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Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
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bossman
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 100
Location: Iowa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivladi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Soon I hope
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 8:04pm
Subject: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

I posted in the machine thread after I though I had decided on a grinder, either the Vario or Vario-W, but then I cam across the Rancilio Rocky.  The Rocky is ~$80 less than the Vario and $190 less then the -W version.  The rocky is very highly rated on Amazon and a lot of the people posting seem to be using it for espresso.  Considering my budget is ~$800 for both machine and grinder I am wondering is going with the Rocky would work.  I just want good espresso for lattes.  I am a bit picky but not as particular as some might be.

Anybody used both grinders? Pros/cons?
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rbkool
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Location: TO, ON, CA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 8:37pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

You might try the search function... It should provide about 500 relevant comparison/evaluation posts of those particular grinders.

Coles notes? Get the vario.
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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 153
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 Sat Feb 15, 2014, 11:40am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

I cannot speak to the Rocky as an espresso grinder as I have not owned one.

I CAN speak first hand about the Vario-W as this was my first espresso grinder and I was extremely satisfied with how it performed.  Had I not stumbled into a bargain basement priced super jolly then modified it for time based dosing I would still be using my Vario-W today as my only espresso grinder

The weight based option was nice for getting exact amounts of grounds over and over again with NO variation in weight.  

I would recommend you wait and save more $$$ if you need to in order to get the Vario-W over the standard time based Vario (it was worth it for me).  Pick up one of the orphan espresso portafilter dosing funnels to make getting the grounds from the hopper into the portafilter without spilling any as this combination worked out spank'in for me.

Link to: Orphan Espresso Dosing Funnel Page

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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 737
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

I have to agree, I just recieved my Vario-W on Wed. and absolutely love it! single dosing my K-6 was getting old. I have no experience with the Rocky but from everything I've read here and around it is outdated. There are better espresso grinders out there for the same $ now a days.

Edit- just remembered seeing you just ordered the Vario-W and CC1. Good choice I would say. Upgradeitis should be nowhere in your near future!
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bossman
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 100
Location: Iowa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivladi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Soon I hope
Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 8:24pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

Thanks for the replies.  I opted for the refurb Vario-W and I am going to pair it with a CC1.
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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 153
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 Sun Feb 16, 2014, 10:23am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

bossman Said:

Thanks for the replies.  I opted for the refurb Vario-W and I am going to pair it with a CC1.

Posted February 15, 2014 link

Always remember to start the grinder running before you make any grind setting changes (either up or down).

This is the weak point of the Vario.....  It needs to have the burrs spinning if you are going to change your grind settings.

I found that using it exclusively for espresso worked out the best as I only needed to change the grind settings when I switched beans (different roast or origin).  I used another grinder for press, pour over, and drip grinding and kept my Vario-W set the same just about all the time.

Using any one grinder as an "all purpose" grinder is difficult as it takes a couple of shots to get any grinder "dialed in" for the perfect espresso shot.

I'd still have my Vario-W if I had not tried to change it up to work as a brew grinder by adding steel burrs.  It never worked after that foolish adventure and I ended up sending it back to Baratza for a credit toward a Forte brew grinder (steel burrs already installed).

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bossman
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 100
Location: Iowa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivladi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Soon I hope
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

I know that I have read that you should always change the settings when running on grinders, but yet on all of the reviews on the Vario from SCG, Chris's coffee and even one from the maker that is never mentioned or done in the videos.
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 737
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 12:31pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

bossman Said:

I know that I have read that you should always change the settings when running on grinders, but yet on all of the reviews on the Vario from SCG, Chris's coffee and even one from the maker that is never mentioned or done in the videos.

Posted February 16, 2014 link

Personally I would like mine to work good/last a looong time so I'll be erring on the side of caution on this point. I did read somewhere that you don't need to do it for fine adjustments but I notice a bit of resistance when it's not running so I decided I would just run it.
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bossman
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 100
Location: Iowa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivladi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Soon I hope
Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 1:19pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

CoffeeRon Said:

Personally I would like mine to work good/last a looong time so I'll be erring on the side of caution on this point. I did read somewhere that you don't need to do it for fine adjustments but I notice a bit of resistance when it's not running so I decided I would just run it.

Posted February 16, 2014 link

Understood, thanks.  Makes sense when you spend so much on a grinder.
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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 153
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 Sun Feb 16, 2014, 3:54pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario, -W or Rancilio Rocky
 

It is a longevity thing.  You can run the grinder while making grind setting changes or you can purchase some replacement parts and then go into the grinder when it starts acting up.

I can say that for the almost decade that I owned a maestro plus I never ran the grinder while making grind setting changes and I never had any problem with my grinder.  I did replace a lot of the plastic internals when I did the gearbox rebuild but the grinder was still operating as it did when it was new.  I just figured the grinder was apart so it was the right time to change out a few other things too.  I also lowered the motor speed which I think helps it out a bit too (not a recommendation, just saying is all.....)
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