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Baratza Vario - Barry Stolzman's Review
Posted: April 21, 2010, 2:48pm
review rating: 8.6
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Baratza Vario Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Vario has 25 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Vario has been rated 8.40 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 23, 2009.
Arrow Baratza Vario reviews have been viewed 156,661 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Peter Russell 9.23
Mark Carter-Piff 8.67
Barry Stolzman 8.60
David Kugler 8.50
Evan Patton 8.40

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 7
Average Price: $450.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $400.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Chris Coffee Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 2 weeks Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Krups blade
Bottom Line: Fits are real market need for the serious home barista that requires a versitile grinder in a small footprint.
Positive Product Points

Easy to single dose, nice size for home use. Grinds great espresso.

Negative Product Points

The grind adjustment levers.

Detailed Commentary

The grind adjustment levers are configured as "Macro" and "Micro".  I have had the Macro lever slip twice during operation.  Both times the lever slipped one notch coarser on the Marco setting.  Not a big deal as long as it happens infrequently- just a couple sink shots.  I would like the next version to include metal levers that can be locked into position, maybe with a set screw?  A more positive detente during lever operation would be another option.  Currently, the levers on my Vario are kind of sloppy during grind change operations.

However, proof is in in the cup and the Vario produces very good espresso in combination with my Vivaldi Mini.  The Vario is very easy to single dose and switch to different beans during the day.  This is my normal mode of operation.  Usually, I drink caffeinated espresso in the morning and decaffeinated espresso after dinner. I weigh the different  beans and run them thru using the manual mode of operation.  This method grinds 16gr in about 12seconds with about 0.2gr retained.  The Vario fits nicely in a small footprint and is quiet during grinding.  I find the timed operation to be accurate during the few times I have run with the hopper full.  As many others have said, there is very little grind retention and this means there is little waste.  The portafilter holder works well and the metal to metal contact that is built into the holder serves to eliminate static and eliminate the mess associated with issue.  However, I have seen a portafilter holder with broken plastic in the area of the metal portafilter holder "fork" and the plastic housing at a retailer nearby.  This retailer mentioned that a customer had broken it.  I do not think I will break mine under normal use.

Time will tell about the longevity of this little grinder.  My guess is that the grinder will have plenty of service life, but we do not know presently.  I do not mind the partial plastic/stainless housing.  Everything else in my kitchen is stainless and plastic.  It matches nicely.  Put another way, I would not want to have paid more for an unnecessary piece of exterior stainless.

Buying Experience

Great thru Chris Coffee.  I have heard of great Baratza customer service thru the forum, but have not had to use it.

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review rating: 8.6
Posted: April 21, 2010, 2:48pm
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