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A grinder for a up and comer
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bobertstowers
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2011
Posts: 19
Location: St. Louis
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus II
Grinder: Starbucks Barista Burr
Posted Thu Feb 9, 2012, 5:25pm
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

"Oh, and I should add that i would not recommend a Mazzer Mini. If you're set on buying one, I'd recommend either the Vario or the Super Jolly"

"As for the mini, if you get a steal of a deal on a used one, they are good grinders, not as good as a SJ though, which sell at a very reasonable price when used. At the new price of the mini, I would not put it on my long list, not to mention the short one."

This surprises because I've only heard great things about the mini. Are these statements about price or performance?
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MikeReilly
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 307
Location: Vancouver Island
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cimbali Junior Gaggia...
Grinder: Pharos CC45 Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast 2, Popper
Posted Thu Feb 9, 2012, 9:56pm
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

bobertstowers Said:

This surprises because I've only heard great things about the mini. Are these statements about price or performance?

Posted February 9, 2012 link

As an owner of a Mini, I'd have to say that if I were starting over again, I'd probably go a different direction (vario or just spend the bucks and go titan class - minimum of used SJ).  It *is* a very nice grinder with a number of features I enjoy, but I get the feeling that it's the weak point in my espresso making chain right now.  I like the fact that I can switch grinds to press, drip and espresso without wasting too much coffee (no more than a shot or so when going to espresso).  It's not the cleanest grinder for me (possibly I'm just not a good match for it cleanliness wise).  I can pull espresso as good as any place in town (me on a good day, them on an average to poor day, but I'm not sure I can beat them consistently).  I think the Vario, despite a lack of proven durability, is eating up the Minis spot for the home barista (the niche long ago vacated by the Rocky).  The big advantage the mini has is that it will probably still be pulling decent shots when the vario has long turned to dust.  It would survive a grenade blast 5 feet away (well, the hopper and the doser acrylic wouldn't, but you get the idea).
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MARIOBARBA
Senior Member
MARIOBARBA
Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 126
Location: MONTREAL CANADA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso DUO Prof TRONIC
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 5:09am
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

I have a Vario and have been happy with it when it works.  Before considering many of the grinders being suggested, try to go into a brick and mortar espresso shop and have a look at these grinders.  I know for me, a lot of these would never grace my counter just because of their sheer size.  i have seen pic of people's setups here and on HB and they never looked that crazy, but recently I was in an espresso service shop that had a couple of Compak K8's next to some Ascaso Steel grinders and they were easily 6-7 times larger.  I've been in my fair share of cafes and have seen my fair share of Mazzers, but seeing them next to a home grinder or on a counter with cabinets over it in real life, killed any desire to upgrade from my Vario that I had.  
Again different strokes for different folks.  If you have the space for a commercial setup and don't mind having what looks like a relic from WWII on your counter, then go commercial, if not, a Vario is a very nice choice (unless you get a lemon like I did).
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 764
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: NS Appia, Oscar
Grinder: K10, Lusso, GM 875
Drip: Pour-Over, FP, Toddy
Roaster: Agapao, Metropolis, CC
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 7:38am
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

bobertstowers Said:

This surprises because I've only heard great things about the mini. Are these statements about price or performance?

Posted February 9, 2012 link

They're about performance relative to the (new)price. Used might be a different story depending on how good of a deal it is.

<300, probably a decent deal. Any more than that and you can get a Vario Refurb ($380) a new Vario ($469) or a used Super Jolly in the range of $250-400.

Btw, the Vario may have a plastic casing, but the internals are fully serviceable, so it's longevity is only weaker in theory.

MARIOBARBA Said:

(unless you get a lemon like I did).

Posted February 10, 2012 link

This is where their legendary customer service comes in. I've experienced it myself.

-James

 
Load and Lock.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,034
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 7:52am
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

MARIOBARBA Said:

.....  If you have the space for a commercial setup and don't mind having what looks like a relic from WWII on your counter, then go commercial, if not, a Vario is a very nice choice.....

Posted February 10, 2012 link

What is wrong with WWII? LOL!
This is why they sell more than one grinder! I have handled a Vario and that plastic boxed thing would never grace my counter (a riff on your words) I like the look, feel and quality of industrial, Vario isn't it.

That does not stop me from recommending them though as several members here who I respect the opinions of have and like them so the quality must be there.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 764
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: NS Appia, Oscar
Grinder: K10, Lusso, GM 875
Drip: Pour-Over, FP, Toddy
Roaster: Agapao, Metropolis, CC
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 8:01am
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

calblacksmith Said:

What is wrong with WWII? LOL!
This is why they sell more than one grinder! I have handled a Vario and that plastic boxed thing would never grace my counter (a riff on your words) I like the look, feel and quality of industrial, Vario isn't it.

That does not stop me from recommending them though as several members here who I respect the opinions of have and like them so the quality must be there.

Posted February 10, 2012 link

Haha. I like the defense here.

I love my Vario, but some day I'll splurge on a Robur. Does that make you happy Wayne?

 
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,034
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 8:39am
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

LOL
Buy one or not, keep the vario or not, your coffee, your counter and your home!

All kidding aside, I have enough commercial cooking equipment to open my own eatery, really!
20 qt Hobart industrial mixer.
Hobart Buffalo chopper
Berkel Buffalo chopper
Hobart grinder attachment for mixer/chopper
Hobart vegg slicer/shreader attachment for mixer/chopper
Garland full size gas convection oven
3' commercial griddle with clam shell attachment.
Wolf burner cooktop
Hot food holding oven
4 induction warming plates for maintaining food temp in steam pans
1 stand alone steam pan warmer for full size pans/ mix of pans to equal full size pan.
3 commercial equipment stands 24x30, 30x36 and a referigerated 30" x 6ft.
3 30" x 5' stainless steel prep tables
3 30" x 30" stainless steel prep tables
2 Traueson commercial refers
Commercial freezer
2 bowl SS sink for food prep
3 bowl SS sink for dish/cleanup
assorted floor mats for commercial kitchens
Bunn RT  (plumb in) 5 burner commercial drip coffee brewer
Bunn VPR-APS air pot brewer
Bunn G9 2 commercial drip coffee grinder
Curtis, plumb in airpot brewer
NS MCD65 GP coffee grinder
3 Super Jollies
Gaggia espresso grinder
Brazillia 2 gp HX machine
2 single group commercial HX espresso machines
4 jar commercial syrup rail and pumps

Assorted cutting boards, knives, ladels and small wares

and probably more cooking equipment that I have forgotten about, not to mention a lot of duplications of the above in home quality equipment.

I think you can see why the Vario just seems a bit plasicky and light duty to me!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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MARIOBARBA
Senior Member
MARIOBARBA
Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 126
Location: MONTREAL CANADA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso DUO Prof TRONIC
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 9:06am
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

calblacksmith Said:

LOL
Buy one or not, keep the vario or not, your coffee, your counter and your home!

All kidding aside, I have enough commercial cooking equipment to open my own eatery, really!
20 qt Hobart industrial mixer.
Hobart Buffalo chopper
Berkel Buffalo chopper
Hobart grinder attachment for mixer/chopper
Hobart vegg slicer/shreader attachment for mixer/chopper
Garland full size gas convection oven
3' commercial griddle with clam shell attachment.
Wolf burner cooktop
Hot food holding oven
4 induction warming plates for maintaining food temp in steam pans
1 stand alone steam pan warmer for full size pans/ mix of pans to equal full size pan.
3 commercial equipment stands 24x30, 30x36 and a referigerated 30" x 6ft.
3 30" x 5' stainless steel prep tables
3 30" x 30" stainless steel prep tables
2 Traueson commercial refers
Commercial freezer
2 bowl SS sink for food prep
3 bowl SS sink for dish/cleanup
assorted floor mats for commercial kitchens
Bunn RT  (plumb in) 5 burner commercial drip coffee brewer
Bunn VPR-APS air pot brewer
Bunn G9 2 commercial drip coffee grinder
Curtis, plumb in airpot brewer
NS MCD65 GP coffee grinder
3 Super Jollies
Gaggia espresso grinder
Brazillia 2 gp HX machine
2 single group commercial HX espresso machines
4 jar commercial syrup rail and pumps

Assorted cutting boards, knives, ladels and small wares

and probably more cooking equipment that I have forgotten about, not to mention a lot of duplications of the above in home quality equipment.

I think you can see why the Vario just seems a bit plasicky and light duty to me!

Posted February 10, 2012 link

WTF!  When I brought home the Ascaso DUO (considerably larger than my last espresso machine) my wife almost lost it, I can picture her reaction if I had any of the things mentioned above!!!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,034
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 9:13am
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

I have a VERY understanding wife :D

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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naimnut
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Posts: 68
Location: Seattle area
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Braun Aeromaster
Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 9:32am
Subject: Re: A grinder for a up and comer
 

That is an astonishing inventory of commercial equipment!

I'm compelled to ask - why?
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