Posted Sun Aug 26, 2012, 8:19am Subject: Upgrade from the Rancilio Rocky
I need some advice on whether it is worth upgrading from the Rocky to the Baratza Vario or something else in that price range.
I've had the Rocky for two years and I've been using it with the Silvia and I've been very happy with the results. I just upgraded from the Rocky to the Quick Mill Anita. It was suggested to me that I should upgrade my grinder to get the most from my upgrade in Espresso machines. I read through the forums for postings requesting advice on upgrading from the Rocky and I was left with the impression that if I want to stay in the price range of around $400, the best option is the Vario. So, the question is will I notice the difference by making the upgrade to the Vario or should I wait until I am ready to spend more money on a more expensive grinder?
CMIN Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2012 Posts: 512 Location: South FL Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Aug 26, 2012, 9:07am Subject: Re: Upgrade from the Rancilio Rocky
Def, even the cheaper Preciso is far better as far as dialing in the shot. Rocky is just out of date, it's steps are too wide. I know some like it's looks and commercial type heft, but otherwise there are grinders that are just simply better. You could always step up to amore expensive espresso only grinder, just depends on what you want to spend. Plenty of comparisons have shown the Vario to be preferred over grinders costing a lot more.
IMAWriter Senior Member Joined: 4 Jul 2002 Posts: 5,464 Location: Brentwood, TN Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Nothing at the moment Grinder: Vario-W,Preciso-Esatto/KyM... Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup Drip: Brazen.Chemex, Hario, Clever... Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun Aug 26, 2012, 9:38am Subject: Re: Upgrade from the Rancilio Rocky
Odysseas, welcome to CG! If you are used to grinding directly into your PF (or using doser to do the same0 I might suggest the regular Vario. The Preciso, as CMIN posted, is a less expensive alternative, and does wonderful drip and French press grind, as does the Vario. The major differences beside the Vario's greater adjustment options, is that the Preciso is a conical burr grinder, whilst the Vario is a flat burr. Both give excellent results, though I find the Preciso to produce shots which slightly accentuate the fruitier aspects of my espresso, whilst the Vario's profile is comparable to a Mazzer SJ, more of the bottom tones, caramels, etc. I have both grinders. (actually a Vario W and Preciso)
The W has grind by weight built in, which eliminators the need for a scale, and increases consistency. However, you cannot grind directly into the PF/basket, but instead grind into the grind chamber below, and dump the grinds into your basket. Most of us use a small funnel type thing, or just curl their hand around the top of the PF, unless it's too hot!
EDIT: Just a thought. Contact your vendor, and have them give you a grinder discount, since thou purchased the machine. (if new) Also, try pulling some shots with the Rocky, just to see what you're getting different. Temp stability/consistency on there Anita will be a big improvement over your previous machine. I owned an Anita for 4 years. it's excellent, a great choice. Give it a week to break in tour new machine, and your HX flush technique and timing. Then pull the grinder trigger.
Posted Sun Aug 26, 2012, 10:31am Subject: Re: Upgrade from the Rancilio Rocky
Hey Odysseas, welcome to CG! I own a Rocky, and like it. I use it to grind everything but espresso. I have never used a Vario, but people who own them seem to be happy. The Vario will be a big upgrade for your espresso grinding. I also own a Sylvia and upgraded to the Anita - love it. I also am in Virginia - where abouts are you? John
Posted Sun Aug 26, 2012, 3:28pm Subject: Re: Upgrade from the Rancilio Rocky
Thanks for all the great advice. I only grind coffee for espresso. I am the only one in my family that drinks coffee and it is either a straight espresso or a latte so, I would be fine with a grinder that is for espresso only. Most of the postings I saw about a grinder upgrade were leaning towards the Vario but I will certainly take a look at the other choices you guys already proposed or any other options available.
It took a while from when I bought the Silvia to when I got to the point of making good coffee with it so, I suspect my technique with the Anita will improve over time as well. IMAWriter mentioned "HX flush technique and timing" as things I need to work on and since I am not sure I know what they are exactly at this point, it looks like I still have some homework to do.
John, I am in Northern Virginia in the Herndon area. I got the Anita from Chris' Coffee since all the reviews consistently ranked them as the best vendor to get the machine from.
Posted Mon Aug 27, 2012, 7:17am Subject: Re: Upgrade from the Rancilio Rocky
I have a Rocky that I have had for years and have used a Vario and Preciso but not for espresso. The Vario grinds about twice as fast as Rocky. The Preciso is probably close to that. I'm sorry I can't comment on the fine adjustments for espresso. I found Rocky to be adequate for my Silvia when I did make espresso.
If I were deciding between the Preciso and Vario and wasn't price conscious, I'd get the Vario. I prefer the on/off switch to holding the grind button or guessing how far to turn the timer. That's probably not as big of a deal for filling a portafilter.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 1,727 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto II Grinder: MacapM4T, Macap M4, OE Lido,... Drip: Espro press; Aeropress Roaster: internet
Posted Mon Aug 27, 2012, 9:42pm Subject: Re: Upgrade from the Rancilio Rocky
I formerly used a Rocky when I had my Silvia. It was an upgrade from an old Solis Maestro. The Rocky was fine for me for quite a while, but eventually I realized what it's limitations are and completely agree with the problems stated earlier in this thread. When I upgraded to the Macap M4, I was really amazed at how much of an improvement there was. I suspect you'll have a similar experience when you upgrade...to one of the Baratzas you're looking at or something else.
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