Grinder died on me in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by juandg »

My trusty Baratza Vario died on me last night right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner and right when I was showing off my brand new Profitec Pro 300. I was able to get a few cappuccinos, espressos and americanos out the door first but then all of a sudden the motor stopped engaging the bottom burr and would just hum idly. After I tore the machine down quickly and fiddled with it I got it to spin the bottom burr again but not with nearly enough force to grind any beans.

I've had the grinder for 6 years and had just put in new steel burrs 8 months ago. So far I was happy with it but about a week ago it started to not grind coarse enough for Chemex and I had to go almost all the way up to do a small batch on the v60. The espresso range was fine and just to clarify that was a NEW problem, for the past 6 months the steel burrs performed admirably on all brew method. (And the ceramic burrs did as well for the past 6 years but I was a lot more into espresso back then and only occasionally branched out, now I'm about 50/50 on espresso and v60/Chemex/Drip)

Anyway, long story short, given my meltdown and the fact that I just bought the Profitec, the wife gave me the green light on purchasing a new grinder so I'm looking for recommendations. Initially I thought about a Baratza Forte BG (I want steel burrs) but have seen many glowing reviews and endorsements of the Eureka Mignon Specialita/Perfetto as all purpose grinders that are cheaper and quieter than the Forte, so now I'm intrigued. I also looked at the Niche Zero but they are hard to get reasonably quickly in the US and I also don't like that I can't grind bigger batches at once, let's say 60g+ for a full put on the Technivorm.

Any recommendations for a good all purpose grinder?
  • I'm looking for just one grinder, I know it's not ideal but counter space is at a premium (hence the Pro 300 vs anything else)
  • 50/50 - Espresso / Brew (Chemex, v60, Technivorm)
  • I'm inclined to prefer flat, steel burrs but I'm open to suggestion.
  • Given I switch methods a lot I mostly single dose with a few beans to purge when switching.
  • Budget: sub $1,000
Also hoping to hear from Eureka Mignon Specialita/Perfetto owners and their experiences.


#2: Post by *sigh* »

A couple of options to consider.

Parts for the Vario are pretty cheap and their support is awesome. Would you be open to repairing the Vario for your brew grinder and the utilizing the rest of the budget to get a dedicated espresso grinder?

Second, there is a K30 in the Buy/Sell, that's going to be the best grinder you can find for $1000. Any dedicated espresso grinder is going to be a challenge moving back and forth between espresso and filter but it's going to be a high quality machine.


#3: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

I don't think the Niche is all that difficult to get. I haven't looked lately but I ordered mine and it was in the kitchen in about ten days. Also I wouldn't worry about the load size. I think it will hold about 30 gms and the loading is no big deal--just open the lid and dump the second half in. The Niche is conical. I'm happy with the Niche. 95% of what we drink is espresso. It does a good job with filter and immersion. Moving back and forth is a breeze. I have two so espressos dialed in right now and ya know it is plug and play going back and forth. I used a Eureka Specialita. One thing I did not like about the Eureka was the going back and forth between grinds.

Supporter ♡

#4: Post by Marcelnl »

it waited until it had an audience.....did you check the starter capacitor? might be an easy fix.
LMWDP #483

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#5: Post by AssafL »

Maybe get a 25% off Black Friday deal?
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.


#6: Post by juandg »

*sigh* wrote:Parts for the Vario are pretty cheap and their support is awesome. Would you be open to repairing the Vario for your brew grinder and the utilizing the rest of the budget to get a dedicated espresso grinder?

Even with the new steel burrs I haven't been happy with it on the brew end of the spectrum so I'm really just looking for a new grinder and will give this one to someone that's willing to repair it.


#7: Post by juandg »

AssafL wrote:Maybe get a 25% off Black Friday deal?
Wow, where?

I've seen 10% off on some places but not 25% off and certainly not on grinders. Any links you can share?

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#8: Post by spressomon »

EspressoParts announced 25% off yesterday apart of their Black Friday sale...
No Espresso = Depresso


#9: Post by txxt »

I would recommend another Vario personally or a Niche, however it seems like the opinion of some who use the Niche for brew grinding is that it muddies the brew more than is desirable.

Also, Why is cross-posting strongly discouraged? (see cross-post on reddit).

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#10: Post by Almico »

My thanksgiving host lost power at 9am and it didn't come back on until 7:30 pm. She started her thanksgiving prep rewiring the transfer switch to supply power only to the oven and hooking up the emergency generator. Then the gas grill and other burners supplied heat for the rest of the meal. As the sun went down I pulled my Jeep onto the lawn to light up the outdoor auxiliary kitchen and we pressed on. We ate an hour late, but all 12 dishes were hot and delicious. The lights finally came on while we were eating and we quickly turned them back off. Candlelight was so much better. Best thanksgiving ever.