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Baratza Vario - Evan Patton's Review
Posted: January 9, 2010, 2:30pm
review rating: 8.4
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Baratza Vario Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Vario has 24 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Vario has been rated 8.38 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 153,141 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

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.8
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 9
Average Price: $450.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $429.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Stumptown Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 2 months Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Baratza Virtuoso, Breville BarAroma
Bottom Line: Quite possibly the perfect home grinder when you want both espresso and drip/press capability.
Positive Product Points

Fantastic control of grind, great consistency, easy adjustment between espresso and press/drip.  Small size easily fits under cabinets.  Timed doserless grinding is fantastic.  Well built.  Easy to use.  Customer support is superb.

Negative Product Points

The display would blank out occasionally, but the grinder continued to work normally.  Baratza quickly sent a replacement when I contacted them.  The unit now works flawlessly.  That's the only reason quality is a 9 rather than 10.  Otherwise the machine is very well built.

Detailed Commentary

I finally took the plunge to get a Vario two months ago when it was clear the Virtuoso just couldn't cut it for consistent espresso.  I thought I'd need to get a Mazzer, but was really dreading having that conversation with my SO, not to mention  not being able to slide it under the cabinet without removing/altering the hopper.  I was ecstatic when I first saw the Vario, since it seemed to meet all my needs (espresso-quality grind, small, SO-friendly, dual-use), but was a bit skeptical that it would really work as advertised.  All the chatter on CG and HB convinced me to give it a shot, and the Ian and Meg at Stumptown were awesome in answering all my questions.  I've put about 10 pounds of coffee through the grinder so far.  It is a great machine.

I've found the use of a funnel (cut down yogurt container) reduces, but doesn't eliminate, the spraying of coffee when grinding directly into the portafilter.  Grinding into the container rather than directly into a portafilter eliminates coffee spraying, but I find the funnel a decent compromise.  

I move my grinder around a lot for cleaning and to minimize the counterspace consumption when not making espresso.  Sliders for macro and micro adjustment are easy to move unintentionally when moving the grinder--not a big deal, just need to be careful and note where the sliders are for your beans that day.

Buying Experience

The folks at Stumptown Annex were awesome, plus they threw in a pound of coffee.

Three Month Followup

This grinder continues to rock!  Drinking straight espresso almost exclusively, and the grind is consistent, requiring micro adjustments only as the beans age (about 1 micro click every 2-3 days).  No more issues with the display.  I did move to the tall funnel from Orphan Espresso, which eliminates any static-caused spraying of grounds, and also enables a quick stir prior to leveling and tamping.

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review rating: 8.4
Posted: January 9, 2010, 2:30pm
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