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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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DaveZ
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jan 2009
Posts: 12
Location: Phoenix AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Trying to decide
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Bunn, Keurig
Roaster: popcorn popper
Posted Tue Mar 10, 2009, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

John,

I also thought it was a hopper issue but i could hear it click as I rotated the hopper into place. I even went so far as to leave the hopper off and engage the  pressure switch with my finger. (Kids, don't try this at home ;-) ) That is why I continued to mess with it until I could make it work and it is repeatable. I wanted to make sure I was not returning a good grinder due to operator error.

Like I said, I can get it to run by pressing one of the Grind Time buttons so a time is displayed on the LCD display, then press the start button and it runs. I can also press one of the preset times but I then have to press the up or down Grind Time button then Start and it will run.

Hope this helps.

Dave
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JohnBurridge
Senior Member
JohnBurridge
Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 20
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rocket Giotto Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck
Posted Tue Mar 10, 2009, 12:53pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

DaveZ Said:

John,

I also thought it was a hopper issue but i could hear it click as I rotated the hopper into place. I even went so far as to leave the hopper off and engage the  pressure switch with my finger. (Kids, don't try this at home ;-) ) That is why I continued to mess with it until I could make it work and it is repeatable. I wanted to make sure I was not returning a good grinder due to operator error.

Like I said, I can get it to run by pressing one of the Grind Time buttons so a time is displayed on the LCD display, then press the start button and it runs. I can also press one of the preset times but I then have to press the up or down Grind Time button then Start and it will run.

Hope this helps.

Dave

Posted March 10, 2009 link

Actually, it might help. I found the pressure switch and it seems to run fine, I can engage now engage the machine without the hopper. It looks indeed like the hopper wont lock in properly to actually engage the switch... Hmmm. I may just need to file the threading mechanism on the hopper for it to rotate far enough to engage the switch, or I could always tape down the switch. Part of me wants to make my vendor deal with this, though.
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weiv
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Posts: 29
Location: Burlingame, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Tue Mar 10, 2009, 1:00pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Mine wouldn't work at first, but then I realized the hopper didn't go all the way in. Afterward, it worked fine.
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JohnBurridge
Senior Member
JohnBurridge
Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 20
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rocket Giotto Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck
Posted Tue Mar 10, 2009, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

weiv Said:

Mine wouldn't work at first, but then I realized the hopper didn't go all the way in. Afterward, it worked fine.

Posted March 10, 2009 link

Bing! Yup, I had just had to gently force the hopper into place. It took two hands since I was scared to break the thing, but everything seems to be working fine now. Whew.

Thanks for the help, folks, and apologies for play-by-play.
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mhoy
Senior Member
mhoy
Joined: 4 Feb 2008
Posts: 183
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: HotTop KN-8828D
Posted Tue Mar 10, 2009, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Really, really simple to learn the controls.  

To change the timer.
  1. press up/down until the time you want is shown.
  2. press and hold the button you want to set the time on: Espresso, Filter or Press.

To grind automatically
  1. place something to catch coffee, either portafilter or use the bin
  2. press Espresso, Filter or Press (which really is just some preset times).
  3. Press Automatic to start grinding and watch the counter count down

Overall, very, very happy with my new Vario.  

Mark
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kemperj
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yep
Drip: PID Bunn BTX
Roaster: Behmor 1600, Whirley pop
Posted Wed Mar 11, 2009, 10:30am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Mark,

How is the range on the vario.  Could someone go from French Press to espresso.  Do you think it has adequate range for both?  I know this is going to be an issue for many of us hoping to find one grinder to do it all.


Jeff
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cflorimo
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Newhall, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Mar 11, 2009, 11:26am
Subject: Baratza Vario Grinder- 3 weeks to arrive, 10 minutes to break.
 

My Vario showed up yesterday after three torturous weeks of waiting (it was ordered in conjunction with an Alex Duetto, which has been stuck with pre-ground espresso awaiting the Vario- Both came from Chris's  Coffee Service).  Once I overcame the seemingly common problem of not rotating the hopper far enough to engage the safety switch, it ground like a champ.

    The Vario chewed through the included Grindz at a pleasant pace and with not much noise- far less than the cheap capresso 'burr' grinder I had been using for my press pot previously.  Then I fed the Vario a half cup of beans to clean the Grindz residue, and these too went through like gangbusters.  I adjusted down to the espresso range (yes, with the burrs spinning) and then tried to grind some more coffee, but the burr seized and the motor squealed as either the pulley or a belt spun inside.

    I had to remove the hopper (which would be far easier if you could close off the bottom before removal), remove the upper burr, shake out all the bean chunks, sweep out all the grinds, blow out all of the dust and then reassemble to get the burr to spin again.  But as soon as I tried to grind coffee, it seized up again.

    Normally I would use tools to peek inside to locate the probably-obvious problem, but I just didn't feel like taking a screwdriver to something that had been in my possession for only 6 hours.  Also I was a bit embittered and lacking caffeine and that is a dangerous state for tool wielding.  In an attempt to seek professional help I sent an email to Chris' Coffee Service describing my issue.  Their customer service is often touted as being terrific and they have been prompt and attentive to me in the past, so maybe I was expecting too much from them. When they merely offered their condolences and told me to contact Baratza instead, I was a bit let down.  Had I known that their involvement would end as soon as the grinder was safely delivered I probably would've chosen a supplier much closer than 7 days via ups ground.  I know I shouldn't judge them on a product they neither manufacture, nor test, nor repair- but when something only works for about 20 seconds the overwhelming urge is to take it back to the store and ask for a new one.

    I have since emailed Baratza and I'm awaiting their reply.  I will keep you posted on the progress, but right now I have to take my old Illy can down to the office coffee cart to beg for some espresso grind to get me through the week.

Rocco
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cflorimo
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Newhall, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Mar 11, 2009, 4:42pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder- 3 weeks to arrive, 10 minutes to break.
 

Well, I called Baratza this afternoon and happened to get Kyle on the phone (once he said his name I recognized his voice from the Coffeegeek podcast).  Not only did he immediately offer to ship me a new grinder, but he was willing to stay on the phone with me and walk me through the steps while I took the grinder apart so we could share a 'look' inside.  I was pleased, since taking it apart was what I had really wanted to do all along.
    Inside we found that one of the motor mounting screws had backed out, allowing the toothed belt to slip on the drive pulley.  And even though I think I'll have no problem adjusting back to proper tension, Kyle still offered to send me a new one if I felt that I would have any trouble with it at all.

I am certainly quite pleased with my Baratza experience in terms of their eagerness to assist (and to track down any problems with the initial production machines).  I'm hoping for good things when I get to grinding this evening.

Further updates as events warrant,
Rocco
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greatphotos
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Mar 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado Springs
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Mar 11, 2009, 4:51pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

The belt on the Vario can't slip, it's a timing belt with raised areas that engage a gear. It's probably a calibration change to fix it which can be done by the user if they choose. You can call Baratza directly on the phone and they will get you to the right person immediately. They did for me. No need to wait for email. Then if they determine you need a new grinder they can ship it right then.
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Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Wed Mar 11, 2009, 5:13pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

greatphotos Said:

The belt on the Vario can't slip, it's a timing belt with raised areas that engage a gear.

Posted March 11, 2009 link

Not sure I understand why you would say it "can't" slip.  the "raised areas that engage a gear" only make it less likely to slip, but not that it can't.  a timing belt on a car can slip as can a bicycle chain on the toothed gears.  If the belt is loose (as it appears to have been) makes a slipping belt quite likely.
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