Burr grinder replacement for Solis Maestro? Main use: for pour over coffee

OakIris

New member
Feb 19, 2016
14
0
Colorado
Very new here, as you can see, and I have much to learn.

By way of introduction, I have been using an electric automatic drip coffeemaker for quite some time, though occasionally using my French press, Moka pot or Chemex pour over coffeemaker. The plastic on the thermal carafe for the auto drip machine finally disintegrated, lol; rather than spending money on another drip machine, I started to use my Chemex. I then realized what I had been missing by using the auto drip maker.... Sadly, I managed to break my Chemex coffeemaker - a tap against the faucet while I was rinsing it and that was it for that pot. I still have the pretty wooden handle parts and the leather cord/beads. :(

I have been making do with my Moka pot coffeemaker for the last few weeks, but today broke down and ordered a new Chemex (8 cup with glass handle,) a Bonavita variable temp electric goose neck pour over kettle (had been making do with a regular tea kettle) and even a Hario drip scale/timer. I am finally going to have the proper equipment to really see what pour over coffee in general and the Chemex in specific are all about, or so I hope!

I have been using a Solis Maestro burr grinder for several years. Not a professional grade grinder, of course, but it received generally positive reviews for home use in its day. I imagine that sticking to primarily drip coffee grind is not much of a challenge for a grinder, but it still works well and I have been pleased with it. To complete this equipment "upgrade" kick I seem to be on, I am considering buying a new burr grinder as well.

My budget is not very big - $150 or less probably - so I imagine I will be looking at another entry level machine. I have been reading a lot of reviews - the Baratza Encore, Bodum Bistro and Capresso Infinity grinders seem to come up a lot in my searches for decent but won't-break-the-bank grinders. Are any of these a step up from the Solis? If not, are there other grinders you can recommend that would fit within my small budget?

I look forward to finding out what my options are. Thank you in advance! :)

Holly
 
Last edited:

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,220
8
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hello Holly,

Welcome to the Coffee Forums!

From what I can see, you already have a lot of experience with different methods of making coffee, and you are well on your way towards achieving a very nice coffee equipment upgrade.

I'm curious. Why do want to replace your Solis Maestro burr grinder, especially since you say it works well and you're pleased with it?

The three grinders you've been researching (Baratza Encore, Bodum Bistro and Capresso Infinity) have all been used and recommended by members of this Coffee Forum in other topic areas.

While you are waiting for responses from our Members, feel free to explore the Forum by using the search box that is at the top of your screen.

Rose
 

JumpinJakJava

New member
Dec 12, 2011
389
0
Thomaston, CT
Welcome to the forum. The Baratza Encore has always gotten great reviews, and high accolades here at the forum. You can do a search to see. I personally think all the grinders you mentioned in your thread will perform fine for home use. I use the Capresso daily with my Chemex.I generally brew 10 cups for obviously more than one coffee drinker here. I use the Capresso at its coarsest grind with a Coava cone and an additional paper filter inside that(I like a clean cup personally), the brew time is a little longer but the finished product is great. You will have to dial in any grinder for your personal preference.
 
OP
OakIris

OakIris

New member
Feb 19, 2016
14
0
Colorado
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Hello Holly,

Welcome to the Coffee Forums!

From what I can see, you already have a lot of experience with different methods of making coffee, and you are well on your way towards achieving a very nice coffee equipment upgrade.

I'm curious. Why do want to replace your Solis Maestro burr grinder, especially since you say it works well and you're pleased with it?

<snip>

Rose


I most certainly haven't reached “coffee nirvana,” if there is such a place in the coffee journey, but thank you for your encouragement and your welcome. :)


I haven't had any problems with my Solis, but it has primarily been used to prepare coffee for an automatic drip machine, which probably even a blade grinder could master. :p I realize my budget will be the main constraint, but I want to get the best results I can from the coffee making equipment I have/will have.


Consistent results would be lovely! Sometimes I really like the coffee I make, sometimes it just ain't right! This was just as true with the auto drip machine (a Capresso.) Apparently eyeballing amounts just doesn't work very well. (Too bad I didn't figure out this obvious fact many years ago!) Getting more “scientific” with the process seems to be what is demanded, especially for the Chemex. Thus I wondered if the Solis could be bettered by a current model grinder of some sort. You know - better grinding burrs for a more consistent grind size, with a better way to dial in the size grind you want. I don't need an espresso-worthy grinder, luckily, but I thought there might be something out there that excels at grinding for pour over coffee and my other "manual" methods of making coffee.

I will definitely continue to read more threads about grinders here on the forum; glad to be here!

Welcome to the forum. The Baratza Encore has always gotten great reviews, and high accolades here at the forum. You can do a search to see. I personally think all the grinders you mentioned in your thread will perform fine for home use. I use the Capresso daily with my Chemex.I generally brew 10 cups for obviously more than one coffee drinker here. I use the Capresso at its coarsest grind with a Coava cone and an additional paper filter inside that(I like a clean cup personally), the brew time is a little longer but the finished product is great. You will have to dial in any grinder for your personal preference.

Thank you for your welcome! Good to hear that the Capresso grinder works well with your Chemex; the Infinity is quite affordable, too, so that is a plus. I will check into it further.

+1. Of the 3 you mentioned, the Encore stands out.

This one does seem to top a lot of lists! lol – I know one shouldn't choose coffee equipment – or all that many other things - by appearance alone, but I must be honest and admit that one of the reasons I am hesitant to put the Encore at the top of the list is that it looks too much like my Solis – same manufacturer and basic design, after all. (Is that perhaps why I am drawn to the Bodum grinder? It is certainly the coolest looking of the lot, IMHO.)

The Encore is certainly a newer model than the Solis; is it also considered an improvement over its predecessor?

Thank you all for your responses!

Holly
 
Last edited:

peterjschmidt

New member
Oct 10, 2013
1,158
0
Milwaukee, WI
The Encore will have similar performance to your Maestro... I believe the burrs are the same, or close. The big differences will be that they've added more grind level settings, so you can adjust more closely to what you want. They've also improved the motor and gear train, which doesn't improve the coffee, just the longevity.

Even though the Capresso and Bodum will perform the same for all intents and purposes, I'd still steer you to the Baratza. With either of the two, when they break you'll be buying a new grinder. With an Encore, there will always be parts and a real person on the other end of the phone walking you through the repair. Try calling Capresso or Bodum and telling them you need a new drive gear or burr collar.
 
OP
OakIris

OakIris

New member
Feb 19, 2016
14
0
Colorado
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Customer service is a big plus; thank you for bringing up that point, peterjschmidt. My Solis has never had a problem so I had no cause to contact customer service - which would be an even stronger recommendation for sticking with the same company, wouldn't it?!? And from what you said, the Encore is a step-up from the Maestro. I will give this one serious consideration....

Not that I can go nuts with spending money, but is there a compelling reason - for my uses of a grinder - to go for something in the $200-250 range, such as the Baratza Virtuoso?

If so, perhaps I should save my pennies and continue to use the Solis until I can afford to spend a bit more. I will be weighing the beans and water once I have received my scale so that should do much to improve the consistency ; then I can work on figuring out the right grind coarseness. Imagine knowing in advance (once I figure it out) that the result of the brewing process will be a perfect cup of coffee (for me.)

(Ha Ha - both talking myself out of buying a new grinder and yet holding out the carrot of getting a new grinder in the future at the same time! Should I be sensible?)

Holly
 
Last edited:

peterjschmidt

New member
Oct 10, 2013
1,158
0
Milwaukee, WI
Holly,

The Virtuoso has (I think) better/bigger burs, and more heft, and the possibility to upgrade to the Preciso burrs. But will it produce a discernible difference in your cup? I doubt it. They're geared more toward those looking for an entry-level espresso grinder.
 
OP
OakIris

OakIris

New member
Feb 19, 2016
14
0
Colorado
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
^^Thank you for that info about the Virtuoso, peterjschmidt. Sounds like more machine than I need.

I have decided to continue using the Solis until I have perfected my Chemex coffee making with the help of the new tools I have on order - and more research I am sure. By then I will have the experience to know whether or not I really need a new grinder. And, by then, there may be a new and wonderful gotta-have grinder available with lots of positive end-user reviews.

I am going to give the Solis a good cleaning tomorrow - including using Minute Rice to clean the burr blades, something I just learned about today. I am quite behind the times! - and enjoy experimenting with making coffee.

My Chemex won't be here until Thursday; everything else, coffee goddesses and gods willing, will be here by then as well. I'll be ready for my new coffee adventure.

Holly

Edited for update - after reading up on it a bit more, I have decided against using Minute Rice to clean my grinder. I am going to try Grindz instead.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top