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Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder

SKU# GRN372A0060

Availability: In Stock

$549.00

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Quick Overview

Named one of the best new products of 2011, the Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder not only gives you the ability to create that precise grind for your ideal shots, but it has also been upgraded to incorporate weight. Using real-time weight-based grinding with a built-in electronic scale, all you need to do is set your weight preference and the Vario-W will do the rest.
Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder

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  Description    Specs    Ask a Question    Resources    Reviews  

Named one of the best new products of 2011, the Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder gives you the ability to create a precise grind for ideal shots. Using real-time weight-based grinding with a built-in electronic scale, all you need to do is set your weight preference and the Vario-W will do the rest. This gem of a grinder weighs the ground coffee and will stop grinding automatically when it has reached your desired weight.

Features & Functionality of the Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder

  • 54mm Ceramic Flat Burrs: These burrs stay sharper longer. Ceramic has a longer life than steel burrs and helps to keep the coffee cool by limiting the amount of heat transferred from the burrs to the grinds.
  • Weight-Based: Set the weight of your desired ground coffee to more or less than 0.2g and the Vario-W will weigh the ground coffee while grinding, then stop automatically when it reaches your desired weight.
  • Easy-to-Read: Digital LCD window shows the weight value that is being ground, so you won't need to worry about pre-weighing your beans any longer.

  • Grind on Demand with Electronic Dosing: Grinds only the coffee you require for each shot. Eliminates the risk of stale ground coffee common in mechanical dosing units.
  • Programming: Features three, user-programmable grind weight buttons.
  • Innovative Dual Cam Grind Adjustment: The right-hand lever lets you choose what type of grind. The lever on the left lets you fine tune the grind within the range selected. More than 230 grind settings available.
  • Super Quiet: Powerful DC motor turns slowly resulting in cool, quiet operation and permits extended grinding time. The circuitry is equipped with an automatic reset thermal switch.
Pros
  • Commercial-Grade - With 230 settings, you may expect the Vario-W to be more of a beginner's machine. Not so. This grinder has the same high-quality design features as professional grinders.
  • Precision Grind Adjustment - You'll get a precise grind with the Baratza Vario-W.
  • Digital Display - The clear, easy-to-read display tells you the weight value that you're grinding.
Cons
  • Too Much Goodness - A score of grinding options can equal frustration when changing grinds for a new batch of beans.
Ease of Care and Maintenance 3
Ease of Use 2
Overall Value for the Money 4
How Does it Compare?

The Vario-W is accurate, consistent and has 230 grind options versus other models. The grind is from 230-1150 microns.

Tips and Tricks

Accessory 54mm flat steel burrs are available for the Vario-W. These are for use in a Vario-W dedicated to grinding for drip brewing using a medium to coarse grind. To be clear, these will NOT grind fine enough for espresso. They are solely for a coarser grind used in drip brewing.

Suitable Applications Coffee Press, Drip Coffee, Espresso, Fine Drip / Pour Over
Minimum Time to Grind Double Shot 17.2 seconds | 1.6-2.2 g/sec
Model Number Vario-W
Manufacturer Baratza
Width 5.5 inches
Depth 5.0 inches
Height 14.0 inches with hopper | 9.5 inches without hopper
Product Weight (lbs.) 9.0000
Watts 160W
Volts 110V
Case Material Plastic
NSF Certified No
Bean Hopper Capacity 8 oz
Dosing Options Programmable Dosing Functionality
Grinder Style Burr - Flat Ceramic
Material Plastic

Submit a question directly to owners of this product and ask what they think about it!

 

Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder
Already Asked: 10 Questions, 34 Answers
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A shopper asked: Hi there!

I have a few questions about the Vario, mainly concerning reliability. Last week I've been doing some research on grinders. I'm looking for a grinder for my different ways of making coffee; V60, Kalita, Aeropress and mokka pot. So far I'm most fond of the Vario (still haven't decided whether I should take the W or Home version). I read about a few nasty cons though and I wonder how you experience these things:

1. I read a few times that the Vario stops functioning and its reliability therefore is a lot less than for example a Mazzer Mini. (However the Mazzer Mini's quality of the grind appears to be a little less good, which is the reason I don't want to go for that grinder.)
2. Is it true that calibration is lost quickly? I read it very often.
3. Slipping levers?

I'm looking for a trustworthy grinder that can deliver a good quality grind for the coffee making methods I use. If anyone has a better idea of a grinder I should buy, please tell me! :D If the grinder is good I'm willing to pay a bit more money. I'm looking for a great cup of coffee! :)
Dec 9, 2013
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Susanne M: I purchased my Vario W Grinder in November of 2012. It worked fine until October of 2013 when it began "self powering" (Baratza's term) meaning that it would just start grinding on its own if left plugged in. I contacted Baratza and learned that they had had a few complaints of this nature. They said they would send me a replacement immediately (which they did) and upon receipt I should return my defective one. After unpacking the replacement and packing up the defective grinder I noticed a green card thanking me for "choosing a Baratza refurbished coffee grinder". Needless to say I was surprised and disappointed that my new grinder, which failed within the one-year warranty period, was not replaced with a new one. When I contacted Baratza I was informed that the warranty indicates that after 6 months of use a unit is no longer comparable to a new machine and will be replaced with an updated refurbished model. They also offered that if I was unhappy with the refurbished model they would repair my original unit. I never found this language in the warranty information I received with my original grinder so it did not set well with me.

The refurbished grinder works very differently. The grind settings I have to use are not even close to those I used on the old one. Same for the weight. Where I used 17 g for a double shot of espresso with the old one, I have to use 19 on this one so the calibration may well be off and I should check it. I have had it for 7 weeks only use it once a day I had another Vario before I upgraded to this one, but I am not all that knowledgeable about the finer points of grinders. I considered the Mazzer mini, but it is too tall and too large for my work
space.
Dec 9, 2013
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Mark August M: I have not owned a high end grinder except for the Vario W so I cannot compare it to a Mazzer. Most of what you are describing is true, but not so much that it is not workable. I drink about 4 -6 shots of expresso daily with my Rancillio daily and what I have found is overall being happy with the grinder. The few issues I have had (going on 2 years now I believe)

1) The belt has slipped of a couple times after being stressed. It is easy to fix, but slightly frustrating to have to open up and slip it back on.

2) The calibration does need fine tuning every couple days. The almost infinite adjustments are great and not too much of a hassle, but I do see it make a short or longer shot and have to tweak it every couple days.

3) It is terrible with dark roast beans. I am not a big fan of them, but when I wanted to try David Lynch's espresso blend or was in a pinch to get coffee in my area they tend to be darker beans. It clogs immediately.

Keep in mind I use is for super fine espresso grind and Chemex pure over. It cannot go to a very course grind unless adjusted with tool provided. I have an older Kitchen Aid Pro that I keep around for course grinds for my press pot.

Overall I am very happy with it, but it certainly requires a bit of tweaking. The burrs have not dulled at all and the auto weighing is such a pleasure to have.
Dec 11, 2013
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brandon s: Hello. First off I will say that the Vario W is a great grinder and is giving me great, consistent results so far, but some of your concerns are quite valid.

1. My Vario did stop working. I had to tighten my drive pulley set screw and drive belt. Upon contacting Vario they sent me a pdf with instructions and I was able to do it myself. This is a common issue I think because it happened over the 4th of July and I emailed Vario support and the pdf was already attached with the message 'If your Vario or Vario W is making a screeching noise and not grinding, please follow the reset set screw guide attached.' This was about 3 months ago and its working as intended with consistent results.

2. When I first bought it, it did seem like the calibration was changing and I was't getting the consistency I was expecting when I bought it. I then calibrated the included calibration key and it was solid after that.

3. I have not had a problem with slipping levers, unless you count times where I moved the unit around and my thumbs or fingers moved them on accident as its hard to grip the unit without touching the levers.

Over all I am very pleased with the grind quality, consistency, and level of control this unit provides and I hope this answers all of your questions to your satisfaction.
Dec 9, 2013
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TOM S: Personally, I have owned the Vario-W grinder for over a year now and have not had a single problem with the grinder. Stay with the recommended cleaning intervals and methods and you can enjoy everything from espresso to the moon. It is semi-easy to mess with the adjustment levers on either side when you want to clean the outside of the machine, but overall if you keep record of the settings that you prefer then just re-set the levers back to your written record and away you go. I have owned many expensive grinders (not quite as expensive as this one) but this one is a workhorse that won't ever let you down. I'm not quite sure about the Vario Home model to which you refer. I looked it up online and only found a Vario-W @ $ (which is the one I own) and just a plain Vario Home @ $. The only difference I see is on the right-hand adjustment lever from the pictures. That lever on the Vario-W is numbered and on the Vario Home it has settings from Coarse to Fine. On the Vario-W, the lever detents or "sets" in place and will not move unless you move it to another setting. I would think that the Vario Home would do the same and there appears to be the same number of settings on both levers. All I can say is that I purchased the Vario-W and I love this grinder. Never a problem, and consistent measuring every time. Dec 9, 2013
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Richard d: I bought my Vario W sometime around late spring of this year. It has been even better than expected. The things I like;

-It has been completely reliable, no issues at all.

-When I set the espresso grind my macro lever is usually at 2, and I fine tune with the micro lever. When I switch to drip I move the macro lever to 7 and when I come back to 2 for expresso in 90% of the cases the espresso grind is pretty much right on. I thought I would have to fine tune after every switch, but that has not been the case.

-It is small, quiet, and works well with single dosing. It is a very consumer friendly machine.

I really thought the mahlkonig vario grinder would be my ultimate grinder and the Vario W would just be my starter, but at this point I am rethinking the need to spend $1,500 for another grinder.
Dec 9, 2013
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Cara D: The Vario is a nice grinder and one I would buy again. I use it daily and the grind quality is very good. About 6-7 months into use, it developed a static build up that wasn't properly grounded (this is what support told me), which resulted in it attempting to run at sporadic times. Very odd. With that being said, their customer service was fantastic. Without question, they sent me parts to fix the problem, but when that didn't work they sent me a refurbished grinder. One could argue that's unacceptable for a grinder in this price range. That's a fair point, but the functions and grind quality on this grinder can't be beat for the money. Dec 10, 2013
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David B: I actually have two Baratzas, a 5 year old Virtuoso and the more recent Vario-W. Both work just fine. I have had no calibration issues nor slipping levers. They have been virtually maintenance free. Only an occasional cleaning with Grindz is required to clean out any oil buildup. And I probably only do that twice a year.

I wonder if the calibration issues have more to do with adjustments needed with different roasts of coffee, as the density of the coffee does change depending on how long the beans are roasted.
Dec 9, 2013
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Mary Beth T: In the more than one and a half years that we have had the Baratza Vario grinder, our experience has been very positive so far.
1- Reliable. It has not stopped working for us.
2- Accurate grinding. We like to have expresso at home every morning and we grind the coffee very thin.
3- The levers do not slip, unless you move them.

We do not have experiences with other grinders, but we are happy with this one.
Hope this helps.
Good luck!
Dec 11, 2013
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William D: I have had such a grinder for the past eight months, and am entirely satisfied with it. I don't use it heavily, a couple of times a day as a decaf grinder, but so far it has been completely reliable, with no problems. (Unlike the much more expensive Mahlkoenig grinder I had bought earlier and which is very fussy and unreliable!) The calibration seems to stay put, and I have encountered no slipping of the levers. Dec 9, 2013
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Kendall C: I have had no problems with “slipping levers” on the Vario-W. Nor, have I used it often enough to tell if the calibration degrades with use. On two occasions beans didn’t feed from the hopper and the grinder wouldn’t function. My thought is that the W is useful if one were to make many different coffee drinks in a short time. Otherwise, the model without the scale is fine. Dec 9, 2013
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Reine R: I finally was able to evaluate this particular product and the tester of the product was completely satisfied with the quality and accuracy of the grinder. He is a purist and perfectionist and really put the grinder through its paces with a lot of coffee beans, and the Vario was spot on each time. My suggestion, if you have not already done so, purchase this product. Dec 31, 2013
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Beverley S: So far, with light use, I have had not problems with the Vario-W.

Be aware that the ceramic grind burrs are designed for fine grinding (for espresso). If you want course grind for pour-over for french press, Baratza can provide a different burr set that will do a course grind but you have to switch them out.

Happy brewing!
Dec 9, 2013
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Nathan W: I've had my Vario-W for about a year with no troubles at all. It seems to be a sturdy high quality product. I mainly use V60 and Frech Press.

My dad also has had one for about 7 months. His went out of calibration a few weeks ago (EEE error message). He was able to re-calibrate it.
Dec 9, 2013
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William S: I've had the Vario for about 6 months without a problem. No nasty cons by me. Slipping levers? Probably user error. Dec 9, 2013
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A shopper asked: I am getting rather tired of hand grinding... I have done so for the last many, many years... I am brewing with a V60 and a Chemex, maybe a woodneck will show-up as well, so, which grinder ?? I love the idea of the Baratza Vario-W, although I have heard that for pour-over, the Preciso is better, what do you think ??
Thanks...
Jan 31, 2012
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Mark August M: Hey this might be a bit late, but I just got back from a vacation!

I love the Vario-W. So far it is amazingly consistent and the weight feature is pretty amazing. If you are doing drip mostly, you probably don't need as precise of a grinder, this machine can choke my Rancilio Silvia with an ultra fine grind (I am sure it would make a great Turkish Coffee). It is a true pleasure having weight incorporated and not having to use a separate scale.

The two slight downfalls are these:
- The grinder will not go to a real coarse grind
- The hopper get a bit of static, especially when grinding coarser.

Hope this helps!
Mark
Feb 7, 2012
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john u: I have not used the Preciso to I cannot compare the two grinders. It is hard to imagine anything better than the Vario-W. The grind quality is superb and the weight based grinding is more precise than volume or time based grinding. I don't know how the way the coffee is made would make any difference. Drip, pour over, Turkish, etc all depend on a consistent grind. So I think the question is whether or not the Vario delivers a better quality grind, or heats the beans less during grinding, or allows for a more accurate quantity of ground coffee. Feb 12, 2012
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Thomas W: I can't compare the Vario-W, which I use, with the Preciso, which I have not used. However, I can say that I am very happy with the Vario - it works as advertised and reviewed. I picked the Vario because I like having 3 weight presets - one for single serving car coffee mug, a second for my wife and I, and a third for a full pot. You can achieve the same thing with Peciso and the Essato attachement, but with more counter space taken up. Feb 1, 2012
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Debra J: I use the Vario-W with an AeroPress, and like that I can measure the exact amount of coffee I am grinding for my individual cup coffee maker. However I have seen several local pour-over coffee bars (San Francisco Bay Area) recommend the Preciso for your brewing method...I am sure both are good alternatives. I am very happy with the Vario-W, and Baratza in general has great customer service. Feb 10, 2012
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vidwfinder asked: How often does the ceramic burr need to be replaced? Dec 31, 2013
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Teri KStaff: The burrs in these grinders generally last for a few years, and so I would imagine you would not need to change them out on the Baratza Vario-W for at least a few years of normal use. Jan 2, 2014
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John F: It should be a long time. You'll know it's time when the grind starts losing consistency. Jan 22, 2014
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Peera Y asked: Can I use my own ground bin like stainless steel glass? Aug 8, 2014
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Teri KStaff: While you can use your own grounds bin for this Vario W, it is not ideal, as the weight base is a small square in the center of a platform and the Vario container is the best fit. I tried using a smaller container and found that it moved around a fair amount as the Vario ground and wanted to fall forward off of the unit. This made the weight function inaccurate since I had to keep a hand on the bin. Hope this info helps you! Aug 8, 2014
Reply to Teri Good answer? Yes (1) No (0)
Hunter S asked: My grinder has not arrived yet, but I am wondering what initial setting I should try for a drip brewer (specifically a Technivorm)? I am just looking for a starting point for the sliders. Thanks. Mar 2, 2014
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Teri KStaff: Baratza has lots of recommendations on their site for starting points on their various grinders. The complete chart is below, and for your Technivorm using a Vario-W, the recommended starting point is 6M.

http://www.baratza.com/support/baratza-grinding-tips/
Mar 3, 2014
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Hunter S: Thank you !!! Mar 3, 2014
riddler asked: What are the differences between the Vario + H2 and the Vario-W? Aug 10, 2013
Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder
Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder
Baratza Vario Burr Grinder
Baratza Vario Burr Grinder
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Teri KStaff: The difference between the Vario and the Vario-W is that the regular Vario uses a timer and allows for three programmable lengths of time that you can adjust and have the unit grind down for, while the Vario-W uses a weight base to measure the weight of three programmable presets. Basically the Vario allows programming in seconds, while the Vario-W allows programming by weight in grams. The only other big difference is that the regular Vario includes a portafilter holder while the Vario-W does not (as the weight base would mean you need to tare out your portafilter on the W model). Aug 13, 2013
Reply to Teri Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
A shopper asked: I'm about to open a small coffee shop and am trying to decide between the Vario W and Rocky grinders to be primarily used for drip coffee. Nearly every comparison I've seen says the Vario is much better, often compared to the Super Jolly, (which I'll be getting for espresso,) but it seems like this comparison is made mostly for espresso. Is there a noticeable difference in the performance of these two machines when it comes to non-espresso brewing methods? (Primarily auto-drip, but will also offer pour-over and press options.) Jun 11, 2013
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Teri KStaff: The Rocky does not have an auto on, requiring the user to press and hold the On button to grind. For this reason, the Vario is a bit more user friendly-- but neither the Vario or the Rocky is commercially rated, so neither are really meant to do a high volume and using them in a commercial setting will void your warranty. I would suggest looking at the Cafe tab on our site for commercial grinders. Check out the Bunn at the link below- it's much faster and really meant for bulk drip grinding!

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/bunn-bulk-commercial-coffee-grinder
Jun 13, 2013
Reply to Teri Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)
A shopper: Is there a trade-off in quality going with a commercial grinder like that over something a little more personal? And on a similar note, commercial coffee makers? Jun 16, 2013
Teri KStaff: The commercial products will still offer great results, and are favorable because they are built to last in higher volume settings. You won't have a long life from your machines if you choose home products and use them commercially, and the home machines will also take much more time to grind and brew, and won't produce the coffee your customers are looking for very quickly. You can always give us a call and our commercial department will be happy to give you some advice that will work for your business! 866-372-4734 Jun 18, 2013
e l asked: Can someone let me know what comes in the package? Does it include portafilter holder or that's something else extra that I have to buy separately?
Thanks!
Apr 26, 2013
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Teri KStaff: Unfortunately the Vario-W does not include a portafilter holder, as the portafilter would need to be tared out to account for it's weight before grinding. I don't believe there is one available that is shorter, accounting for the weight base of the grounds bin. The Vario-W comes with all the items you see in the photo- the hopper, hopper lid and the grounds bin, as well as accessories like the calibration adjustment tool and the burr removal tool. Apr 26, 2013
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A shopper asked: Is there a manual option to grind on the Vario W? Apr 20, 2013
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Teri KStaff: No, there is not an option to grind manually for a short length of time with the Vario-W, however you can alter presets up or down for more or less coffee ground. You can also stop grinding at any time once you reach the amount you'd like by pressing the start/stop button. Apr 20, 2013
Reply to Teri Good answer? Yes (0) No (0)

Looking for warranty, care information, or videos of this product? You're in the right place!

 

Warranty Information for the Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder

What it Covers:

Grinders

Length: 1 Year
Who Supports the Warranty: Baratza
Warranty Contact Information: 877-701-2021
Notes: Baratza has excellent troubleshooting resources on their website. If you're experiencing an issue with your grinder, definitely look here first.
Eligible for SCG Extended Warranty? No
Can SCG Repair? Yes. Read more about our out-of-warranty repair services.

Caring for the Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder

Clean burrs on a weekly to bi-weekly basis either with a cleaning brush or a burr grinder-specific cleaning product such as Grindz.

Remove and hand wash the bean hopper and lid with warm water and soap as needed.


User Manuals for your Baratza Vario W Grinder


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Good Machine, but, not perfect

Review by
4.33333333333335
Value
Quality
Price

I've owned my Vario-W for about a year and a half. I bought mine when the price was $549. The price today is somewhat more reasonable. I use it with an Expobar Office Lever for espresso and occasionally with a Hamilton Beach coffee maker for drip coffee. This is what I discovered:
1. Despite being solidly built and "weighty," when the machine arrived, it needed calibration out-of-the-box. I called Baraza tech support who apologetically, but cheerfully, talked me through the process - quite simple and effective.
2. Over time, I encounter "gremlins" in the LCD display that make it flicker and fade for no apparent reason. Tech support - NO HELP. The LCD issues do not affect the mechanical operation, however!
3. The dosing by weight mechanism seems to operate on the "close-enough" theory. The grinder stops usually .2 to .7 grams below the set weight, requiring pulsing the grinder to get closer to the set weight. Having said that, the grinder does, indeed, deliver the desired weight within -3%. So, I guess that's "close-enough."
4. Increasing the coarseness of the grind is a snap. However, retuning it to a finer grind requires running the machine while moving the Numbered Slide up - the Alphabet Side, not so much. BE CAREFUL on this one.
5. The "non-static" bin proved somewhat more wish than reality (especially in winter), but tapping the bin while pouring the ground coffee into the portafilter empties most of the coffee. A slightly firmer rap against the sink side empties it completely.
6. The Baraza Vario-W grinds consistently and quietly every time I use it. I upgraded from a Rocky and very glad I did. I recommend the grinder to any serious coffee geek (who has the spare $500 to buy it)!

(Posted on 8/4/14)

Best Espresso Grinder Ever

Review by
55
Value
Quality
Price

I have had many burr grinders: Breville, Starbucks, Saeco, Solis, Hario, La Cimballi, Mazzer and Nuova Simonelli. The Mazzer and La Cimballi had built-in dosers which were messy, wasteful, not so accurate and retained stale grounds. The $200 Breville and $3000+ Mythos had electronic timers that with much trial and error could achieve the exact right dose with a particular coffee only to repeat again with another coffee. I ended up pre-weighing all my coffee beans before grinding with any of the grinders to achieve consistent results and shot extractions. With the Vario-W i no longer have to weigh out my beans before grinding as the Vario-W has a built-in scale that grinds within a tenth of a gram (I tested) with no waste and no retained grounds. The grounds are nice and fluffy and I get perfect extractions without any channeling and they taste great. The anti-static container works well for me and I like that I can instantly change the grind from fine to coarse, which I couldn't do with the Mazzer, La Cimballi or Simonelli which have a infinite adjustment. The Vario-W can grind extremely fine, all the way to very coarse. You can adjust the grinder simply to even grind coffee like flour if that's what you want. The 54mm ceramic burrs are a dream grinding quickly and a nice even distribution of particle size. I have had no problems whatsoever with the electronics or motor using the grinder daily this past year. For me it's the perfect, ultimate grinder!

(Posted on 8/2/14)

Don't buy this grinder !!

Review by
15
Price
Value
Quality

Ongoing problems that are not fixed by customer support...even if you spend the money to ship it to them. Even after it is serviced, the grind is still not fine enough and the micro arm continues to slide by itself when grinding.

(Posted on 7/13/14)

Better than I had hoped

Review by
55
Value
Quality
Price

This is my first nice grinder which I bought along with a Quick Mill dual boiler espresso machine. I have been really impressed with the consistency of the grinds and the ability to change settings. Every morning I move the macro setting to a coarse grind for drip coffee, then back to a fine setting for expresso. Most of the time I don't even need to make an adjustment to get a dialed-in shot.

It has a small footprint, is quiet, easy to single dose, retains very few grounds, and produces a really nice cup of coffee. Not much more I would ask from a home grinder. At some point I may get a dedicated espresso grinder but i would just put the steel burrs on this one and have a great drip and french press grinder.

(Posted on 9/15/13)

Not as Expected pt3

Review by
4.33333333333335
Price
Value
Quality

SInce Baratza is in within 20 miles, I went over there today. I met several of the staff and they bent over backwards to make sure I was satisfied. These are young, energetic and knowledgable people, eager to make everything right, whatever it takes. I was a bit quick to judge in the prior days reviews, although it would leave me much more confident if all had gone well without the need for service at all. Many reviews elsewhere state they've had zero problems with this machine so I may have just gotten unlucky.
Never the less, over the phone, repeated shipping, or stopping in, these folks will certainly provide ultimate service until you're happy. Guaranteed. Unusual in todays business climate.
TIme will tell if the machine holds up. I am optimistic, but also certain these folks will take care of any problems. Likely, even after the warranty is up.

(Posted on 8/8/13)

Not as Expected pt2

Review by
15
Price
Value
Quality

Baratza called me back on Monday AM. He knew what the problem was immediately by my description and offered to work with me over the phone to fix or get a replacement. My choice. I chose replacement due to the burnt smell inside. Unit arrived Wednesday. Looks brand new. So customer service is very good.
Unfortunately, it ground to a halt after 12 grams. Buzzing loudly with no burr movement.
More to follow I'm certain.

(Posted on 8/7/13)

Less than expected

Review by
1.66666666666675
Value
Quality
Price

Product worked quite well... for just over three months. Then one morning, ground a shot, good. Ground another, horrible screeching noise mid grind. Took out the beans, burrs, cleaned, nothing jammed in there. put it all back together, tried again. Screech. Started smoking this time. Smells like burnt oil in there now.
I really don't care if their warranty policy replaces this. I am out a grinder for at least a week probably longer. I just don't trust this company's products now. You get what you pay for, but I expected a lot more for almost 6 bills.
I'm not happy. I have since read bad reviews about gear box issues with other models. I'm not recommending Baratza from here on out.

(Posted on 8/3/13)

It's possessed! Call Ghost Adventures!

Review by
2.33333333333335
Value
Quality
Price

My lovely wife bought this for me as a Christmas present this past year. After 7 months of use, the grinder became possessed by some alternative force. It would sporadically turn on and start grinding with nobody even close to it. Very odd indeed. Before calling Zak Bagans and the boys from Ghost Adventures to conduct a full investigation at my house, I did a bit of research on the interweb. Although I couldn't find much information on forums regarding my specific issue, this is something that Baratza is aware of. It appears the circuit board isn't properly shielded. As the machine builds up with static electricity (common with coffee grinding), energy "jumps" the circuit and causes the problem. In fact, Baratza has a "jump wire" that they sent me to install on my unit, but unfortunately the fix they provided didn't work. After a number of e-mails and phone conversations with the support team at Baratza, they are sending me a replacement unit. I commend them for that, but it's frustrating as I will have been without a working grinder for over 2 weeks dealing with this.

(Posted on 7/29/13)

Just what I was looking for

Review by
55
Price
Value
Quality

I was very impressed with the complete details on this grinder, including a video on operating it, that Seattle Coffee Gear provided on their website, so went ahead and ordered this grinder. It works just fine; the weighing feature is particularly good and the grind is consistent. I am entirely satisfied with it, and with the service offered by Seattle Coffee Gear. They were very helpful when I had a problem with another grinder I now use for decaf. A customer service rep walked me through taking it apart, fixing the problem, and getting it back together. I am used to getting such good customer service from Apple - but not from many other retailers. I will certainly do business with Seattle Coffee Gear in future.

(Posted on 5/1/13)

grind by weight, not by time, duh!

Review by
55
Quality
Value
Price

I use my Vario-W one or two times a day for french press coffee. I had no idea how much difference a good grinder could make! Totally worth the money.

I've had a Vario-W from SCG for about 3 months. Before this I had a KitchenAid grinder, which at the time I thought was expensive, because it was an upgrade from a cheap blade grinder.

I'm also very very glad that I bought the "Vario-W" version, instead of the "Vario", since the "-W" portions the coffee out by weight. I mean really, you want to grind a certain _amount_ of coffee, right? All the other grinders, which grind by _time_, are just using time as a poor proxy for weight.

I keep different coffees in the house, so I usually put just enough into the grinder for whatever I'm drinking at the time. Grinding by weight helps with this: if I put in too little then the Vario-W just keep spinning because I haven't hit my goal weight. So I add a bit more. Then a bit more. Etc. Once you've used this grinder you'll be asking "why don't all grinders work this way?"

There's much less static buildup on the grinds than my previous grinders, but occasionally there is a wee bit of static.

And there's no "dust" from there grinder. Just consistently the size of grinds you set it for.

The weird thing with the grinder is grinding into the included bin. The bin seems to teeter precariously on top of the scale. Once you're used to it, it's no big deal. And, frankly, I'm not sure how else to design this thing: it measuring tenths of a gram, so it's not really possible to have the bin in contact with something else.

If you're interested in grinding straight into a portafilter you will have to hold the portafilter yourself. There aren't any forks for supporting your portafilter.

And finally, when I was trying to decide on grinders I sent a couple of questions off to the Baratza folks as well. They replied promptly, were very friendly, etc. Great people to deal with.

So, to sum it up, it's 11X more expensive than my previous grinder, what I would have used to considered insane to pay for a grinder, and TOTALLY WORTH IT. Hands down the single best thing I've done to improve my coffee.

Pros:
Easy To Use, Great Taste

Cons:

(Posted on 3/3/12)

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