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Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder, vs. maestro/virtuoso/preciso?
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Would a Vario be...  
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Sam21
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Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
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Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:13pm
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder,
 

frank828 Said:

thinking about it...are there even any/many flat burr grinders designed for drip coffee?  nothing really comes to mind except the big commercial ditting/mahlkonig stuff.  

i'm picking up a super jolly tonight and if i get a chance, i may attempt to do a blind tasting between the virtuoso and SJ.

Posted March 29, 2012 link

I can't think of any either. I would be interested to hear your findings. The Vario metal burrs are a very interesting option for those that own a Vario and find themselves brewing more drip than espresso.
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frank828
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Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:20pm
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder,
 

Sam21 Said:

I can't think of any either. I would be interested to hear your findings. The Vario metal burrs are a very interesting option for those that own a Vario and find themselves brewing more drip than espresso.

Posted March 29, 2012 link

i really cant imagine having to install the burrs each time you want to do espresso or drip.  that's waaaay too much of a hassle(for me) and potential extra wear and tear on certain parts.   imagine all the prep work you need to do to make a cup of coffee.
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Sam21
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Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:22pm
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder,
 

frank828 Said:

i really cant imagine having to install the burrs each time you want to do espresso or drip.  that's waaaay too much of a hassle(for me) and potential extra wear and tear on certain parts.   imagine all the prep work you need to do to make a cup of coffee.

Posted March 29, 2012 link

I meant more along the lines of someone finding that they no longer brew espresso and wanting to convert the grinder to a drip grinder. Or maybe someone purchases a dedicated espresso grinder and wants to upgrade the Vario to pull drip duty. It just adds flexibility that wasn't previously there.
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VKirby
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012
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Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012, 2:52pm
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder,
 

Trust me guys, you had me convinced by the end of the first page that the Vario plus metal burrs would have been awesome for brewed coffee.  And as senseless or cheap as it sounds, I might have actually gone for it had the difference "only" been $450 vs. $189, instead of $450 + $60 vs. $189.  More than double was already getting tough to justify, considering there were other factors, a couple of user interface details I actually prefer about the virtuoso/preciso model over the vario, & that despite "having the money", I generally don't just pay whatever for what's the absolute best, over what's the best value, best point of limiting returns, where beyond that you start getting only a little better for a lot more money.  That might have very well been the vario, for me, had it been available with those brewing burrs out of the box instead of having to initially purchase an extra set of ceramic burrs I wouldn't ever be using.

Either way, it's too late for me now as the 586 is already on its way, unless I can send it back plus the difference in price for a Vario with the metal burrs installed.  longshot, but that's the only way that's happening.  Now if like some reported I get bitter coffee with the virtuoso, I'll have to figure something else out...


al_bongo Said:

The very fact that Baratza have released a set of metal burrs for the Vario for non espresso use instead of the ceramic says that the metal burrs are more suitable than the ceramic burrs for your purpose.

Posted March 29, 2012 link

frank828 Said:

also, the virtuoso uses conical burrs and the vario uses flat burrs.  typically the conical will bring out the brighter notes of the coffee and the flat will make for a bit more balanced coffee with more body.

Posted March 29, 2012 link

Sam21 Said:

I hadn't thought about the conical vs. flat different. How big of an impact do the burr types have in the drip settings? I know that flat and conical grinders produce very different espresso profiles, so does this apply also to drip coffee? I've only ever used a conical burr grinder with light roasts, so I am after those bright fruity cups.

Posted March 29, 2012 link

frank828 Said:

thinking about it...are there even any/many flat burr grinders designed for drip coffee?  nothing really comes to mind except the big commercial ditting/mahlkonig stuff.    

Posted March 29, 2012 link

Well now you guys have me wondering if some of the other similar priced models I initially ruled out would have actually been better.  The KitchenAid ProLine for instance-  it has larger, flat, metal burrs.  I think I only eliminated it because it had cast burrs- though now I can't find where I actually confirmed that.  Would anyone here actually vote proline over 586 for brewed coffee only?
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frank828
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Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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Espresso: GS3
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Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012, 2:59pm
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder,
 

VKirby Said:

Now if like some reported I get bitter coffee with the virtuoso, I'll have to figure something else out...

Posted March 29, 2012 link

that was the first time i had EVER heard about a virtuoso being the reason for bitter coffee.

you've ordered a GREAT drip grinder, dont second guess that.  

now focus on your brewing.
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Sam21
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012, 3:01pm
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder,
 

frank828 Said:

that was the first time i had EVER heard about a virtuoso being the reason for bitter coffee.

you've ordered a GREAT drip grinder, dont second guess that.  

now focus on your brewing.

Posted March 29, 2012 link

+1!!!
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al_bongo
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Joined: 26 Aug 2008
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Location: Scotland
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Espresso: Starbucks Barista
Grinder: Solis 166/Iberital MC2
Vac Pot: Cona
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Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder,
 

Would only really consider Baratza or their European equivalents, so I reckon you've made a great choice. Wouldn't personally consider the Proline.

Enjoy your new grinder.
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JPDyson
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JPDyson
Joined: 12 Apr 2011
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Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012, 6:55am
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder,
 

FWIW, the *design* of the metal burr set is really important to this discussion (i.e. not just that they're metal instead of ceramic). There's a thread on HB with pictures, but suffice it to say it's more like a mini-bulk grinder (if it makes any sense to say that). The idea is that at the medium-to-coarse range, the grind is more consistent with less fines - particle distribution around your desired grind size is more uniform. Essentially, for drip/pour-over and press, you're brewing around the fines that most grinders produce. These burrs are designed to reduce those at the medium to coarse range.

I agree with earlier comments that it makes no sense to spend a small fortune on great coffee and then balk at a $500 grinder that will last several years. That said, this setup (Vario + metal burr set) is probably about as good as it gets short of higher-output grinders.

 
--Josh
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VKirby
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 99
Location: World Wide
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Mar 31, 2012, 6:46am
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder
 

Vario:     4.5 x 7.2 x 14.5 inches ; 15 pounds
Vario-W: 7.2 x 4.5 x 14.2 inches ; 10 pounds

Any clue why the Vario-W would be shorter, & weigh so much less than the Vario?  If anything that seems backwards, unless the regular Vario has solid metal in place of where the scale component exists in the W (still doesn't explain height)?  Weird.

Anyway if the incoming 586 sold as NIB does turn out to be a refurb, or the older virtuoso with star shaped burr, I'll have justification for a refund without penalty & will return it for a Vario.  Otherwise I'm keeping the virtuoso, & forgetting about the Vario for now.  But looking into it I'm still curious about what makes the plain vario so much heavier, assuming that's not a misprint.
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VKirby
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 99
Location: World Wide
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Apr 4, 2012, 12:41am
Subject: Re: Would a Vario be "wasted" as a drip-only grinder?
 

jbviau Said:

Good choice. I'll be interested to hear what you think of the new Virtuoso's build quality once you actually get your hands on it. These grinders are pretty solid.

Posted March 28, 2012 link

The grind consistency exceeded my expectations, which is the most important thing.  Not as much with the build quality, but it would be tough to spend over twice as much for the vario after seeing how well the 586 performs. The vario's sliders & metal burr carrier would have been nice though.

overall I'm satisfied, & will not try to swap it out or immediately resell it for a vario. I think I made the right choice, for my purposes.
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