Baratza will repair their branded grinders for free at the Meet the Maker event at The Crown, as well as teach attendees how to maintain their equipment.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Baratza
At a time when basic espresso repair maintenance is graciously offered more commonly at industry events, other equipment makers are getting into the game too.
This week on Wednesday, August 21, specialty-coffee grinder manufacturer Baratza is joining forces with The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room in Oakland, Calif., to lay down the basics of maintaining and fixing their equipment. Inspired by the sustainability initiatives of the Patagonia Worn Wear events, “Meet the Maker: Baratza—Grind Quality Inside and Out” is a workshop that will spark conversation about innovation, sustainability, and grind quality.
Baratza’s service and support managers Pierce Jens and Quinn Anderson will facilitate the conversation and show users how to get the most out of their grinders; they encourage attendees to bring their own Baratza grinders for repair (free of charge) or to learn how to troubleshoot, as well as as learn about the design of these grinders. You don’t have to own their grinders to attend either (but you do have the chance to win a Virtuoso+). This free event is open to potential owners or even people responsible for equipment repair and maintenance at their own jobs, and if you can’t make it to Oakland, you can tune in via live stream.
We spoke with Pierce about his own tips for keeping your grinder sharp and pretty, along with some suggestions for solid introductory Baratza products.
Katrina Yentch: With recent workshops available at events outside of the Specialty Coffee Expo that help people repair their espresso machines, what inspired you to host a Baratza workshop?
Pierce Jens: Creating an opportunity that invites the “something special” and human (that online content can’t quite capture) is always an exciting prospect for us. At Baratza we have an ongoing conversation of sustainability that merges with coffee, tech, and business. A recent conversation discussing Patagonia’s Worn Wear events inspired us further, and who better to share this conversation with than our users, especially those with technical interests? And what better venue than at our longtime friends’ stunning complex, The Crown?! I am stoked for this week and hope that many attendees bring their grinders in for repair!
What is one of the most important things you should do to maintain your Baratza at home?
Use it often! Seriously—our grinders aren’t thirsty for regular maintenance, but a good cleaning with a brush or tablets can be in order if stale coffee has been aging in the unit.
What is the most common repair that you have to do on Baratza grinders?
Changing the upper burr holder is the most common repair, for it is designed to break in the event of a green bean or foreign object getting between the burrs. Similar to a nail puncturing your car tire, it shouldn’t be a chronic issue and is easily fixed by replacing the $4 burr holder at home yourself!
What is an easy fix for a common Baratza repair that you can simply do yourself?
If you are up for it, anything can be fixed at home. Our design, support, parts availability, and repair info online are all created with the intent to keep your grinder in action, not tossed in the landfill and replaced. If you are in the U.S. and don’t have a technical bone in your body, we still want to see your Baratza grinder lasting for years and have a repair service program to encourage such.
If you’re buying a grinder for the first time from Baratza, is there a certain model you recommend?
I recommend the Virtuoso+ to anyone asking. The digital timer provides consistency, a key to finding the way to make the best coffee. The burrs grind fast, adjust French press coarse to espresso fine, and have a superb particle distribution. The Encore is a very close second, and if you get more specific we can guide you toward models that may be a better fit.