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Baratza Vario-W Weight Based Grinder

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Baratza Vario-W
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SKU: 986

Those that want the most consistent results in their coffee brewing weigh their coffee doses. Up until now, one has needed a scale to partner with their grinder to pull this off. Baratza has answered the challenge and rocked the coffee world with their newest grinding innovation: a weight based grinding system. Along with a self-contained system, the Esatto, which can be paired with an existing Baratza model, Baratza has incorporated the weight based dosing system into their flagship coffee/espresso grinder, the Baratza Vario. This new weight based Vario is known as the Baratza Vario-W. This new version has the same features of the Baratza Vario, but incorporates in the weight based grinding technology.


  • 54mm ceramic flat burrs manufactured by Mahlkonig, designed to last twice as long as steel burrs
  • 230 repeatable grind settings
  • Unique "dual cam" grind adjustment features two distinct adjustment levers
  • Vario-W uses real-time weight-based grinding with a built-in electronic scale. Set the weight you want and the Vario-W grinds the coffee to within +/- 0.2 g while grinding, and stops automatically.
  • Three programmable dosage buttons which allow you to set the dosage for three different brew sizes or methods.
  • The Vario grinds approximately 1.5 grams/second at Espresso and 2.5 grams/second at Press.
  • Digital LCD display tracks the weight dosage to the tenth of a gram.
  • New 986 model comes packaged with a shut-off hopper, making it easier than ever to switch to a new bag of beans
Manufacturer: Baratza
Model: Vario-W
List Price: $700
Length: 7"
Width: 5"
Height: 14.5"
Weight: 9 lbs.


Baratza is the company at the forefront of home coffee grinding innovation. Before Baratza entered the coffee manufacturing scene, one was hard pressed to find an affordable burr coffee grinder. Now, home baristas and cafes alike have multiple affordable burr grinders to choose from courtesy of the U.S. based company. Baratza currently offers five different burr grinders: Baratza Maestro Plus, Baratza Virtuoso, Baratza Virtuoso Preciso, Baratza Vario, and the weight based grinding Baratza Vario-W. In addition to this lineup, Baratza has also released a weight based grinding attachment for their grinders, the Baratza Esatto. One popular mantra from the coffee world is: the biggest investment a coffee fan can make is in a high quality grinder. Baratza has made the "investment" part of that coffee truism a lot more attainable.
Baratza Vario-W Weight Based Grinder is rated 4.333333333333333 out of 5 by 3.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Superb Grinder for Home Espresso! I've owned both versions of the Vario, the time-based version and this weight-based one. The weight-based dosing has surely spoiled me in both espresso prep and other brew methods! (Note: With the Vario-W, you cannot grind straight into the portafilter, though it has been no inconvenience at all to grind into the bin and then fill the portafilter.) As an overall grinder, I'm not sure if there's anything better than the Vario, especially at it's price point. Pros: The flat ceramic burrs can match a grind quality of machines twice its price, such as the Mazzer Mini and Super Jolly. It is also very easy and quick to adjust from espresso grind to more medium or coarse grinds for other brew methods. (If you do manual brew only, be sure to getting the steel Ditting burrs). There is almost zero grind-retention, so single-dosing and switching between beans is super simple. - Superb grind quality. - Easy adjustments. - Broad range of adjustments. - Zero grind retention. Cons: One reason grinders that match the Vario's grind quality are twice its price is because of their solid build quality. This is where the Vario is lacking. It's plastic encasement and micro/macro adjustment notches can sometimes seem flimsy, especially if you're used to a more solid build such as a Mazzer. Also, if the Vario is calibrated for espresso, the coarsest setting will be a medium grind and not suitable for french press. You can recalibrate so that it can do a good press grind, but then it's lacking on the espresso end. - Build quality. - Limited range (espresso->medium, or medium-fine->coarse). One last aspect to take in to consideration: Baratza customer service is top-notch! I have never dealt with a company that offers better customer service than Baratza. They truly go out of their way to make sure you can get the most out of your grinder! They stand by their products in superb fashion.
Date published: 2013-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It does what they said it would do! I'm replacing a standard Vario with the W model because: 1, it's cool, and 2, it reduces the "counter clutter" of my coffee process. I now have only two devices on the counter, the Vario W and a Bunn Trifecta MB. The "VW" eliminates the scale and the coffee canister, and the Trifecta eliminates the kettle and thermometer. The only complaint I have is that the Vario required a major calibration, it was set way too fine, and I still haven't found a cure for the extreme static electricity causing the ground coffee to cling to the inside of the hopper. All in all, it works! It's fun! I love it!
Date published: 2016-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Grinder - Disappointing Quality First the good - this may be the best home grinder on the market. In terms of grind quality, it performs just as well, if not better than competitors twice its' price. The ceramic flat burrs produce an excellent fine grind for espresso. If you will be using this for anything other than espresso (I'm a straight pour-over guy), make the small investment and grab the Ditting steel burrs. I found it difficult to dial-in a good coarse grind with the stock ceramic burrs. The steel burrs give a wider range of coarse grinds and fines are nearly non existent. On to the bad - the quality of the grinder is not the best. The first one I received was DOA. I reached out to Baratza customer service (awesome by the way) and found the load-balancing cell was broken and needed to be replaced. For a grinder this price, I would expect the quality to match. Fortunately, Prima customer service (just as awesome) replaced the unit hastily. The one I have now works, but there are still small disappointments in the quality. The grounds bin sits angled and off level on the scale. I would need to disassemble the grinder to fix this. The plastic macro/micro adjusters are flimsy. The scale required manual calibration to come within the advertised .2g accuracy range. I needed to calibrate the grind setting coarser to get it where I wanted it for pour-over. Overall - the excellent quality of the grind makes up for the few quality issues. For the price, you would be hard pressed to find another grinder that matches the grind quality. I would recommend this to any home user that wants the best grind they can get at home at a reasonable price and relatively small footprint.
Date published: 2015-04-08
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Can I order this with steel burr set and caliberated for manual brews?

Asked by: Kalyan
Whether the grinder is made available with the steel burr set installed, let alone calibrated, is up to either Baratza or Prima, the stocking dealer. It wasn't when I bought mine, to the best of my knowledge. You can purchase the steel burr set and install them yourself like I did, it's not hard, but I wouldn't expect a dramatic difference. The machine grinds a little slower, and there are somewhat less fines in the cup, but it's not a wow. When I receieved my machine with the ceramic burrs it was poorly calibrated, so my personal feeling is that you should read the book and check the calibration no matter what you buy. It's not hard, you're just listening to hear the motor lug down a little when the grind selection levers are both all the way up. If the fine adjustment will not correct the problem there are instructions for changing the coarse adjustment as I had to do. If you don't feel comfortable with that, talk to the seller about having it done in their service department. Once the machine is calibrated with either burr set it is a joy to use. If you experience static electricity causing the grounds to stick to the inside of the hopper, just wait a bit. change your workflow to leave the hopper in the grinder for a minute or so while you do something else in your process. There is a ground wire on the load cell that will blead off the static charge if you give it a little time. Happy brewing!
Answered by: ConceptComms
Date published: 2016-07-06
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