macro adjust of 30 steps for grinding from espresso to manual brew. There are 9 indicators for you to dial in an exquisite espresso, and for optimal freshness, the Sette minimizes the amount of spare ground coffee left over in the grinder.
If you wish to grind directly into your portafilter, supplied grounds bin, or other brewing devices, the 270W has a convertible device holder. For less cleanup, the grounds bin is made from antistatic plastic and has a spout for easy pouring into your favorite brewing device.
The only real problem is that the alignment of the grinder is very sensitive, so any wobble or tilt can affect how uniform the grind is. It’s important you don’t have the grinder near a wall and have a stable setup with a rubber mat underneath to prevent excess vibration.
It’s also said that the Sette can be loud, which can serve to be annoying if you’re planning on using it more than once a day for your personal purposes.
The weight mechanism is a common problem among those who use the 270W and this is mostly due to the grounds being weight at the fork where the portafilter can be placed. Any sort of vibrations or wobbles is enough to cause weight inconsistencies.
Are there any alternatives?
Baratza Sette 30
This new model in the Sette-line up is actually a bargain at only half the price of the original.
At the same time, most of the design and the burrs are identical. In this model, you don’t get the built-in weight, and you have fewer adjustments.
But if you want a no-frills espresso and pour over-grinder, this one is very attractive.
Another very popular option in the same price range is the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. Check out my full review for more info on that particular grinder.
The Virtuoso is a classic in the world of specialty coffee. It’s not really an espresso grinder per se, but for pour over, it’s a beast.
In fact, it’s on par with the Mahlkönig EK43 that’s used at the world championships, when it comes to pour over and drip settings.
This grinder is more of a safe bet, compared to the Sette 270W. It’s reliable and a good bit cheaper. On the other hand, you don’t get the same cutting edge tech as well as espresso capability.
The final verdict
The Baratza Sette is one of the few big innovations on the grinder market for years. After a slightly bumpy start, it seems like the company has taken care of any issues regarding the weight dosing.
The Sette 270W has so many benefits over the more traditional grinders out there; such as lightning-quick grinding speed, great antistatic and user-friendly digital display. At the same time, it comes at a very attractive price.
If you are a heavy home user, who brews both espresso and pour over, you should definitely consider this interesting, new model.