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Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Now considering...  
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mauijer
Senior Member
mauijer
Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 24
Location: I'm a Nomad, today I'm in Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Silvano
Posted Sat Sep 28, 2013, 10:07am
Subject: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

Hey everyone,
Thanks for all those who contributed to my prior post in the wanted section. Figured I'd start a new thread in a more appropriate section and also provide an update. I have a Quickmill Silvano and am looking to get a grinder that 1) produces an excellent consistent grind (in the cup result is all I care about, no need for quantitative particle analysis). 2) Aesthetically pleasing--I like shiny but can do without. 3) Actually, lets call it 2b) Will hold up over time/wont break down frequently. 3) As dictated by the spouse: small footprint. Price range is less than $500.

I previously idealized the Mazzer Mini e Type B for it's looks, name, indestructibility, ease of use, good reviews and again its sexy looks. My budget was previously higher; however, as we will be expecting our first child soon this budget was ... shall we say, renegotiated. I therefore began looking online for a used superjolly to which i would place a shorter hopper but the lady objected to the machine size (My coffee corner has grown into a coffee counter) and states that she doesn't want a grinder that draws more attention than my Silvano.

So, having appreciated much of the comments to my prior post regarding Baratza and Mazzer (I also looked at Macap and Compak) I began initially looking at the Preciso as Mark Prince's article showed less fines, and equal in the cup flavor of the Preciso to the vario. This did seem a logical choice: one can procure a Preciso refurbished for $240 shipped, it has a small foot print, produces an excellent grind for espresso, and definitely wont intimidate my Silvano (alas it is not shiny ;( ). And as comparison to a vario took place the typical thought process snowballing effect took place ending with considering a vario-w. With the Preciso I would plan on Single dosing which has two drawbacks--1) my coffee process has already been criticized by non espresso friends as overly meticulous. Add to that preweighing beans and I'm in for it. 2) as the prospect of future sleepless nights draws near and the place for espresso now begins to ascertain an "imperative" title the benefit to a faster routine does have some merit--I guess that is more of a similar point. Finally, the question of conical burr VS flat burr comes to light. Sadly there is no small coffee shop for which to try out both the Preciso and the Vario anywhere near me; but from what I've heard conical tends to increase the fruity tones and give a lighter flavor whereas flat increases the darker, chocolatey flavors. My concern is I hate any hint of acidic lemony flavor in my espresso. So would a flat burr decrease this chance, all other things considered, vs a conical preciso?

Sorry for the longwinded commentary here. Mainly hoping for recommendations regarding is the vario W worth the price for home use? (the forte looks awesome but out of my budget). Or should I just save $200 get the preciso and hope for no significant popcorning with single dosing. I could add the Esatto for $145 but then the difference to just get the Vario W refurbished is only a difference of about $40 and I might as well get the smaller footprint of the Vario than the Preciso plus Esatto. Now I was concerned about the durability of Baratza plastic and I have seen a lot of recent complaints on SCG about having to return Vario W's but I think this post has grown too large already. Thank you to all those who have read this far and additional thanks to those who can provide further insight or recommendations.
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Intrepid510
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 344
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 30, 2013, 11:42am
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

Just go with the Vario W. Using it only for espresso right?

The Preciso is great when it works, and has excellent customer support. However, parts of it will break eventually and you will need to switch out adjustment rings etc. All is very easy, but there will be down time at certain points. The Vario will probably have a similar issue at some point but fewer and farther between.

Also the Escatto is quite large, making the foot print a good deal larger as it will have tail of about 4-5 inches.

However, the Preciso is excellent in the drip range. I can grind finer yet have quicker draw downs due to less fines with it causing pour over coffee with excellent clarity that in my opinion is only matched by shop grinders.

I believe the conical VS flat is a little over done especailly at this range. You will get slightly brighter notes with the Preciso, but it will bring out like dark cherry flavor in a comfort blend, it's not going to make it into lemonhead candy blend.

 
Less water, more grounds.
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 935
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Thu Oct 3, 2013, 7:28pm
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

mauijer Said:

Mainly hoping for recommendations regarding is the vario W worth the price for home use?

Posted September 28, 2013 link

That's your call to make as worth is highly subjective no matter what the topic.  Plenty find the Vario W worthwhile.  It's definitely not a commercial grinder -- it is intended for home use.  It sounds like you'd probably prefer flat burrs but none of us can tell you which way your preference would go or even if you have one in the first place.  The Vario W doesn't need as much counter space as many of the larger grinders.
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 935
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Thu Oct 3, 2013, 7:31pm
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

mauijer Said:

Mainly hoping for recommendations regarding is the vario W worth the price for home use?

Posted September 28, 2013 link

That's your call to make as worth is highly subjective no matter what the topic.  Plenty find the Vario W worthwhile.  It's definitely not a commercial grinder -- it is intended for home use.  It sounds like you'd prefer flat burrs.  The Vario W doesn't need as much counter space as many of the larger grinders.
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mauijer
Senior Member
mauijer
Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 24
Location: I'm a Nomad, today I'm in Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Silvano
Posted Sun Oct 6, 2013, 5:33pm
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

Yes I would only be using for espresso. Sorry to take so long getting back to you guys. Baby born :) and have been busy with that. Now more than ever realizing the need for a more concise coffee routine.

I think given my research combined with your comments (plus the fact that no one else has thought to contribute) suggests that the Vario W is probably the best model for my requirements for now. I was hoping by some chance someone would bring up a game changer but I am pretty confident in my decision to go with the Vario W. Just waiting for it to show up again as refurbished to save a little. In the future I wouldn't be surprised if I moved up to a bigger, flashier, commercial grinder but for now I think the Vario W will do very well for my demands and routine.

Thanks for the input everyone
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 208
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 6:56am
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

There's a refurbished Vario-W on the Baratza site right now.
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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 147
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Grinder: Super Jolly - Forte BG -...
Vac Pot: Cona - Santos
Drip: Bodum - Chemex - Hario -...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828-B
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 8:31am
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

mauijer Said:

Yes I would only be using for espresso. Sorry to take so long getting back to you guys. Baby born :) and have been busy with that. Now more than ever realizing the need for a more concise coffee routine.

I think given my research combined with your comments (plus the fact that no one else has thought to contribute) suggests that the Vario W is probably the best model for my requirements for now. I was hoping by some chance someone would bring up a game changer but I am pretty confident in my decision to go with the Vario W. Just waiting for it to show up again as refurbished to save a little. In the future I wouldn't be surprised if I moved up to a bigger, flashier, commercial grinder but for now I think the Vario W will do very well for my demands and routine.

Thanks for the input everyone

Posted October 6, 2013 link

I use both a Vario-W and Super Jolly to do espresso grinding.  The Mazzer is far and away the better more consistent grinder but I use the Vario-W 80% of the time because the dosser on the Mazzer is so much more a PITA over the Vario-W that I almost always grind with the Baratza.  I used the Mazzer this morning and wish I had used the Vario-W.  What a sloppy mess...

Just get the Vario-W or get an electronic dosser Mazzer if you are after a more consistent espresso grind.
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mauijer
Senior Member
mauijer
Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 24
Location: I'm a Nomad, today I'm in Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Silvano
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 7:30pm
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

moosepucky Said:

I use both a Vario-W and Super Jolly to do espresso grinding.  The Mazzer is far and away the better more consistent grinder but I use the Vario-W 80% of the time because the dosser on the Mazzer is so much more a PITA over the Vario-W that I almost always grind with the Baratza.  I used the Mazzer this morning and wish I had used the Vario-W.  What a sloppy mess...

Just get the Vario-W or get an electronic dosser Mazzer if you are after a more consistent espresso grind.

Posted October 7, 2013 link

Thank you for the insight. Very helpful coming from someone with both
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mauijer
Senior Member
mauijer
Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 24
Location: I'm a Nomad, today I'm in Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Silvano
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 7:32pm
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

tglodjo Said:

There's a refurbished Vario-W on the Baratza site right now.

Posted October 7, 2013 link

Thanks! Unfortunately, for some reason you can't purchase it even tho it shows as available. It gives you an error after I try to add it to my cart saying there is not enough product in stock.
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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 147
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Grinder: Super Jolly - Forte BG -...
Vac Pot: Cona - Santos
Drip: Bodum - Chemex - Hario -...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828-B
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 9:32pm
Subject: Re: Now considering a Vario-W over a Mazzer Mini E Type B
 

mauijer Said:

Thanks! Unfortunately, for some reason you can't purchase it even tho it shows as available. It gives you an error after I try to add it to my cart saying there is not enough product in stock.

Posted October 7, 2013 link

They update their refurb page every Thurs.  There have been Vario and Vario-W grinders on there every week for a while.

I should have mentioned that my super jolly has a manual (can type) dosser.  For home use they are awkward as I typically won't be pulling dozens of shots at a time.  Mostly just 2 doubles is all I will do and the Mazzer is set up for more "production" type of use.

If cost is not an impediment, any of the electronic dosing Mazzer machines would be my top choice.

.
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