Getting a good quality grinder is a crucial step to brewing a tasty cup of coffee. Burr grinders, as opposed to blade grinders, ensure consistent grind size and even extraction.
Before investing your hard-earned cash into a new grinder, it’s important to research which grinder would be the better fit for you.
Baratza Virtuoso and Breville Smart Grinder are among the most common electric conical burr grinders and if you are choosing between these two, you’re already on the right path in improving the taste of your coffee.
And while the grinders are similar, there are differences in terms of performance, design, function, grind range, and speed.
In this article, we’ll go through these differences to help you determine which one would be a better pick for you.
Baratza Vs Breville
Both Baratza and Breville are reputable brands trusted to produce high-quality coffee equipment.
Breville was established in 1932 in Sydney, Australia, and makes coffee grinders, machines as well as other kitchen appliances such as toasters or food processors.
Baratza is a younger American brand, established in 1999 in Seattle. Baratza, as opposed to Breville, only specializes in producing coffee equipment.
Their range includes some of the most popular grinders in the industry, with the Baratza Encore being known for being the most approachable and affordable burr grinder on the market.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Grinder
This Breville grinder, also known as Breville BCG820BSSX, is a conical burr grinder that offers solid performance, a wide range of 60 grind settings, LCD display, and portafilter cradle that makes it compatible with espresso machines.
Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder
Baratza Virtuoso grinder is an upgrade from the entry-level Encore grinder with a slightly better burr, better grind consistency, and more functionality.
It is powerful, user-friendly, has an LCD screen, a sleek design, but only 40 grind settings and no portafilter cradle that would make the grinder convenient to use with espresso machines.
Choosing the Best Grinder: Breville Smart Grinder Pro Vs Baratza Virtuoso
Both the Breville Smart coffee grinder and the Barataza Virtuoso have conical burrs, similar construction, performance, and functionality.
That’s why it’s important to look more closely at their differences to make sure that you select the grinder that is more suited to your needs.
Performance and Quality
When looking at the differences in performance, the Breville grinder has a less powerful motor that has a tendency to break, with inferior construction to that of the Baratza grinder.
The Baratza Virtuoso is more powerful, higher in quality, and has been proven to stand the test of time.
The grind size consistency and setting are crucial when selecting your grinder. Depending on your preferred brewing method, you need to pick a grinder that has a suitable range.
Small adjustments in settings make a great difference in taste, especially for delicate brewing methods, such as making espressos.
The Breville grinder has 60 grind settings and the Baratza only offers 40 settings. While Baratza will perform great for manual or drip brewing methods, the Virtuoso grinder isn’t sufficient for making espressos.
The Breville grinder offers more room for adjustments, allowing you to grind coffee for a pour over, AeroPress, as well as an espresso.
While both grinders offer decent grind consistency thanks to their conical burrs, the Breville is more accurate, grinding with more precision.
If you’re planning on using your grinder primarily for brewing espressos, the Breville grinder, with more grind settings, better range, and more consistency, would be a more suitable pick.
Both grinders use 40mm stainless steel conical burrs that produce similar results. Apart from the grind size, the two devices also show differences in the grinding speed.
While the Breville grinder operates at 450 bpm that can grind 1.5 grams of coffee per second, the Baratza performs at 550 bpm, grinding 2 grams of beans per second.
Even though this could lead you to believe that the Baratza Virtuoso will also produce more heat which affects the taste of your coffee, because it is faster, this doesn’t really affect the temperature or the flavor of the beans.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has a modern clean design, stainless steel finish, and a plastic body that comes in 3 different color variations, black, white, or red that look professional and sophisticated.
The Baratza Virtuoso comes only in one version with stainless steel construction and a classic black brushed finish. It is also slightly smaller and can be easier to fit into smaller kitchens.
Both grinders have LED digital displays that let you adjust the dose. The Breville offers a better dosing technology, allowing you to program the amount of coffee for shots or cups, while with the Baratza grinder, you’ll need to adjust the dose according to your brewing method.
Another advantage of the Breville grinder is that it has a portafilter cradle that makes the grinder easy to use with espresso machines and creates less mess during dosing.
Since the Baratza Virtuoso isn’t compatible with the portafilters, this point of difference could be a dealbreaker, if you mainly plan to grind coffee for brewing espressos.
Another important feature is that the Breville hopper size is 16oz, twice as big as the 8oz hopper of a Baratza grinder, which means more capacity and less frequent refills.
Let’s not forget one of the crucial differences between these two grinders – the price.
While both machines are affordable, the Baratza Virtuoso is more expensive. But since the higher price tag comes with a better quality motor, fewer repairs, and better longevity, the Baratza grinder could end up saving you money in the long run.
If the affordability of your grinder is a priority but you still want to go for the Baratza, the Encore is the cheapest grinder in their range.
However, when comparing the functionality, grind size, and consistency of Baratza Encore vs Smart Grinder Pro, the Breville machine is a clear winner.
Alternatively, the most cost-effective option for you could be getting the Baratza Virtuoso refurbished, since the motor is of high quality and will last you a lot longer anyway.
Baratza Virtuoso Vs Breville Smart Grinder Pro: Which One Is Better?
Both the Baratza Virtuoso and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro are good-quality conical burr grinders that will ensure good grind consistency and balanced extraction when brewing your coffee.
The final choice between the two depends on your preferences and what brewing methods you’re planning to use the grinder for.
While the Baratza is made of better quality materials that will last you longer, has a faster grinding speed, with only 40 grind settings, its range is going to be accurate for drip and manual brewing but not for making espressos.
Is the Breville Smart Grinder Pro best buy for you? If you’re looking for a grinder most compatible with your espresso machine with better grind settings, and range, the Breville could be a better fit.