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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
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 Thu Mar 14, 2013, 4:30pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

i have an early model vario, s/n 9xx, purchased in late August 2009, just a few months after the Vario was first released.  I have not had ANY of these issues that have come up recently.  the micro-adjuster works as expected and is perfectly predictable, i single-dose without a column of beans in the hopper and am perfectly happy with the results.  i have not had to do a major cleaning as every time i take a detailed look, there is very little buildup anywhere... after 3 1/2 years of continuous use.  i don't use dark or oily beans though.  i like light roasted, "third wavey" roasts and varietals so maybe that explains the cleanliness?  I did my first recalibration only a few months ago after i under roasted some beans (after which i should have thrown them out), and needed to go super fine to get the timing i wanted. (the espresso still sucked.  too light a roast is difficult to save => light roast is good.  too light is bad.)  good as it is, i don't use the timer as the +/- 0.4 grams jason referred to is too wide a delta for me.  i only overlook hundredths of a gram so i do +/- 0.0g for my shots.  oh, and i only do espresso with it.  to the extent that i ever drink anything but espresso, which is rare, i have another dedicated grinder for that.  

on edit: much as i like this thing, i don't trust it to go full swings from espresso to press pot and still go right back to the same performance at the same setting every time.  IMHO the dream of having a do-it-all grinder is a pipe dream... unless you are willing to put up with a whole lot of hassle chasing settings that i am not willing to put up with.  iow, just because it _can_ do it, doesn't mean it's worth the hassle.  it's not, to me.  

3 1/2 years into my vario, i could not be happier, have no interest in the added complexity of the vario-w, and would only replace my vario with a titan-class grinder... and i'm in no hurry to do that.

-peter
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MDiddy
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 118
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP
Drip: Cuisinart DCC-1200
Posted Thu Mar 14, 2013, 4:37pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Just to chime in, I only use single doses in my Vario as well (use the Airscape to keep the beans fresh as possible) have have very little, if no popcorn affect.  

No complaints on the grind of mine as well.  I get an even grind and distribution the whole way through.

Here's an interesting article I found on popcorning and some testing that shows no ill effects.

Click Here (www.fivesenses.com.au)
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MJJ
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jan 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Thu Mar 14, 2013, 6:20pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

jmdfd415 Said:

I am having a really hard time dialing mine in.  I am hoping someone here can help me.  I just received mine yesterday and the first thing I did was check the calibration and it seemed perfect.  I spent about an hour last night trying to dial it in and ended up with something very close to what I wanted, but the setting was 3k!  From what I am reading that seems really off.  Anything in the 1 or 2 range on the macro chokes the machine.  I am single dosing and using 18g every time.  I just tried to pull my morning shot and now 3K chokes the machine.  As soon as I was finished I checked the calibration again and it still seems fine.  I am really lost.....

Posted March 13, 2013 link

 I had most of the same problems that you are having. I ended up re-calibrating my grinder, had to do a primary calibration and the Baratza guys guided me through it over the phone at one point. I also had moments when it was super clean that the grind came out wonderfully fluffy in appearance...that lasted one or two shots and then you could hear the motor chug down and the grind get finer and chunkier...all by itself mid grind.  Then I had to set it coarser. The grind was still decent looking but no longer that beautifully fluffy type. My guess is that when the inside of the grinder is totally clear it makes fluff...but it takes very little time before a little clogging of fines gets in various places (you see it when you clean) and that stops the fluffy grind but still produces a good grind. I've given up worrying about it and just use it as is, the grind is nice.  
  I run into this same effect sometimes going from coarsest setting back to espresso. I'm learning how to get my espresso setting back quickly enough without grinding away too much wasted coffee.
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JohnLyn
Senior Member
JohnLyn
Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 243
Location: Golden, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 12:01pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

I am also a single doser of light to medium roasts. I have been loving this grinder and only recently had an issue. Baratza is just going to replace it. Very impressive.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,864
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 12:49pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

JohnLyn Said:

I am also a single doser of light to medium roasts. I have been loving this grinder and only recently had an issue. Baratza is just going to replace it. Very impressive.

Posted March 15, 2013 link

Well, I have to say the single dosing thing seems not to be an issue of folks here.
I did a not so blind test with 20 shots with the Vario W, 10 singled dosed (beans weighed first) and 10 shots using the Vario-W's scale, and a 1/3 full hoper.
I discounted any visual `info, and in fact, there is very little popcorning anyhow.

My results  were basically that the the majority of the weighed by Vario shots (1/3 full hopper showed a bit more uniformity of depth, and in some cases, the pour LOOKED a bit better.
Obviously, YMMV.

I found this to be exactly the same with my former Mazzer SJ.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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jmdfd415
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Posts: 29
Location: NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Well now I am completely confused. I was going to try filling the hopper a little ways with some beans, but I decided to try another shot this morning of just single dosing to the setting that I dialed in yesterday.  This time the shot came out just like I had dialed it in the day before.  I tried a few more to see if it was consistent and every single time was perfect!  I really have no idea why I have been having so many issues over the past couple of days.  Maybe it just needed some time to break in?
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,864
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 4:32pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

jmdfd415 Said:

I really have no idea why I have been having so many issues over the past couple of days.  Maybe it just needed some time to break in?

Posted March 15, 2013 link

UM, YES, as was said a bit earlier.
Even the ceramic burrs need a few lbs to break in. Not sure about everyone else, but I had to recalibrate after 4 lbs, as I was nearly choking my lever with the same beans, same age.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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JohnLyn
Senior Member
JohnLyn
Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 243
Location: Golden, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 6:12pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Well, I have to say the single dosing thing seems not to be an issue of folks here.
I did a not so blind test with 20 shots with the Vario W, 10 singled dosed (beans weighed first) and 10 shots using the Vario-W's scale, and a 1/3 full hoper.
I discounted any visual `info, and in fact, there is very little popcorning anyhow.

My results  were basically that the the majority of the weighed by Vario shots (1/3 full hopper showed a bit more uniformity of depth, and in some cases, the pour LOOKED a bit better.
Obviously, YMMV.

I found this to be exactly the same with my former Mazzer SJ.

Posted March 15, 2013 link

Interesting observations for sure. Did you do some blind taste tests as well and if so what was the result? I love the ease and simplicity of single dosing now but am open to significant differences of consistency a taste.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,864
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 8:17pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

JohnLyn Said:

Interesting observations for sure. Did you do some blind taste tests as well and if so what was the result? I love the ease and simplicity of single dosing now but am open to significant differences of consistency a taste.

Posted March 15, 2013 link

Well, my "tests" aren't blind, so I discounted them. Besides, All my shots taste good. LOL

I guess I just wonder why, using a Vario, anyone would feel the need to dose by the shot. Why, when there is a very accurate timer.
With the mega-doses all seem to be doing these days, whats .2 or .3 gram differences to 20 gram shots?
Anyone says they can taste that is way beyond Geekdom. :>D

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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MDiddy
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 118
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP
Drip: Cuisinart DCC-1200
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 8:23pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

IMAWriter Said:

Well, my "tests" aren't blind, so I discounted them. Besides, All my shots taste good. LOL

I guess I just wonder why, using a Vario, anyone would feel the need to dose by the shot. Why, when there is a very accurate timer.
With the mega-doses all seem to be doing these days, whats .2 or .3 gram differences to 20 gram shots?
Anyone says they can taste that is way beyond Geekdom. :>D

Posted March 15, 2013 link

My thinking is simply to keep my beans fresh.  

I store them in an Airscape, so rather than them sitting in the hopper for a few days exposed to air, I can keep in them in an air tight container so they last longer.
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