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Baratza Vario Grinder
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primacoffee
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primacoffee
Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 37
Location: Louisville, KY
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed May 19, 2010, 5:59am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

thanks for the article, good information on this great machine.

 
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Aenan
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Dec 2005
Posts: 19
Location: DFW area, TX (for now)
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Giaggia Coffee, stove top
Grinder: hand grinder
Drip: Mr. Coffee, Vietnamese...
Posted Sat Sep 18, 2010, 8:12pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

Thanks everyone for your posts, I really enjoy reading them.

I know this post is probably closed (recan post if it finds relevance in the 103 page thread) but I will agree with one part of Beanlover's statement.  I am currently considering a grinder and the Vario's plastic housing was initially a substantial issue for me.  I wouldn't necessarily consider this a silliness of the modern world, but my last "grinder's" hopper (Cuisineart DBM8) which holds the top burr is made of plastic: this recently broke off and I could not simply "glue it back" together for various complications. (Amongst others I really wanted to finally buy a true grinder.) Also keep in mind that heat does operate different with plastics versus metal. From what I've read thus far, this does not seem like a concern on the Vario. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

I'll also say as a current grinder shopper, part of the allure of the other grinders, imho, is the housing and "aethetic", seeming outer robustness, and producing a statement of "I'm professional or serious about my coffee."  I do know people (I'm not one of them) that literally won't consider certain products in their kitchen because they "don't match" others.  (One friend of mine didn't like that the stainless steel brushing (or "grain") on a potential dishwasher went East/West while his current stove was a "subtle North/South". You really can't make this stuff up folks : ) ).

That said, I'm thankful that I don't make my appliances/apparati purchases based on just that criteria. I'm thinking that given the attention to detail already spent on the major and several minor aspects of this grinder, the design team and Baratza would hopefully not conk out at the last minute choosing a non-durable or resilient plastic. I think ultimately time will tell how "durable' the plastic is.

kschendel Said:

I don't pretend that the Vario is made from carbon fiber reinforced engineering grade layup, not at its price point;  but it is not necessarily any weaker or more damage-prone than a similar steel or aluminum grinder.  It all depends on what plastics were used, and whether the parts were properly designed for the material.

Posted March 30, 2010 link

Do you know if anyone has tried to carbon fiber their Vario yet or mod the housing with different material? It's probably still too early in Vario's lifecycle, but I'd be interested in their feedback.
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javafool
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Feb 2002
Posts: 12
Location: Clearwater
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Vario, Rocky
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Technivorm, Hario pourover
Roaster: Hottop (x2)
Posted Sat Dec 11, 2010, 4:45pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

I have owned the Vario since right after they were released for retail sale and have had severe problems with static and coffee dust in the winter. I live in Florida, so summers are relatively humid to say the least. During the summer months the vario is, IMO, a terrific grinder. No specific issues with static mess whatsoever. But again this winter the Vario finally came off the counter and out came the Virtuoso for winter. Brown dust clinging to the catch bin and making a daily mess on the kitchen counter. It is more than I care to deal with first thing in the morning when I have other options. But, I also have an opinion (doesn't everyone?) on that.
Every grinder I have used in the past has run flakes of chaaf through the grinder and into whatever is catching the ground coffee. Not all coffees produce a significant anount of chaff, but dry processed coffee and origins like some Brazillians, or maybe Ethopian coffee,s seem to retian more chaff than others. And when I grind these coffees in other grinders I see flakes of light colored chaff. Not with the Vario. I never see loose chaff in coffe ground by the Vario. Maybe the ceramic burrs are also grinding or shreading the chaff and this is what is causing the daily winter morning messes. I haven't seen this mentioned on the web but it is something I have noticed for quite a while. I never noticed that lack of visible chaff when I started using the Vario, but it became very obvious when I switched back to a non Vario grinder.
Has anyone else noticed this with their Vario, and do you have any comments on the chaff?

Terry
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MarkPrince
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Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,628
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sat Dec 11, 2010, 5:27pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

Not to comment on the static issue so much, but instead I wanted to ask you - have you called Baratza, asked to speak to Kyle Anderson and discuss this?

Kyle has done a ton of study on static and the issues surrounding it. He's consulted with experts on the subject and as a result, the materials and coatings they use on their catcher bins have changed over time. He may have some solutions for you.

Mark

 
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Bitches_Brew
Senior Member
Bitches_Brew
Joined: 4 Feb 2009
Posts: 776
Location: indiana
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: yes
Grinder: yes
Vac Pot: no
Drip: no
Roaster: yes
Posted Sat Dec 11, 2010, 5:38pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

i had the same problem... http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/grinders/477080#477080 and found it was the type of beans i was using at the time

 
"You can write down how to make the perfect cup of coffee. But to make it really good, you have to play something fictional, you have to dress up, you have to think, This is the most important thing."
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javafool
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Feb 2002
Posts: 12
Location: Clearwater
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Vario, Rocky
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Technivorm, Hario pourover
Roaster: Hottop (x2)
Posted Sat Dec 11, 2010, 7:47pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

MarkPrince Said:

Not to comment on the static issue so much, but instead I wanted to ask you - have you called Baratza, asked to speak to Kyle Anderson and discuss this?

Kyle has done a ton of study on static and the issues surrounding it. He's consulted with experts on the subject and as a result, the materials and coatings they use on their catcher bins have changed over time. He may have some solutions for you.

Mark

Posted December 11, 2010 link

I spoke with Kyle a couple of times not long after I purchased my first Vario. He was going to get back with me after he did some investigation and mentioned a burr set modification. Kyle probably has had so much going on that this issue fell through the cracks.

Bitches_Brew Said:

i had the same problem... http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/grinders/477080#477080 and found it was the type of beans i was using at the time

Posted December 11, 2010 link

I roast quite a variety of beans and usually have two or three origins roasted to choose from. I will (and do) change grinders before I would limit my coffee choices due to a static or chaff issue.

Terry
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,959
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 Sat Dec 11, 2010, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

I have had no such issue here. In fact, the chaff sort of settles on top. (what there is of it, as i'm pretty good at removing chaff from my roasts)
We get down to about 10 degrees f, with low humidity, FWIW. I roast everything from Yemen/Sidamo to Guatemalan/Brasil.
Basically, as you mentioned the Ethiopians and Brasils throw off a lot of chaff, but the Behmor does a fine job keeping most of it away from the drum, so i don't get in the finished roast.

I have a 2nd generation Vario bin, and the new designed PF fork assembly.
Keep trying with Kyle or Kyra. They do a great job with CS.

Keep us posted.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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javadrknmtbr
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Baratza Vario - Ditting...
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sun Dec 12, 2010, 7:04am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

My wife regularly uses our Vario for drip coffee and had been having static issues with an Ethiopian coffee. Her usual routine was to grind the coffee and then immediately transfer it to the filter. One morning, she ground the coffee and accidentally left the bin in the Vario for several minutes and found that there wasn't any static when she dumped it in the filter. It has now been several weeks and she hasn't complained of any static issues.

Not really sure why this works, but maybe this is a trick that will help you.
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javafool
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Feb 2002
Posts: 12
Location: Clearwater
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Vario, Rocky
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Technivorm, Hario pourover
Roaster: Hottop (x2)
Posted Sun Dec 12, 2010, 7:20am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

I am using a second generation Vario, I purchased it in hopes that the static issue was solved. I roast mostly at City+, and am careful to remove as much chaff as I can. I think it is more the chaff that remains in the crack of some roasted beans moreso than chaff on the outside surface of the beans. I have an email into Baratza on another issue, so I will bring this up again when I hear back. CS has always been fantastic from Baratza, from Sweetmaria's and from Hottop, just to mention a few.

Maybe I can alter my morning routine so I can leave the coffee in the bin for a few minutes like javadrknmtbr's wife. That is certainly worth a try. I will have to be careful because every time I alter my morning routine, I seem to forget something. My lunch, my badge, my glasses and even my mind I think, sometimes.

Thanks to all for the responses. I have been a huge fan of Baratza products for years, and hope to be able to use the Vario year around. If not, I really do have a good alternative.
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mary12b
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 19
Location: USA
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sun Feb 6, 2011, 8:47pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario Grinder
 

Very interesting review. Hope it really worked good! Im looking a for a fast grinder too.
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