Baratza Sette 270 Review: A Reliable Espresso Grinder
Baratza has some of the best entry-level grinders around. But, their mid-range Sette 270 offers a step up for the home espresso enthusiast. It has more grind settings, a faster grind speed, and claims more consistent grinds. Yet, is it worth the extra cash?
Find out if this is the right espresso grinder for you with this Baratza Sette 270 review.
Summary: The Baratza Sette 270
- 30 macro and 9 micro grind settings for excellent control
- Zero retention design for fluffy grounds and less mess
- Versatile enough for espresso and pour over
I don’t really feel there is another grinder at this price point that is as good.– Alistair M, Customer
The Full Baratza Sette 270 Review
American brand Baratza focuses only on grinders. So there’s an option for pretty much any grinding need you might have. They introduced the Sette range in 2016 as the brand’s mid-range option, with the 270 model taking out the SCA Award for Best New Product that year (1).
Sette grinders are marketed as espresso grinders, but with enough range to take on manual brewing methods. The stripped-down Sette 30 offers a budget option, with only 30 grind settings. The 270 and 270Wi both have the same inner workings, but the 270 grinds by time, whereas the Sette 270Wi grinds by weight – for which you can expect a jump in price.
This review covers the Baratza Sette 270 only.
Design – 4/5
The Baratza Sette’s unique design makes it instantly distinguishable from other grinders. Sette means ‘seven’ in Italian, and you can see from the silhouette why this line of espresso grinders has this name. It’s a bold design that isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but it’s certainly going to stand out.
Burrs and motor
The most important design feature of the Sette 270 is on the inside. In most conical burr grinders, the inner burr spins while the outer burr remains static. Baratza was the first brand to reverse this by attaching the motor to the outer burr instead. In addition, the burrs are mounted vertically rather than horizontally, so the ground coffee falls directly from the hopper to the portafilter holder. For you, this means less grind retention and more fluffy grinds.
…the extent to which grind retention matters to you depends on your preferred grinding routine, and how often you’re making drinks.
Zero retention grinders are perfect for home use. In a cafe where you’re constantly grinding, any residue in the grinder is pushed through by the next batch of beans. If you’re only making coffee in the morning, you’ll end up with stale bits of coffee sitting in your grinder all day. Grind retention also means you waste coffee and can make it harder to dose correctly as your output won’t match your carefully measured input.
Hopper and grounds bin
The straight-through design of the grinder mechanism eliminates the need for a coffee chute and allows more versatility when it comes to how you collect your grounds. With the Baratza Sette 270, you can grind coffee into the included grounds bin, a portafilter, and even grind directly into your brewing device.
Underneath the burrs are a pair of adjustable arms that swing into cradle portafilters between 49mm and 58mm. There’s a small hook in the centre that keeps it horizontal. Push the portafilter holder out to the widest setting, and you can use the anti-static grounds bin, which holds up to 160g.
It’s also made to fit the most popular brewing devices including Hario v60, Kalita Wave, or the Clever Dripper.
The bean hopper holds a respectable 250 grams. Baratza sells an optional hopper extender, which will add an extra 275 g capacity, but we don’t recommend using your bean hopper as storage if you want to maintain peak freshness.
Storage and portability
With a base measuring just 13 x 23.8 cm, you’ll find it’s slim enough to slide between other appliances on your counter. The 39.7-cm height might be too tall for some cabinets, though, so be sure to measure before you buy.
One minor but handy feature is the removable cord. You won’t always find this on grinders. The removable cord makes it easier to pack away and transport and means you can replace it in the case of faults.
Durability – 4/5
The housing of the Baratza Sette 270 is predominantly plastic, but don’t let that put you off – it’s what you’d expect for a grinder in this price range. It keeps both the cost and the weight down, with all of the Sette grinders weighing the same or less than the brand’s entry-level models.
Metal parts have been used where it counts, including the portafilter holders, the burr carrier, and of course, the burrs themselves. The 40mm steel S1 conical burrs are produced by Swiss burr manufacturer Etzinger. Etzinger also makes mechanisms for Orphan, Flair Espresso, and La Marzocco grinders, so you know you’re in good company (2).
The Sette range of grinders are prosumer coffee grinders, and are ultimately designed for home use only. So as long as you stick to this, you’ll get a lot of use out of your Sette 270. The motor’s lifespan is rated for 150 hours, and grinding enough coffee for a double shot of espresso should only take around 5 seconds (3).
Home Grounds is a big fan of Baratza because it encourages customers to repair products rather than purchasing a whole grinder. For the most part, minor repairs can be done at home (with Baratza’s online tutorials), and replacement parts are readily available, even for discontinued models.
In the case of the Sette 270, you should be aware that you won’t be able to replace the burrs yourself. Due to the unique design mentioned above, the spinning burr forms part of the gearbox (4). This makes it a slightly more complicated task and a more expensive one.
Ease of Use – 4.5/5
Operating the Baratza Sette 270 is incredibly straightforward. The LCD front panel might look a bit old school, but this makes it very intuitive, with no hidden menus or symbols to remember. The settings here control the grind time, with up and down arrows that let you adjust the timing to 1/100th of a second. Then it’s as simple as pressing the start button and letting the grinder do its thing.
On the side of the panel are three buttons for programming your favourite grind times. This handy feature on an all-purpose home burr grinder such as the Sette 270. You could save different timings for espresso, AeroPress, and batch pour-over brewing.
There isn’t a standalone pulse button on the panel, but it is possible to grind a bit extra if you haven’t got the timing right. Simply press and hold the start button to bypass the timer – the machine will continue grinding until you lift your finger.
The 270 model uses timed grinding only, so you’ll need to know what time equates to what amount of coffee beans or weigh things out beforehand. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the Sette 270Wi to grind by weight.
The grind setting is adjusted by two rings that sit just under the burrs. The top one is numbered 1-30 for macro settings, and the bottom one is labelled with the letters A-I for micro settings.
Where the Sette 270 loses some points is the noise levels – this is a loud grinder. The way the burrs are designed means that they sit much closer to the front of the machine. Combine this with the plastic casing, and there’s very little to dampen the noise. Thankfully it’s a low noise rather than a high-pitched whine, and the fast grind speed means you don’t have to put up with it for long.
Ease of cleaning
The unique burr design isn’t just practical for grinding; it also makes cleanup a lot easier. There’s a lot less mess, to begin with. The lack of a chute reduces static, so all ground coffee falls neatly into the portafilter or grounds bin. There’s a rubber mat at the grinder’s base that you lift out and shake off if there is any spillage.
If you’re making coffee daily, you’ll need to give the burrs a good clean once a month. Accessing the burrs just requires a hex key, after which you can remove any coffee grounds with a brush. Alternatively, you can use coffee grinder tablets, but be aware that these only work for maintenance cleaning and won’t help unclog a grinder (5).
What’s great is that you can remove the hopper without emptying it. A small lever on the side will close off the chute at the bottom.
Note that none of the removable parts, including the bean hopper, hopper lid, or grounds bin, are dishwasher safe, and these will need to be hand-washed using warm soapy water and allowed to dry completely before reassembling.
Grinding Capability – 4/5
The Baratza Sette 270 perfectly straddles the line between espresso grinder and all-rounder. The entire Sette range is calibrated towards fine grinds, with grind sizes from 230-950 microns. This is ideal for espresso, especially when you consider the number of settings.
On paper, this grinder has 270 grind settings, made up of 30 macro settings and 9 micro settings. In reality, it features step-less micro-adjustment, a first for Baratza, and addition that essentially allows you to make infinite grind adjustments.
It’s easy to be impressed by a wide grind range, but what matters most for a grinder is its consistency. In independent testing, the Baratza Sette 270 outperformed most grinders in its class for espresso and manual brew methods.
Where the Baratza 270 falls is with a coarser grind size. While you might technically be able to grind coarsely enough for French press or cold brew, you will not get the excellent grind consistency that you would with a fine grind.
Unlike some other Baratza grinders, the burrs can’t be calibrated to grind more coarsely. Instead, you can install the S2 burr set (previously known as the BG or brew grind set), which is better for manual methods.
A standout feature of the entire Sette range is the speed at which it will get through beans. The vertical burr positioning backed by the high torque motor results in a grind speed of 3.5g/second for espresso and up to 5g/second for coarser grinds – a fast clip even for many commercial grinders. This means the grinder produces the coffee for your morning double shot in just 5 seconds, and even grinding for a 4-cup Chemex will take just over 10 seconds.
Value for Money – 4.5/5
Whether the Baratza Sette 270 represents good value for you ultimately comes down to whether you want a solid all-rounder or a grinder that is more geared towards particular coffee brewing methods.
If you’re only brewing filter coffee, you can certainly get away with a cheaper grinder.
For an excellent espresso grinder that also does most manual brew methods, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck here. It delivers a uniform grind, you have plenty of room to experiment with finer grind settings, and the speed on this thing makes it incredibly convenient. Baratza’s excellent customer service shouldn’t be overlooked either.
All these reasons are why Baratza Sette 270 makes the Home Grounds top coffee grinders for home use.
Do Not Buy If…
- You want a high-end grinder — Mahlkonig traditionally made commercial grinders but ventured into the consumer market with the X54. It’s a big jump in price from the Sette 270, but you’ll get a wide grind range that can go from espresso to French press quickly and with a lot less noise. Read the full Mahlkonig X54 review.
- You’re mainly into drip coffee — A dedicated espresso grinder is always more expensive, so if you’re only brewing by manual methods, you can get an excellent grinder for a lot less. The OXO Brew conical burr grinder is one such affordable option, and it produces a grind quality suitable for pour-over, French press, and even cold brew with remarkable consistency.
- You want a compact (and quiet) option — Eureka coffee grinders are unusually compact, with the most popular Mignon models under 35.5 cm high. Eureka uses anti-vibration technology to reduce the noise of the grinder by around 20dB. The range is extensive to pick from grinders for the perfect espresso, drip, and even Turkish coffee.
There are plenty of fine consumer grinders you can buy for less than the price of the Baratza Sette 270. But if you want a grinder that can deliver the grind consistency you need for a good home espresso machine, it’s hard to go past this model. The Baratza’s reputation for durability, ease of use, and the fact that it can grind for pour-over, complete the package.
- SCAA2016 Best New Product. (2019, May 8). Baratza. https://baratza.com/best-new-product/
- Commercial On-Demand-Espresso-Grinder: About our customers. (n.d.). Etzinger. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://etzinger-ag.com/our-story/about-our-customers
- Baratza Sette 270 – FAQ and Troubleshooting. (n.d.). Clive Coffee. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://clivecoffee.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002932867-Baratza-Sette-270-FAQ-and-Troubleshooting
- Baratza Sette 270 & 270Wi Coffee Grinders. (2021, February 22). Whole Latte Love. https://www.wholelattelove.com/blogs/reviews/baratza-sette-270-270w-coffee-grinders
- Kaufman, N. (2021, August 9). You Should Probably Clean Your Coffee Grinder—These Tablets Make It Easy. Epicurious. https://www.epicurious.com/shopping/i-almost-never-cleaned-my-coffee-grinder-until-i-found-these-tablets-article