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.
|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|
|Height||14.0 inches with hopper | 9.5 inches without hopper|
|Product Weight (lbs.)||9.0000|
|Bean Hopper Capacity||8 oz|
|Dosing Options||Programmable Dosing Functionality|
|Grinder Style||Burr - Flat Ceramic|
Submit a question directly to owners of this product and ask what they think about it!
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
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
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
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
-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
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
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
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
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
Thanks... Jan 31, 2012
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
http://www.baratza.com/support/baratza-grinding-tips/ Mar 3, 2014
http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/bunn-bulk-commercial-coffee-grinder Jun 13, 2013
Thanks! Apr 26, 2013
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:||
|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
Videos Featuring the Bratza Vario W Grinder
Good Machine, but, not perfectReview by R Squared
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 EverReview by Peter
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 David Schnee
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 hopedReview by rickdm
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 pt3Review by kp3
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 pt2Review by kp3
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 expectedReview by kp3
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 KD
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 forReview by Lisianski
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 JF
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.
Easy To Use, Great Taste
(Posted on 3/3/12)