By Brandon Chuang
on 10.4.12
Photo by Baratza

Regardless of what those holiday commercials suggested as you were growing up, you can’t get excellent coffee by just scooping it out of a refrigerated red container. Grinding fresh beans is the fastest way to improve the quality of your coffee, but the way you grind is a big question mark. The Baratza Virtuoso ($249) is a gearbox-driven, conical burr grinder made for the in-the-know java set.

Burr grinders give you a more consistent grind on your beans, which in turn means a more consistent extraction of flavor — not to mention that you can dial in the fineness of your grind with 40 settings that provide a grind range of 250–1200 microns. That means consistent, uniformly sized grounds for espresso, drip and press brewing methods. The Virtuoso’s 8-ounce hopper stores just the right amount of freshly roasted beans (any larger, and the excess beans could begin deteriorating), and a 60 second timer plus front-mounted pulse button make sure your grind is just right. The next step in taking control of your own coffee destiny? Weighing your grounds/water ratio for the perfect cup. Once again, Baratza’s got you covered with their Esatto ($169), a scale accessory that integrates readily with the Virtuoso. Grind on.

Buy Now: $249