Cleaning out the Vario, problems solved!
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I have blogged in the past on Roaste about the Baratza Vario and the problem that I have with it:
http://www.roaste.com/CoffeeBlogs/sontondaman/something-wrong-my-Vario Basically, what happened was after a period of use (about six months) I notice that when grinding at various setting (esprecially at courser setting) with my Baratza Vario, I get a lot of static. The ground would fly all over the counter and make a mess. I was partially blaming it on the whether (humidity and because I used to live in a carpetted apartment). Additionally, I also have problem with inconsistent dosage of coffee that I would get when I was single dosing; sometime, if I put 12 grams into the vario, I would not get exactly 12 grams back (sometime less sometime more).
This lead me to think that there are something wrong with my Baratza Vario. However, because I was being busy with moving, I did not have time to have this sorted out, until a few days ago when I unpack the Vario from its box. Because I was having the hopper off, I thought to myself to might as well give the Vario a good cleaning. I decided to take the upper burr off. This is where I get into yet another problem. The upper burr is held on to the main body tightly by plastic colar, may be too tightly. I was having a heck of a time trying to undo the upper burr (by rotating it clockwise, I know it is very counter intuiative but I followed the instruction). Finally, after 30 minutes of fiddling, I was succeed in removing it (I had to be kinda forceful). I think the reason the upper burr is so tight is because all of the old coffee oil and coffee ground.
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Then I used a stiff brush to clean off all the old ground from the upper and lower burrs as well as the area around the burr carrier. Putting it back was no problem, but after this experience, I appreciate more how easy it is to service a fully comercial grinder like the mazzer. The mazzer upper burr can be easily unscrewed for cleaning. This I guess is partially my fault because I did not clean the Vario as often as I should and let the old ground and old coffee oil build up.
After cleaning the Vario, I stop experiencing the static or the grind retention issue and I think those issue were actually from me not taking care of my grinder properly. So if anyone own a Vario, the moral is to take off the upper burr and clean the grinder quite often, maybe once in every two months or once every month if you use the grinder more often.
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