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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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boyscout
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Posts: 405
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Jan 10, 2010, 6:39am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

The Vario Burrs (like any set of new burrs) need about 5-7 lbs of beans run through them before they're broken in  properly. By the 4th lb you will see an exceedingly fluffy grind. Let us know if that becomes fact for you.

Posted January 9, 2010 link

Thanks, but that wasn't the case with the Compak, which was great from the first grind.

HOWEVER...

This morning, curiously, the grind from the Vario is much closer to the Compak grind.  Change in humidity, temperature, or something else?

Yesterday, beans came out of the Compak, went into a dry, sealed Tupperware on the other side of the kitchen for most of the day, and then after about 1/2 pound of supermarket beans was ground through in setting up the Vario, I put the original beans into the Vario hopper.  The first two grinds of those were, as reported, not as nice as the Compak had done it.

This morning, the grind is not as fluffy as the Compaq, but it's very smooth and dry-looking.  The pull is amazing, just as good.  I can DEFINITELY love this, and it's so much easier to use and adjust.  The Vario has a new salesman.

Thanks again for all help.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,874
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 Sun Jan 10, 2010, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Remember, this time of year the static will cause the grind rate to change a bit.
The Vario, like most grinders treats a lighter roast a bit differently than a full city or more roast.

I'd also recommend cleaning the grinder, removing the bottom burr before messing with re-calibration.
The Vario does such a nice job, we sometimes forget it needs a cleaning just a Mazzer or any other.

I take mine apart every 2 weeks, and clean thoroughly with the brush, and a little compressed air.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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Endo
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Endo
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Posted Sun Jan 10, 2010, 8:46pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I've had the opportunity to use a Baratza Vario over the holidays. I also own a Mazzer Super Jolly (and a Mazzer Mini and Rocky before that), so it was fun comparing. For those thinking of buying one these grinders....you may ask how they compare? Well, I found the best way to describe it is with a photography analogy;

I own a Canon camera. My favourite prime lens has been the old 50mm f1.8 mk1. Solid, heavy and a super performer. Used by everyone from amatures to professionals.

Recently, I got a chance to use a friend's new 50mm f1.8 mk2. It's gotten great reviews and is about half the price and weight of my old mk1. While the performance is very similar, I just couldn't get over the lightweight feel, loose focus ring and general use of plastic.

I had a check on e-bay. Seems the used mk1 lenses are selling for twice the original price of a mk1 (and 3 times the price of a new mk2).

It's great having lower price choices that perform well....but my first choice is always build quality. It's always less expensive in the long run.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,874
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 Sun Jan 10, 2010, 9:23pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Endo Said:

I've had the opportunity to use a Baratza Vario over the holidays. I also own a Mazzer Super Jolly (and a Mazzer Mini and Rocky before that), so it was fun comparing.
It's great having lower price choices that perform well....but my first choice is always build quality. It's always less expensive in the long run.

Posted January 10, 2010 link



Endo, Recently, on HB, I committed what I now realize was just thing I sometimes get on OTHER folks for.
That is, assuming things about a product that can't actually be proved until they ARE proved. In other words, time needs to pass before a conclusive determination can be made. I feel your statement above falls into that category. (mine had to do with the new "Twisti espresso device. JonR RIGHTLY called me to task.)

Yes, the Mazzer is 20 lbs of solid metallic hunkiness (lol), and has a long history of exemplary service, but that doesn't mean that FOR IT'S DESIGN SPECS, the Vario isn't of equal quality. As I take your statement (PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong) you state that the Vario won't be around in the LONG RUN. You refer to build quality as the basis oif your comment. Fair enough.
HOWEVER, There is NO way to know that now. Maybe in 3-4 years, maybe less. (I hope not!)

Meanwhile, Having owned, and enjoyed using 2 different SJ's, I can say that the user friendliness of the Vario, lack of waste and shot quality have me satisfied sufficiently to stay with it. Of course, YMMV.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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uranium
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uranium
Joined: 19 Dec 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Jakarta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra A3, Europiccola
Grinder: Ditting Vario, Eureka...
Drip: Beehouse
Roaster: USRC 1 Lb
Posted Mon Jan 11, 2010, 1:15am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Does anyone ever try to modify or bend the portafilter fork? My Elektra A3 portafiler sits well on the fork but it will start to move during the grinding. I think a simple twist of the fork might solve the problem.
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boyscout
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Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Posts: 405
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Jan 11, 2010, 6:43am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

uranium, hope this isn't offensive but you have noticed the hook at the top, right?  And adjusted the fork to the correct height so that you can tip your portafilter into the fork and latch its forward lip under the hook?

A lot of portafilters wouldn't move around much when hooked in like that, but they do come in all shapes and sizes, maybe yours is less-controlled.

As for bending the fork, highly-subjective and non-expert comment from me:  I had trouble making the system work for my portafilter, and briefly considered bending the fork to help.  But as I tried flexing it seemed very resistant to movement, and I worried about it being too brittle to bend, so I didn't try.  Others may have done it, and chime in here.
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SpeedStar
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SpeedStar
Joined: 6 Dec 2008
Posts: 227
Location: Chula Vista, Ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer Mini
Drip: Aeropress, Cuisinart
Posted Mon Jan 11, 2010, 7:11am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I flipped the fork over to get the perfect height and also bent the hook and fork to get just the right fit.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,390
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Jan 11, 2010, 7:43am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I have a Baratza Vario and an Elektra as well (a T1, but the same machine), but my fork doesn't slip . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Mon Jan 11, 2010, 8:12am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

boyscout Said:

Thanks folks, especially espressoaddict for posting the essential details of making the grind adjustment.  They do need to be repeated here to make them easier to find... I had looked before I asked for help.  Maybe Baratza could post them on its web site FAQs... what a concept!

Posted January 9, 2010 link

I have copied and pasted the directions in a note so I will be able to keep it posted in this thread every few pages. I thought I had done this before but I must have only got to "that would be a good idea to do".
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s1rfletch
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s1rfletch
Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 78
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Nope... press pot, V60
Posted Mon Jan 11, 2010, 8:49am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

The porta-holder is virtually useless on my bottomless silva portafilter.  I've fooled around with adjusting it, but short of bending everything around and risk breaking it, I haven't been able to get it to be helpful... yogourt cup works best for me.
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