Baratza Forte vs Comandante: Which Grinder Should You Get?
Are you searching for your next home espresso grinder? Baratza and Comandante are two manufacturers that make vastly different types of grinders.
In this guide, we’ll be exploring just how different they are. We’ll be comparing the Baratza Forte vs Comandante in a head-to-head comparison.
These are the points we’ll touch on:
- What the grinders have in common.
- Which features are different between them.
- Pricing information
- Guidance on how to choose the best grinder for you personally.
Let’s jump right in.
The Baratza Forte is an electronic espresso grinder designed for versatility and ease of use. It has an intuitive stepped grind adjustment system, touchscreen, and compatibility with either a portafilter or grounds bin. Get this grinder if you’re looking for a user-friendly home espresso grinder or an affordable grinder for a small business.
Comandante Manual Grinder
There’s something undeniably classic about using a manual grinder like the Comandante. Aside from the retro look of the grinder, it’s made from high-quality components that you know you can trust. We recommend this one for anyone who wants the look and feel of a high-end hand-operated espresso grinder.
Versatile Fineness Settings
To be frank, these grinders couldn’t get any more different from each other. However, they do have at least one thing in common: they’re very versatile in the fineness settings they can grind to.
Either grinder can be used to make a shot of espresso or something as coarse as French press grounds. With this flexibility, you can use the Forte and Comandante to make virtually any kind of coffee you’re craving.
Stepped Grind Adjustment
The second common feature we discovered is that both the Forte and Comandante have a stepped grind adjustment system. In a stepped grind adjustment system, you’ll have a dial or knob you can turn to specific points preset by the manufacturer.
The Forte takes this system a bit further with a macro/micro grind adjustment system. This just means that, rather than having only one dial to make adjustments on, you have two. You set an overall fineness on one dial, then use the second ones to make further adjustments within that setting.
How and where the dials are located varies. For the Comandante, you’ll have to remove the top burr compartment from the glass on the bottom to access the grind adjustment dial. With the Baratza Forte, the adjustment dials are located right on the front on either side of the touchscreen.
Read Also: Baratza Forte vs Fellow Ode
Flat vs Conical Burrs
As we said before, these grinders could not possibly get any more different from each other. Because of this, we observed numerous variations between them.
One of the greatest differences might just be their burr types. Burrs are the parts of the grinder that actually grind your coffee beans, so it’s easy to see why every aspect of them is important.
Flat burrs are used by the Baratza Forte. Its flat grinding discs grant it the ability to grind coffee into precisely even particles, generating a rich and sweet flavor.
The Comandante has conical burrs. This burr type produces bimodal coffee particles, or particles of two different sizes. That creates a flavor with faintly fruity notes.
The shape of the burrs isn’t the only thing that differs between them. Material used in the construction of the burrs also differs between the Forte and Comandante.
Within the Forte, you’ll find ceramic burrs. In addition to being resistant to dulling, ceramic burrs don’t conduct heat to the same degree as metal. That means your coffee beans are less likely to be burnt by ceramic burrs.
Steel is the material of choice for the burrs in the Comandante. Steel burrs are fantastically sharp, allowing them to easily pulverize coffee beans.
Further Reading: Baratza Forte vs Niche Zero
Since it doesn’t have all the electronic components that the Baratza Forte does, it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s quite a size difference with the Comandante, as well.
We’ll demonstrate with the exact measurements. The Comandante is 2.4 inches in diameter and a little over 6 inches tall. In comparison, the Baratza Forte is 5.25 inches wide, 7 inches deep, and 14.25 inches tall.
It’s easy to see that the Baratza Forte is much larger. Thus, if you’re severely short on space, you may want the Comandante simply because it is so compact.
Manual vs Electronic
Here’s another massive difference between these grinders: the Baratza Forte is electronic and the Comandante is manual. In other words, you operate the Comandante purely with your own elbow grease.
This is a huge variation in daily use. For the Baratza, you simply plug it into an outlet and let it grind the beans for you. If you’re using the Comandante, though, you’ll need to rely on your arm power.
Comandante Color Options
Do you have a favorite color or precise color scheme in your home? Then you may have coordinated your appliances to fit with that color scheme.
Your espresso grinder can also fit in with your preferred decorating style. With the Comandante, you’ll be able to choose from a few different color options, so you can be sure to get one that blends right in with its settings.
Related Article: Best Espresso Grinders Under $1,500
Baratza Forte Grounds Bin or Portafilter
If you’re using the Comandante, you can only grind into its two included jars. This can be restrictive if you’re trying to make espresso and want to grind into your portafilter.
The Baratza Forte makes preparing espresso a bit simpler by giving you the ability to grind directly into a portafilter. Should you decide you want drip coffee instead, though, the Forte also gives you the option of grinding into a larger grounds bin made from anti-static plastic.
Comandante Natural Oak Wood Knob
It’s impossible to deny that the Comandante is one handsome grinder. We think one quality that contributes to its appealing visual design is the wood accents, including the knob.
It’s a small touch, to be sure. But in addition to giving the grinder a hint of visual warmth, the wood knob feels better in your hand compared to cold metal or cheap plastic.
Baratza Hands-Free Grinding
By its very nature, the Comandante is a hands-on grinder. You need to turn the knob in order to move the burrs inside it and crush your coffee beans. If you have to do this often, you might find your arms quickly growing tired.
The Baratza Forte is the complete opposite. It is a totally hands-free grinder, holding your portafilter or grounds bin in place beneath the dispenser for you the entire time.
Needless to say, you don’t need to turn any knobs to move the burrs, either. Because it is electronic, the motor will turn the burrs for you, finely pulverizing your beans.
Baratza Forte Programmable Buttons
Every method of brewing requires its own precise amount of coffee. You couldn’t use the same amount required for a shot of espresso to brew a pot of drip coffee, for instance.
You’ll have to monitor the grinder, then, to be sure you get the precise amount of coffee you need. Unless you already know the correct weight or timing for the grind, this can be a hassle.
That’s why the Baratza Forte has programmable buttons. You’re able to program the precise weights you need in advance, so you can just push a button every time you need to grind coffee in the future.
Baratza Forte Touchscreen Interface
One of the Baratza Forte’s neatest features is its touchscreen control panel. Touchscreens are ubiquitous these days; most people have learned how to use them.
We think the addition of a touchscreen on the Forte makes it particularly excellent for beginners. You may find yourself feeling more comfortable when confronted with a touchscreen than with an array of buttons or switches.
Majesty Coffee has some of the best espresso grinders available for low prices. That includes Baratza grinders. We have the Baratza Forte in our store for $899.
If you’re looking to get your hands on the Comandante, though, you’ll need to check other online sellers. We do not currently have it in our store.
Which Grinder Should You Get?
The bottom line is that either one of these grinders would work well in a home setting. They can both prepare coffee or espresso for you.
Given how different they are, though, there are definitely reasons why you might be inclined to choose one or the other.
Do you like the look and feel of classic appliances? Then you’ll love the Comandante, which is entirely hand-operated.
What if you want the most compact grinder? That’s another reason why you might want the Comandante, then, since it’s extremely small.
On the flipside, if you’re searching for the easiest grinder, you’ll likely prefer the Baratza Forte. Your arm will never get sore when you use it, since you won’t have to turn the burrs yourself. Similarly, its touchscreen makes it extra user-friendly.
Additionally, if you’re going to make espresso and coffee extremely frequently, the Baratza Forte may be the better choice. Again, you won’t need to operate it with your arms, saving you energy.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Baratza Forte, you can call us at 888-978-5224 or click the below link: