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The Baratza Vario Burr Coffee Grinder Review

Ever wondered if you could brew cafe-quality coffee at home if you had the same equipment as your local coffee shop? You, my friend, are in danger of achieving the ‘home barista nerd’ status.

To help you with your first nerdy steps, we’ve done the hard part and made the review of Baratza Vario Flat Burr Grinder.

Keep reading to see if this is the first piece of professional-grade equipment you should buy.

Summary: The Baratza Vario Flat Burr Coffee Grinder

The Baratza Vario Flat Burr Coffee Grinder
  • Large, high-quality ceramic burrs
  • 230 grind settings
  • Can do duty in a light commercial setting

Vario’s intuitive macro/micro adjustments make it easy to get the grind for a perfect espresso finish.

– Baratza

The Baratza Vario Review

Baratza opened shop in 1999 and quickly became a well-known name in the coffee equipment industry. It took them nearly 10 years of making and servicing their Maestro grinders before they introduced the Vario. (1) And their expertise clearly shines through in the grinder.

Let’s dive into this review to see what makes this grinder a knock-out competitor in the electric burr grinder space.

The Baratza Vario Coffee Grinder
  • Design
  • Durability
  • Ease Of Use
  • Grinding Capability
  • Value For Money
4

Design – 4/5

One look at the Vario, and you know it means business. The design language is definitely function-over-form. And that philosophy is built right into this grinder’s heart.

Burr & Motor Design: The Baratza Vario boasts of 54 mm flat ceramic burrs. Most other grinders in this range use steel burrs, so as per the Coffee Technicians Guild, Vario has an advantage over them (2):

 …ceramic burrs will cause less damage to the coffee during especially heavy traffic hours.

To ensure that these burrs run cool and quiet, Baratza equipped the Vario with a high-torque DC motor with belt drive transmission. This setup ensures that burrs spin at a steady 1350 RPM. Despite this, the machine isn’t as loud as you’d expect. Here’s where we discussed the differences between flat and conical burr grinders.

Additional Features: Like all Baratza grinders, the Vario has an automatically resetting, thermal cutoff switch to prevent the motor from burning out. It also has a microswitch that ensures the grinder won’t run until the hopper is locked in properly.

Hopper & Grounds Bin: The plastic bean hopper has a decent 8-oz bean capacity, and the collector bin can hold up to 6.3-oz of ground coffee.

This machine also comes with Baratza’s metal portafilter holder, which can accommodate a portafilter of any size.

This attachment can be fixed in place of the grounds bin, making it easy to grind directly into your portafilter.

Aesthetics: The front of the grinder is dominated by a black plastic control panel that gives it an old-school air. The rest of the body is a mix of steel and plastic that lends an elegant look to this high-performance machine. The Baratza Vario isn’t what we would call good-looking, but it means business and its appearance clearly conveys that.

Storability/Portability: Despite being an extremely capable grinder, the Vario maintains a small footprint. It measures 5.1 x 7.1 x 14.2 inches, which means you could stow it away in your cabinet. But at 9 lbs of weight, it’s probably best to leave it on the countertop, next to your home espresso machine.

Baratza Vario Flat Burr Coffee Grinder

Ease Of Cleaning: Like most home grinders, Baratza ensured that you have access to the Vario’s burrs for regular cleaning. However, unlike its other grinders, you will need a special tool (included in the box) to remove Vario’s top burr. It might not be the most convenient system, but for a precise instrument like the Vario, we don’t mind it. To find out how to clean your burr grinder thoroughly, read our article on the topic.

Durability – 4.5/5

The Vario has been around for ages, and for a good reason — it’s a solid machine that’s built to last. You can find evidence of it forums where several users report being happy with nearly a decade-old Vario (3).

Sure, there may be more plastic than metal on its casing, but that doesn’t mean it can’t take a beating. Baratza even made sure that this grinder is durable enough to be used in a commercial setting. That’s why a lot of cafes use a Baratza Vario as a secondary or back-up grinder. If you’re going to be using it at home, you have nothing to worry about.

Baratza is also known for its quick and efficient customer support. So if you do face any problems with your grinder, you can rest assured knowing that the manufacturer will take care of it.

Ease Of Use – 4/5

All Baratza Vario reviews claim that the grinder has 230 grind settings. And that’s true. It takes a bit of getting used to, though. First, you set the selector switch on the right at one of the 10 major settings. Then you can adjust the selector switch on the left to fine-tune in 23 stepped settings. That might sound like a straightforward procedure, but it is a hassle if you’re changing grind settings frequently.

The Baratza Vario Burr Coffee Grinder

SEE ON AMAZON

If you’re just getting into home brewing, don’t be daunted by its myriad settings. You’ll soon get the hang of it. That’s part of the fun of it — you get to play around with your toys to perfect your brew.

We highly recommend the Vario if you’re ready to step up your home-brewing game and start experimenting with micro adjusted grounds.

Have we convinced you to go for the Vario? Then you can check it out on Amazon.

FAQs

The Vario will pair well with any espresso machine available in the market. With 230 settings to choose from, you will be able to find a grind size that is perfect for your shot. Irrespective of whether it’s a home espresso machine or a commercial one. To find out which espresso machine we recommend, read our roundup of the best espresso machines.

Baratza offers multiple accessories for the Vario, which you can purchase separately. You can buy a hopper extender that will let you load an additional 10 oz of beans into the hopper. But our favorite is the shutoff hopper. It has a capacity of 10.5 oz and lets you swap beans easily.

You can recalibrate your Vario burr grinder by removing the bean hopper and top burr and using the provided calibration tool. It’s quite easy to do. Baratza even made a video to help you troubleshoot and recalibrate your machine:


  1. (n.d.). History Of Baratza. Retrieved from https://baratza.com/history-of-baratza/
  2. Lemos, C. (2018, July 17). Espresso Grinder Burrs: What’s the Difference?. Retrieved from https://coffeetechniciansguild.org/blog/2018/7/17/espresso-grinder-burrs-whats-the-difference
  3. (n.d.). Nearly Nine Years With A Baratza Vario. Retrieved from https://www.home-barista.com/grinders/nearly-nine-years-with-baratza-vario-t52121.html
Julia Bobak
I love trail running, rock climbing, coffee, food, and my tiny dog — and writing about all of them. I start every morning with a fresh Americano from my home espresso machine, or I don’t start it at all.

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