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Baratza Vario - Wes S.'s Review
Posted: January 8, 2012, 9:24am
review rating: 7.7
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Baratza Vario Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Vario has 21 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Vario has been rated 8.37 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 127,999 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

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.2
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 8
Average Price: $450.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $415.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Clive Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 week Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Rocky
Bottom Line: Great grinder, but super-unintuitive for choosing grind coarseness
Positive Product Points

Consistent, versatile grinder

Negative Product Points

Calibration pains

Detailed Commentary

Others have covered this machine in some detail, so I'm going to focus on a couple of key points not often addressed.

(1) You just cannot calibrate or adjust grind coarseness the way you would coming from a machine like a Rocky.

On a Rocky, the best practice is to change grind coarseness when the machine is NOT running.  This way you waste no grounds, and you get grinds that are all ground to the same degree.

On the Vario, you MUST set grind coarseness when the machine IS running.  If you significantly mess with the grind levers when it's NOT running -- push them up and down -- you will completely botch your calibration and have to start all over, wasting many beans in the process.

The manual barely mentions this critical fact -- it's just a sort of half-assed parenthetical comment.  And people who are unaware will find the Vario a very confusing experience because the grind they get will not at all match the lever settings.

In my case, the identical settings resulted, at different times, in the machine grinding at a drip-coffee coarseness and a choke-your-machine fineness.  That is completely unintuitive and weird and the manual really needs to be clear on the point.

Now, all that said, the Vario is an outstanding and consistent grinder once you get it calibrated and dialed in.

(2) The Vario leaves much less coffee in the machine after use than the Rocky.  This means you get more shots for any given number of beans.  If you start with a pound of coffee beans, you might wind up with as much as another entire shot over the Rocky -- a significant improvement.

Buying Experience

Eh.

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review rating: 7.7
Posted: January 8, 2012, 9:24am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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