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solis maestro, *$ barista burr grinder
stereoplegic
anybody know how much these two have in common? judging by what i've seen (the barista up close, the maestro only on the web), they seem very similar. of course, the maestro plus has more grind settings, impulse grind button, metal bottom. but they both have all-metal conical burr, plastic housing, pull-out grounds container (didn't see whether the barista dispenses grounds vertically), very similar size and shape. the reason i ask is because there's one at my fav thrift store, much cheaper than a $150+shipping SMP. all i really need it for is french press and metal-filter drip. i don't mind a few fines in my cup, but i'd like to have as few as possible w/o selling a kidney to accomplish this. i know, i know. everything else is an accessory to the grinder: as soon as i can afford everything else, i'll worry about that.
Edited by stereoplegic on 12/30/2006 12:19 AM
 
stereoplegic
mcKoffee and a few others told me that these were the same burrs (miKe said they used to be, @ least), and i verified this on the baratza website. so off to the thrift store i went, plugged in to test before buying and... nothing happened. burrs still appeared to be in good shape, so i talked them down from $10 to $2 and now have a new project to play with (and yet another way to piss off the girlfriend). i bought a tater twister's base the last time i was there (hoping i could use it to drive my SC's stirring arms), have since opened both the twister and the barista grinder, and both are gear-driven and their motors seem to have almost identical driveshafts (though the barista's is longer). so for $4 and a little tweaking, i just might have a suitable burr grinder for french press and metal filter drip. if not, i would have just blown that $4 on cigarettes anyway.
 
RayO
If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

If you are the manufacturer of a light, inexpensive coffee grinding machine and different people come to you asking if you will build them a model under their brand name, of course, you will. The markets don't really conflict and it will help ameliorate the manufacturing tooling costs if you can use the same basic machine with differing plastic bodywork.

It's Econ 101 when they can screw on a cast Zinc base, add some detents to the grind adjustment ring and charge double for the same machine.

My grinder will be heavy with a stiff frame, ultra sharp and hard burrs, have a coin changer doser for the beans into the grind chamber with no flaming oxidation chamber for the fine espresso ground coffee.

Ducted CO2 will blow the beans and grounds through the grinding chamber and into the filter so that the coffee will never be exposed to oxygen, from roasting to brewing.

The definition of fresh.
Cheers -RayO

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