Crew Review: Baratza Forte AP & BG Coffee Grinders

Baratza Forte APThere’s a lot to love about Baratza grinders in general, but the Baratza Forte models take all of that love and kick it up to a higher level. Seriously.

Featuring a high grade metal casing, sophisticated programming (by either time or weight variables), an upgraded bean hopper with a gate valve (for easy bean removal!) and an LED screen, both the Baratza Forte AP and BG models are solidly commercial grade.

What’s the difference between the two of them? Primarily the burrs: The Forte AP has flat ceramic burrs and the Forte BG has flat stainless steel burrs. This translates into the AP functioning as more of an all-purpose grinder, geared toward an espresso through fine drip range, while the BG is built specifically for pour over preparation and, therefore, isn’t meant to grind in the espresso range. Other than that, the AP also comes with a solid metal holder on which you can rest your espresso machine’s portafilter, because you’ll now be able to calibrate the grind and program the weight, then automatically update your programming to grind the correct weight directly into your portafilter.

To find out more about these grinders, check out our first look review of them. Gail goes over the features and specs, then demonstrates their grind consistency and performance.

Crew Review: Baratza Forte AP & BG Coffee Grinders

10 comments for “Crew Review: Baratza Forte AP & BG Coffee Grinders

  1. Todd Boatwright
    September 16, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Kat,

    Are the hoppers the same size as the other Baratza’s?

    • Kat
      September 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Todd -

      No; they’re 10oz while the Vario models are 8oz. capacity (varies by bean size, though).

      Kat

      • September 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm

        Hey All! While the hoppers are not the same size they do fit the entire baratza grinder lineup, so rad!

        • Kat
          September 17, 2013 at 7:20 am

          Oh cool! Thanks for sharing that, Sarah! :)

          Kat

  2. Robin Dent
    April 17, 2014 at 8:41 am

    so for the tricky question;

    We do 80% pour-overs, Chemex and alike – 15% Aeropress, – and just a few espressos in between.

    Which model would be “best”?

    Would it make sense to get the AP model with ceramic burrs,is that good enough for all? or would a BG make more sense?

    AP comes with the portaholder, but I guess that can be purchased separate for the BG…. although a AP would be a better deal pricewize

    • April 17, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Hi Robin,

      It sounds like you’re making some tasty drinks! :) Yes, I would recommend getting the AP model. Since the ceramic model is all purpose it will accommodate the 5% or so espresso drinks you do make, whereas the metal BG will not.

      Also, you’re right the AP comes with a portaholder, which is a nice added feature and is a cheaper price than the BG. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Thanks,

      Brenna

      • Robin Dent
        April 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm

        Thank you Brenna

        If the needs should change in the future, I saw that Baratza do sell and allow to have the ceramic burrs replaced with steel, but I read somewhere that the front panel of the AP/BG is where the rest of the difference of the machines sits – the electronics – and that they were hardwired calibrated to either steel or ceramics. So that after a change- the scale would be off…

        After thinking about it it did not make much sense to me that the scale would be off,… but perhaps the smart “timed weight” would be off, since it could use the rotation of the burrs as part of the calculations.

        If I think correct – it would then make sense to get an AP and replace with steel, instead of getting a steel BG in the first place – IF there are any chance that you would do any espresso and grind directly to portafilters.

        does this make any sense? :-)

        • April 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

          Hi Robin,

          I think I understand what, you’re saying. Why do you want to replace the ceramic burrs with steel ones though?

  3. Robin Dent
    April 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    There must be a good reason Baratza make 2 models of the same grinder, and if the AP one was perfect for anything from powder to drip, there would be no need for the BG…

    so from the descriptions, BG with it’s steel burrs should give a more consistent grind for pour-over, than AP, and AP should give more consistent grinds for the finer espresso grinds

    I am just a little “confused” over the two models on where they overlap, and to what they can- and cannot do. Ideally we would have 2 separate grinders, but we will have to do with one – and don’t want to choose the wrong one

    • April 18, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Hi Robin,

      Got it. That’s a great question. Why you give our customer service team a call so they can hope you figure out which option is best for you setup. The number is 866-372-4734 (toll free) or 206-774-3164.

      Thanks,

      Brenna

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