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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,129
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 Sun Sep 18, 2011, 5:44am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

dagoat Said:

what particular coffee are you using that tastes good as BOTH an espresso or drip/press?  in my experience, really good espresso coffee makes for some pretty bland drip/press.  this is so true that in the end, my vario is used almost exclusively for espresso.  i had fantasies before i bought it that this would finally be the "do-it-all" grinder that had the range to grind espresso to press pot.  it delivers all right.  BUT the real pain of utilizing that capability lies in swapping out coffees from good espresso coffee, to good drip coffee.  glad i kept my old solis 166, (and another i bought on clearance for $25), to use for non-espresso work.


-Peter

Posted September 17, 2011 link

I also use my Vario for espresso only. Redbird espresso is a good drip and an excellent espresso. For home roasted espresso I generally go 4:30 to 5 min finish after first crack but if I want a double duty SO I will finish with 4min for ethiopian, Yemen, Brazil, El Salvador and others that can work for both. I never roast past FC+ for myself so I am not talking about the common misconception of "espresso" roast, whatever that is.
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bionic75007
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Mar 2011
Posts: 7
Location: DFW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Silvano
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Hot Top
Posted Sun Sep 18, 2011, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

dana_leighton Said:

Steve,

These issues are covered over in the Vario-W thread. You can set the calibration with the grinder running:

Posted September 17, 2011 link

Ah, thanks for the pointer -- I must admit this was done early in the morning -- pre-coffee, in fact.  I'm not sure I'm qualified to operate machinery in that state, let alone calibrate it...

Thanks for the help Dana.

dagoat Said:

what particular coffee are you using that tastes good as BOTH an espresso or drip/press?  in my experience, really good espresso coffee makes for some pretty bland drip/press.  this is so true that in the end, my vario is used almost exclusively for espresso.  i had fantasies before i bought it that this would finally be the "do-it-all" grinder that had the range to grind espresso to press pot.  it delivers all right.  BUT the real pain of utilizing that capability lies in swapping out coffees from good espresso coffee, to good drip coffee.  glad i kept my old solis 166, (and another i bought on clearance for $25), to use for non-espresso work.

BTW, Steve, it is entirely normal for your settings to change when you change beans.  even the same beans change as they age, requiring different grind coarseness.

-Peter

Posted September 17, 2011 link

Well, to be honest I don't think the Sweet Maria's Espresso Monkey that was in the hopper was a very good drip -- because I over-roasted it a bit.  I think there are a few that do taste good in both contexts -- at least for me.  What I expected (and happened) is my significant other would -need-coffee-now- and ask me to make some.   I was worried about changing the settings on the Vario-W, not which beans to use.  I probably would have swapped the beans to a SM Kona that I roasted to near the end of first crack -- but he didn't give me the chance!

So I hear you, the machine appears to "do it all" pretty well (still have yet to try Turkish coffee at home; it's on my list!) -- and switching beans can be at least inconvenient if not messy.  My last grinder was a lot harder to swap beans out than the Vario-W is, so for me it's still an improvement.

This is my first "serious" grinder, so I'm tuning in to a lot of nuances about the grind.  I have noticed pretty readily different beans need different grinds to end up with the right density puck for that 30s pour.  Even before getting that far I noticed variations in color, density (some are very light and fluffy, some are heavier and "wetter").

I've read about beans needing a tweak or two for the grinder as they age; I'll look out for that.

Thanks for the info too, Peter...

Steve
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joesl8
Senior Member
joesl8
Joined: 31 Aug 2002
Posts: 29
Location: Armpit of CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto II (Prior...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Air Popper, BBQ
Posted Sun Sep 18, 2011, 5:59pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

dana_leighton Said:

Grind away! If you have trouble getting a fine enough grind for espresso or coarse enough for French press, you may need to calibrate, but try it as is. My original Vario was fine out of the box.

Posted September 15, 2011 link

I actually bought the Vario because I intend to drink coffee as well as espresso. I don't drink French press anymore. The machine works great, a lot less noise than my cuisinart burr grinder and the grinds are more consistent. I haven't found any info on grinding for coffee, a lot of espresso stuff, but I'm still messing with it. Great machine from what I can see so far. BTW, Rob at Coffeewishes is the man and Chris at Chris's Coffee and his staff were beyond helpful! Highly recommend either one of them for anything concerning coffee.
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dagoat
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 318
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 Sun Sep 18, 2011, 10:19pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

germantown rob sez"

I am not talking about the common misconception of "espresso" roast, whatever that is.

couldn't agree more.  "espresso roast" is a meaningless term to me.  further reducing it's esteem in my eyes is the fact that the only "espresso roast" i use is that which i have roasted myself.  for my espresso, it's all in the blend, (i don't have the focus and dedication to dabble in SO's, so i don't).

i have found these words, found elsewhere, and coined by someone else, to be words to live by when it comes to espresso:

The most basic rule of espresso blending is that espresso must have subdued acidity, be heavy bodied, and be sweet enough to balance the bitter and acidic flavors in the blend.

sadly, it makes for boring drip, (imho).

-peter
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kmetzger
Senior Member
kmetzger
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Sep 21, 2011, 7:54pm
Subject: The Baratza Vario Grinder Dead on Arrival
 

DaveZ Said:

Well....Good News, Bad News.

Bad News:

I pull out the grounds bin, dump the fine grind and grindz residue and replace the grounds bin. Measure out another 10 grams of beans, dump them into the hopper and press the start button.

Nothing

No noise

No grinding

Just blue lights and the counter counting up.

I press start again and the blue light goes off and the timer resets to 000.
I have tried the  presets and the same thing. Blue light lights up, timer counts down but no grinding.

I remove the hopper, dump out the beans, remove the top burr and nothing seems amiss. i can turn the lower burr with my fingers. I reassemble the burrs, replace the hopper making sure to fully engage the safety switch.

Still no go.

I have checked the hopper several times and it appears the micro safety switch is in fact switched and the grounds bin is in place. I also tried the potafilter holder with the same results.

Any Ideas?

Posted March 5, 2009 link

I just received my Baratza Vario and I'm having the same problem DaveZ had two years ago. The motor isn't working. There's no grinding. I've checked and rechecked the hopper to make sure it's fully engaged. I got about 5 seconds of grinding when I first tried it, but then nada.

I spent about $600 on this grinder. $450 to Amazon and $150 for special shipping to Mexico. It would cost me another $300 to ship it back to Amazon. I see there are 148 pages to this thread. Does anyone know if someone found a solution?
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dana_leighton
Moderator
dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,907
Location: Little Rock, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Wed Sep 21, 2011, 8:55pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Dead on Arrival
 

kmetzger Said:

I spent about $600 on this grinder. $450 to Amazon and $150 for special shipping to Mexico. It would cost me another $300 to ship it back to Amazon. I see there are 148 pages to this thread. Does anyone know if someone found a solution?

Posted September 21, 2011 link

I'd call or email Baratza. I'm quite sure they'll take care of you for little or no cost.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,684
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, Preciso/Esatto, KyM...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Sep 21, 2011, 9:00pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Dead on Arrival
 

I just noticed Dave Z said "i can turn the lower burr with my fingers"...
That should not be. There are 3 screws that secure the lower burr. In NO WAY should the lower burr be less than tight (but not over-tight. (no screw stripping please)

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,684
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, Preciso/Esatto, KyM...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Sep 21, 2011, 9:04pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

wKim, I'll assume you read the manual cover to cover.
For grins, did you happen to attempt to adjust the Vario with beans in the hopper, but WITHOUT THE MOTOR RUNNING?

This may be the #1 reason why any grinder will lock up.
I would also check underneath the lower burr for schmutz.

Sometimes you really have to click that hopper in to engage the motor. Don't be afraid of the click, you're not breaking anything.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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kmetzger
Senior Member
kmetzger
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Sep 22, 2011, 12:20am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

For grins, did you happen to attempt to adjust the Vario with beans in the hopper, but WITHOUT THE MOTOR RUNNING?

This may be the #1 reason why any grinder will lock up.
I would also check underneath the lower burr for schmutz.

Sometimes you really have to click that hopper in to engage the motor. Don't be afraid of the click, you're not breaking anything.

Posted September 21, 2011 link

Yes, I did set the macro adjustment to Esp without the motor running. I read the note: "whenever moving the macro lever up, the grinder should be running" after it was too late. Have I terminally destroyed the machine? And yes, there's a distinct loud click when I engage the hopper.
I've written an email to Baratza.
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kmetzger
Senior Member
kmetzger
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Sep 22, 2011, 12:43am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

How do you check underneath the lower burr?
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