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Baratza Vario Burr Grinder with Metal PortaHolder

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Product Description

This commercial-grade Baratza Vario Burr Grinder with metal portaholder and LED display features an advanced panel display, 54mm ceramic flat burrs, a throughput of 1.6-2.2 grams per second and an innovative macro/micro grind adjustment with 230 settings. The Vario and the Vario-W are virtually identical in design and capabilities: small footprint, macro/micro adjustment, 54mm ceramic burrs and a broad range of grinds.

**The below video shows the older version that included a plastic portaholder. The current version includes a metal portaholder.**

Features & Functionality of the Baratza Vario Burr Grinder with Metal Portaholder

  • 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.
  • Grind on Demand with Electronic Dosing: Grinds only the coffee required 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 motor turns slowly resulting in cool, quiet operation and permits extended grinding time. The circuitry is equipped with an automatic reset thermal switch.
  • Metal PortaHolder: Universally adjustable brackets for any portafilter. Allows for hands-free operation.
Pros
  • Commercial-Grade - With 230 settings, you may expect the Vario 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.
  • Digital Display - The clear, easy-to-read display tells you the weight value that you're grinding.
Cons
  • Too Much of a Good Thing - 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 3
Overall Value for the Money 4
How Does it Compare? The Vario Burr Grinder uses a timing system to grind while the Vario W Burr Grinder weighs the ground coffee while grinding, then stops automatically when it reaches your desired weight.
Tips and Tricks Remember to have the grinder running when you change the grind settings.
Suitable Applications Coffee Press, Drip Coffee, Espresso, Fine Drip / Pour Over
Minimum Time to Grind Double Shot 11 seconds

Additional Information

Model Number 886
Manufacturer Baratza
Width 5.25 inches
Depth 7.00 inches
Height 14.25 inches
Product Weight (lbs.) 9.0000
Volts 110V
Programmability Yes
Case Material Plastic
Bean Hopper Capacity 8 ounces
Dosing Options Programmable Dosing Functionality
Adjustment Configuration Stepped - Macro and Micro Settings
Grinder Style Burr - Flat Ceramic
Burr Diameter 54mm

Ask a Question

Browse 5 questions and 5 answers
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Is it adjustable for french press coffee which is coarse grind?
A shopper on Jun 11, 2015
Best Answer: Yes, you can make this coarse enough for French Press
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Jun 18, 2015
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would this grinder be a realistic candidate for a rocket espresso machine? If so, how long would it last? I don't really have the cash for the mazzer and it seems as if this is my best bet. I just want to confirm with someone first.
A shopper on Jun 7, 2015
Best Answer: Honestly, if you're going to spend good money on a Rocket machine, it would make sense to get a grinder that can dial in with absolute precision. That being said, the Vario is a good grinder and will definitely get you to an espresso range. Baratza is a great brand and should last you for several years provided you maintain it well. Typically we recommend a better grinder over machine, but I will note that the Rocket is a finely tuned machine that does allow for some user error and you will certainly get good shots on it using a Vario grinder.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Jul 31, 2015
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Can the Baratza Vario be operated if the timer fails, i.e. operated in a manual mode?
jack h on May 23, 2015
Best Answer: As long as the display is still working, then you can use the manual button to operate it manually.
Reply · Report · Randee SStaff on Jun 11, 2015
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How many lbs. will the bean hopper hold?
A shopper on Mar 11, 2015
Best Answer: This will hold approximately 3/4 of a pound in the hopper.
Reply · Report · Miranda GStaff on Mar 11, 2015
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Does the $479 Vario have the same closeable bean hopper as the Vario-W?
Kevin J on Jan 7, 2015
Best Answer: No, it does not come with the bean hopper with a gate valve to shut off the beans from falling in, should you want to remove the bean hopper or change out your beans. However, we do carry the bean hopper separately that has the gate at the bottom, and fits into the Vario properly, should you want to purchase that as an accessory. You can find that here:
https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/baratza-shutoff-hopper-with-lid
Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Jan 14, 2015
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Resources

Warranty Information for the Baratza Vario Burr Grinder with Metal Portaholder

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 Burr Grinder with Metal Portaholder

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 Manual for your Baratza Vario Burr Grinder with Metal Portaholder


Videos Featuring the Baratza Vario Burr Grinder

Compare: Baratza Grinders

Compare: Baratza Grinders Redux

Compare: Baratza Vario vs Rancilio Rocky

How Do I Keep my Grinder's Chute Clean?

Compare: Grinder Noise Levels

SCG Gift Guide 2012: Espresso Enthusiast

Reviews

Great GrinderReview by Erik
Quality
Price
Value
I called in to Seattle Coffee Gear to get a recommendation to replace my Rocky which didn't survive a move to a new apartment. They suggested the Vario, and after using it for a few days I couldn't be happier. I liked the Rocky, but grounds went everywhere and the portafilter holder didn't really work. The Vario is much easier and cleaner to use. The fine adjustment knob makes dialing in the grinder very easy, and there' virtually no mess due I assume to the chute design. The timer feature is very cool and make the overall grinding process much easier and repeatable than with the Rocky. Thanks! (Posted on 6/19/2015)
Worth Every PennyReview by Baratza Vario
Quality
Price
Value
Just upgraded from the Breville Smart Grinder. I thought I loved my Smart Grinder until I used this bad boy....You will not regret a nicer grinder. The coffee is not harsh, offers better flavors in general, and is a joy to drink. Don't skimp on the grinder. (Posted on 4/30/2015)
A Really Good GrinderReview by Baratza Vario
Quality
Price
Value
My Breville Smart Grinder broke less than two years into owning it. I thought it was a great grinder until I ordered the Baratza Vario. The Vario, although twice as expensive grinds coffee to a whole new level. The micro adjustments have allowed the nuances of the coffee beans to come through while eliminating the bitter harshness that the Breville grinder exhibited. Everyone says that the grinder makes the difference, and I admit I was skeptical. It turns out, it really makes a huge, huge impact. Don't skimp on the grinder! (Posted on 4/30/2015)
InconsistentReview by Chris R.
Quality
Price
Value
The Vario is a great grinder; higher end performance at a decent price. My example of this grinder is not great in that it doesn't keep calibration. After about 100g of throughput, the grind gets more coarse. Using the Vario with a Rocket Cellini, yesterday afternoon a 9.4 second grind put out 20g of coffee and the pull took about 30 sec. Today, 20g of coffee pulled in 20 sec. Pressure gauges read the same both times. I know beans age but not that much in less than 24 hours. Over time, this machine has been consistently inconsistent, this is just the first time I've noted it. If it would keep a setting it would be a 5 star grinder. (Posted on 4/19/2015)
Excellent Grinder!Review by Lou#2
Quality
Price
Value
Purchased the Vario along with a Rancilio Silvia and I am very happy. The Vario works great for espresso shots and for cappuccino's. Nice design and easy to keep clean.
Also, nice to know that burrs are easily replaceable. The settings are easy to adjust and to fine tune. For my espresso, I am at 8.2 secs @ 3D for a double shot, produces 15 grams of ground coffee.

Lou: Just wanted to mention, when adjusting the coarseness, it is important to do it while the machine is running - especially when moving from coarse to fine. This will prevent grinds from jamming in between the ceramic burr plates as the adjustment is pressing the these plates together tighter. Maybe that's the reason you are experiencing issues.

Overall, great value and quality, highly recommended.

(Posted on 1/21/2015)
Quality grinder! Better off with steel burrs if you want a wider range thoughReview by A. Da Costa
Quality
Price
Value
This is an excellent grinder for espresso and with the ceramic burrs you could probably even produce a grind that is fine enough for Turkish. If you're planning to use it for other methods that require coarser grinds, I'd highly recommend purchasing the steel burrs from Baratza's website (or stop by their headquarters if you're from the Seattle area, like I did).

Here's the thing: the ceramic burrs produce a lot of fines. That means that if you're grinding for pour-over or French press, for example, there will be a lot of very small particles that will over-extract and leave that mud-like layer in your filter or even in your coffee if you're using metal filters. I thought the number of fines was unacceptable so I called Baratza and was surprised to find that they were a local company (Seattle area). I stopped by their headquarters and they convinced me to switch the burrs to the steel ones. It only cost me $20 because they took my ceramic ones back and the results were well worth the money. The steel burrs produce almost no fines. VERY consistent results throughout the whole range, from fine to coarse.

The cons of steel burrs (which in my case are not an issue at all):
1- They last for only half as long as ceramic burrs: 500 pounds instead of 1000 pounds of coffee. Who cares? It's going to take me years to go through that much coffee anyways. And for $40, I'll just get new burrs when they wear out.
2- They produce more heat. Not a lot more though. Even the ceramic ones heat up the coffee when you grind really fine in my experience.
3- They don't go as fine as the ceramic burrs. Not fine enough for Turkish. I don't drink Turkish anyways. It goes more than fine enough for espresso with my Rancilio Silvia so I'm happy. Needs calibration though, which is trivial to do. (Posted on 11/16/2014)
Stop hesitating and just buy it; you'll thank yourself! Review by Steve
Quality
Price
Value
I have had this grinder for a couple of months now and can speak nothing but praise for it. I use it daily for french press in the morning and espresso in the afternoon and it allows me to easily switch between the two. It is a little fine for the french press but the grind is so consistent that it makes up for the lack. I talked to Baratza support before I purchased it and they were excellent and helped answer all my concerns. It is awesome for espresso taboot! The fine tune adjustments allow me to easily modify the particle size to get a perfect shot every time. I didn't have any of the problems Lou had; it worked fantastically for me right out of the box. (Posted on 11/12/2014)
Versatile Grinder, Compact Footprint, Espresso Grind is GreatReview by Jerry
Quality
Price
Value
Have used this grinder for two weeks exclusively for espresso with the workhorse Rancilio Silvia. For this review, I found a grind for the Technivorm, for which I typically use a Breville Conical Burr Grinder (450 XL for the past 5 years). Before the Vario, I used a Rocky for 16 years exclusively for the Silvia (V1).

Appearance: Metal Portafilter is a great addition with almost all stainless up front. It is a sturdy and compact grinder - has a businesslike appearance, and when you try to pick it up, you know it's all business ... it has heft. The adjustable bars are plastic, and yes, you wish they were metal, but they do blend into the face. It works well.

Timer: I measure my dose of beans on a scale and place them into the grinder. I like my beans to remain in a dark, enclosed place until ready. I run a double shot in 9.8 seconds of grind time. So if I did not weigh the beans, I'm good. The 3 timers work great and coupled with the manual mode, gives you 4 options.

Espresso Grind: Once you get to the nitty-gritty between 2 and 3 on the right side, it's a matter of pulling shots and tasting to find what works for your bean and palate. I have found that 3.e. works well for my double dose. At the same time, I am still adjusting for taste.

I dose directly into the portafilter and gave it a slight shake at the midpoint to topple the mountain slightly. No clumping, no issues, everything powdery.

My guess is that after looking at the larger diameter, expensive grinders when compared with the smaller diameter of the Vario, that at this price point Baratza had no choice but to go with ceramics in order to keep the grind as cool as possible so as to maintain the highest quality of the resulting grind.

Either I am making better espresso with the Silvia in the last two weeks, or the Vario is doing its job. I have increased my espresso education -- and the espresso that I am now making with the Vario is smoother with more nuanced flavors.

Technivorm Grind: George Howell of (georgehowellcoffee.com) got me away from a fine grind on a drip brewer 5 years ago and to more of a medium grind that leans slightly to the fine side. On the Vario, I found this around 7W. That surprised me because it seems so course in terms of the Vario Scale. I place 310g of water with 21g of beans when brewing. This morning I used 7M with Ethiopian Beans and the coffee was slightly stronger than my usual - my thought is next time I try it at 7W.

Adjustability: I took the hint from the crew at SCG and made adjustments while the grinder was running -- between 4-3-2-1 you could easily hear the difference as the machine adjusted.

Bin: I used the bin for the first time and the electrostatic coating works -- coffee does not stick! Very nice. After all, who wants old grinds in your fresh coffee? No one.

Value: All grinders seem overpriced to me. But it seems as if you are getting the most bang from your buck with the Vario when compared to other grinders of similar quality.

Verdict: I like the accuracy and the grinding options. Sure, I'm not as sophisticated as others, nor have I used more exotic grinders, or the espresso grind for light roasts. But for ease of use and accuracy of grind, I do like the quality, compactness, appearance and cleanliness of the Vario over the Rocky.

I have enjoying better espresso now and the ability to detect more nuanced flavors. The Vario is worth the price premium to me. I like what it produces in the cup.

And after I get the new espresso machine next week, I will offer an update. (Posted on 11/8/2014)
Houston we have a problemReview by Lou
Quality
Price
Value
This grinder has been a problem from day one. I got it last year for Christmas and it started clogging and stalling right away. I sent it back and got another and it did not get through 2 day. Support is very helpful so they sent me a third. I was afraid to use it for weeks. Then started grinding for drip and press. No issues. I decided to try the espresso grind. It choked, started clacking and finally stopped. I had to twice clean out the burrs and the chute. I've done this drill dozens of times with the other ones. This grinder can not do espresso without clogging up. I will have to get a different grinder for my espresso. (Posted on 11/3/2014)

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