After a month of waiting, last night I finally received my grinder. Of course, I didn't get to use it until today because I wasn't home until 10:30 PM (after leaving at 5:45 AM), but it was a jwonderful feeling. The funniest of all, yeahyeah was right. When I went to pick up my Vario the vendor had a Vario-W waiting for me. So I guess I did upgrade to a double boiler and Vario-W, even if I didn't know it at the time. Apparently, the vendor spent the past month trying to get a Vario from Baratza with no luck and no ETA, he gave up and decided to hand over the Vario-W he just received. This was especially nice because he ordered the Vario-W for personal use, so he is going to have to wait for another to arrive. In the mean time, he still is not sure what is going on with regular Varios except that he cannot seem to get any in, so I was told that he thinks they might slowly get phased out by the Vario-W.
With that details out of the way, some first thoughts on the Vario-W are in order. To start off with, I have to say I think I am happy this whole ordeal happened. The weight based grinding option on the Vario-W is better than I expected. I really like it. The W grinds accuratly within +/- 0.2 grams. It almost never goes over, typically undershooting and if you hit the grind button again will add about 0.1-0.2 grams to the hopper so I end up within 0.1 grams of the goal weight. It is quick and easy to use/adjust. It did take me a few shots and two rounds of clalibration to get the grinder where I want it, but no more work than any other grinder I've had to dial in. I have read the grinder will break in and require some recalibration, but that is no big deal either.
The Vario-W seems well built, although not as well built as something like a Mazzer SJ because there is some plastic on the body. It has a very small form factor and the controls are inuititive. Grind quality is superb. Overall, a great grinder for home use. As soon as I have a little more time, I'll try to get some pictures of my espresso cart up.
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