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Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
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revolver1978
Senior Member
revolver1978
Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: --
Drip: --
Roaster: --
Posted Tue Jan 22, 2013, 8:14pm
Subject: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

Similar price, upgrading from Rocky. I only grind for espresso, machine is Crossland CC1.
Biggest gripe with Rocky is slow speed and ackward adjustments when going finer. Not crazy about two handed grinding either.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 7:37am
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

Vario has been compared to equal the grind and taste of the Super Jolly and even Major.... not sure where the K3 stands there.
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MikeReilly
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 304
Location: Vancouver Island
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cimbali Junior Gaggia...
Grinder: Pharos CC45 Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast 2, Popper
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 4:38pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

Vario reportedly gives far better grind quality, K3 will probably outlast it by several decades.  Each grinder has it's strengths.
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 4:53pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

MikeReilly Said:

Vario reportedly gives far better grind quality, K3 will probably outlast it by several decades.  Each grinder has it's strengths.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

Than the K3? I'm kind of surprised to hear this. What would be the reasoning?

-Dave-
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 5:23pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

The Vario just has a great flat burr set for grind quality and taste and easily tweaked, there's a reason it's up there/better (depending on whom you ask) with the Super Jolly and some say Major, and the Super Jolly alone is in another class up then the K3 and other similar competitors like the Macap M4 etc.
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 5:33pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

CMIN Said:

The Vario just has a great flat burr set for grind quality and taste and easily tweaked, there's a reason it's up there/better (depending on whom you ask) with the Super Jolly and some say Major, and the Super Jolly alone is in another class up then the K3 and other similar competitors like the Macap M4 etc.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

I'm not questioning that the Vario has somewhat better grind quality, but it seems unlikely that the quality is "far better." I don't mean to be nitpicky and argue semantics, I just thought that that was a big claim. I don't have enough experience with either grinder to really refute it, I was just curious as to the reasoning.

-Dave-
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 5:51pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

I own both grinders. I would have answered this question differently 2 weeks ago. I'll need to start from the beginning so that you can get a true sense of things, but I think I'd actually say the K3 may have an edge in this competition.
I initially bought my K3 with my silvia and was very happy with it, but had nothing to compare it to. I was experimenting with beans (before I knew how to get access to properly roasted beans) and ended up plugging the grinder on several occasions with dark/oily beans. I had taken the collar off nearly 8 times or so, when I noticed it was screwing in very rough (I hadn't used any lube). The last time, I ended up with metal filings in the grind!!!! Turns out I had cross-threaded the grinder. I finally got it fixed locally after poor support from the place where I purchased the grinder.
In the interim, I bought my spaz as a package deal with a used vario. I have been using that very happily. My shots had such a huge improvement over my previous set-up but both the machine and grinder were new. Now that I have my k3 back, I have been experimenting. I have decided that this grinder can't be used single dosing (not by me anyway). As a last ditch, I switched to using with a full hopper. Also, tried WDT for distribution and BAM! Things have been much much better. Picking up much more subtle flavors and also finding shots are sweeter than what I have had previously with the vario.
So I'm now getting the k3 where I want it. Soon, I will try head-to-head with vario (both with full hoppers), but for now, I think that the K3 might win. I havn't found many reviews on the k3 and there seems to be much more user experience with the vario, so I havn't seen a head-to-head anywhere on these grinders. I think you'd be happy with either grinder, but don't be stupid like me and be careful with the k3 threads!! great build quality if you know what you are doing....just make sure you do know what you are doing ;)
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revolver1978
Senior Member
revolver1978
Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: --
Drip: --
Roaster: --
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 7:05pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

THanks for the info. IF I might ask, how is the speed? About how long for a double shot?

diggi Said:

I own both grinders. I would have answered this question differently 2 weeks ago. I'll need to start from the beginning so that you can get a true sense of things, but I think I'd actually say the K3 may have an edge in this competition.
I initially bought my K3 with my silvia and was very happy with it, but had nothing to compare it to. I was experimenting with beans (before I knew how to get access to properly roasted beans) and ended up plugging the grinder on several occasions with dark/oily beans. I had taken the collar off nearly 8 times or so, when I noticed it was screwing in very rough (I hadn't used any lube). The last time, I ended up with metal filings in the grind!!!! Turns out I had cross-threaded the grinder. I finally got it fixed locally after poor support from the place where I purchased the grinder.
In the interim, I bought my spaz as a package deal with a used vario. I have been using that very happily. My shots had such a huge improvement over my previous set-up but both the machine and grinder were new. Now that I have my k3 back, I have been experimenting. I have decided that this grinder can't be used single dosing (not by me anyway). As a last ditch, I switched to using with a full hopper. Also, tried WDT for distribution and BAM! Things have been much much better. Picking up much more subtle flavors and also finding shots are sweeter than what I have had previously with the vario.
So I'm now getting the k3 where I want it. Soon, I will try head-to-head with vario (both with full hoppers), but for now, I think that the K3 might win. I havn't found many reviews on the k3 and there seems to be much more user experience with the vario, so I havn't seen a head-to-head anywhere on these grinders. I think you'd be happy with either grinder, but don't be stupid like me and be careful with the k3 threads!! great build quality if you know what you are doing....just make sure you do know what you are doing ;)

Posted January 23, 2013 link

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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 3:17am
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

revolver1978 Said:

THanks for the info. IF I might ask, how is the speed? About how long for a double shot?

Posted January 23, 2013 link

Similar to vario. ~14sec this am for 17g. Of course shorter for coarser and longer for finer grind.
Just a reminder on single dosing. If you want to switch between different beans, then I'd recommend the vario. If you only use one type and seldom switch, then I don't yet have a recommendation, but perhaps k3 is better here as I indicated in my last post.
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BWR
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:01pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade advice - Compak K3 vs Baratza Vario
 

Hi Diggi

Hope the OP doesn't mind me jumping in here, but I've been trying to make the same decision. Do you have the K3 with doser or doserless? I've been leaning towards the K3 myself, but I was a bit concerned after reading Mark's comment (in one of the forums around here) that the grind retention is quite bad, especially compared to the Vario. How have you found this with the K3?

To the original OP there was an in depth comparison between the Mazzer Mini and the K3 here

http://www.coffeetamper.com.au/kb/reviews/mini-k3/

I've found there are more threads comparing the Vario to the Mini and using this review in conjunction with the Mini vs Vario threads might help you decision.

Bruce
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