When shopping for your home espresso setup, the coffee grinder you choose is just as important as your machine. You need a dedicated espresso grinder than can give you fine, fluffy, and consistent espresso machine grinds.
Baratza is a well-established company that produces quality grinders. They are known for the Baratza Encore, a very popular entry-level grinder. Since its founding in 1999, Baratza has consistently delivered innovative, high-quality products and excellent customer service as a leader in the grinding industry.
Baratza launched the Sette line in 2016 with the release of the Sette 270. The Sette 30 AP coffee grinder is a less expensive, slimmed-down version of the 270. Both the Settte 30 and 270 feature 40-millimeter conical steel burrs. Sette means “seven” in Italian, and the gorgeous grinder series is named for its uniquely shaped attractive design – just look at it from the side to see what we mean.
The Baratza Sette 30 is an affordable, reliable, entry-level espresso coffee grinder that would pair well with single-boiler or manual espresso machines and manual brewing methods like Aeropress or Moka. Let’s walk through the features, pros, and cons of the Sette 30, so you can decide if it’s suitable to help you perfect your home brewing skills in your at-home café.
Due to its finer grinding capabilities, it won’t work well as an all-purpose grinder. If you’re looking for a grinder for other brewing methods, review our grinder buying guide.
Out of the box, you will get your Sette 30 grinder with burrs already installed, the removable bean hopper assembly, plastic portafilter arms, a plastic grounds container for collection, a wire brush for cleaning, and extra shims. You should install shim when your finest setting is no longer grinding to your needs.
The hopper easily clicks into place and has an indicator so you can tell when it is aligned. The plastic portafilter holders are inserted in the front and can be rotated to fit either the collection bin or a portafilter. Baratza recommends that you grind 40 grams of coffee at setting 15 and discard them before your first use.
Things to Consider Before Buying
The Sette 30 is a high-quality grinder with a slim footprint at 13 x 40 x 24 centimeters and only weighs seven pounds, making it easy to fit on your counter or move if needed. The hopper has a 10-ounce capacity, so you won’t have to refill it too often.
It’s a high-speed espresso-only coffee grinder capable of producing batches of ground coffee with an average grinding speed of 3.5 grams per second. This grind time is faster than most of the competition at its price point and even faster than Baratza’s higher-end Vario.
Unique Burr Design
What sets the Sette apart from other conical burr grinders is its inverse burr design. Unlike most grinders, the Sette outer burr rotates around a stationary cone burr, allowing the Sette AP burrs to produce fluffy grinds from your favorite coffee beans at a very high speed.
Now that we know what sets the Sette apart, let’s walk through some of its key features.
Features and Benefits
Zero Retention Grinder
Many Italian coffee grinders retain coffee grounds. The Sette 30 achieves almost zero grind retention. This means that you won’t waste coffee and that stale ground won’t build up inside your grinder. With zero grind retention, you will always be grinding fresh coffee.
Grind Settings and Grind Quality
The Sette 30 has 30 macro grind settings that you can adjust with the grind selection dial at the front of the machine. This mechanism is connected directly to the cone, allowing for accurate adjustment over the entire grind size range.
More expensive grinders like the Sette 270 and its competitors include additional micro-adjustments that give you more precise control of the grind size. This makes the Sette 30 best suited for entry-level espresso machines.
The Sette 30 produces high-quality, fluffy grounds. The grinds are very uniform, especially at finer grind settings. The Sette 30 has a direct grind path, and the lack of a chute means you won’t get clumps from your grind output.
At coarser grind settings, the output of the Sette 30 is much less uniform. It is not well suited for pour-over or other non-pressured brew methods. However, Baratza offers an optional BG burr for coarser grinding.
The dosing of ground coffee is adjusted by the control panel at the front of the machine. Espresso doses are measured by time on the Sette 30, with adjustments as small as a hundredth of a second.
The grind timer settings are not as precise as weight measurements found in more expensive machines. The weight of doses can sometimes vary up to 0.5 grams and can cause some variation in your recipe. Additionally, the Sette 30 has no presets, so you’ll have to make adjustments each time you change your dose.
Portafilter Holding and Grind Bin
The plastic convertible device arms allow the Sette 30 to grind into the grind bin or directly into your filter basket. Simply remove the arms and rotate them 90 degrees to change between settings.
The grind bin provided holds up to 160 grams, which is more than enough. And the option to grind directly into your portafilter is great for speeding up your workflow. The plastic arms are not as nice as the adjustable metal arms featured on some more expensive machines, but they get the job done.
Pros and Cons
Now that we’ve walked through the main features, Let’s highlight some of this machine’s key benefits and drawbacks.
Excellent Grind Quality
The AP conical burrs produce fluffy, uniform grinds perfect for espresso shots. The Sette 30 has high-speed grinding that is faster than any of its competitors. Grind quality is one of the most important factors when deciding on a coffee grinder, and the Sette 30 delivers.
The Sette 30 is a beautiful grinder. It is sleek and compact enough to fit in any kitchen. This grinder will look great next to your espresso machine.
The Sette 30 delivers high-quality espresso ground coffee at an attractive price point. It is one of the cheaper grinders in the Baratza lineup and almost half the price of the 270. At this lower price point, it’s easier to forgive some of its drawbacks.
Budget Build Quality
While the Sette 30s AP steel burr is of premium quality, the rest of the assembly features a lot of cheap plastic parts. The burr housing and the gearbox are made of plastic, which could be an issue for long-term durability. Baratza does make up for this with excellent customer service and warranties offered. But this could be a big drawback if you’re outside the US without access to their support team.
Lightning-quick grinding speed comes at a price, and the Sette 30 is a very noisy machine. You’ll undoubtedly wake up any light sleepers in your house loud grinder.
Low Precision Adjustments
The Sette 30 only features 30 Click Grind Settings. If you want more precise control of your grind size, you’ll need to buy a more expensive machine with more adjustments. Additionally, the timed dosing can cause slightly varied output. You’ll need to weigh your doses separately with a scale to work around this or invest in a more premium grinder.
Alternatives and Conclusion
If you’re looking for an entry-level espresso grinder, the Sette 30 is an excellent option. It produces high-quality, fluffy, uniform grinds perfect for an espresso machine. This affordable model lacks some of the finer adjustments and the build quality of higher-end home grinding machines, but you can overlook these features because of its price point.
Baratza has more premium grinders in its lineup if you’re willing to spend a little more for build quality and finer grind adjustment. The Sette 270 or Vario are high-quality Baratza coffee grinders that offer better quality parts and more grind settings. A Baratza Virtuoso – see how it compares to the Sette – or OXO Brew burr grinder will better suit your needs if you’re looking for a cheaper grinder for all-purpose coffee brewing.
The Sette 30 has everything you need to make great espresso grinds and is a perfect addition to an entry-level single-boiler espresso machine. We recommend pairing it with a machine like the Gaggia Classic or Rancilio Silvia.
Baratza Sette Review: Grind Your Own Morning Espresso
In this Baratza Sette review, learn the pros and cons of this entry-level grinder and how it compares to more expensive coffee grinders.
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