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GDK
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MiniVivaldi II, preinfusion,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario W
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2011, 6:56am
Subject: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

I am between the two grinders as I have height constraint (not budget). I read Mark's review and a few other opinions available on the subject, though I cannot conclude how they compare side by side for espresso in the cup. I believe some forum members have the two grinders and may provide opinions around taste differences. Thanks.
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h3yn0w
Senior Member
h3yn0w
Joined: 28 Oct 2010
Posts: 158
Location: Canada

Posted Wed Apr 20, 2011, 8:32am
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

I hope Mark doesn't mind, but I asked the same question and Mark provided a very good response which I'll paste below.

"Baratza Virtuoso Preciso"?Page=2

h3yn0w Said:

Not sure what this really means....please don't stradle the fence Mark:) . In your opinion, can one get better espresso from a Preciso vs a Vario?  Forget the timer...let's assume beans are weighed prior to going into the grinder.

I'd love to see these grinders judged head to head in a taste off. We've seen that the Vario compared favourably against higher priced grinders like the SUper Jolly. I wonder if the Preciso would be just as good..or better.

Posted April 10, 2011 link

For me, equipment is about several factors.

- usability. The more usable a product is, the better it will work for you. The better it works, the more you're likely to get the most out of it.
- aesthetics. It's human nature to appreciate and place emphasis on things you find attractive or appealing. It's a fact of our DNA and brain workings. When you do appreciate the aesthetics of something, you pay more attention, you use it more often, you learn to use it better. Many advanced home baristas eschew aesthetics, but in my cultural anthropology background, I've seen many real world scenarios where aesthetics means more productivity and better results.
- features. This is where the Vario (as an eg) beats out the Preciso quite a bit.
- quality of output. Not much explanation needed here.
- durability. Again, pretty straightforward
- cost.
- other factors.

On usability I actually rate the Vario higher than the Preciso, but the small test group I got together for the White Paper I wrote for Baratza felt the opposite. Several were first time "home baristas" and found the controls intimidating. I found them intuitive from the very first moment I used a Vario. I also place a higher weight on the Vario's front operational side, where the coffee comes out - it's easier to see the coffee, easier to use its portaholder.

Also the Vario is a very well suited cupping grinder. I'm telling Baratza they need to make a rubberized insert ("foot" for the bottom of the Vario's slide in area so cups can sit more securely, but that said, cupping cups slot in very nicely under the Vario's grind exit chute; on the Preciso, not so much.

The featureset of the Vario is also much greater than the Preciso. One example - a digital timer is a godsend to any household that doesn't meticulously weigh out their coffee BEFORE grinding. Keep in mind, the act of adding 19g of coffee to a hopper (and nothing more) is an extreme minority of home baristas. I personally don't do that myself - I fill the hopper. I rely on the output. I'll weigh my PF, zero it out, grind into the PF for a set time, weigh that. See where the weight is. If I'm a g over what I want, I change the timer on the Vario. Next grind, I get within 0.2g of my target. Next day, going back, I'm still within 0.2g of my target.

What does that mean? It means when Beata, who doesn't care so much about weighing coffee etc goes to use the Vario, it's already pre-dialed into the right weight for her to pull a great shot. And she does, all the time.

That is worth a LOT in the evaluation of a product. IMO.

These factors alone make the Vario worth the extra $$$ in my book. But if judging solely on the grind output and nothing else, I'd have to give a slight nod to the Preciso, esp. at the press pot end of things, where conical burrs show their advantage most over flat burrs.

Mark
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GDK
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Feb 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MiniVivaldi II, preinfusion,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario W
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2011, 9:05am
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

I read that too. The statement that needs decoding for me is:

"... But if judging solely on the grind output and nothing else, I'd have to give a slight nod to the Preciso, esp. at the press pot end of things, where conical burrs show their advantage most over flat burrs..."

This statement clearly says that for press pot the difference is well pronounced in favour of the Preciso, though it may also imply that espresso was also slightly better but by a smaller margin (?). Hence my original question.
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h3yn0w
Senior Member
h3yn0w
Joined: 28 Oct 2010
Posts: 158
Location: Canada

Posted Wed Apr 20, 2011, 9:18am
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

I don't read that the difference is "well pronounced". I read that there is a "slight nod" to the Preciso at the press pot setting. Less so at espresso setting.

There is also very unscientific youtube video from Seattle Coffee Gear where they taste test the Virtuoso vs Preciso vs Vario. They find a noticable upgrade from the virtuoso, but find the preciso and vario to be pretty much equal in taste.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okABevpQ0tw
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Intrepid510
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 355
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 20, 2011, 1:59pm
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

h3yn0w Said:

I don't read that the difference is "well pronounced". I read that there is a "slight nod" to the Preciso at the press pot setting. Less so at espresso setting.

There is also very unscientific youtube video from Seattle Coffee Gear where they taste test the Virtuoso vs Preciso vs Vario. They find a noticable upgrade from the virtuoso, but find the preciso and vario to be pretty much equal in taste.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okABevpQ0tw

Posted April 20, 2011 link

I have kind of gathered from informal information like this that the Vario gets the nod when dealing espresso, not huge but it's there. Same goes with the Preciso when dealing with press. I have not heard much about drip however.

 
Less water, more grounds.
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wp746911
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Texas
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu May 19, 2011, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

I'm in the same boat- looking for a good grinder for espresso to french press. The preciso would be perfect (cheaper, better french press grind) but I really really really want the timer of the vario- don't want to sit there pressing a grind button every morning...and the mechanical timer on the side looks like it wouldnt be very helpful. How much worse is the french press on the vario? I've heard you have to adjust it for a good french press grind?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,398
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu May 19, 2011, 8:43pm
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

Intrepid510 Said:

I have not heard much about drip however.

Posted April 20, 2011 link

I do not own a Preciso; I do have a Baratza Vario, however, that I use for drip several times a week.  It's perfectly wonderful.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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scjavadr
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 51
Location: SC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 5:45am
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

I just got a Preciso and used it yesterday and today with the Clever Coffee Dripper.  Fantastic!  Also pulled great espressos with it.  Highly recommended.  This is my first electric grinder, went from 2 hand mills.  For me, the timer issue is not an issue.  I don't think you can go wrong with either.
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Damian
Senior Member
Damian
Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 44
Location: NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso Steel Pro Duo
Grinder: Virtuoso Preciso
Vac Pot: Aeropress
Drip: Mr. Coffee (dusty)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 7:29am
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

You could always add an Esatto to the Preciso for timed... err.. rather WEIGHED grinds.  Of course, then you may as well get a Vario-E for the same total price or thereabouts.

http://www.baratza.com/products.php?id=46

Just when I thought I got out..  They PULLED me back in!!

/proud owner of a Preciso, drooling over the Esatto, wishing he now bought a Vario.
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wp746911
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Texas
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 7:48am
Subject: Re: Better espresso - Vario vs. Preciso
 

thanks for the feedback. I ended up going with the vario primarily b/c of the timer. The preciso was definitely a huge temptation since it is cheaper and would probably grind a large grind better, but I plan on myself and my wife using it- this way I can calibrate the timer so she can just press the right button and get enough grinds....it's just easier that way.

I told her the grinder cost $150. Shhhhh.
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