We have some news to share regarding our AP and BG burrs for the Settes – we’re changing their names. No changes to the grinder, just the names of the burrs. Settle in while we tell you the whole story…..
It’s hard to believe that we launched the Sette Series of grinders at SCA in April 2016 – it’s been an amazing journey. We’ve seen interest in the Sette 30, 270 and 270Wi flourish and grow, especially over the last year. We’ve also learned a lot ourselves about this new product. No amount of in-house testing could have prepared us for the wide and varied way our customers use our grinders.
As we designed and tested the new grinder, back in 2016, the vision was that the Sette would be an exceptional multi-purpose grinder. The first grinders released were the Sette 270 and 270W. All of our taste testings showed that the grind profile from the Sette was exceptional for espresso. The 270 series also incorporated a stepless micro adjust for near infinite adjustment and the ability to grind by weight into a portafilter is a game changer that has been totally embraced by our customers. Along with the rave reviews about the grind for espresso, the feedback from our internal and external testing was mixed for brewed coffee. Some loved it, most thought it was fine, but a persistent group did not think it was acceptable. Since the Sette design makes it very easy to change out the cone burr, we started working with Etzinger (our burr manufacturer and designer of the Sette technology) to develop a different burr for brewing. The result was the BG Burr, which received better, but still mixed feedback. We ended up releasing the Sette 30 as an entry level espresso grinder and publicly stated that the Sette AP burr was exceptional for espresso and good for brew methods that required a finer grind. The BG burr was mentioned as a better burr for brewing.
Well, as happens in specialty coffee, many customers were doing their own thing with the Sette. Over the last two years, we have heard more and more stories about the versatility of the Sette, how people loved the ease of use, the minimal grind retention, the ability to move from one setting to another and most importantly, the flavor in their cup. Many of our Asian importers buy the Sette family with the BG burr and use it extensively for brewing and pour over stations. Our Instagram feed continued to have examples of the Sette being used by consumers and professionals alike for all types of brewing. It was time for us to re-evaluate the Sette for brewed coffee.
We started using the Settes for all our internal brewing. We have used them with the AP and BG burrs. We love them – we’re making Chemex’s, Bonavita 8 cup brewers (for the morning rush), Kalita’s, and V60’s. The in-house preference is for the AP burrs. We sent the grinder out for testing, to someone who had never used the Sette and didn’t come with preconceived opinions about the grinders capabilities. The testing did comparisons of the Encore against the Sette 30 with both burrs – the tester liked the Encore but loved the Sette, especially the BG burrs!
We ran comparative particle distribution charts to review the Sette AP and BG burr against the Virtuoso – while we were expecting to see wildly different distributions we found that the Sette was not far off our beloved Virtuoso.
We have listened, we have watched the images posted on social media, we have brewed and tasted the delicious coffees from the Settes and we are now seeing that the Sette has come full circle to be the multipurpose grinder that we had first envisioned. We complicated matters by talking about AP and BG burrs and created expectations about the burrs that were function based and not appropriate.
Our takeaway –
We have learned that through the different geometry of the burrs, which give a different grind profile, you can experience different flavors in the same coffee, neither one is necessarily better than the other, they are just different. What you experience is totally personal. Our experience over the years is that coffee professionals and enthusiasts all have different preferences, palates, and expectations and we can make recommendations, but they will determine what works for them. It’s time to move away from these misleading names based on specific functionality, that’s why we are changing the name of the burrs. The AP burr will now be named “S1”, and the BG burr will now be named “S2”. Moving forward, all the Settes will be built with the S1 burr (formally the AP as this is the most sold and liked burr). The S2 burr (formally named our BG burr) will continue to be available for you to purchase, for customers wishing to explore different nuances in their coffees. Nothing else has changed about the burrs, except the names.