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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Vario...  
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JakiChan
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Joined: 24 Dec 2002
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Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: *$ Barista
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 10:08am
Subject: Vario reliability?
 

I'm interesting in purchasing a Vario to go with a new machine, but two places I've talked to, including CCS and a local shop, have told me that they see a lot of Varios coming back for service, more than they think they should  I guess Baratza stands behind it fine, but it's concerning that it has issues in the first place.  The reputation of this grinder seems pretty high, but I'm concerned on that feedback from places that sell them.  

What have the Coffee Cognoscenti to say about the reliability of the Vario?
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 10:31am
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

I can't speak to the long term reliability, but my Vario died in the first week after purchase.  Replacement was easy and cost me $0 for shipping.  Replacement, a brand new unit, has been working great.

I like the grinder, but would recommend a cheaper standby grinder on hand too.  (I've got an old La Pavoni PGC for backup.)
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
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Location: UK
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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 11:11am
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

JakiChan Said:

What have the Coffee Cognoscenti to say about the reliability of the Vario?

Posted July 12, 2013 link

Apparently, fantastic customer service dealing with the faults on the grinders. Thousands of posts on forums to attest to this fact. Customer service you have not heard the like of from any other grinder manufacturer e.g. Mazzer....simply never really read anything about their customer service, but hearing all the time about Baratzas with the Vario and how good it is at resolving the faults, supply replacement parts, or indeed new grinders..

I suppose I can't emphasise how important (and great) it is to have this level of backup with a grinder like the Vario. I mean it might concern you to buy a Mazzer or other reputable make of grinder, because you simply don't get all the enthusiastic forum posts about how well the problems were solved and how great mazzers customer service is.

So really you got to make your own mind up....what do you think?
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__________
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
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Espresso: Awaiting spare parts ;o(
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Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 3:08pm
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

DavecUK Said:

Apparently, fantastic customer service dealing with the faults on the grinders. Thousands of posts on forums to attest to this fact. Customer service you have not heard the like of from any other grinder manufacturer e.g. Mazzer....simply never really read anything about their customer service, but hearing all the time about Baratzas with the Vario and how good it is at resolving the faults, supply replacement parts, or indeed new grinders..

I suppose I can't emphasise how important (and great) it is to have this level of backup with a grinder like the Vario. I mean it might concern you to buy a Mazzer or other reputable make of grinder, because you simply don't get all the enthusiastic forum posts about how well the problems were solved and how great mazzers customer service is.

So really you got to make your own mind up....what do you think?

Posted July 12, 2013 link

I'm sure you'll remember this, Dave

Mazzer may have somewhere similar :o)

click here

Given a choice of the 2, I know which brand of grinder I'd buy (unless we include the proper commercial Mahlkoenig grinders with confusingly similar names.)
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JakiChan
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Joined: 24 Dec 2002
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Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: *$ Barista
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 3:39pm
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

Well, CCS is offering (with the Anita I want to purchase) a Compak K3 for the same price.  And they say they've seen a lot fewer problems....
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,383
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 7:02pm
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

__________ Said:

I'm sure you'll remember this, Dave

Mazzer may have somewhere similar :o)

click here

Given a choice of the 2, I know which brand of grinder I'd buy (unless we include the proper commercial Mahlkoenig grinders with confusingly similar names.)

Posted July 12, 2013 link

Exactly :)
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JakiChan
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Joined: 24 Dec 2002
Posts: 17
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: *$ Barista
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013, 10:13am
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

DavecUK Said:

So really you got to make your own mind up....what do you think?

Posted July 12, 2013 link

It seems to be a choice between better performance/features and reliability. I don't see folks raving about the K3 like they do the Vario - the owners thread is very quiet. But in the Vario thread I read about shim kits and whatnot. It's a hard decision. I also like the smaller size of the Vario. I'm sure either will do a great job - I'm just trying to see if I can figure out which one is best for me before buying.
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,383
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013, 10:26am
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

JakiChan Said:

It seems to be a choice between better performance/features and reliability. I don't see folks raving about the K3 like they do the Vario - the owners thread is very quiet. But in the Vario thread I read about shim kits and whatnot. It's a hard decision. I also like the smaller size of the Vario. I'm sure either will do a great job - I'm just trying to see if I can figure out which one is best for me before buying.

Posted July 13, 2013 link

Oh, you believe the Vario performs better...wow, why is that, because all the owners say so? Below is a link to a review I did when the Vario first came out, so it's over 3 years old.

Click Here (www.bellabarista.co.uk)
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CoffeeRon
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CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 733
Location: Tacoma Wa.
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Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
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Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013, 11:51am
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

DavecUK Said:

Oh, you believe the Vario performs better...wow, why is that, because all the owners say so? Below is a link to a review I did when the Vario first came out, so it's over 3 years old.

Click Here (www.bellabarista.co.uk)

Posted July 13, 2013 link

Hi Dave, your review was interesting indeed. I've been considering going over to a Vario- for one reason- to put an end to pre-weighing and be able to walk up and push a button and start the grinding. With the grind retention on my K-6 I couldn't do that effectively even if I added a digital timer. So your review left me with the question- have you tried the Vario with steel burrs and if so what did you think?
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,354
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Vario reliability?
 

DavecUK Said:

Oh, you believe the Vario performs better...wow, why is that, because all the owners say so? Below is a link to a review I did when the Vario first came out, so it's over 3 years old.

Click Here (www.bellabarista.co.uk)

Posted July 13, 2013 link

kinda goes against what owners of both (or all?) grinders mentioned there. Maybe a flawed early one? I mean you have owners of Super Jolleys and Vario that say they taste the same/similar and SJ is def above those other grinders. Buddy has a Macap MC4 and Vario and Vario def out edges the Macap in cup taste, and Mazzer Mini when we compared. Grinds are so fluffy too and almost no/little retention. I've used the Eureka as almost bought one by me that had new burrs but didn't care for it, not bad or anything.

Coffeeron - steel burrs are option for coarse use, I think you loose espresso grinding if you swap for them
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