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Topic: Vario (was: Maesto Plus motor) (13 msgs / 457 lines)
1) From: Jeff Kilpatrick
Mike-
I'm not about to scoop the final review (which may be up by now), but he did
have some concerns on its absolute performance (i.e. not relative to the
Robur).  While someone's new BMW may compare favorably to my 73 Beetle on
every level, it's still fair to say that my car handles like a shopping cart
and has just as many safety features.  The same could be said for a '58
split window whose price may suggest something better.
No matter what the reviews say so far, I DO hope that the production model
turns out to be a good grinder.  A great grinder in that price range would
be fantastic.  I am, after all, a poor student trying to swim in what can be
a very expensive world of coffee.
-jeff (one of many)
On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 6:49 PM, Michael Dhabolt
wrote:
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2) From: Jeff Kilpatrick
Mike and others-
I'm going to unabashedly backpedal a little.  I should make clear to anybody
interested in the Vario that I have no experience with the unit and anything
I say is coming from the user of what is by all accounts a worse grinder.
 If you're interested in it, read all the reviews you can and make your own
choice.  Don't trust hearsay from a relatively new member of this list.
 What I hear over beer (or recall from it) may be of dubious reliability
anyway...
Thanks and sorry for the extra spam!
-jeff
On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 6:49 PM, Michael Dhabolt
wrote:
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3) From: Michael Dhabolt
Jeff,
No need to backpedal.  Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's.
I fully agree that a grinder in the projected price range that
produces a grind that is appropriate for  espresso use, without a
built in self destruction factor would be a boon to a lot of folks.  I
believe the market has been waiting for such a product. The price of a
Mazzer Mini has become exorbitant for most folks.  If the Vario fills
the market niche (even with a slightly less consistent grind than the
Mini) it will, in my opinion be a success. There should be no question
about the quality of the burr set, the key will be the burr carrier
construction. My hopes for it are high.
Currently it is difficult to recommend anything less than a Rocky or
Mazzer Mini to folks who may become adherents to the dark side, it
would be nice to have another player at a bit more attractive price.
Just have to wait and see.
BTW, I am supposed to receive a Vario for testing when the first
production run shipments go out.  I'll give my feedback to the list
when I receive it and have a chance to develop an informed opinion
(exercise the grinder and my trusty Bausch and Lomb optical
enhancement device).
Mike (just plain)
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4) From: jeff michel
I think I am going to back pedal and cancel my order. I already have a  
Cimbali Max Hybrid and I was
kinda hoping for a miracle in the Vario to be able to take its place.  
This is mostly because of the
ability to feed the grounds directly into a container (PF) and having  
a timer to be able to grind the exact amount.
Also to change the grind for the mocha pot or other coffee brewing  
forms.
With the Max I waste a LOT of coffee. It is an espresso grinder.
Maybe after the Vario is tested again in the production model.
On the other hand, I could loan it indefinitely to my Dad for their  
mocha pot. :)
On the other side of the coin, I am pulling shots now that are better  
than
anything I have ever tasted anywhere with the Max.
This is why I say:
"God shots for everyone!"
Jef (vanilla)
On Feb 12, 2009, at 10:11 AM, Michael Dhabolt wrote:
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5) From: Michael Dhabolt
Jeff,
You have, in the Cimbali, an excellent espresso grinder.  I can
understand your reticence to buying into an untested product.  The
features of the Vario would seem to make it a natural for those who
drink brews of various types (as well as the more attractive price).
I don't think I will consider the Vario a failure if it doesn't quite
come up to the grind quality of the Cimbali, but I would certainly
hope it comes pretty close.  That is the level of grind quality that I
would expect, after all, the current top end of the Barratza line will
do an 'acceptable' espresso grind.  The problem is, from what I hear
from long time users, is that the grind quality deteriorates to
'unacceptable' over about a year of normal home use .... in my
estimation this makes it a poor choice for the normal espresso drinker
.... relative straight forward maintenance such as burr replacement is
just not something that non-geek level users will deal with on their
own (unlike the participants of this list).  The extremely high
quality burr set in the Vario should eliminate that problem, so it
will come down to how those burrs are carried in the assembly and the
ability of that assembly to maintain a reasonably high level of
consistent alignment over time.
Supposedly the first shipments of production Vario's are supposed to
be on their way before the end of the month, fingers crossed.  Initial
testing by a lot of folks should be available soon. How it holds up
over time will take a while, dis-assembly and scrutinizing the burr
and carrier assembly should provide some fairly convincing evidence,
but real world use will be the final arbiter.
Mike (just plain)
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6) From: R Nepsund
How many pounds of coffee a set of burrs can do depends on how large
they are and what materials it's made of.  As I remember it the Rocky
burrs should be replaced at 100 pounds.   I read about  titanium 59mm
burrs which according to the manufacturer was supposed to be good for
1100 pounds.
On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 12:16 PM, Michael Dhabolt
 wrote:
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7) From: jeff michel
Thanks for the good words Michael!
I may just go ahead and try it as a second grinder and if it doesn't  
fit the bill,
sell it second hand or gift to my Dad. The burrs being ceramic should  
have good life
and I really like the features! The guys at HB tend to be on the  
cutting edge of espresso
reality and my taste buds may not be able to "see" the difference  
between it and the Max.
It will be fun to run a test anyway. Grinder smackdown! ;)
Jef
On Feb 12, 2009, at 12:16 PM, Michael Dhabolt wrote:
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8) From:
Are there titanium burrs for the Rocky?
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone

9) From: raymanowen
The button pushers with many dollars ~$430 and few cents should love the
Vario.
Talk about back pedaling, I snagged the following:
"Tips for new owners or curious shoppers:
1.) Out-of-the-box the Baratza Vario grinder was meant for those who are
looking to take their coffee to next lever.
Compared to the other grinders (Maestro, Maestro Plus and Virtuoso) this
grinder is nearly twice the weight.
[The Maestro Plus was heavier than the Maestro, by virtue of a cast Zinc
base.]
What is a little more interesting is that although it does include the
hopper and ground catcher,
this grinder does not come with directions!
[emphasis mine]
2.) The coffee bean hopper (which feeds the beans into the grinder blades)
can hold around 275g. Different than other grinders, the Vario cannot change
the grind from the hopper. Whereas other models, you twist the hopper which
alternates the grind. This one has digital settings from the front control
panel.
3.) The Vario does feature and start automatic button and manual button. If
you are in manual mode, the grinder will only stop once you press the start
button a second time. This can be used when one of the automatic presets
does not fit the application needed. Fore example, when you need more
grounds to make multiple cups of coffee.
4.) There are three more buttons on the control panel that allows you to
choose between Espresso, Filter, Press and Ground Time. What is often
misunderstood is that by pressing these buttons you are simply selecting the
type of grind. It does not automatically start or set a time for the grind.
The grinder will prompt you further in a mode to choose between the number
of cups needed to be made and even time settings.
This short review simply covers the main functionality of this grinder and
what it offers that is completely new for this 2009 release. There are many
more settings, buttons and mechanixs that go into this grinder which can be
found at Live Love Coffee. This is an online coffee house featuring more
information on burr coffee
grinders
.
-Stephen Segler   1/29/20=
09
"
There are even buttons you can push so that ground coffee is waiting for you
in the morning.
Nothing whatsoever said about the Grounds Quality- I wonder- What is the
appearance of the effluent grounds?
Is it worth Double the price I paid for the BUFF Major with new hard steel
burrs I got for it?
Think how it will feel when you realize you paid big bucks to be their R&D
test facility.
You pay full price, to be a Beta tester for Grinders r US...
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Echtes Scheißteil- good description
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10) From: jeff michel
I like the taking it to the next lever part ;) since I have 2 Pavoni's  =
and maybe a 3rd lever (gaggi) on the way.
I expect it was a typo though...
Direct link:http://www.buzzle.com/articles/the-latest-in-kitchen-appliances-baratza-var=io-burr-coffee-grinder.html
Here is the first part:
One of the most recent additions to the Baratza line, the Vario Burr  =
Grinder is an exclusive grinder that has been awaiting public release  =
since 2007. It was first announced at the SCAA Minnesota conference  =
and promised to be available to the public during Q1 2009 (expected to  =
be January).
At first glance, it is difficult to distinguish this grinder from the  =
other three grinders released from Baratza, a Washington based coffee  =
corporation. However, the price for this grinder is quite noticeable.  =
It is predicted stateside to start around $430.00. So, what really  =
sets this grinder apart from others and why would someone need such an  =
expensive piece of equipment?
The Vario is categorized as a burr grinder with a completely ceramic  =
design and digitally enhanced features that are not currently found in  =
any other product on the market. These are features not found even in  =
Baratza's own grinders: the Maestro, Maestro Plus or Virtuoso.
A few of the most highlighted features include: built-in timer, dual  =
cam motor, bin catcher and port-a-holder.
1.) The digital built-in timer. This timer is known for its  =
preciseness, which is accurate down to .01 seconds. It also offers  =
numerous programmable settings with presets so you can set grind times  =
for the morning. Now when you are showering in the morning, your  =
coffee grinder can be grinder fresh grounds and have them waiting as  =
soon as you get to the kitchen. This is also very beneficial if you do  =
you not have an automatic espresso machine with a built in coffee  =
grinder.
2.) Another benefit is dual cam motor that allows you to select how  =
fine you like your grounds. There are presets that come strait from  =
the factory which are ready at the press of a button. These include  =
micro and macro grind adjusters. However, if you are partial to a  =
Starbucks flavor you can easily have your grounds just as fine or  =
coarse as needed. You can also explore what new flavors are waiting  =
for your by adjusting these settings and you may find that you have  =
been missing out.
3.) The last features to introduce is the full ground bin-catcher, as  =
well as Baratza's newly designed port-a-holder, and a grinds catcher  =
replacement that allows you to use a port-a-filter directly with the  =
grinder.
On Feb 12, 2009, at 2:18 PM, raymanowen wrote:
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ee.com
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ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
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11) From: jeff michel
Also there is a site offering a 10% discount for pre-order but I will  
not list for obvious reasons. Email me if you want the link.
I ordered mine from there already. Of course if you wait I might be  
selling mine! ;)
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12) From: Ira
At 01:23 PM 2/12/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
Not that I've heard of but if a group of us wanted to try it there 
are plenty of companies that will apply the TiN coating that the word 
titanium refers to.
Ira
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13) From:
Hmmmm....i am interested and intrigued.
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone


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