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The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 720
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Tue Nov 26, 2013, 5:04pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

keithd Said:

Well, I'm a soon-to-be Baratza Vario-W owner...

Posted November 24, 2013 link

Man, your moving much faster than you first thought. You know, when I first got the Vario-W I wasn't sure I was going to like it. I thought pouring the coffee from the bin to the PF was as step that I wasn't going to like, but now that I have gotten used to it, I can't imagine doing it any other way. But... you will want some kind of funnel for you PF. I personally like the aluminum dosing funnel from Orphan. The yogurt cup method is not as wide mouthed as the aluminum dosing funnel, and the wider mouth of the aluminum funnel makes it nearly impossible to make a mess once you are used to it.

I think you ordered some Redbird espresso... I think that Redbird has a very chocolaty taste. I have actually found that I personally like Redline better in milk drinks but I don't think Redline has the strong chocolaty notes that Redbird has... which is funny because I drink a lot of mochas.

Please keep us informed on your successes.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,965
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 Tue Nov 26, 2013, 7:24pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

DeanOK Said:

I personally like the aluminum dosing funnel from Orphan. The yogurt cup method is not as wide mouthed as the aluminum dosing funnel, and the wider mouth of the aluminum funnel makes it nearly impossible to make a mess once you are used to it.

Posted November 26, 2013 link

+1.
I own one, but it was made for 49mm PFs, like my former Cremina.
I may Post it on the BST forum.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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keithd
Senior Member
keithd
Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 31
Location: Oklahoma City
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: KA w/Mazzer burrs, Hario...
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Nov 27, 2013, 11:07pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

DeanOK - Heh, it's all about managing expectations! I have been talking about buying an HG One for a few weeks, an almost $1K grinder. I realized that after using the Hario Mini that I'd like to have a fast electric so that I can make espresso for more than just myself. So when I decided on the Vario-W, I found one on Amazon (used) for $410, and at less than half an HG One, I got the wife's permission. ;-) Turned out that was a disaster - it was a return that someone did a switcheroo on as it was a Vario in a Vario-W box! The wife then was okay with me buying a brand-new one outright. Ordered again from Amazon and it should be here this Friday.

I did a considerable amount of research and found that bang-for-the-buck, the Baratzas are hard to beat. I weigh out my beans before I grind, but it's mildly tedious to pull out the scale. When I saw the Esatto/Vario-W, I knew that's the direction I wanted to go - keeping the hopper full and weighing out the grind like I did with my KA Proline, but they have built-in scales. Unless I run into a bad batch, I don't switch coffee beans frequently so keeping the hopper full works for my espresso making process. Transferring from a bin to the PF doesn't bug me. Until some company makes a way to grind directly into a PF while weighing the grinds, it's okay. Plus I've heard that the transfer process might help with breaking up potential clumps.

I already have a cut yogurt cup as I have to vigorously whisk the grinds that come out of the Hario. I want to buy the OE funnel, but it's a little pricey for what it is - just a small, thin aluminum ring. I know, buy once, cry once, I'll probably get one sometime. My PF is 58mm so unfortunately I can't use yours, IMAWriter.

edit - holy crap - compared to the Coffee Catcha ($79!) the OE funnel is a outright bargain, even the Ipanema funnel.
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 720
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Thu Nov 28, 2013, 4:28am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

keithd Said:

....edit - holy crap - compared to the Coffee Catcha ($79!) the OE funnel is a outright bargain, even the Ipanema funnel.

Posted November 27, 2013 link

Even the OE seems a little pricy for what it is, but you wont regret buying it I don't think.. particularly if your going to use a Vario-W. It is rather tedious to pour those grounds into the PF without a funnel from the bin. I know the yogurt cup is better than nothing. Maybe you can put the OE on your list for Santa to bring to you or something. :)

My only concern about the Vario-is that I  don't feel that the settings are all that repeatable and Baratza does tell you to have the grinder running when you move the slides. To be honest, I rarely move over one to two micro clicks at a time and don't usually have the machine running when I make those changes.... but if I am going to move it a lot, I do make sure it is running.

I have been really interested in watching your growth into the espresso world since your starting out on the same machine I used (I don't count my first plunge in the 90's as a serious coffee endeavor). Thanks for keeping us informed. I hope you continue to do so.

EDIT: Also, remember that most prosumer machines are 58mm. If you decide to move up to a higher end machine some day, the chances are you will be able to use all of your 58mm gadgets. The one exception is the CC1 PF. It is not a standard 58 mm connection to the head, so you wont be able to use it, but you should be able to use any baskets you buy.
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keithd
Senior Member
keithd
Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 31
Location: Oklahoma City
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: KA w/Mazzer burrs, Hario...
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Fri Nov 29, 2013, 9:57pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Well, the Vario-W came in.

Holy cow why didn't I get one of these sooner! I'm still dialing it in, but I'm loving this "push a button and out pops 18 grams" convenience. The grinds appear to me to be very uniform and as long as the air isn't too dry causing excessive static, the ground coffee doesn't cling to the catch bin much.

I don't know if it needed it, but I ran 1 pound of Minute Rice through the grinder before I ground any coffee. The inside smelled a little of manufacturing remnants so I ran the rice through to clean it out more than break it in.
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 6:26am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Am I the only one who experiences a ton of static electricity when grinding a fair amount of coffee (65g, for drip maker)?  There is so much static that the coffee grinds even stick to the outside of the plastic bin.  This apparently happens while dumping the grinds from the plastic bin into my drip maker.  Makes a bit of a mess.  I don't have this problem while grinding for espresso, and I attribute the difference to the volume of beans being ground at one time.

I should mention I have a newer Vario with the updated display, thus I thought the newer ones had some kind of coating to the inside of the plastic grounds bin?

I was thinking it would be cool if Baratza would introduce a stainless steel grounds bin, like the stainless steel Portaholder that comes on the Forte (and is available for the Vario)!

Thanks,

    -Jeff
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,965
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 Tue Dec 3, 2013, 8:37am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Jeff, assuming you don't have a de-humidifier in your home, it seems a bit odd to seeALL that static. This time of the year, with your HVAC pumping dry heat, there's going to be a higher probability of some static..
Try dropping a tiny drop or 2 of water on the beans, especially if you are weighing the beans first before dumping them in.

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


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 10:22am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

>>Try dropping a tiny drop or 2 of water on the beans, especially if you are weighing the beans first before dumping them in.<<

Will do - thanks.
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 720
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 4:49pm
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

jtferraro Said:

Am I the only one who experiences a ton of static electricity when grinding a fair amount of coffee (65g, for drip maker)?  There is so much static that the coffee grinds even stick to the outside of the plastic bin.  This apparently happens while dumping the grinds from the plastic bin into my drip maker.  Makes a bit of a mess.  I don't have this problem while grinding for espresso, and I attribute the difference to the volume of beans being ground at one time.

I should mention I have a newer Vario with the updated display, thus I thought the newer ones had some kind of coating to the inside of the plastic grounds bin?

I was thinking it would be cool if Baratza would introduce a stainless steel grounds bin, like the stainless steel Portaholder that comes on the Forte (and is available for the Vario)!

Thanks,

    -Jeff

Posted December 3, 2013 link

I never have had any issue with static electricity while grinding for espresso. My beans are fresh and I have seen the humidity as low as 38% in my house so far this winter. I have a steam humidifier as part of my heating and cooling system that I use if the air starts getting very dry in my house.
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forager
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Dec 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Dallas, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 10:48am
Subject: Re: The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread
 

Hi All,

First post here! I'd love to get some feedback from the Vario owners on how easy it is to transition from espresso to french press grinds. It sounds like it's not possible to do with a single calibration, and the re-calibration can be a bit of a tricky and time consuming process. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Also, I've looked through a number of reviews online, and it sounds like the Baratza Forte AP might be more capable of the wider range of grinds that I'm looking for (even though the mechanics are similar to the Vario). Specifically, the Seattle Coffee Gear video review seems to indicate a pretty wide range is possible. Does anyone have any experience with the Forte on changing grinds?

I like a wide variety of preparation methods and would love to be able to switch every day if possible - from espresso or even turkish to french press and cold brew. It would be great to get it in one machine, but I know the usual recommendation is to get multiple machines. It just seems odd to buy a $900 grinder though and then buy another one for french press!

Thanks,
Patrick
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