Over the last year or so, I've become a little obsessed with espresso. Last July one of my co-workers taught me how to pull good espresso with a professional grade, semi-automatic espresso machine. Although I no longer work with him, the espresso bug he gave me is still going strong. For a while I've been hunting for a good deal on a well made, fixable, and hackable espresso machine. When I finally found one, I realized I needed a grinder to go with it.
Since I was anxious to start making coffee again, I decided to go with something I could get off Amazon. I decided to go with the Baratza Virutoso, a good middle of the road grinder for two reasons. First, it was Prime eligible so when I ordered on Wednesday, I had it for the weekend to share espresso with friends. Second, the primary complaint against this grinder was the fineness of the grind which could be adjusted. Perfect! A hackable grinder to match the espresso machine.
I was actually pulling very delicious shots without modification, but for some reason I was a little anxious to take it apart and play with it. To my surprise, the instructions for this "hack" were on Baratza's website! Apparently when a hack is instructed by the manufacturer, it's called a "calibration." The instructions were straightforward and the calibration was uneventful. Here's some pictures:
During the disassembly, I was pretty impressed with this device. All of the functional components seemed to be cleverly designed and well built. There were also a few opportunities for further hacks to improve the grinder. Even better, the entire machine was made to be dis-assembled, re-assembled, and fixed. I don’t think I see many kitchen appliances that I can own or appreciate to this extent. Here are a few examples: