Baratza Sette Review | The Best Coffee Grinder of 2018?

Are you looking for a Baratza Sette review that gives you all the facts you need to make an informed decision about buying the best coffee grinder? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll address the ins and outs of one of the best coffee grinders out there. Even if you have an entry-level coffee or espresso maker, you can improve the taste of your beverage by using a high-quality grinder. When you grind each bean to uniform perfection, the grounds absorb water evenly, and you can better predict the outcome. That means that you have a better chance of brewing the perfect beverage every time.

Sometimes it’s hard to determine whether a piece of equipment is worth the price. After all, everything has its benefits and disadvantages. Nothing in this world (or at this price range) is absolutely perfect.

Baratza Sette 270W

Baratza Sette 270W


However, the Baratza Sette offers many useful features at a great price. In this Baratza Sette review, we evaluate the grinder by our usual criteria: grind quality and range, grind consistency, ease of use and durability. We’ll also tell you about some alternatives if you’re not entirely convinced that this is the grinder for you. We will focus on the Baratza Sette 270W, which is the version with a weight-based dosing mechanism (which is absolutely magnificent).

Quick 1-minute breakdown


If you're in a hurry and just want to know whether or not you should purchase the Baratza Sette 270W, let me give you a quick breakdown:

  • If you're looking for an excellent grinder with high grind consistency, capable of producing both fine and coarse grinds, the Sette is a perfect choice. It also has a revolutionary new design to prevent stale coffee grinds, as well as allowing for easy cleaning.
  • If you are looking for a high-quality coffee grinder with a built-in weight mechanism, the Sette 270W is the only choice in this price class. 
  • If you're looking for a grinder which has proven itself over the years, the Sette might not be the best fit as it's just on the market. However, Baratza surely has delivered a well-built product, which should last for quite some years.

Grind quality
Grind consistency
Ease of use
Durability
Price
Average

If you're still unsure, please keep reading. Hopefully, after reading this full and detailed Baratza Sette 270W review, you can make a solid decision. If not, just let me know in the comments, where I am happy to answer any questions.


This article can be found under:

First published: 5/23/2017
Last update: 5/23/2017


How did we review the Baratza Sette 270W?

The goal of each of the reviews on Let's Grind Some Coffee is to do an insane amount of research, so you don't have to anymore. We work with a number of talented and experienced writers, who know what they're talking about. Each writer is responsible for conducting his/her own research, so there's no miscommunication possible. When doing this review we didn't own the Baratza Sette 270W. For the comparison I used product reviews, customers comments, and instruction videos and manuals. For more information, please have a look at the disclaimer at the end of this article.

Click to learn more about our review process


An Introduction to the Baratza Sette 270W

The Baratza Sette looks almost as good as your espresso machine itself. The innovative design is sleek and contemporary. This conical burr grinder combines several features to make it more convenient than many others. It allows you to insert any dosing mechanism or portafilter into the arms to catch the grounds.

Unlike the Baratza Sette 270, the 270W grinds by weight. What does that mean? At some point, you determine how many grams of coffee work best for your desired cup. When you grind by weight, you program the grinder to deliver that amount of grounds. The grinder turns itself off automatically after it has done so.The grinder will deliver the right amount of coffee every time. Using a weight-based grinder eliminates the extra step of weighing out your finished grounds. It’s one step and done. This feature is well worth its higher price vs. the regular 270.

Coffee 101: Conical Burr vs. Flat Burr Grinder

The difference between conical burrs and flat burrs is how they are placed, the form being in a more vertical position than the latter. Both allow for perfect grind quality, however, flat burrs are capable of producing the finest type of grind. 
Conical Burr vs. Flat Burr Grinder

Three buttons allow you to pre-program the most frequently used weights. That’s not the only benefit of the Baratza Sette 270W. It’s also a fast grinder. According to Coffee Geek, it has unprecedented grinding speed. It only takes about 5 seconds to grind an 18 g dose of espresso. This is a high-quality grinder that produces uniform grounds at any level, from coarse to powder. The extra convenience features add to its value.


Grind Quality

The 40 mm conical burrs allow for precise grinding whether you’re keeping it coarse or creating fine powder for Turkish coffee. The mechanism allows the burrs to stay aligned. This helps provide a uniform consistency without extra powder or large chunks. Many grinders do fairly well either at a medium grind or even a fine grind. The Baratza Sette outperforms them at every level. You can achieve a coarse grind without fine pieces that will float into your French press coffee.

One of the reasons that this machine produces an excellent grind quality is that it offers a combination of stepped and stepless grind settings. Thirty macro settings are labeled on a stepped basis. That makes it easy for you to go back to your favorites. Nine micro adjust indicators give you a chance to fine-tune your grind within each macro setting. Some users do report that they still find finer grounds in their French press coffee. However, most reviews are exceedingly positive when it comes to grind quality.

One of the issues that can affect the grind quality is the alignment of the machine. Because the burrs sit vertically, any tilt or extra vibration can affect the uniformity of the grind. Make sure that the grinder isn’t touching a wall or feeling pull from the power cord. A stable setup will help ensure good grind quality.

If we had to rate it based on grind quality alone, we would give it high marks. As the burrs wear down, you might get some inconsistencies in your coarser grinds. If you’re grinding for Turkish coffee, you might find that the Sette doesn’t quite produce a fine enough powder. Baratza includes shims with the product. These allow you to adjust to a finer setting than what’s indicated on the machine.

The downside is that there’s no workaround to make the grind coarser than that for which it’s calibrated. However, Baratza has a solution to this. The company sells a Brew Grind burr that can be switched out with the included All-Purpose burr. The Brew Grind burr gives a grind profile that’s better suited for brewing techniques that necessitate a coarser grind.


Grind Consistency

Coarse French Press grinder

Coarse French Press grind

Grind quality has to do with the uniformity of the grounds. What about the consistency of the grounds? Have you ever ground up a batch of fine espresso only to get a clumpy mess? The best coffee grinders prevent this from happening.

When the beans go through the vertically placed conical burrs of the Sette, they retain some of their fluffiness. The edges of the grounds remain smooth, and they have the perfect amount of friction when they’re deposited into the portafilter or grounds bin. This allows you to tamp down the coffee properly if you’re making espresso. It also allows the water to affect the grounds more predictably as you’re brewing your beverage.

Without a good grind consistency, your machine might choke up as the water is being pushed through the espresso. On the other hand, the water could flow through too quickly, producing a weak shot. If you make another method of coffee, particles with more surface area will react differently to hot water than those with less surface area. This can result in burnt or bitter flavors extracting themselves into your finished cup. On the other hand, if not enough surface area is produced on the ground, you might have some weak spots in your cup of joe.

Ease of Use

We applaud the Baratza Sette for its ease of use. The LED panel is backlit and right on the front of the machine. The user-friendly controls don’t take a rocket scientist to figure them out. You can program three different time settings using this display.

Because of the hopper’s shape, it’s easy to fill. It also empties out well. Many grinders have a chute that retains some old coffee grounds from the previous grinding session. The Baratza Sette 270W grinds everything vertically and drops it down into your receptacle. There’s nowhere for stale grounds to hide, resulting in a fresh cup of coffee every time.

The settings are easy to adjust, and the indicators let you come back to your favourite grind size. Although some users have complained about the consistency at the coarser settings, Baratza explains how to adjust your manual pour to counteract this issue. As we said before, nothing is perfect. It’s difficult to account for the fact that coffee beans can be brittle and break in ways that we can’t control during the grinding process.

One minor complaint that some users have is the weight mechanism. The grounds are weighed at the fork where the portafilter is placed. If there’s any play in the arms that hold the portafilter or the base of the unit, you might not get an accurate weight reading. A wobble is the most likely cause of inconsistencies in the weight.

There’s also the issue of the grind offset, however. What the offset does is give the unit a little extra time to weigh the last bit of coffee as it is dropped into the portafilter from the burrs. This delay stops the burrs a split second before the final weight is measured. You can readjust this offset if you find a consistent discrepancy in the weight measurement. This offset isn't specifically tied to the Sette 270W, as separate scales have the same problem. This is what you get when you have a fast grinder for just 18g of coffee, it's just harder to keep up.

The Sette 270W comes with Bluetooth functionality, which again is a novelty. The app to connect to is provided by Acaia, which supplies the weight mechanism. You can use the Brewbar app to gather useful statistics about your grinder. 


Durability

The Sette is relatively new to the market. It doesn’t have the same history of use as the older models. Therefore, we can’t make overarching claims as to its durability. We can say that this grinder has been carefully designed. Baratza is a reliable name in the industry. It seems as though the company has really listened to user concerns when creating this grinder.

The thermal shutoff feature prevents the machine from overheating or burning your grounds. The plastic used in the bin has inherent antistatic properties. This makes it last longer than plastics that are simply coated to reduce static. In addition, Baratza has excellent customer service.

In fact, there’s an FAQ page on the company’s website that addresses many user concerns. On this page, Baratza explains that the motor is designed to run for 150 hours. If you pull 10 shots of espresso a day, the grinder should last for 24 years.


Alternatives to the Baratza Sette 27oW

The Baratza Sette 270W is a great, allround coffee grinder. It is our new top contender for becoming the best coffee grinder of 2018, if it lives up to its claims. 

Direct Alternative: Baratza Sette 270

Same grinder, without the weight mechanism

The built-in weight mechanism is provided by Acaia, which sells various high-quality precision scales. It's quite possible you already own something like the Acaia Pearl, and don't want redundancy. Even though it's more convenient to have it built-in, it's about an extra $130 you need to pay for just that functionality. 

The Baratza Sette 270 is the same grinder, without the W is its name (which stands for weight). As the Sette is such a perfect grinder, the Sette 270 is simple the best alternative. It is in the same price range as the Rancilio Rocky, with the two of them being perfect contenders which is comes to grind quality and consistency. If you're looking for a proven grinder, go for the Rocky. If you're more keen for the new kid on the block, get the Sette.

Best Alternative: Rancilio Rocky

High-quality coffee grinds, great consistency, proven reliability.

The Rancilio Rocky is a perfect grinder, capable of producing both the fine espresso grinds, as well as coarser grinds for drip and French press. It's on the market for a few years know, having a perfect reputation when it comes to durability.

The Rocky is currently the #1 on some of our most important list, the "Best Coffee Grinder", and "Best Espresso Grinder". However, if the Sette turns out to be what Baratza promises us, the Rocky will likely end up one place lower, when the Sette becomes the new #1 for 2018. It's too soon to tell now. 

You can't go wrong with the Rancilio Rocky, which comes in both a doserless version (which is displayed on the left) and a version with doser


Rounding up the Baratza Sette Review

We were really excited to see an electronic grinder come onto the market that addressed consumers’ need for convenience without sacrificing quality. In fact, we think that the Sette models the same—if not better—quality as all of Baratza’s equipment.

This is a solid piece of equipment with lots of pros and few cons. If you want to splurge on some coffee-making equipment, we think this would be a great place to start.

Thanks for reading. Please let us know if you try the Sette. We would love to hear about your experience.


Resources used for this review