January 17, 2023 4 min read

The dedicated team at Baratza has been changing the face of home grinding for specialty coffee enthusiasts for many years – introducing the ground-breaking Vario grinder over a decade ago. To this day, the Vario often remains the go-to recommendation for an entry-point into higher-end home grinding.

Meanwhile, Baratza has continued innovating with a range of grinding options, more recently introducing the stunning Vario W+, a fully integrated real-time weight-based grinder.

So with upgrades and new features emerging all the time, does the Baratza Sette 30 AP still hold ground? Here we take an in-depth look at this popular model to understand why it’s won the hearts of so many home baristas.

Can the Baratza Sette 30 do espresso?

The BaratzaSette 30 AP is the more affordable cousin of the award-winning Sette 270, which was voted the best new product by the specialty coffee association back in 2016.

So how well does the Baratza Sette 30 AP fare on the grind range? The secret’s in the name – it has 30 macro grind settings allowing you to fine-tune your grind. This makes it ideally suited to home brewing with single boiler or entry-level espresso machines or for brew methods like AeroPress or pour over where micro grind size is a little less critical.

How easy is the Baratza Sette 30 AP to use?

This intuitive model makes prep work easy with a stationary device holder that allows you to remove and re-orient the arms to grind directly into the supplied grounds bin or a portafilter – a standout feature among all other home grinders.

A stylish front-mounted backlit LED display makes the Sette 30 simple to use. It comes with a user-friendly start/stop button that takes your brewing experience to a new level by precisely dosing the exact amount of coffee you need each time.

Is Baratza Sette 30 AP good enough?

It’s a question that’s commonly asked, and with a price tag of just £299, it’s easy to see why people might question its ability to keep up with the big guns.

The good news is, the Baratza Sette 30 incorporates the AP burr, designed for the high-end Sette 270/270Wi grinders, which produce an exceptional espresso grind. The Sette range stands out for its unusual engineering -  the inner burr remains stationary while the upper outer burr rotates - the opposite of most other conical burr grinders. That set-up allows for the straight thru design with very low grind retention and high-speed grinding. In fact, the Sette grinds at 3.5 to 5.5 grams per second which is about twice as fast as the Baratza Vario.

Mark Prince, aka the Coffee Geek, awarded the Sette 30 an impressive 9/10 for quality of build and performance, citing it as one of the fastest consumer grinders in the world.

Is The Baratza Sette 30 A Low Retention Grinder?

If you’re all about the freshest possible grind, a low retention grinder will save you money by ensuring almost next to none of your specialty coffee beans are wasted in the process.

Other classic grinders have a tendency to retain a lot of coffee – which means you often have to grind off 3-5g to work through the system before you start just to ensure your coffee is as fresh as it can be.  

The Sette 30 offers impressive performance here and is right up there with the best in the business at about half a gram. The grind quality into the portafilter is clump-free and evenly distributed with little to no spill.

How Does The Sette 30 AP Compare To Other Grinders?

The Baratza Sette 30 AP is perfect for those using machines with pressurised filter baskets looking to progress from pre-ground coffee or pods. It is also a great option for other brewing methods like pour-over, drip, or immersion brewing. Baratza does offer an optional BG or brew grind burr, which you might want to consider as the standard AP burr tends to grind on the fine side of medium.

If there is any downside to be had with this cracking grinder, it is reported to be slightly noisier than others – but when you weigh that up against the benefits of a first-class grind, low retention, and excellent after-sales service, it’s a little niggle people quickly overcome.

What the Sette 30 AP coffee grinder saves you in the pocket, it doesn’t take away from the quality. While it may take some playing with dose and tamping pressure to adjust for the perfect espresso, it is excellent for time-based dosing that you can adjust down to a tenth of a second.

The Baratza Sette 30 AP is a high-quality grinder specialising in fine grinds from entry-level espresso to V60 and AeroPress. And the good news is it can later be upgraded with the micro-adjustment ring, effectively turning it into a “270”.

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