After nearly 18 months in production, the Baratza Vario coffee grinder hit the market in 2009 to considerable praise from coffee fanatics. Baratza’s objective was to create a versatile grinder that could achieve the very best grind no matter what setting it was put on. Filter coffee, espresso, French Press, Turkish coffee – supposedly nothing was too much for this machine to handle.
Although I do not personally own this machine (I wish I did!), I have used it on numerous occasions. If you’re looking for the very best coffee grinder for your home, than look no further than the Baratza Vario. But as I know people can be finicky with the coffee grinder they choose (and for good reason), I have decided to put together this Baratza Vario review for individuals looking to invest in this grinder.
This article provides in-depth information on the Baratza Vario grinder, including photos, videos, customer reviews, and expert opinions. At the end of the article, I provide you with helpful information on where to get the best deal on this premium grinder
- 230 distinct grind settings, from fine grind to course grind
- three user programmable buttons for easy one touch dosing
- German made 54mm ceramic burr set, providing precise, fast grinding capabilities, remaining sharp for twice as long as steel burrs.
- Minimal heat generated from its high torque DS motor and belt drive transmission
- Includes both a ground coffee collection bin and an exclusive portaholder for hands free grinding into an espresso machine portafilter.
My Baratza Vario Review
When I first tried the Baratza Vario grinder, I was blown away by its capabilities and its unbelievable versatility. But as I had just bought myself the Rancilio Rocky Doserless Coffee Grinder, I couldn’t justify purchasing yet another premium grinder at the time.
The thing that I liked most about the Baratza Vario coffee grinder was its 230 distinct grind settings. There were so many grind settings it was like I was using a stepless grinder, but substantially easier. It comes with micro and macro grind adjustments, to allow you to really dial down to the best grind setting for your purposes. But no matter which way I set the grind, I was able to achieve completely uniform grinds every time.
You can also set dosing to the nearest tenth of a second with its timed dosing feature. Once set, every dose was virtually the same, not only in terms of amount but in terms of quality. Grinds came out soft and fluffy (not clumpy like some grinders), which ensured there were no dense spots in the portafilter. And although doser equipped grinders are notorious for leaving behind coffee grinds, the Baratza Vario leaves behind virtually nothing (0.5 grams).
So was Baratza able to achieve a coffee grinder that excelled in virtually every category? In this Baratza Vario review, I would answer with an emphatic yes! However, as with any grinder, it did have some small negative features that could serve as a minor annoyance for some people, which I will go into here.
First of all, the timer is not all that easy to read. You have to make sure it is at eye level and really move in close to see the numbers. This could be easily fixed with a backlit timer display, which unfortunately this machine does not have.
Secondly, the Baratza Vario grinder can tend to be a little bit on the noisy side… for instance my Rancilio Rocky is not quite as noisy. While this may not be an issue for some people, using this grinder in close proximity to other people can put a damper on regular volume conversation!
But aside from those few minor issues, I would conclude that the Baratza Vario is the ultimate grinder to use in your home, regardless of whether you need it for filter coffee or espresso (although it would admittedly be a bit overkill solely for use with regular coffee!)
What Others Think Of the Baratza Vario Coffee Grinder
As can be expected, coffee fanatics around the world are overwhelming positive about the Baratza Vario coffee grinder. In fact, in my search for customer feedback, I did not come across as single negative Baratza Vario review.
Some people were a bit annoyed by the lack of a backlit timer display. One person claimed his portafilter did not fit within the Baratza Vario’s forks – he removed them and instead holds his portafilter underneath. But all in all, none of these minor quirks took away from the machine’s ability to produce great quality and consistent grinds everytime.
There have even been instances where the Baratza Vario has beaten $1500 – 2000 commercial grinders in blind-taste tests – a testament to this machines incredible grinding abilities.
Below you will see some snippets of Baratza Vario reviews from customers.
“The grind consistancy is perfect. The machine is well built, and it seems like it’s very durable” K. Bouchard, Amazon.com
“creates a whole new class of grind quality for the price… perhaps at almost ANY price” Peter Russel, Coffeegeek.com
“I knew deep down I needed a better grinder, but have been holding off spending so much money. Now I am glad I did after just one use, and without experimenting with different grind settings yet. The portafilter holder and spill collector is genius and works great. The timed dosing eliminates stale grounds… This perfects my home espresso set up – could not be happier.” Darren Knowles, Amazon.com
- Unparalleled versatility – can grind anything from French Press right up to espresso and Turkish coffee
- Achieves totally uniform grinds; dosing feature is precise and eliminates waste
- Ceramic burrs last twice as long as high-end steel burrs
- Incredible value for the price
- Timer display can be hard to read
- A little noisier than other grinders on the market
- A bit out of the price range for many people
In this Baratza Vario review, I have pointed out the amazing qualities of this machine (consistent uniform grind, incredible versatility) and also some of its minor problems (difficult to read timer, a little noisy). These minor quirks are easily overcome by the grinder’s superlative performance in grinding and achieving high quality espresso. Without a doubt, the Baratza Vario grinder is the the Rolls Royce of home coffee grinders, and is a logical investment to make if you are serious about your coffee.
Where To Buy The Baratza Vario Coffee Grinder
After doing considerable research, I have found that the best deal on the Baratza Vario coffee grinder is on Amazon. Amazon charges $449 for this premium grinder, and will ship it to your house for free. If you’re looking to take your home coffee brewing to the unparalleled heights, than this grinder can achieve that for you. If you buy it today, you can be enjoy premium coffee in the comfort of your home within a week.