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Baratza Vario - Stewart Emery's Review
Posted: March 3, 2010, 4:39pm
review rating: 8.2
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Baratza Vario Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Vario has 22 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Vario has been rated 8.38 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 140,145 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: 9.6
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 9
Average Price: $450.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $429.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: 1st-Line Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 year Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Macap M4 Stepped and M4 Stepless
Bottom Line: Probably the only coffee grinder you will ever need.
Positive Product Points

This is the only grinder I know of that can immediately and consistently adjust from espresso grind in the morning to French Press for midday then back to  espresso for an evening Cappuccino. The Vario will reset to a selected espresso grind with great accuracy. Almost no grounds are retained in the delivery path. If you place 21 grams of beans in the hopper you get almost 21 grams in the basket (maybe you loose a tenth of a gram or two). This makes grinding different coffees to order very convenient. Superb adjustability is effectively "step-less." Grinder is compact - takes up a lot less space than a Mazzer or a Macap. Quiet and fast - I get a 21 gram espresso grind in 14 seconds.

Negative Product Points

Using the portafilter holder results in a bit of a mess on the counter - so I grind into the supplied bin and transfer to the basket - no big deal and in some ways this provides easier control over dispersion.

Detailed Commentary

I started out a year ago running this Vario along side a Macap M4 Step-less. I found it very difficult to detect any difference in the cup between the two grinders. If I had to choose I might give the nod to the Vario. We use a Vibiemme Double Boiler machine with PID, along with really fresh beans from Equator Estates Coffee (who just won Roaster of the Year). After a couple of months I noticed we had pretty much stopped using the Macap (If I was not sentimental it would have gone to eBay by now). The convenience of the Vario has to be experienced to be believed. When you consider that a grinding burr adjustment of only 4 microns (1/50 of the diameter of a fine espresso particle) will make a difference of 3 or 4 seconds to the pour time, the engineering feat of immediate adjustability from espresso grind to French Press and back to a repeatable espresso setting is extraordinary. Also amazing is the quality of the grind at each of these settings. For espresso you need some variation in the particle size to tease the nuances of the bean into the cup and at the French Press end of the scale you need a uniform particle size. This grinder can do that. Baratza have done a terrific job with the Vario. I am about to buy a second one for my office.

Buying Experience

I have been dealing with 1st-line for over three years. It is always a pleasure. Jim is very knowledgeable. Also customer service at Baratza is really something special.

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review rating: 8.2
Posted: March 3, 2010, 4:39pm
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