Baratza Preciso vs Baratza Vario - Which One Should I Choose?

October 12, 2011

I am torn between to grinders – the Baratza Preciso and the Baratza Vario. Both grinders have many fans and a few detractors. I like the simplicity of the Preciso compared the Vario. I do not think I would have any trouble with the Vario that couldn't be resolved though.

I guess my desire for either comes from wanting a single dose grinder - I have enough coffee laying around at any given time to justify multiple espresso grinders. My larger grinder works better for me with some bean mass above the burrs so I load and reload till the bag is empty.  I can change over beans but this means either wasting a decent amount of coffee to empty the throat of the grinder. I would rather continue grinding the same bag in that machine while adding some variety by single dosing here and there.

I like what I hear about the fluffy grounds and zero retention with the Vario - these are the main points of interest for me. I heard the Preciso clumps a bit and that the shots have brighter flavors accentuated.  The brighter flavor might be interesting for variety, but the clumping could prove bothersome.  I have a Virtuoso for non-espresso grinding which I like very much.  Knowing the Preciso shares similarity with this work horse is a plus.  The new grinder (either one) does not have to replace the Virtuoso for non-espresso grinding but if it can go from fine to coarser and back without losing it's settings this would be nice - nice but not a requirement for me to be happy.

I like the idea of ceramic burrs for longevity as a concept, but in practice even if the steel Preciso burrs are only good for 500 pounds this would be around 20 years use for a secondary household espresso grinder for me.  I would hate to shoot a rock through the Vario.  I have found them in beans from good roasters so in 20 years it could happen.

Both look like decent grinders - I guess that is why this decision is so tough for me.



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