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Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Upgrading...  
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century
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Giotto Evoluzione
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5
Drip: Chemex 8 Cup
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon May 28, 2012, 4:36pm
Subject: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

Ladies & Gents,

Looking to upgrade my grinder.
Im currently using a Vario and while I love it, I think its time to upgrade.
Need something in the sub $800 (cdn) level and most imporantly, would like something that has a similar footprint to the Vario.
Due to counterspace and low cupboards.

Its being paired with my Rocket Giotto.

Thanks in advance

Emil
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JamesPN007
Senior Member


Joined: 2 May 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Southeast Florida
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LaSpaziale S1 Vivaldi II
Grinder: Mahlkonig K30 Vario
Posted Mon May 28, 2012, 5:48pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

There are plenty of upgrades out there that will surpass the Vario, but I'm not sure there is anything worth upgrading to that carries a similar footprint, is under $800 CDN, and is low enough to fit under the cupboards. The only grinder that comes to mind that meets both your price AND size criteria would be the Pharos from Orphan Espresso, but that is of course a hand mill.  If footprint is the most important factor to you, perhaps save up a little longer for the Mahlkonig ProM, which is around $1,200 US/CDN, and "limp by" for now with the Vario. More than you are looking to spend right now for sure, but so goes this hobby.  The ProM would win the "most grinder in smallest package" award from me. I seriously considered the ProM before getting my current grinder.

Mahlkonig has demo units available from time to time, and if you have a little patience you may be able to snag a ProM at or close to that price range.  I just got a sweet deal on a demo model K30 Vario directly from Mahlkonig.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 5:05am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

What is it about the Vario is it that you don't like or are unhappy with?

While I do not have one, members who I respect who do have them, are quite happy with them. I am not aware of a HOME espresso grinder in it's price range that is much, if any better.

Commercial grinders without a hopper, quite often fit under cabs but they are not as small of a foot print.

The Pharos grinder is said to be of a high quality grind and it is a hand mill as said above. My first and only look at it was at a coffee get together we had in L.A. a week or so ago. It seems to be a quality product but the adjustment system needs help as it is difficult to easily make small changes, at least that was the comment the owner of the grinder made.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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century
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Giotto Evoluzione
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5
Drip: Chemex 8 Cup
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 9:29am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

The Vario has done me well but I feel I have to adjust the burrs too often ( at least on mine).
I also find the friction from the burrs makes the grind too hot. Something Ive noticed more as the grinder ages.
Of course these are small issues but regardless I think its time to research my options.

James....Thanks for the info. I like the look of the ProM, I will definitely keep an eye out for a refurb.
Might have to drop by my local shop and test it out.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 1:25pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

Adjusting the burrs for a shot is a daily if not hourly thing, does yours need more than that?

Good luck in your quest, the Vario has been held up to the SJ in quality of grind by some people who I respect here so I do think you will need to go a long way to get much if any, improvement.

I will restate though, I do not use a Vario and all my grinders are commercial so I can only give you a thumb nail view of the Vario. I can advise some great deals to keep a eye open for with commercial gear if you want.

Good luck!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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century
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Giotto Evoluzione
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5
Drip: Chemex 8 Cup
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 4:01pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

By "adjusting the burrs"...I mean with the provided wrench. Not the usual superficial adjustments.

You had me at "great deal"...I would appreciate a heads up if you see something.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed May 30, 2012, 4:52am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

Check out the used equipment dealers in your city. There may be a food service auction house too, there is one of those near me and often you can buy while you are there and not just at auction. I have done that and though you spend a little more than you might at auction, it will still be a very good deal.

A very good but unsung grinder is the N.S. MDX. I really like the micro adjustment knob VS the lever on the SJ. That is not to say that a Mazzer is bad, they are not and I own a SJ and a Major, both very good grinders. Pretty much any commercial grinder will do a good job for you and the stepless grinders are the best. That is not to say that the stepped grinders such as the Rossi RR45 or the T80 are bad, they are not, they are just stepped grinders. I have found, that, for me, the T80 does not like to be single dosed but if you keep beans in the hopper and use a timer to set your grind dose, it will do a good job.

If you keep your eyes open, put in some search dog time and are willing to do some cleaning and minor repair, you should be able to pick up a used commercial in the under $250 range, and very often in the sub $100 if it looks ugly but is mechanically sound.

Also keep an eye out on Craigs list, the direct mail want add papers and any other bargain advertising where you live. Avoid Ebay unless you want to pay TOP $$$$!

A little work on your part and you WILL find a deal, just keep after it.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,061
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed May 30, 2012, 5:07am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

calblacksmith Said:

Adjusting the burrs for a shot is a daily if not hourly thing,  ...

Posted May 29, 2012 link

That's totally true. The required fineness of grounds for proper extraction depends on many factors such as humidity or aging, type and degree of roasting of the beans. If one of those parameters changes, you'll have to readjust your grinder.

century Said:

By "adjusting the burrs"...I mean with the provided wrench. Not the usual superficial adjustments ...

Posted May 29, 2012 link

Now, recalibrating is a different thing. How old is your Vario? Have you complained about that issue?

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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century
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Giotto Evoluzione
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5
Drip: Chemex 8 Cup
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed May 30, 2012, 7:33am
Subject: Re: Upgrading Grinder...Similar footprint to Vario?
 

Thanks Cal...Ill keep a look out.


Vario is about 2.5 years old.
I have sent an email regarding the frequent calibration.
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