Speed Controller for Baratza Vario

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

#1: Post by mlunsford27 »

I have a Baratza Vario with steel pourover burrs and have been making mostly pourover recently. I was wondering if anyone has installed a speed controller on a Baratza Vario or other type of grinder to reduce RPMs to improve grind quality? If so, results? What kind of controller?

If I think it will improve performance then I will also need some advice on how to do it, cuz I am not good with electrical stuff.


#2: Post by flix67 »

Interestingly, it's not entirely clear that grinding slower makes a difference, aside from offsetting the particle distribution curve (this was also news to me): https://www.baristahustle.com/blog/coffee-grinder-rpm/

The Virtuoso has a potentiometer that you can adjust to change the motor speed, but I don't know about the Vario. The Vario has a DC motor so you could get a DC power supply and override the voltage, but it would likely involve cutting traces on the PCB. I'm not entirely sure though, I'd have to see the PCB and work out a schematic.


#3: Post by symbology »

I am not sure this will work out well.

Why do you think reducing the speed of the burrs will help with grind quality on a Vario?

Anyway, I think it would help it start to jam on hard beans and end up stripping the gears and/or belt. Its drive-train is not designed to be a torque monster.


#4: Post by mlunsford27 » replying to symbology »

Perhaps I dont really use super hard beans but it hasnt been jamming. The reason I think that it may improve grind quality is that the RPM is pretty fast and most of the specialty boutique grinders these days have a much lower RPM (like a few hundred vs the 1200 rpm on the Vario). There is the explanation that high RPM leads to more pulverization of beans and more fines.


#5: Post by jgood »

Doesn't the Vario have a pulley and belt to drive the grinder? If so I wonder if it would be a better approach (space in grinder permitting) to change out one or both pulleys to achieve lower rpm while actually increasing torque.