Does the upgraded metal portaholder for Baratza Vario reduce mess from static?

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

Postby deviantintegral » Jun 09, 2018, 4:41 pm

I never use the plastic portaholder with my Vario as it's just too much mess for each shot (even with adding a few drops of water to the beans). I saw that they offer the metal portaholder as an upgrade. Does the funnel that's built into it help with keeping everything clean? Wondering if it's worth the $45 USD or not. Thanks!


Postby RayCzar » Jun 11, 2018, 12:55 am

I did the upgrade and while it is cleaner than the plastic one, there is still a minor mess due to the gap at the front. Grinds can also get stuck along the inside of the dosing 'funnel' because of static but RDT and tapping can help. You'll still need to take the holder out to get a good clean done. I've found that the holder is sized for 58mm portafilters as there is a notch in the funnel that can be used to hold your portafilter in place. Using the notch, the chute doses in the middle of the basket. With my 53mm portafilter though, the chute is too far forward so I can't take advantage of it.

Is it worth the cost? Hard to say as it doesn't eliminate the mess but it is a lot better than the plastic one. I still use it but maybe I could have saved some money by getting a dosing funnel instead.


Postby deviantintegral » Jun 13, 2018, 7:07 pm

Thank you! I have a 58mm so perhaps I will just wait for a sale.


Postby *sigh* » replying to deviantintegral » Jun 14, 2018, 1:31 pm

It's does a good job of holding the portafilter, but I don't think it's going to improve anything in regards to reducing the mess. The funnel catches a few grinders but it's extremely minimal.

Have you tried doing the flap flip on your vario? That reduced a lot of clumping for me but also seemed to help the grinds come out in a more steady stream which helped with the mess.


Postby deviantintegral » Jun 14, 2018, 5:10 pm

That's the first I've seen of that mod. I've just been using the plastic bin and dosing from that into the portafilter. I will have to give it a try.


Postby RayCzar » Jun 14, 2018, 6:16 pm

I've also not seen that mod. May have to try it one day.

As far as reducing mess on with the holder, I've found that minimizing the gap between the funnel and the portafilter helped reduce the mess. The gap in the front still makes a mess but it was much more contained compared to the plastic one. I should add that for me, there is an aesthetic positive as well. The all metal holder funnel and forks makes it look and feel a bit more professional/substantial. That's just me though...


Postby pcrussell50 » Jun 14, 2018, 11:21 pm

RDT pretty much knocks static to zero in low or no retention grinders, which are what I have. It's so easy I do it all the time every time, whether I need to or not. On my pump machine I do the quickest "pssst" from the steam wand. On my levers I use a martini spritzer.

LMWDP #553