Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013, 2:24pm Subject: Re: older model 99-03 SJ or newer 2010 vario ?
Assuming you're referring to the Baratza Vario and not the Malkonig Vario, I'd still say the SJ in terms of the cup. I might choose the vario for all the features and size but if your goal is the best espresso only, those larger burrs would "grind better". I put my Vario on drip duty when I found my '94 Mazzer Major. I like to think my drinks taste better now.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 6,839 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013, 5:12am Subject: Re: older model 99-03 SJ or newer 2010 vario ?
Yep, what Mohammed said. We are in a place here that a lot of personal preferences rule the day. Many here have the B Vario and love it, to my hands, it feels, ..... plasticky and .... inexpensive. I am not saying that anyone is wrong, not at all, the B Vario is one of the grinders that I advise people to look at, my personal taste is for larger, heavy, solid equipment and I really like the Mazzer line, esp from the SJ and up. Either grinder should do a good job but for my money, I go industrial, every chance I can, that is just the way I am. YMMV!
In real life, my name is Wayne P.
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Jmanespresso Senior Member Joined: 18 Jan 2009 Posts: 2,108 Location: Westchester NY Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto II Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5 Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013, 8:23am Subject: Re: older model 99-03 SJ or newer 2010 vario ?
I really love my Vario. But as an espresso grinder, Ive only used it sparingly. Really, its my brewing grinder. And just recently, I switchted it to 100% brewing duty by installing the Ditting steel burrs. NOW its a brew monster, but worthless for espresso.
The Vario is really THE grinder to buy when you're buying a new setup. Cheap, versatile, great for espresso, and great for brewing. You have a worthy espresso grinder which NO wife in the world would say is unacceptable for a kitchen scenario.. what is there no to like?
But, its outclassed real quick by commercial grinders. The vario is often compared to the SJ, and its true, they're very close. But usage wise, the SJ takes the edge for pure espresso use Id say.
Follow Your Bliss
Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
This is true, but is only one consideration. I've seen a lot of glass-fronted double-door refrigerators in high-end coffee shops too. In home kitchens, not so much. Most people do not have commercial kitchen appliances... stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers... we've collectively decided that sure, a 100-lb. 220V microwave probably IS better than my cute white Panasonic, but do I need it the same robust build quality that is necessary in a commercial setting where a procession of low-paid employees repeatedly spill things in it and slam the door? Most of the time the answer is "NO". A lot of commercial/industrial equipment is less aesthetically pleasing, and often lacking in features that may appeal to consumers. There are no commercial coffee machines with 4-hour auto-shutoff because the commercial market does not want or need this, whereas most consumers would appreciate this feature. Few consumer market grinders come with a doser because, well, it's a feature designed to be used in a commercial high-throughput setting.
I have a Mazzer Mini. I love the build quality, I love the grind quality, and I love the look of it. If they could make it as easy to use as my Baratza Preciso I would be thrilled. My wife would be thrilled. She might even use it. Hell, even my kids would be thrilled as they love to make espresso for me in the morning and cleaning out the chute and brushing down the doser adds a whole level of complexity that many, dare I say most, folks trying to get out the door in the morning aren't up for.
I am a) a person who likes to tinker and b) a person who really really really really appreciates a good espresso and c) enjoys the ritual of grinding/loading/tamping/pulling a shot and d) appreciates longevity and build quality, yet still the doser to me is a pain in the a$$... it is not necessary or useful to me, the space it takes up could be much better utilized by a grounds hopper. Others with less patience or time would certainly appreciate the ease of use of the Vario or better yet the Vario-W which is still a few hundred bucks cheaper than the Mini. The Vario has a solid history unlike newcomer Preciso which has had its' share of design issues, and IMHO is totally adequate for home use.
pcof Senior Member Joined: 26 Feb 2013 Posts: 25 Location: NJ
Espresso: on the hunt Grinder: Lelit pl53 Drip: Chemex Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Apr 12, 2013, 10:42am Subject: Re: older model 99-03 SJ or newer 2010 vario ?
thanks for all the comments. i bought a 97 super jolly off ebay, probably a beater. I hope its not in to bad of shape when i get it. but you can't beat the price of 150 in still working condition. crossing my fingers and hopping for the best. i'll probably need a lot of help fixing her up
dspear99ca Senior Member Joined: 17 Jan 2013 Posts: 88 Location: BC, Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Coffee Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Fri Apr 12, 2013, 11:36am Subject: Re: older model 99-03 SJ or newer 2010 vario ?
Wow that is a great deal. The Mazzers are pretty indestructible, the case is HEAVY aluminum and if the motor is good you are probably looking at replacing the burrs ($50) plus the odd plastic part (hopper, lids, doser window, etc.). Enjoy.
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