I really can’t say enough about how awesome Baratza is as a company. I’ve had my Virtuoso grinder for more than five years. Up until recently, I’ve only ever had to replace the occasional $5 part once or twice. (They have detailed videos and instructions on how to purchase spare parts and make the repairs yourself for the most common issues.) That’s not bad, considering how much wear and tear is involved in the grinding of coffee beans.
A few weeks ago, however, I finally ran into an issue I couldn’t repair myself. The grinder just kept getting jammed, despite my best efforts.
After five years of daily use (sometimes multiple times daily) I figured, if it was finally time to replace this thing, so be it. But given that Baratza offers a service where you can mail in your grinder and have them fix whatever is wrong with it for $60, I figured it would be worth a try vs. spending $229 on a new one.
Sure enough, a week or so later I have my grinder back. They basically rebuilt the thing’s entire insides, and now it’s working good as new.
If you like coffee, and you’ve ever looked at the Virtuoso and thought to yourself “$229 is a lot to spend on a grinder” I can assure you, you will get your money’s worth. Heck, you can spend that much in a few months at Starbucks. At the very least grab the entry-level Baratza Encore at $139. I assure you, you’ll spend more money breaking cheaper $30 grinders.
In an age where most companies are full of short-sighted executives who maximize next quarter’s profits over longtime customer loyalty, I’m glad to see there are a few who still know how to make great things and treat customers right.