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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > HG One vs Vario  
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Aperture82
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Dallas, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 9, 2014, 6:32am
Subject: HG One vs Vario
 

I am trying to decide if I really want to go with the HG One over the vario.  I am tempted with the vario refurb price and have to admit, electric would be nice sometimes.  However, I really don't mind a little manual action if it will produce that much better of a cup.  Another nice point about the vario is the ability to quickly adjust grind from French to espresso. However this is not a major issue as I have a cheap hand grinder that works fine, to me, for French and Aeropress and ok for my moka pot.  The HG One is very tempting because of the large Titan burrs and it's expected longevity.  

Questions about the HG One:
  1.  How often do they become available?
  2.  I only see an option for two different 83mm burrs, not the 71's anymore. Though I believe I may want the larger flats.  Did they quit producing the 71's?  Many people spoke highly of them in reviews.
  3.  Due to its height and additional clearance needed, I will have to pull it out to the front of the counter, grind, the push it back under. Would this really be a problem?  Could just put it on a towel if needed.
  4.  Would I notice a large difference in the cup when comparing the two grinders? (I should note that I am a newb when it comes to espresso and have never really made any at home. My wife bought me a nespresso machine last year, but it's just not cutting it for me.). Since it HG is double the price, trying to figure out if the main advantage is durability with a little more flavor in the cup or if I would really taste the difference.

I haven't purchased the machine either, but am looking at something like the CC1, BDB or slightly higher end HX (many of you would probably consider it a low to mid level prosumer model). Basically, I want a competent grinder that will still work when I upgrade my machine in the future.  Of the machines, I am seriously considering the BDB 900 refurb to save some cash and willingness to upgrade in 3-5 years.  Oh, importantly, I drink straight espresso (ristretto if possible) and americanos. I rarely drink milk based drinks and every once in a while will put a few drops a cream in.
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ilVecchio
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Jun 2002
Posts: 182
Location: Tucson Az
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cremina, Elektra Leva
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Mon Jun 9, 2014, 7:32am
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario
 

There's an HG-One up for sale on HB as I write.
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Aperture82
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Dallas, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 9, 2014, 8:17am
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario
 

Looks like it already sold.  Will keep an eye out there, too.
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uscfroadie
Senior Member
uscfroadie
Joined: 2 Aug 2008
Posts: 398
Location: San Antonio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: GS/3 Strada MP, BDB; owned...
Grinder: Forte, Zass and PeDe hand...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Nope
Roaster: owned Behmor
Posted Mon Jun 9, 2014, 8:58am
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario
 

Josh,

I had the 71mm HG One and can answer your questions or at least give you my $.02...

  1.  About every 3 months or so on average.  Get on their notification email list and you'll get an email when they arrive from China, have passed customs, and are being assembled.  With a faithful following, they go quick, so if you want one, don't think about it, just buy it.

  2.  The stigma that bigger is better led to the 83mm burrs out selling the 71mm by at least a 5/1 margin.  It simply did not make sense to keep the 71mm version available; though it did grind faster with no discernable taste difference in the cup according to those few people who had both sets of burrs and could do testing with the same beans and equipment.  

  3.  That's the reason I sold mine.  It's just over 17 inches tall (about 17 1/4 IIRC), so it DID NOT fit under my cabinets.  A towel will not work as the grinder will not be stable when you turn the handle.  Also, it's a big grinder and requires even more space to operate.  The handle at the top of the arc increases the height to over 20", and it also extends the depth a few inches.  Just know that you need adequate clearance above and behind to use or you'll smack your hand/knuckles on whatever is in the way.  And no, this did not happen to me. ;-)

  4.  As a newbie, probably not, as you will be in sensory overload when stepping up to good equipment, but in time you may develop your palette to do so.

One thing to note, the burrs on the HG One are conical, not flat.  If they were flat, you'd need to spin really fast and for a LOT longer to grind the same amount of beans...which is why you never (that I can recall) see a hand grinder with flat burrs.

If you decide you want an HG One, put up a WTB ad in the BST forum.  

I had a Vario and now have the all-metal big brother, the Forte.  Ease of use, speed, small footprint, extremely low retention, and price are hard to beat.  If that's what you want out of a grinder, it's hard to beat.

Hope this helps.
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ilVecchio
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Jun 2002
Posts: 182
Location: Tucson Az
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cremina, Elektra Leva
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Mon Jun 9, 2014, 10:49am
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario
 

It's not marked sold on the H-B forum.

I own both grinders, an HG-One and a Vario-W.  Can I taste a difference with my 72 year old taste buds?  Perhaps.  Since I'm retired, I've time for a leisurely morning and for the effort of the HG-One.  One of the pleasures of this grinder is the aroma of the grinding coffee, a trait that  I find this unique of all the grinders I've owned.  My HG-One is far from being broken in as I'm doing it the easy way through use, 3 double shots per day.  It takes between 25 and 36 revolutions dependent on whether I'm grinding for my Cremina or my Alexia.

The Forte-W is terribly convenient and offers tremendous value particularly if one buys a no risk refurbished unit directly from Baratza.  I don't see how anyone can go wrong with this grinder.

Joel
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ToddT
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme Double Domobar
Grinder: HG-One
Posted Tue Jun 17, 2014, 12:36pm
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario
 

I owned a Vario-W and sold it in favor of the HG-One. I am by far not a sophisticated espresso drinker but the difference in taste to me was definitely noticeable.

With the Vario, I had a very hard time keeping my grinds dialed in and, even when I thought I had it nailed, I just could never produce shots as good as the ones from the HG-One.

The HG-One fits under my cabinets but I do have to pull it out to the edge of the counter to grind and then put it back when I'm done. Moving it before and after use is really no trouble for me and doesn't bother me at all.

As Joel mentioned, smelling the aroma of the coffee during grinding is a pleasure that has not gotten old.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 17, 2014, 12:41pm
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario
 

ToddT Said:

As Joel mentioned, smelling the aroma of the coffee during grinding is a pleasure that has not gotten old.

Posted June 17, 2014 link

No doubt there, when I travel I take a Hario Slim with me, grab some fresh beans from a roaster/shop I find, and mmmm damn does that smell good hand grinding lol.

Far as the Vario vs HG-One, Vario is awesome and hell of a bang for the buck for the money, you have to go noticeably way up in price on electric grinders to get anything better since the group it competes against already cost quite a bit more then itself. And it shows, as awesome as the Vario is, it isn't "Titan burr" awesome ;) . HG-One will pry be my next grinder
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 236
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Wed Jun 18, 2014, 1:17am
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario
 

I'll weigh in as well since i have owned 2 Vario's and a HG-One.

If budget is important get the Vario.  If you want a grinder that you never have to worry about breaking down or where you don't have to question if you're pulling the best possible grind get the HG-One.

With the smaller Vario flat burrs i had to dial in my grind almost daily.  With the larger conical  burrs of the HG I usually set it and forget it. I know i save a lot of beans and time  this way as well.  

Cleanup is simple with both so its a draw.

I have the 83mm and its not difficult to grind for a few shots back to back.  Darker beans is no problem at all and lighter beans takes just a tad more effort.  

The HG is also simple to move around and you sort of need to pull it out for leverage when you grind.  You need to hold/push down on the handle.  It's also a real pleasure to use it and smell the fresh ground coffee. It is also an attractive and unique conversation piece while you pull shots for guests.  The Vario doesnt offer any of these characteristics but it just goes about doing its job well most of the time.
 
With the Vario i was always wondering if i should upgrade. I have bought numerous grinders when i had the Vario.  Since buying the HG One I only buy machines now. Not grinders....(except Bunnzilla recently but thats not for espresso)
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Aperture82
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Dallas, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jun 18, 2014, 4:11am
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario (vs Ceado e37s)
 

Well, I actually thought that I had decided on the ceado e37s. However, I keep coming back to the HG One.  I really like the appeal of the HG one and don't mind grinding my own beans, but I really like what I have read about the ceado and it's large flat burrs. I am somewhat confused, primarily from my lack of personal experience, in regards which to go with. From what I have read, I may prefer the flavor profile the large flats have to offer, yet, everything I have read points to large conicals being the best.

Any recommendations?
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 345
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Wed Jun 18, 2014, 7:11am
Subject: Re: HG One vs Vario (vs Ceado e37s)
 

Aperture82 Said:

Well, I actually thought that I had decided on the ceado e37s. However, I keep coming back to the HG One.  I really like the appeal of the HG one and don't mind grinding my own beans, but I really like what I have read about the ceado and it's large flat burrs. I am somewhat confused, primarily from my lack of personal experience, in regards which to go with. From what I have read, I may prefer the flavor profile the large flats have to offer, yet, everything I have read points to large conicals being the best.

Any recommendations?

Posted June 18, 2014 link

Big flat burrs or big conical burrs.  Either way you'll be happy.  Either one of those is also better than the Vario as is their price.

Hand cranking out your espresso grinds is quite nice and even fun for some.  If you like methodical espresso preparation the HG-One is a plus.  If you like the manual feel, again it's a plus.  If you don't like to do things like that right after rolling out of bed then I would not recommend an HG-One.  You have to like that manual connection with the espresso in order to tolerate hand grinding first thing in the morning on a bad day - no sleep or whatever the reason.

It comes down to how much interaction do you want or can tolerate with the beans.
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