stevelip Senior Member Joined: 6 Nov 2013 Posts: 4 Location: Truckee Expertise: Pro Barista
Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 2:10pm Subject: Adding a second grinder...up, down, or sideways?
This is my first post ever! I thought it might be a good idea to throw this out to the peanut gallery.
I have a Baratza Vario that I use for several kinds of coffee beverages: espresso (La Spaz Mini II), pourover, press, and Aeropress. We're happy with the performance, except maybe it won't go quite as coarse as I'd like for press. Espresso use is maybe only 20%. I'm thinking about getting a second grinder and can go in a couple of different directions.
A dedicated espresso grinder, using Vario for the assorted non-espresso drinks. This would be nice since I use a different grind for each of the non-esp's, and the Vario changes grinds so easily. But expensive.
A somewhat lesser grinder for the non-espresso. Cheaper for sure, but maybe kind of wasting the vario feature of the Vario. Although I would still be micro-adjusting to pull shots.
moosepucky Senior Member Joined: 6 Jun 2009 Posts: 155 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 Wed Nov 6, 2013, 5:12pm Subject: Re: Adding a second grinder...up, down, or sideways?
Vario with ceramic burrs is an acceptable espresso grinder.
If you want to get another espresso grinder you will also be looking to get some steel burrs for your vario which will make it a much better pour over, drip, and press grinder
I currently have 3 grinders and I am trying to get it down to just 2. Recently added steel burrs to my Vario-W and if it does as well with them as I am hoping that it will my Preciso/Esatto will be on its way out of the kitchen, leaving me with a super jolly electronic for espresso and the Vario-W steel to handle the pour over / drip / press grinding.
The Preciso or the Virtuoso would work just fine for pour over / drip / or press. You don't need the fine adjustment capability (my opinion anyway) for med to coarse grinding so if you wanted to save a little more $$ go with the Virtuoso which is the same grinder as the Preciso without the fine adjustment option
I took my Preciso apart when I did the burrs on my Vario-W (a few days ago) and put in a new adjustment ring and reset the internal coarse/med/fine base setting so that I am more in the middle of the grind setting for med drip grind (#17). This leaves me plenty of "wiggle room" above and below for finer pour over (V60 and Chemex) and coarser grinds (Kalita and press). I also lowered the motor speed a tad on the Preciso while it was apart.
I used my Preciso this morning to grind some med roast Kona for "Bunn Day" Every other day is Bunn Day around here and I brew a pot in my commercial Bunn drip machine. The Preciso worked perfect for its first use after the rebuild. Nice consistent med drip grind. No big chunks. Very consistent. No fines to speak of but it is hard to tell when using a filter. I did grind a little, pour into the filter, poke around, adjust the grinder setting, grind a little more, and compare the grind as I wanted to dial in the numbers for the type of grinding I do since everything was moved around after the internal setting adjustment.
I do not have the Vario-W dialed in yet but I think I will have some time today to play around with it. I am interested to see how the Vario-W and Preciso/Esatto do head to head with med to coarse grinding.
In a way I am sort of sorry I replaced the Vario-w burrs as the Preciso did so well today. I can always put the ceramic burrs back in if it is too close to call a winner between the two Baratza grinders I have. I can use a second espresso grinder more than a second pour over / drip / press grinder.
Keep your Vario for espresso as you will need to spend some pretty tall money to move up from that grinder to a better espresso grinder.
That's an Auber instruments grinder timer. The Super Jolly is plugged into that and it doses based on time. there are 2 programmable routines (single or double dose) and a constant on. It is a 1/100 second grinder timer. This basically turned my SJ into a Vario as far as how it functions now
I don't think I will get too much heat for posting a url to home-barista where I talk about the SJ manual to electronic change over I did recently.
Posted Thu Nov 7, 2013, 2:00pm Subject: Re: Adding a second grinder...up, down, or sideways?
I have the exact set up being discussed a Virtuoso with an esatto for my drip/vac pot and the vario for espresso. From what I have read on here many times to see a significant improvement in espresso grind over the Vario it means heading into the over $1000 range. So the much cheaper option is to keep the vario for espresso and go cheaper on the non-espresso grinder. Works well for me.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,265 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32 Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Msl. Com. brewers Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Nov 7, 2013, 3:03pm Subject: Re: Adding a second grinder...up, down, or sideways?
There are some who feel that way for sure, I will NOT say they are wrong, it is a personal thing.
The closest I have come to the Vario is to play with it in the Intelly shop. Having never used it, I can't speak for the grind but I CAN say there is WAY too much plastic on it for MY taste. GREAT grinders can be found all the time for less than $500 if you are able to wait for them, sometimes much less.
If you love yours, great! use it in good health and may it NEVER give you one second of trouble! I prefer heavier duty equipment designed for the "long haul" and perhaps it is just a wish on my part but even though several people say the Vario "grinds the same as a SJ" I have a hard time beleaving it
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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