A good coffee grinder is a must-have if you want to brew cafe-quality espresso in your home. If you’ve been shopping for an at-home espresso grinder, you most likely have come across Baratza – one of the most prominent names in the coffee grinding industry.
Of all the Baratza grinders, the Sette is a standout entry-level espresso grinder. The Sette comes in three versions – the 30 AP, the 270, and the 270wi. We’ll highlight the key features and differences between these models so you can figure out which is right for you.
Baratza Sette Overview
The Baratza Sette is a hugely popular entry-level espresso grinder. Each Sette model is equipped with 40-millimeter conical steel burrs. Unlike most grinders, the Sette’s outer burr spins around a static inner burr, allowing the Sette to produce high-quality ground coffee with almost zero grind retention.
You won’t be left with stale ground stuck inside after the grinding process. With the 7-shaped body, the Sette grinds directly into your portafilter or bin without a chute. The Sette is a high-speed grinder with a grind speed of 3.5 – 5.5 grams per second.
The standard S1 40-millimeter steel burrs produce a very fine and consistent grind. The direct grind path will never give you clumps, only fluffy grinds. The S1 burrs are perfect for espresso grinding but do not grind as uniform at coarser settings. If you want to grind for other brew methods, Baratza has an optional S2 Brew Grind Burr for coarser grind options.
There are many similarities between the 30, 270, and 270wi. Across the Sette series, the dimensions are the same. Measuring 13 x 40 x 24 centimeters and weighing seven pounds, the Sette will easily fit on your kitchen counter.
Each model comes standard with a 10-ounce hopper, adjustable arms for portafilter holding, and a plastic grounds container. In addition, every model has the same grind range of 230 – 950 microns. However, these machines are not the same; they differ in some important features and by a significant price range.
Sette 30 AP vs. 270 vs. 270wi
Each Sette model has key differences that set them apart. The Sette 30 is the cheapest of the three and lacks some of the 270 and 270 wi features. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of each model and find out if the 270 is worth the extra cash.
The Sette 30, the cheaper espresso grinder, has the lowest quality build. Where the 270 and 270wi have a metal burr casing, the 30 has a cheaper plastic one. While this might seem like nitpicking, this could pose an issue for the long-term reliability of the 30.
It is worth noting that those in the US have access to Baratza’s excellent support team should your grinder fail. But durability could be a concern if you’re outside the United States.
The 30 AP has 30 macro grind settings. Between each macro adjustment, the 270 and 270wi have an additional nine micro-adjustments for a total of 270 different grind settings. The 270 models’ finer control allows for a much more precise brewing process. If you are interested in perfecting your espresso recipe, the additional micro settings will give you the most control.
The 30’s portafilter arms are made of plastic and can only adjust to two positions. Removing the plastic arms from the 30 and rotating them 90 degrees allows you to switch from holding the portafilter to the coffee ground bin.
The 270 and 270wi have sturdy metal portafilter forks. They are fully adjustable and don’t need to be removed to accommodate your portafilter or grind bin. While the 30’s plastic forks get the job done, the 270 models’ metal forks are more durable, easier to use and give the machine a more premium look.
Dosing is controlled by a digital timer on the Sette 30 coffee bean grinder. Grind time can be adjusted to one-hundredth of a second under ten seconds and by one-tenth over ten seconds. The 270 has the additional feature of three timing presets. You can save three presets to use when you switch between recipes, making adjusting your doses by the time that much easier.
The built-in Acaia Scale sets the 270wi apart from the others, allowing you to measure your dose by weight. You can select three presets and grind your beans by weight to a tenth of the gram. While timed grinding in the 30 and the 270 can cause some variation in your output weight, the Acaia scale technology allows for exact dosing. The Acaia scale also has Bluetooth connectivity to update grinder firmware.
RPM and Noise Level
The Sette is a very loud grinder. High-speed grinding comes at the cost of waking up any light sleepers in your house. The 270wi has been updated with a slightly lower RPM than the 270 and 30. While this does mean grinding is a little slower, the 270wi is a much quieter grinder. The lower RPM will also ensure the longevity of your burrs and gearbox.
Which one should you choose?
Is the Sette 30 Good Enough for Espresso?
The Sette 30 is an excellent espresso grinder if you’re on a tight budget or an entry-level user. Each model shares the same burrs and grind range, so you’ll get the same grind quality. While you’ll lack the finer control given by the micro-adjustments, the 30 is an excellent burr grinder capable of brewing great espresso. It would make a great pairing with one of these entry-level espresso machines.
Is the Sette 270 worth it?
If you’re a more experienced home barista, the 270’s added features might justify the higher price range. This innovative coffee grinder’s additional micro-adjustments will give you a wide range of grind settings, so you can really fine-tune your recipe. The higher quality portafilter forks and metal burr casing are a bonus for the long-term durability of the grinder. Finally, the option for preset timer settings will speed up your workflow.
The 270wi is the most expensive grinder in the series. If you need to grind by weight, this is the best option for you. The built-in Acaia scale will give you precise dosing every time.
You could find a cheaper workaround by weighing your 270 or 30 doses with a separate scale, but you may waste a small amount of coffee grounds in the process. The 270wi offers the complete package and is the best in the Sette series to pair with a high-end espresso machine.
Upgrading the Sette 30
As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that the Sette 30 standard grinder can be upgraded with the micro-adjustment ring found on the 270 models. If you’re comfortable with a little tinkering, you can add the micro-adjustment option down the line once you’ve saved a little more money and have more experience brewing espresso. The Baratza website sells this part separately and even provides an installation guide.