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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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smallmetalbucket
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Joined: 1 Dec 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: gaggia classic
Grinder: baratza vario
Posted Thu Dec 3, 2009, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

ok, nothing in the manual about any of this... just saying.


also, my screws are so far forward that i can not secure the wrench into the first one thats not covered by the rubber. im getting very frustrated by this. should i take the plastic housing off? i dont want to have to spend MORE money on this thing just to get it to work. nor do i want to break it for real in the process.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu Dec 3, 2009, 3:35pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

It's not making sense to me. The one covered by the rubber grommet (near the chute) has the slider mechanism. Are you saying THAT one is so far forward you can't get a small 2.5mm allen wrench in, loosen the screw, then slide it back maybe a 1/4-1/2"?
The other screw hole is the new 2mm adjustment. That is the one Kyle at Baratza now suggests be tweaked first.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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dagoat
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 321
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Tue Dec 8, 2009, 4:22pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

the roast matters big time!

sooo, i have been happily drinking awesome shots, pulled on my non-ppf saeco/sbux machine, ground by my vario, with beans i roast myself.  i usually use a full city roast, [iow, just before the beans get oily].

well, recently, i had an excursion from my standard full city.  i accidentally roasted a batch quite a bit lighter than full city.  it made an UNbelieveable difference in the grind setting.  normally, the coarse lever one from the top, and the fine lever about halfway down worked like a champ for 22 second doubles with full city.  BUT with the super light roast, i had to go full fine with the coarse, and full fine with the fine to get about a 19-20 second pull.  i could NOT choke my machine AT ALL with a light roast.  so now i'm back to a full city, and back to my old settings, and all's good.  just an fwiw data point for you all.

-peter
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tomjtx
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Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Dallas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Dec 8, 2009, 9:17pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

dagoat Said:

the roast matters big time!

sooo, i have been happily drinking awesome shots, pulled on my non-ppf saeco/sbux machine, ground by my vario, with beans i roast myself.  i usually use a full city roast, [iow, just before the beans get oily].

well, recently, i had an excursion from my standard full city.  i accidentally roasted a batch quite a bit lighter than full city.  it made an UNbelieveable difference in the grind setting.  normally, the coarse lever one from the top, and the fine lever about halfway down worked like a champ for 22 second doubles with full city.  BUT with the super light roast, i had to go full fine with the coarse, and full fine with the fine to get about a 19-20 second pull.  i could NOT choke my machine AT ALL with a light roast.  so now i'm back to a full city, and back to my old settings, and all's good.  just an fwiw data point for you all.

-peter

Posted December 8, 2009 link


Exactly my experience.
The lighter the roast the finer the grind needs to be.
Full city and darker seems to be easier to dial in
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Dec 9, 2009, 11:20am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Been that way for oh, thousands of years...lol

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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espressoaddict
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Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 (Primary)...
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Posted Wed Dec 30, 2009, 2:47am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Updated: 12/30/09 @ 12:58 PST
Finally got my Vario and must say this is one truly AMAZING grinder.

At first glance, it looks like a grinder on steroids, but once in operation it than transforms into an almost robotic device.  I never thought a machine would have so much charisma.  The blue LED just adds even more cool effects, plus the count-down timer is so cool with the ability to precisely measure the dose and the practically near 0 spent coffee retention is just a plus.

Originally lists for $429.00, but less the 10% discount paid $386.00 (no tax and free shipping).  To put this into perspective the Vario is only $37.00 more than the Rocky.  The extra $37 is money well spent.  Most especially the many features and above all the better-taste-in-the-cup improvement over the Rocky.   Probably explains why when I last looked, the vendor I ordered my Vario is at the time of this writing is only taking pre-orders. I'm glad I got this now and not later.  The Vario is priced so well, yet offers commercial quality grind results typically achievable only by real commercial quality grinders costing thousands of more dollars.

What is cool about the Vario when in direct comparison to my old Rocky is the back body is not stainless.  Sure stainless looks cool, but very fragile to work from behind and easily susceptible to minor scratches and required constant cleaning.  Now The back is made what appears to possibly be polycarbonate using ABS which is the same material used for some cell-phones and laptop bodies this makes it very durable.  Cheaper price wise, but no need to worry about cleaning and is less susceptible to minor nicks.

I would agree the unit does not have that built-like-a-tank aspect, but for the price, performance, and features, it is worth more than the price paid.  What other grinder on the market today in this price range, can grind Espresso with grinds rivaling that of commercial quality grinders.   This is it period, at least for now.

I have only had it less than 24 hours, but so far the worst shot pulled tasted remarkable.  Pulled a better shot hours later and I must say my palate is sensing a richer and pronounced experience.  I can only savor these moments and look forward to more of these in the upcoming days.  

The only minor non-complaint concern is the macro level -- when left at the FP setting had some difficult raising back to ESP.   The manual states to operate the grinder for easier adjustments.   Anyone, is this an behavior expected? When macro is positioned in the coarsest setting and there is some resistance, DON"T ADJUST until after grinding some beans.  Hit the Start button for at least a sec, then make your adjustment.

Lastly, I'm guessing the timer is in correlation to 1 sec = 1 gram of grinds.

Thanks!
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
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Posted Wed Dec 30, 2009, 10:01am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

espressoaddict Said:

Lastly, I'm guessing the timer is in correlation to 1 sec = 1 gram of grinds.

Posted December 30, 2009 link

No.

I grind about 14.5 grams in 12.5 seconds for espresso.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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TimEggers
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TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Wed Dec 30, 2009, 10:54am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I've had my Vario now for a few days (since the 24th) and I can echo the remarks of others, the Vario is really amazing.  Bravo to Baratza on such an excellent design and execution of a coffee grinder.  The Vario impresses me in every regard.

Its superb grind quality (yes truly does rival my SJ), small footprint, precise timed dosing, near-zero grounds retention, clean to use portaholder and straight-into-basket dosing is remarkable.  Its distribution is also top notch.

I literally grind into the basket and tamp.  I don't have to groom anymore and don't have to brush out any chute or doser either.  I'll admit itís really changed my perceptions of what espresso grinding should be.  The Vario makes it easy to explore any dose I desire which is great because due to its excellent distribution, dosing below the rim of the basket is easy.  Since not having to rely on an over fill, level and tamp routine that I did with the SJ I can explore lower doses.

I also like the programmable buttons (labeled Espresso, Press and Filter) but you can set any desired time for these you wish.  Since I don't rely on a timed grind for press I set this button as my "purge" setting to be used when grinder has been sitting idle for a while or after grind adjustments.  With the near zero grinds retention its probably not even needed, but its peace of mind for me.

I really believe this is the best thing to come along for home barista/coffee lovers in years.  Baratza really set out to fill a niche in the grinder market and they've done just that.  The Vario is nearly flawless.

My only issue was getting mine calibrated, since I'm a user of CG I knew about the procedure and quickly found instructions online.  My unit was too coarse for espresso grinding.  I got it re-set just fine, but there is no mention of these adjustments in the manual (let alone a wrench included if needed, Iím lucky to have a 2mm Allen key around).  I really hope the folks at Baratza look into this, I'd hate general users to open up the Vario and not be able to get it set-up perfectly if in fact theirs like mine needed a small adjustment.

Beyond that though I really l love the Vario and using it is truly a joy.  At first I just wanted a back-up press grinder, and the Vario is a great...no amazing...press grinder but after trying it out for espresso the Super Jolly may just be retired.  That's saying a lot, but the Vario offers a lot.  I can't recommend this grinder enough even based on my short time with it.  It really lives up.

I'll close by saying how excited I am that Baratza is taking a pro-active role in advancing the design and manufacture of coffee grinding technology.  The Vario is an incredible addition to their already strong product line, but truly the Vario is in a whole new class of its own.  I hope 2010 sees the Vario as the grinder to have.

 
Tim Eggers
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Dec 30, 2009, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

No.

I grind about 14.5 grams in 12.5 seconds for espresso.

Posted December 30, 2009 link

Jason, you may be grinding finer than I.
Theoretically (or at least some figures I saw a while ago) at "espresso" setting, the Vario was supposed to grind about 1.5 grams per second, which would, again theoretically, give you 14 grams in about 9 seconds, give or take a 1/2 second.
I realize the finer you go, the longer it takes.
Just curious, where is your Vario set for espresso?

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
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Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Wed Dec 30, 2009, 1:51pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Theoretically (or at least some figures I saw a while ago) at "espresso" setting, the Vario was supposed to grind about 1.5 grams per second, which would, again theoretically, give you 14 grams in about 9 seconds, give or take a 1/2 second.

Posted December 30, 2009 link

Yes, on the Baratza website Rob: The VARIO grinds 1.5 grams/second at Espresso and 2.5 grams/second at Press.

 
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