For coffee enthusiasts, the choice of a coffee grinder is a decision that can significantly impact the quality of their daily brew.
In this comparison, we’ll take a closer look at these two coffee grinders, comparing their key attributes to help you make an informed decision about which one best suits your coffee needs.
|Aspect||Breville Smart Grinder Pro||Baratza Virtuoso|
|Grind Settings||60 settings||40 settings|
|Hopper Size||18 ounces (510 grams)||8 ounces (230 grams)|
|Noise Level||Relatively quiet||Moderately quiet|
Overview Of Breville
Breville is a well-established Australian brand that has been enhancing people’s daily lives with its kitchen appliances since its inception in Sydney in 1932.
Today, Breville is a globally recognized name, providing innovative kitchen products to over 70 countries.
They focus on delivering kitchen solutions that make tasks easier and more impressive based on customer needs.
You might know Breville by some of its brand names, like Breville, Kambrook, and Ronson (outside of North America).
In the UK and Europe, they’re known as Sage, while in the rest of the world, they go by the Breville brand.
Breville’s claim to fame comes from its top-notch, inventive products, which include blenders, coffee makers, coffee grinders, ovens, and more.
They’re all about creating the best kitchen tools possible, and they actively involve consumers in the development of these fantastic kitchen gadgets.
In fact, Breville holds over 100 patents and has received more than 40 international awards, including prestigious honors like the iF Design Award and the U.S. Webby Awards.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro offers a whopping 60 grind settings to make the most of your coffee.
It’s got some nifty smarts built-in, so no matter if you need finely ground beans or something a bit coarser, it’s got you covered.
Plus, you can grind right into your portafilter, an airtight container, a gold-tone filter basket, or a simple paper filter. No fuss, no mess.
What’s cool is it comes with a clear and easy-to-read LCD screen.
This large LCD display shows you the grind setting, how long it’s been grinding, and how many shots or cups you’re aiming for.
And when it comes to precision, this grinder really shines.
It lets you fine-tune the grind time in super small 0.2-second increments, so you get the exact dose you want every single time.
But it’s not just brains; this grinder is well-engineered and adaptable, making it a solid choice for coffee lovers who want their brew to be nothing short of amazing.
- 60 grind settings for coffee versatility
- Intelligent settings for consistent results
- Precise grind time adjustment in 0.2-second increments
- Multiple grinding options (portafilter, airtight container, filter basket)
- Clear LCD screen for easy monitoring
- Well-engineered and durable
- Not ideal for very coarse grinding
- Noisy motor operation
- The initial learning curve may be steep
- Motor power is slightly underwhelming
Who Are Baratza?
Unlike Breville, which crafts a wide range of kitchen appliances, Baratza is all about making top-notch grinders for home use.
This American company, founded in 1999 by Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy, has become a household name in the world of coffee-grinding gear.
They’re known for their affordable, high-quality, and user-friendly coffee bean grinders designed for everyday use.
Baratza’s claim to fame? Precision grinding, grinders that go the distance, and stellar customer support.
Among their most beloved models are the Baratza Encore, the Baratza Virtuoso+, and the Baratza Sette 270.
Despite being a relatively small team of about 20 people, they produce roughly 150,000 grinders every year.
These grinders are built to be a breeze to maintain and fix, and they even provide handy DIY repair tutorials on their YouTube channel.
The Baratza Virtuoso
Baratza’s Virtuoso has been around since 2005 and is a coffee grinder that’s all about consistency and durability.
It’s a conical burr grinder, and it’s built to last.
Over the years, it’s been updated, and the latest model is the Virtuoso+, which is the model that we will be comparing to the Breville in this comparison.
This one’s got brains and brawn.
With 40 grind settings and a digital timer, it’s a cinch to get your grind just right.
The digital display makes it quick and easy to whip up coffee grounds without wasting a bit.
It’s got a small 8-ounce hopper, but you can double its capacity with a hopper extension.
While it might not have a special cradle for your portafilter, the Virtuoso does the job fast with a strong motor, and it looks pretty classy sitting on your kitchen counter.
Want to see the magic happen? You can watch the machine grind your coffee thanks to Virtuoso’s backlit grounds bin.
This grinder is like a workhorse for big families, small offices, or anyone who’s grinding more coffee than your average home.
Sure, it’s an investment at around $250, but it’s built like a tank, and it’s a breeze to fix and maintain.
Plus, Baratza’s got your back with their fantastic customer service.
So, while it might seem like a lot, it’s a worthwhile one for the long haul.
- Consistent grinds for various coffee styles
- Wide grind range from espresso to French press
- User-friendly operation
- Stainless steel conical burr with 40 grind levels
- Exceptional Baratza customer support
- Has a sleek and modern design that looks great
- Some grind retention
- Stepped adjustment for espresso
- Minimal additional functionalities
- Adapting to the settings may require some practice
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Key Differences
Now that you know a bit more about each grinder, let’s put them in a head-to-head battle to help you decide which grinder is more suited for you.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Design And Build Quality
Both the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and Baratza Virtuoso bring style and sturdiness to your coffee game.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro flaunts a sleek stainless steel design with a handy LCD screen.
It’s got cradles that snugly hold two common sizes of espresso portafilters.
The LCD display makes it a breeze to dial in your desired number of shots or cups.
Plus, there’s a nifty grind container that locks in place thanks to magnets, keeping your coffee-making area neat and tidy.
You’ve got color options too – it comes in black, white, or red, adding a touch of professionalism to your kitchen.
Now, the Baratza Virtuoso is no slouch in the design department.
It’s got a smart look, easy operation, and it’s built to last.
The sturdy metal base and quality plastic hopper and grounds bin make it feel rock-solid.
The sculpted metal elements add an elegant touch that’ll elevate any countertop it graces.
Just like the Breville, it features a digital timer display for dose adjustments.
The Virtuoso comes in one stainless steel version with a classy black brushed finish, giving it a modern and sleek appearance.
It’s also a bit more compact, making it a great fit for smaller kitchens.
In the style showdown, the Baratza Virtuoso takes the premium crown.
It not only looks sleek but feels a lot more sturdy when compared to the Breville, so you can expect it to last longer.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Performance
When it comes to performance, the Baratza outshines the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
Many users have faced issues with the Breville grinder shortly after getting it.
Some folks noticed that the motor was the first part to throw in the towel rather quickly.
There are ways to handle this, like using the grinder in short 10-second bursts instead of running it for extended periods.
But let’s be honest, this tip is for the coffee aficionados who take extra care of their coffee grinders.
On the flip side, the Baratza Virtuoso has a different story to tell.
Baratza takes pride in creating products built to withstand the test of time, thanks to their top-quality components.
The most common part that needs replacing is the burrs, which typically get worn out after years of continuous use.
In contrast, the Breville grinder has a less robust motor prone to breaking, with an overall construction that can’t quite match up to the Baratza grinder’s durability.
The Baratza Virtuoso is more robust, higher in quality, and has a proven track record of standing the test of time.
To put it simply, the Baratza is a lot more dependable.
After all, it’s much easier to replace old burrs than to deal with a busted motor!
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Burrs
Now, let’s quickly talk burrs.
Both the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and the Baratza Virtuoso are equipped with conical burrs.
They share 40-mm stainless steel conical burrs, which are essential for the grinding process.
In terms of performance, they both shine, and it’s hard to distinguish their results.
These burrs work by grinding coffee particles down to your desired size, allowing them to drop into the grounds bin, all set for brewing.
However, when it comes to their grinding abilities, burr size is pretty much where the similarities end.
We’ll delve deeper into the distinctions as we compare them further.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Grind Settings
In the world of coffee, the size of your grind can make a big difference in how your brew turns out.
A finer grind means more surface area, which equals stronger flavors.
When it comes to delicate methods like making espresso, even small tweaks in grind size can dramatically impact the taste.
That’s where having plenty of grind settings comes in handy, giving you the power to dial in your coffee’s flavor.
Both the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and Baratza Virtuoso are top-tier grinders with a wide range of grind settings that suit various brewing methods.
The Smart Grinder Pro offers a whopping 60 grind settings, while the Virtuoso gives you a solid 40 to choose from.
With these machines, you can adjust the grind size based on factors like your coffee recipe, roast level, bean type, and personal taste.
Now, if you’re into manual or drip brewing, the Baratza will have your back.
But when it comes to whipping up espressos, the Virtuoso might fall short.
When it comes to adjusting your grind settings, the Smart Grinder Pro goes the extra mile with a top burr adjustment for even more grind size flexibility.
Meanwhile, the Virtuoso uses a rotating burr hopper collar and a simple dial knob to control the grind.
Both grinders offer recommended starting points for various brew methods, but finding the perfect grind setting often involves some taste experimentation.
While they both do a good job with grind consistency thanks to their conical burrs, the Breville edges ahead, delivering precision grinding.
It also offers more room for adjustments, allowing you to grind for pour-overs, AeroPress, and espresso.
If espresso is your go-to brew, the Breville grinder is the better bet.
With its wider range, more grind settings, and pinpoint accuracy, it’s a solid choice for those aiming to perfect their espresso game.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Grind Speed
Now, let’s talk grind speed, where the Baratza once again takes the lead over the Breville.
The burrs in the Breville Smart Grinder spin at 450 RPM, whereas the Baratza Virtuoso kicks it up a notch at 550 RPM.
When it comes to output, the Baratza Virtuoso can grind between 1.5 to 2.4 grams per second, depending on your chosen setting.
In comparison, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro comes in at about 1.5 grams per second.
You might think the faster speed of the Baratza could heat things up and mess with your coffee’s flavor, but in reality, it doesn’t significantly impact the temperature or the taste of your beans.
Ultimately, if you’re in a rush, the Baratza would be the preferred choice.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Grind Consistency
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro and Baratza Virtuoso are both champs in the grind consistency game.
Let’s break down their grind settings for various brewing methods.
The Smart Grinder Pro has a generous 60-grind settings, covering a spectrum from fine to coarse.
Here’s the rough breakdown: Fine (1-24), Medium-fine (25-34), Medium (35-44), Medium-coarse (45-54), and Coarse (55-60).
On the flip side, the Baratza Virtuoso offers a grind range between 200 and 1200+ microns, which is somewhat similar to the Smart Grinder Pro.
Now, in a grind consistency test, the Virtuoso impressively kept 59% of the grinds within the ideal range, with an extra 23% just on the edges.
This means only 18% of the grinds were at the extreme ends, which could potentially mess up your brew.
However, when it comes to precision, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro still takes the lead.
It had 7-8% fewer grounds that stray beyond the optimal range compared to the Baratza Virtuoso.
While grind range is important, it’s the grind consistency that really makes a coffee shine. Although the gap isn’t enormous, the Smart Grinder Pro nabs the victory in this category.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Additional Features
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro and Baratza Virtuoso are both top-notch coffee grinders, but they each bring their unique features to the table.
Let’s start with the Smart Grinder Pro. It sports a user-friendly LCD screen, intelligent settings for consistent results, and a Precision Digital Time feature, allowing you to fine-tune your grind time in tiny 0.2-second increments.
This level of control ensures you get the perfect coffee dose every time.
There’s even a handy app called BILT Intelligent Instructions to help you master third-wave specialty coffee right from the start.
On the other hand, the Baratza Virtuoso comes with a mechanical timer that lets you set your grind duration with ease.
A 40-second digital timer allows you to consistently set your dose down to the tenth of a second.
Both grinders are equipped with precision digital timers, ensuring a consistent dose of grounds for every cup of coffee.
However, Breville takes the lead when it comes to dosing technology.
You can program the exact amount of coffee for shots or cups.
In contrast, the Baratza grinder requires you to manually adjust the dose based on your brewing method.
This difference could be a deal-breaker if you’re primarily grinding coffee for espressos, especially since the Baratza Virtuoso isn’t compatible with portafilters.
When it comes to hopper size, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro packs an 18-ounce (510-gram) capacity, while the Baratza Virtuoso doubles that with its 8-ounce (230-gram) hopper.
This means the Virtuoso can hold more coffee, requiring fewer refills.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: Price
When comparing the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and the Baratza Virtuoso in terms of price, it’s essential to consider various factors beyond just the upfront cost.
However, the Baratza Virtuoso offers exceptional durability and build quality, making it a good long-term investment.
Over time, its reliability and longevity may justify the higher initial cost, providing better value for money, especially for serious coffee enthusiasts.
Both grinders are durable, but the Virtuoso might have the edge in terms of long-term ruggedness.
Additionally, Baratza is well-regarded for its excellent customer service and product support, further adding to the overall value of the Virtuoso.
Consider how you plan to use the grinder in your coffee routine.
If you primarily brew espresso and appreciate customization, the Breville might be your go-to choice.
However, if you want an all-around grinder capable of handling various brewing methods, and you value longevity and reliability, the Baratza Virtuoso could be worth the extra investment.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Virtuoso: The Verdict
Who Should Buy the Baratza Virtuoso?
The Baratza Virtuoso is our preferred choice, especially for those who seek long-term durability and reliability in their coffee grinder.
If you’re a dedicated coffee enthusiast, a barista, or someone who values consistent, high-quality grinding across different brewing methods, the Virtuoso is the grinder to go for.
While it comes at a slightly higher upfront cost, it offers exceptional value for money due to its robust construction, excellent customer support, and versatile grinding capabilities.
If you appreciate the finer details of your coffee and desire a grinder that can stand the test of time, the Baratza Virtuoso is the way to go.
Who Should Buy the Breville Smart Grinder Pro?
For coffee enthusiasts who are looking for a versatile grinder with a broad range of grind settings and customization options, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is an excellent choice.
If you primarily brew espresso and appreciate the ability to fine-tune your grind size and time for various beans, this grinder has you covered.
Its user-friendly features and precise dosing technology make it a fantastic addition to any espresso setup.
It also comes at a slightly lower cost, making it the perfect choice for those who prioritize customization.
Is the Baratza Virtuoso worth it?
Absolutely, the Baratza Virtuoso+ is worth the investment, especially for serious coffee enthusiasts who value durability and versatility.
Its long-lasting construction, exceptional customer support, and ability to handle various brewing methods make it a wise choice for those looking for a grinder that can stand the test of time.
Is Breville Smart Grinder Pro good enough for espresso?
Yes, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a capable grinder for espresso.
With its 60 grind settings, you can fine-tune the grind size to match your espresso brewing method.
While it may not offer the same level of precision as some high-end espresso-focused grinders, it’s suitable for most home espresso setups.
Can the Baratza Virtuoso do espresso?
Yes, the Baratza Virtuoso+ can certainly grind coffee fine enough for espresso.
It offers a wide range of grind settings and the ability to achieve the fine grind needed for espresso preparation.
It’s a versatile grinder that caters to a variety of brewing methods, including espresso.
How long do Baratza grinders last?
The longevity of Baratza grinders can fluctuate based on usage, but it’s common for these grinders to endure for a duration of 5 to 10 years or more.
Is Baratza owned by Breville?
Yes, Baratza was acquired by Breville in 2020 for $60 million USD, including $43 million in cash and $17 million worth of Breville shares.
The acquisition was announced by Baratza co-founders Kyra Kennedy and Kyle Anderson through the Baratza website.
While some people have expressed concerns about the acquisition and the potential impact on Baratza’s identity and product quality, the Baratza team has stated that it will be “business as usual” and that the company’s operations will be largely untouched.
How fast does the Baratza Virtuoso+ grind?
The grinding speed of the Baratza Virtuoso+ can vary depending on the grind setting and the specific coffee beans being processed.
On average, it can grind coffee at a rate of 1.5 to 2.4 grams per second.
This speed is generally suitable for most home coffee brewing needs.
When should I replace Baratza burrs?
You should consider replacing the burrs in your Baratza grinder when you notice a significant decline in grind consistency, more fines in your grounds, or if the burrs become dull over time.
The frequency of replacement depends on how often you use the grinder, but many users find that replacing the burrs every 12 to 24 months is a good practice to maintain optimal performance.
How loud is the Baratza Virtuoso?
The Baratza Virtuoso is generally considered to be a moderately quiet coffee grinder, though it may be a bit louder compared to the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
The pitch of the Virtuoso’s sound is somewhat higher, which some users may notice.
However, it maintains a consistent and steady noise without any sharp or screeching accents that might be disruptive to your ears.