After grinding three double espresso a day, every day, for the past nearly 10 years, the motor on my trusty 2010 Vario eventually gave up. It had been problem-free for all that time and the model size and profile had suited my domestic setup well. I was therefore intent on buying an exact replacement. However, after viewing many YouTube videos and hundreds of posts in the various coffee forums, I eventually decided to treat myself and my La Pavoni Europiccola to a grinder upgrade.
I settled on the Forte AP and this was to be my first purchase from CoffeeHit. I chose this particular supplier because of their excellent feedback and because the Forte they sell comes with both ceramic and steel burrs, effectively providing both the AP and BG grinder in one. The grinder arrived earlier than expected, despite CoffeeHit moving warehouses and I was both grateful and impressed by CoffeeHit for their regular e-mails providing situational updates on the progress of my order. As for the Forte, it is for me the perfect upgrade to my old Vario. Same footprint as the Vario and so enabling me to keep it in exactly the same spot as my last grinder without having to change my (tight for space) kitchen setup. The Forte is heavier (having so much more metal) and certainly looks the part, such that both my wife and daughter have praised it for its looks. I find it a little louder than the Vario was but of course the Forte can grind by weight (into the plastic coffee bin only) as well as by timer where I can use the useful portafilter holder, which fits the La Pavoni Europiccola's portafilter well. The Forte has reignited my interest and enthusiasm in my daily espresso drinks and it provides a better and far more consistent grind than I had been used to, resulting in a more flavoursome cup. The Forte suits my coffee needs and I am so pleased I bought it. I would certainly buy it again, and from CoffeeHit.
Was skeptical how much of an upgrade this would be from my Baratza Virtuoso but I've been blown away. So much more consistent at every grind level, makes for a much tastier cup. The Forte is also impressively well-built, solid as a rock, quieter, and less messy. All in all I'm delighted. And the service from CoffeeHit has been impeccable - including the fact that the Forte comes with both ceramic and steel burrs (so is both a Forte AP and Forte BG for those reading about it in US reviews).
Excellent if expensive grinder. But results are excellent and very consistent across the board at all sized. Love the grind by weight function.
I like the weight feature of this grinder. The quality is high and the compact size is a real benefit for me.
The version supplied by Cofffee hit came with ceramic burrs fitted but with a spare set of steel burrs. The finer grind of this machine has improved the results with my Sage espresso greatly over a smaller burr grider or pre-ground coffee. I found the recommended setting a bit too fine and the Sage could not pump the water through. I settled on a setting of 4 which gives an espresso amount in about the right time. The Sage portafilter does not fit well in the holder as it has 3 lugs which foul the rear tab under which the holder is supposed to fit. It is necessary to hold in place while grinding otherwise it is unstable and can slip. Not a problem with it taking only 7 seconds to fill the double shot holder. Note that you cannot grind by weight directly into the portafilter - it is the plastic bin that fits onto the scales at the bottom. Since you have to heap the coffee to get a full filter after tamping, there is normally a small amount of spillage. What would really be good is if a tamping device could be built in so it holds the mounded coffee until it is pressed down level. Much quieter than my previous cheap machine. One minor annoyance is that there is only a quick start sheet and a downloadable manual. Considering the price I think a manual should be included.