dellios Senior Member Joined: 28 Aug 2013 Posts: 1 Location: Mougins Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Aug 28, 2013, 2:41pm Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
My first post here. I've had this grinder for about 2 years. It works still and the grind is great. I only do espresso shots and the grind is close to the max setting. But during this whole time, sometimes the machine acts up. During a grind it suddenly stops grinding and the front display turns off. It then will not restart until you shake or gently bang it on the counter. Then suddenly the display starts up and the machine works again. I then lower the grind a bit and this normally solves the problem. Lately when the machine has turned off, it now takes a lot of effort and banging to get the front display back again. This last time I even dismantled the whole machine, cleaned it and still nothing. Then after some more banging it came alive and now its back grinding as normal (at a lower setting).
What is going on? Its not under warranty but I hope I could buy a part to replace and hopefully solve this issue once and for good.
Posted Wed Aug 28, 2013, 3:24pm Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
Kosta, email or call Baratza. They can probably diagnose your problem, send you a new part, etc. Just cause your out of warranty, does not mean their CS stops. No need to bang on your grinder. Let us know what it was, and when you've got it back to spec!
I have one being shipped to my place soon to try out on my Vario-W. A friend has the Smart Grinder and I really liked that particular feature. I'm impressed that Barazta would make this feature work on older grinders and relatively low cost. Any other company would make it non-backwards compatible to make you upgrade to the latest.
john1938 Senior Member Joined: 20 Aug 2013 Posts: 13 Location: Calgary, AB, Canada Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Breville BES840XL,BES920XL Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 8:40pm Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
I have just received the Baratza Shut-off bean hopper and it works well. Just wanted to let folks know that it is not like the Breville Smart Grinder bin internal shut-off - the shut off is a lever at the rear of the bin that you flip over to close the bottom of the bin and shut off the flow of beans to the grinder burrs. Anyway it does the job and you can take the hopper off without spilling the beans. John
Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 7:51pm Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
Perhaps I should have put the following post here, as I'm not getting any response. I'm questioning if I need to replace my burrs and posted some pics of them in separate thread. Any help is much appreciated.
lowellw2 Senior Member Joined: 4 Apr 2010 Posts: 42 Location: Austin TX Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Breville BES900XL Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Nov 11, 2013, 6:35pm Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
I just got the shut-off hopper, the burr removal tool, and the metal portaholder. Which came out with the Forte. All are very well made. I'm sure I will be less hesitant to clean the burrs now as the new tool makes removal effortless. I had been having some trouble with my old hopper as it seemed to like to come loose overnight and not engage the switch. I usually had to twist it back in every morning and sometimes hold on to it to keep the grinder running. The new one, in addition to allowing easy removal with beans in the hopper, seems to fit much more snugly and I believe my "holding" routine is in the past. I must say I'm extremely impressed with the metal portaholder. It's a very heavy casting and gives the Vario a very solid stable feel as the added weight is down low. I first thought it would not fit in my machine, but a careful slow insertion and it slid into a perfect fit. The built in funnel hugs the portaholder after adjustment of the arms (2 Phillips screws on the back) and there is a small lug at the back which keeps the portaholder from vibrating out (the rubber cover on the arms helps also). I think i will now have both hands free and I can now be pouring milk for my latte while the grinder does its thing. Clearly it's a poor mans Forte IMHO. I tip my hat to Baratza for making these items available for the Vario. I think my counter will be much cleaner now and over time these upgrades may be paid for by the coffee beans I don't waste.
smurphy917 Senior Member Joined: 15 Jun 2011 Posts: 3 Location: Chicago, IL Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Saeco Via Venezia
Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 8:15am Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
Just received a brand new Vario-W yesterday. I was sorely disappointed to find that it seems to have some problem with the electronics. After starting up, it just shows "USt" on the LED. No buttons have any effect, other than the start/stop button which sometimes starts and stops the grinder. I called Baratza tech support (Chris' Coffee was closed for the day) and talked to Colin. He was very helpful and we tried going through the re-calibration process a number of times with no result--it would enter calibration mode fine, but wouldn't get past waiting for the 200g weight. Baratza is sending me another grinder, but I was wondering if anyone had seen this error before or knew anything about it. I can't find anything online about that error and Colin himself was unsure.
keithd Senior Member Joined: 24 Oct 2013 Posts: 31 Location: Oklahoma City Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: KA w/Mazzer burrs, Hario... Drip: Aeropress
Posted Sun Nov 24, 2013, 5:07am Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
Well, I'm a soon-to-be Baratza Vario-W owner. I'm pretty stoked as my last two serious espresso grinders were a Kitchenaid Proline with Mazzer Mini burrs, and a Hario Mini Mill. The KA just wasn't precise enough, even when made stepless. The Mini was outstanding for the shots it produced, but due to its portable size, grinding was very, very sloowww.
Now that my wife and son are liking the live-in barista's efforts, they're asking me to make espresso drinks for them. It's hard to get a great shot from the KA, and with the Mini I don't want to make more than one shot (but it's a good-'un). So now I want a precise grinder that I can grind quickly and make great shots with.
I narrowed it down to three choices: Preciso w/Essato, Vario, or Vario-W. Mostly decided on a Baratza because of the price/performance ratio for home use and Baratza's reputation for taking care of their customers. I was intending to get an HG One, but not only is it $1K, I have to weigh the beans manually. Gorgeous grinder, but not what I need right now. I eliminated the regular Vario. It's great, and you can grind directly into the portafilter, but you can't grind 18.0 grams exactly automatically. A new Preciso was close to the price of a refurbished Vario-W, but what drove me to the Vario-W was that the flat burrs supposedly bring out more chocolate notes (I don't prefer brighter espresso) and that I found a Vario-W on Amazon for $410 that was probably a return. Also I grind for espresso only, and the Preciso is supposedly a better all-arounder while the Vario/Vario-W is a better espresso grinder. It also helped that the Vario has some of the least grinds retention of any electric grinder ($2K Versalabs not withstanding) - it was important to me as the KA had HUGE grind retention.
I think the only thing that would make the grinder perfect would be if it could weigh the grinds while grinding directly into the portafilter.
Posted Sun Nov 24, 2013, 7:41am Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
"but what drove me to the Vario-W was that the flat burrs supposedly bring out more chocolate notes (I don't prefer brighter espresso) and that I found a Vario-W on Amazon for $410 that was probably a return.
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