Baratza Vario owners... how are things? - Page 3

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
dialydose

#21: Post by dialydose »

AustinRob -

I know you were directing your comments/questions to someone else, but I own both the M4 and the Vario so I can probably provide some insight. I keep the M4 at the office and the Vario at home. I only make espresso at the office. I make espresso, drip, press and "clever" coffee at home. To me, that is one of the key benefits to the Vario. I use one grinder for all those methods. Pure espresso, I think the M4 and the Vario both produce great espresso. I like having the M4 at the office because there are 6-8 people making espresso on a given day and the doser serves the purpose it was intended for and I think the M4 was built more for that type of volume. As far as taste, it is so subjective, someone could prefer either grinder and be right.

For me, if someone is brewing more than one method, likes a small footprint, quiet grind, no waste, doserless, flat burr grinder, than the Vario is a wonderful option. If all you are doing is espresso and you prefer dosers, maybe you would prefer another grinder. Having said that, there are numerous posts regarding the quality in the cup of the Vario (Jason posted a link to a CG post with a good collection) being on par with or better than much more expensive grinders. I have compared it to both a SJ and CMH owned by friends. Tough to make a clear call (by everyone).

With respect to the upgrade from a mazzer mini to a Vario, I think that is subjective, but at this point should not be shocking. Maybe the term upgrade should be exchanged with replaced. I have had plenty of shots from a mini and frankly saw no improvement over the M4 and certainly not over the Vario. Considering, the price difference, I would certianly "choose" the Vario over the mini.

BTW - I am headed to Austin next Thursday for ACL. My brother and his wife live in Tarrytown (sp). We are really looking forward to it. Any suggestions on coffee shops in Austin? I know they like to go to Mozarts (they don't drink espresso -- only drip, etc). Any other options?

DigMe

#22: Post by DigMe »

The Mazzer Mini has so many drawbacks for the price that at this point I would choose the Vario over the Mini without ever having used the Vario just out of word of mouth alone. I've had a Mini for a while too.

brad

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sweaner
Supporter ♡

#23: Post by sweaner »

Brad, what are the drawbacks you have found with the Mini? Though I have little experience with other grinders, the Mini seems to do a nice job. True, I probably would not buy a new one for the price, but a good used one would serve well for years to come.
Scott
LMWDP #248

AUSTINrob

#24: Post by AUSTINrob »

dialydose wrote:BTW - I am headed to Austin next Thursday for ACL. My brother and his wife live in Tarrytown (sp). We are really looking forward to it. Any suggestions on coffee shops in Austin? I know they like to go to Mozarts (they don't drink espresso -- only drip, etc). Any other options?
Thanks fro your input regarding the Vario, I'll pass along your thoughts to my buddy.

As for good CONSISTENT espresso in Austin...Man, I can't promise you anything - that's actually what drove me to getting my own set-up. But, when I do go out for a macchiato (I've given up on straight shots in this town) I like to try my luck at either Progress Coffee, Cafe Medacci, or possibly a new joint that has really been improving (they just changed their beans a few months ago), Lift (south Lamar by Hill Country Running).

Have fun at ACL, I'm so bummed the Beastie Boys had to drop out...OH, and pray for the rain to stop, it hasn't rained all summer but it has suddenly turned into the monsoon season here lately!

itch808

#25: Post by itch808 »

gj91 wrote:Thanks for helping me blow $500 bucks too. I am going to buy one this week.
Call up Chris @ ChrisCoffee in NY. They are running a sweet discount on the Vario for a limited time! At their price it's crazy!

ASFx

#26: Post by ASFx »

How do I know for sure that if I order the Vario, I have the latest version? I remember seeing someone explain how to check the difference between the older and newer versions but i can't find the thread anymore. Is it safest to order from somewhere like Chris Coffee or WLL since they are most likely to sell through older inventory the fastest?

hperry

#27: Post by hperry »

I'd say Chris Coffee or maybe Orphan Espresso who have recently taken on the line (so would have current stock) and check each one out before shipping.
Hal Perry

itch808

#28: Post by itch808 »

Jason,

I had the same concerns and emailed Chris Coffee about the revisions Baratza has made to the Vario. He responded saying that he was on his 5th batch of Varios, so his stock is the latest directly from Vario. My Vario shipped out in a day and was packaged as carefully as I could ask for in a much larger box completely enveloped with a good couple of inchees of styrofoam peanuts at every side. And if there's any doubt he is listed on Baratza's own website as an authorized reseller, so your warranty will be valid.

DigMe

#29: Post by DigMe »

sweaner wrote:Brad, what are the drawbacks you have found with the Mini? Though I have little experience with other grinders, the Mini seems to do a nice job. True, I probably would not buy a new one for the price, but a good used one would serve well for years to come.
The doser that throws to the left and doesn't sweep very clean at all without modding. The grounds retention in the chute. Also, you can buy several grinders that will give an equal or better grind but that cost 100 bucks or more less than the Mini. By all accounts that I've read once it's dialed in the Vario will give a grind that, depending on who you listen to, either equals the Mini or surpasses it and for a good bit less money. I've seen more than one report of fluffier grounds and slightly better shots with the Macap M4 although I've never compared them. There were more drawbacks in my generation of Mini - namely flimsy grounds tray and cord out the side but at least those have been fixed in the new generation. If I'm buying a grinder tomorrow and it had to be a Mazzer under $700 it would definitely be a used SJ over a new Mini.

brad

itch808

#30: Post by itch808 »

Got to use my Vario for the first time today and I must say I've never seen grounds that are so fluffy! NO CLUMPS! Love it! I just need to get my grind dialed in a bit more.