I've been looking at buying one of theses grinders. Wholelattelove.com lets you compare them side-by-side and there doesn't appear to be any difference. To make sure I'm not missing something I ask 2 questions:
1. What, if any, difference is there between these two grinders?
2. Is the Plus worth paying an extra $50 for?
Currently, I have a Moka and french press and am saving up my loonies and toonies for an espresso machine.
If I remember correctly, the new Maestro has the same 40 grinding steps just like the Plus model. The only difference would be that the Plus model has the microswitch in the front that allows you to grind into your PF directly. Also the Plus model has a heavier base.
In terms of quality of grind I can't see any reason to buy the Plus. The burrs of the two machines appear to be identical and the increased grind range of the Plus is in the coarse settings. Both grinders appear to be entry level burr grinders with the same espresso grinding abilities.
Guess the $50 is better saved and eventually invested in a higher level grinder (i.e. Virtuoso or Rocky) if the espresso habit truly takes hold.
You've probably already solved your grinder issue, but for others out there with the same question: I'd say skip them both and go straight to the Virtuoso. It seems to be better economy to me to spend the extra $100 up front and have a grinder that will be ready for you when you jump into the world of espresso. That's if your current budget can handle it...
BTW, I own the Maestro Plus, and it just doesn't grind finely enough for my espresso machine's tastes (I own the Lelit PL041). And that is after having the grind settings adjusted from the factory presets. It does a great job for everything from drip to French press, though.
What would make one go for a Virtuoso over a Rocky or vice-versa? These 2 are on the top of my list which has the requirments:
- somewhat quite
- more or less compact
- suitable for espresso and press pot
I use the Virtuoso in the lab -- which is heavy on the drip coffee.
The Rocky is a fabulous espresso grinder that does other grinding duty well.
The Virtuoso does it all well - but is not near as robust as the rocky.
I loaned a Virtuoso to our campus Computer store along with a Technivorm KBT741.
They brewed upwards of 6 40-ounce pots a day.
The Technivorm thrived on this abuse and spat rusty nails back at unappreciative drinkers.
The Virtuoso crumbled under the pressure - its upper hopper assembly breaking in 3 places before finally crying Uncle... the fix was quick but it was not up for 6 1/2-Hoppers a day of coffee.