Baratza Forte vs Sette: Which Grinder is Right for You?
Are you struggling to decide if you should get the Baratza Forte or Sette?
Frankly, either one of these grinders would be an excellent fit in the homes of espresso lovers. It’s understandable that you would be undecided when it comes to these Baratza choices.
To help you make your choice, we’ll cover all the bases in regard to them. Here’s what you can expect to learn:
- Which features the Forte and Sette have in common.
- Which features are different between them.
- Information regarding the cost.
- What determinations you’ll need to make to choose the right one.
Let’s get started…
What we love about the Baratza Forte is that it makes commercial-level features accessible to anyone in need of an affordable grinder. It has a sleek LCD touchscreen panel, accurate weight-based grinding design, and long-lasting ceramic burrs. It would be a splendid grinder for low-volume coffee shops or homes.
Do you need something even more cost-effective than the Forte? Then allow us to introduce you to the Baratza Sette, one of Baratza’s most affordable options. This grinder’s sturdy steel burrs and quiet motor make it a perfect match for home espresso enthusiasts on a budget.
Macro and Micro Grind Adjustment
Many Baratza grinders, including the Forte and Sette, have a game-changing adjustment design called macro and micro grind adjustment. This makes your ability to tweak the fineness of your grind even more precise.
You essentially get the best of both stepped and stepless grinders in this design. You’ll have the ease of stepped grinders by being able to choose a basic fineness level from a small range of notches.
In addition to that, however, you’ll have the flexibility of stepless grinders. After choosing your fineness setting, you’ll have another dial to adjust the fineness within that given setting, increasing your accuracy.
Related Article: Baratza Forte vs Vario
If you were to set these grinders next to each other, you might notice that they’re almost exactly the same size. You might not think so based on their vastly different shapes, but this is still definitely the case.
Both are designed to be compact. Neither one of them will need much space to fit on your counter or table. Given that they’re virtually the same small size, if one would fit on your counters, the other would also fit.
Whether you’re using the grinder in a coffee shop or at home, there are probably multiple things you could be doing at any given time. This can make holding a portafilter up in front of your grinder feel like a waste.
The good news is that you won’t need to sit in front of your grinder the entire time it’s in use. Both the Forte and Sette have sturdy portafilter forks built onto their fronts that will hold your portafilter for you.
Furthermore, the forks are completely adjustable. Their adjustability allows them to hold portafilters of just about any size.
Since these grinders look so different in their pictures, it’s natural to assume that their hoppers must also be as different as the overall machine looks. This is not the case.
On either grinder in this comparison, you’ll have hoppers that can hold approximately 300 grams, or around half a pound. As far as hopper capacity goes, they’re quite compact.
In a home setting, hopper size may not be as important and you’ll likely have plenty in your hopper before you need to refill it. It would matter most in a commercial environment where you might drain the hopper more quickly, requiring you to refill the hopper more often.
Further Reading: Mahlkonig vs Baratza
Easy Access Burrs
Just like with other appliances, maintenance is a part of owning an espresso grinder. Eventually, you will need to either clean out or replace your burrs entirely.
Baratza understands this and has prepared for that eventuality. In either the Forte or the Sette, you will be able to easily access the burrs for maintenance. Because the process is so effortless, you won’t need to spend a lot of time maintaining your grinder.
It would be extremely inefficient if you wanted to grind enough coffee to prepare a pot of drip coffee and you could only grind into a portafilter. You’d have to spend an excess amount of time filling it up and dumping the grounds into another container.
The good news is that this isn’t an inconvenience you’ll need to deal with on the Forte and Sette. They each have a grounds bin that you can grind into as opposed to a portafilter, increasing their flexibility.
Three Programmable Buttons
Grinding espresso perfectly every time takes practice. Professional baristas often spend months if not years mastering every step that goes into making high-quality drinks, and that includes grinding each shot.
You need to get the exact right amount. Grind too much, and you’ll just end up wasting espresso. On the flipside, if you grind too little, you’ll end up with a weak-tasting drink.
If you’ve found the perfect dose for your drinks on the Forte and Sette, you can lock in these settings for future access. Simply program the dose into one of the three programmable buttons on either grinder. Going forward, all you’ll need to do is choose the right button whenever you need to grind more espresso.
Conical vs Flat Burrs
We’ll start with one huge difference between these grinders: their basic burr type. Since the burrs are the part of the grinder that actually handle crushing your coffee beans, they are a key component in any espresso grinder.
There are two burr shapes in use today, conical and flat. The Baratza Forte has flat burrs and the Baratza Sette has conical burrs.
You can imagine the Forte’s burrs as two flat serrated discs stacked on top of each other. Their shape makes it possible for them to generate perfectly even coffee grounds and a richer, chocolatey flavor. The downside to flat burrs is that they’re prone to overheating.
Within the Baratza Sette, you’d find conical burrs. These cone-shaped grinding discs create coffee particles of two different sizes, which are called bimodal particles. The result is a faintly fruity flavor.
Read Also: Best Espresso Grinders Under $1,000
Beside their shape, there’s another aspect of burrs that matters: what they’re made from. The two materials in popular use are various types of metal and ceramic.
Ceramic is the material of choice for the Forte’s flat burrs. Ceramic is incredibly long-lived and excellent at reducing the transfer of heat from the burrs to the coffee grounds.
Steel is what is used by the Sette’s conical burrs. Steel burrs are extra-sharp and also tough, although some feel that they can be noisier than ceramic ones.
Baratza Forte LCD Touchscreen
The quality that has the single most modern feel on the Baratza Forte is its LCD touchscreen. Its touchscreen makes it possible for you to make tweaks to the grinder by just tapping a screen.
In addition to being user-friendly, the presence of the touchscreen cleans up the appearance of the grinder. Its front panel doesn’t need to be packed with buttons.
Baratza Sette Quiet Operation
If you’re worried that the steel burrs in the Sette will make it too noisy, you don’t need to be. It has been designed to run so quietly, it won’t disturb your entire house whenever you decide you need a shot of espresso.
The quiet is due to its unique DC motor, which turns slowly. Its slow speed contributes both to a cooler internal environment and its low noise level.
Baratza Forte All-Metal Grinding Chamber
Many people rightfully balk at the idea of investing in an appliance that’s made from plastic. While plastic can reduce the cost of the appliance, it also leaves questions regarding durability. Some even have concerns about plastic touching their food and drinks.
You won’t need to worry about the Forte’s durability. With an all-metal grinding chamber, the amount of plastic used in its construction is greatly reduced while its longevity is heightened. This is a grinder you’ll be able to rely on for years to come.
We’ve mentioned a few times in this guide that these Baratza grinders are affordable. You’re probably wondering exactly how much they cost.
Majesty Coffee offers our grinders for some of the lowest prices online, including our Baratza models. You can find the Baratza Forte in our store for $899 and the Baratza Sette in our store for $399.
Which Grinder is Right for You?
There’s still one question that remains unanswered:
Which of these Baratza grinders is right for you?
The answer to that question lies in your specific circumstances. Let’s take a look at situations in which the Forte or Sette would be best.
A great starting point is to determine what kind of budget you have. If you need the most affordable grinder possible, the Baratza Sette will probably be the best choice for you, since it’s about half the price of the Forte.
Another thing to consider is the environment you want to use the grinder in. Small coffee shops and prosumers alike are likely to appreciate the all-metal grinding chamber of the Forte.
We also think its touchscreen works well with new employees. It will feel similar to using a tablet or phone and may therefore making training staff a little easier.
What if the environment is one that needs to be quiet? A home won’t be able to ignore noise to the same degree that a business like a coffee shop can. In that case, you’ll prefer the Sette’s low-volume design.
This is our conclusion:
Small coffee shops and at-home baristas with a larger budget should consider the Baratza Forte. Its all-metal grinding chamber will ensure its longevity and its touchscreen is a nice cutting-edge feature.
If you want an inexpensive grinder and one that won’t disrupt your home, go for the Baratza Sette.
Do you have any additional questions about these grinders not answered here? Reach out to our team at 888-978-5224 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.