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Vario: uneven grinds at coarse settings-How much variability is within the norm?
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fuzzy2009
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Joined: 4 Jan 2009
Posts: 4
Location: NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 5:57am
Subject: Vario: uneven grinds at coarse settings-How much variability is within the norm?
 

Assume no grinder at this price range achieves perfect grind consistency...notice when I do coarser grinds for Chemex, there are uneven larger pieces and finer powder intermingled with most grinds at one size. Did I get a dud for a grinder or should I reset my expectations?
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Gig103
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Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 225
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 11:30am
Subject: Re: Vario: uneven grinds at coarse settings
 

I think it's your expectations, unfortunately. I found that since moving from a Preciso (conical) to Vario (flat), my french press grind is not nearly as consistent.

I've considered an $80 Capresso or $129 Encore for french press, based on some reading in this forum and personal observations, except at the end of the day I'd rather get some fines in my coffee than have two grinders (I do 85% or so espresso these days).

If you don't do espresso, Baratza does sell some flat burrs better for Chemex and french press.
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Endo
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Endo
Joined: 26 Jun 2008
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Espresso: machine is < important than...
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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Vario: uneven grinds at coarse settings
 

Unfortunately, the Vario never really lived up to its name. It does a decent job for espresso, but using it for both espresso AND drip is impossible. (And forget about getting back to your original espresso setting without wasting a lot of coffee recalibrating).

To make matters worse, the recent changes they made to cover the lower tolerance band seems to have eliminated some of the upper coarse range (hence the simultaneous release of drip specfic metal burrs I suppose).  You might get by for drip, but forget french press.

Besides, the stock high-speed ceramic burrs tend to smash the beans, producing a lot of dust. I get better result from my $50 conical hand grinders to be honest.

So for Chemex you have 2 choices: Get something better suited for the Chemex (conical), or get the drip specific metal Vario burrs.
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fuzzy2009
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Joined: 4 Jan 2009
Posts: 4
Location: NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 9:03am
Subject: Re:Vario:uneven grinds at coarse settings
 

Thank you both! I wish Baratza would be more transparent about the espresso-coarse grind variability issue. Seems there is so much discussion about it...so, if I were in the market for a new grinder that is proficient at both fine and coarse grind and I wanted to remain sub-$500 , what grinder would outshine the Baratza line for consistency across the grind size continuum?
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jbviau
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jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 730
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
Drip: Trifecta MB / Eva Solo...
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 10:50am
Subject: Re: Vario:uneven grinds at coarse settings
 

Kinda depends on how high your standards are re: "proficient." I'm tempted to say no grinder truly excels at both ends of the spectrum. You might be better off going with two grinders, one for espresso and another for everything else. Sub-$500, IMO your best bet would be a manual grinder like the OE LIDO ($$) or the Portaspresso Rosco ($$$). Or *maybe* a Baratza Preciso, as funny as that might sound.
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