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Baratza Sette 270 Review: Noisy Marvel?

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Is the Baratza Sette 270 the best home espresso grinder you can get for your money?
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Baratza sette 270
Image copyright: Baratza.

Our Baratza Sette 270 grinder review covers the strong and weak spots to assure that you have enough information to decide and don’t get unpleasant surprises.

In short, the Baratza Sette 270:

  • Performs like a beast: near-zero retention, high speed, and even grind-size distribution.
  • Its plastic body makes it noisy and unappealing for design-focused users.

I don’t expect you to make your mind so quickly. Even more, if you have a loud morning already or you honestly don’t bother, keep reading to learn why it’s many coffee enthusiasts’ favorite and if it’s for you.

Overview: Baratza Sette 270

Baratza Sette grinder with a pour over set
Most home baristas prefer using the Sette grinders for espresso, but many assert that it’s great for pour-over too. Picture: Baratza.

The Baratza Sette 270 is one of three cone burr grinders in the Sette series. It shares identical components with the other two. Compared with the Sette 30, it’s more advanced and a great option for espresso lovers. Why? Because it offers micro-adjustments and a very accurate timer for dosing.

As for the Sette 270 Wi, it’s the most advanced and expensive of the three due to its cool -but not entirely necessary- weighting feature.

This review will focus mainly on the Baratza Sette 270 to see if it’s worth purchasing or not.

Past issues

The good thing about seasoned grinders is that they can improve over time. Early after Baratza launched the Sette series in 2016, several customers complained of the poor motor durability.

Additionally, while most customers and experts were impressed by low retention and even grind size distribution, nobody escaped from the annoying noise that these grinders can make.

Baratza has been working on these issues over the years, and they have already addressed both problems to some extent. The Sette 270 and 270 Wi have improved because they changed their feet to provide a quieter coffee grinding. Additionally, they have slower RPMs to reduce noise and be less likely to wear out sooner without losing quality.

Sette 30 vs. 270 vs. 270Wi

Baratza 270, 30, and 270 Wi one next to each other.
Baratza 270, 30, and 270 Wi. Left to right. Image copyright: Baratza.

Overall, the three grinders offer outstanding grinding quality. They produce consistent grinds, low fines, low retention, and impressive speed.

The Baratza Sette 30 is the most affordable of the three models. Espresso enthusiasts will find that the 30 adjustments are too little to dial the best espresso every time.

Here is when the step-less adjustment settings in the Sette 270 and Sette 270 Wi are considerably superior. Additionally, the Sette 30 has fewer programmable settings than its fancier cousins.

If you already dove deep into coffee, you have already noticed how vital is weight-based dosing. For espresso, this is state-of-the-art, and it’s pretty revolutionary to have a home grinder in this price range capable of doing that. And this is what the Sette 270 Wi can do with pro-accuracy.

The 270 models have a slightly slower RPM setting to increase durability and power for regular use.

Build quality and design

Plastic is quite durable, but it feels flimsy and cheap.

I have to say that if anything turns coffee lovers a bit off about the Sette 270 is its plastic body. It doesn’t feel too elegant, and it doesn’t contain the noise from the engine, making it a pretty loud grinder. That said, construction isn’t of low quality. It’s more about how pleasant and well-built the Sette grinders look. Another feature that feels a bit discordant, aesthetically, is the design of the buttons. They are reminiscent of an old DVD player.

On the other hand, the shape and overall design of the Sette series grinders are unique. The shape, display, and buttons make it easy to use for anyone. Furthermore, the backlit display makes using this device much easier at night or in dimly lit spaces.

Burr and motor quality

S1 and S2 burrs.
S1 and S2 burrs are slightly different and perform at their best at fines and coarse grind sizes respectively.

Overall, the Sette 270 is a durable grinder, and Baratza offers excellent customer service and technical support. In terms of durability, the only downside is that the motor has proven to be less reliable than most Baratza grinders. If you aren’t in the United States or Canada, you might prefer to consider other alternatives with fewer issues.

The thing is that most similar grinders are more expensive or hasn’t any of the advanced features that the Sette 270 can offer.

The Etzinger 40mm conical burr is a game-changer. The burr creates an evenly ground opening optimizing performance in terms of consistency and speed. The unique shape of the grinding chamber allows grounds to fall straight into the portafilter or bin.

Through the years, Baratza learned about their customers’ interest in improving the Sette grinders’ versatility. For this reason, the company developed a unique set of burrs to improve medium to coarse grounds delivery.

At first, the company called their burrs AP (all-purpose) and BG (brew grinder). Then, after further consideration, Baratza decided to name them S1 and S2, acknowledging that grind size and the brewing results address personal preferences.

Ease of use

The Baratza Sette 270 has plenty of features but is still very user-friendly. All the functionalities are easy to use. You can change the macro and micro-adjustments easily by rotating the base of the coffee chute. Memory buttons also allow you to save time to preset your favorite coffee recipes for future use.

This grinder includes an adjustable supporting arm, which can be adjusted to fit portafilter and bin widths.

Grind retention and Consistency

An even grind size distribution is crucial for coffee brewing. When you brew coffee grounds from cheap grinders, you’ll notice that they tend to show some off-flavors and aromas. Undesirable bitterness comes from excessive fines, and some hints of sourness come from boulders. In this regard, the Baratza Sette 270 is pretty consistent, producing a low amount of micro fines and even fewer boulders.

Grind retention refers to the grounds that fall from a coffee grinder’s burrs to its basket. In some cases, this can be as close to zero as possible due to the design of the machine. The Sette grinders have low grind retention because it features a clean and smooth design around the burrs. Baratza designed the burr set to release coffee grounds directly into the bin or portafilter, minimizing the chute size.

The Baratza Sette 270 has very low retention, something that even commercial-grade grinders fall short of when compared to the Sette. Several tests from independent reviewers and analysts have found that the Sette 270 offers below 1 gram of coffee grounds retention. It would be a huge understatement to say that this is great, particularly for a home grinder in this price range.

Value for money

If you have any doubt about the unique value of the Baratza Sette 270, look at it working side by side with one of the fanciest espresso machines: the Decent.

The Sette 270 is mid-priced for consumer grinders. It has better control over grinding than other conical burr grinder models and an excellent price to value ratio.

It’s also worth considering that the Sette 270 is a good espresso grinder. Many customers praise its accuracy, micro-adjustment ability, and speed.

For sure, the most serious downside is that it’s pretty noisy. Some customers don’t like its plastic body, but that’s one of the main reasons for being so affordable, considering its wide range of advanced features, superb grind retention, and even coffee grinds distribution.

Even if you don’t go for a top-of-the-line one, it will still make your life easier and save time in the long run. Why? Because good quality grinders like Baratza Sette 270 come at an affordable rate with high-performance features to suit your needs even better than more expensive models can offer!

Pros

  • Nearly zero grounds retention thanks to the straight-through burr configuration. The motor is not under the burrs but behind the burrs.
  • Multi-functional, you can use this grinder for a wide range of grind sizes. Even if you don’t feel satisfied with the versatility of the original burr set, you can get a different one from Baratza to obtain coarser grounds.
  • Removable power cord. More grinders should have this feature. If your cord gets damaged, it is a standard cord that you can find almost anywhere. Additionally, it makes it easier if you transport the grinder.
  • Even grind size distribution from medium to fine grounds. Many users claim it works better for fine grounds with the original burr set. Still, having a different burr set to perform at its best for medium to coarse grounds makes it an exceptionally versatile home grinder.

Cons

  • It is too noisy, one of the loudest grinders out there. The housing is mostly plastic which does not absorb the noise as a cased metal grinder does.
  • It would be nice to have the pulse button that some of the other Baratzas have bypassing the timer function, turns the grinder on as long as you hold down the button.
  • The portafilter cradle works well, but the rubber nubs are designed to rotate to fit various portafilters or dosing cups. Sometimes one would be turned more than the other and would not hold the filter. If you are aware, it’s not a big deal, but a more locking design would make it better.
  • If you aren’t in the US or Canada, shipping fees and import regulations make repairs complicated. So, having an easy to repair grinder isn’t as good as a low-maintenance option.

How to clean the Baratza Sette 270

It’s hard to explain better than Dani Lapuz how to clean a Sette grinder. So, if you have any doubt, I will let you with Dani.

You will be in good hands, I am sure 😉.

Alternatives

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Baratza Sette 30, there is one other option: the Breville Smart Grinder. It’s not as powerful and has fewer features, but many customers find it appropriate.

Below, I explain a bit more about my recommended alternatives so that you can make your mind.

Baratza Sette 30

Picture copyright: Baratza

If you want to get the affordable version of the Sette series, Baratza created the Sette 30 thinking about you.

It lacks exquisite adjustment levels such as the 270 and 270 Wi. However, most customers claim they’re pretty happy about its performance.

The truth is that it delivers fantastic value for the price.

Eureka Mignon Silenzio

Picture courtesy of Eureka

Eureka Mignon Silenzio has a very competitive price when compared with the Baratza Sette 270 and the 270Wi. Still, this Italian grinder offers step-less grind adjustments to dial the perfect espresso, a solid build quality, an elegant design, and it’s quieter than most grinders in this price range. And some would argue that’s even better in this aspect than many pricier grinders.

So, if the Sette is too noisy for you or doesn’t like its plastic body, the Silenzio is an excellent alternative. The downside is the usability and lack of advanced features. The Eureka Mignon Silenzio is pretty simple. It hasn’t any screen display and a couple of pushing buttons, along with a dial to adjust the grind size.

Final verdict

The Baratza Sette 270 is a sleek espresso grinder with excellent grind consistency, near-zero retention, macro and micro adjustments for grind settings, and a programming feature.

Baratza created this grinder for the home barista, focusing more on solving some enduring issues in home grinders like grind retention, speed, and grind size distribution. The major downside since its launch has been noise and durability.

Further reading

The Best Espresso Machine for Home: The Ultimate Buying Guide

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