The Vario gives you a little more control over your grind than you find on a traditional stepped grinder (like its counterpart, the Virtuoso, or the Rancilio Rocky) because it allows you to tweak the fineness within each step of the burrs. If you find that your Vario doesn’t seem to be going fine enough for espresso, or that you have very little room to move on the fineness side of the spectrum once you get to your espresso setting, you may want to adjust the burrs so they are closer together.
Gail walks us through how to do this and demonstrates it on a grinder. Watch and learn!
While you won’t find us purporting that cleanliness is next to godliness, you will hear us talk about keeping your gadgets clean for the good of all involved. Because darker roasts (such as French or Italian) bring so much of the bean’s natural oil to the surface, we wondered how this impacts a grinder’s burrs: Does it clog more easily and quickly? Do you need to clean your grinder more often if you’re using this type of bean/roast? What kind of residue does it leave in comparison to grinding medium roast beans?
To determine this, we put two Baratza Virtuosos to the test. Over a month period, we ran the timer on each of them twice each day, using Velton’s Treehouse drip coffee in one and some particularly intense French Roast Gail picked up at Costco in the other. Then we opened them up to find out what kind of residue was left on the burrs.
Watch as Gail takes them apart, meticulously studies them and then tests how easy it is to clean them (using Grindz).
One of the main questions people ask themselves while they’re researching a grinder is whether or not they want to get a stepped grinder — which would allow for easily changing between two disparate grinds like espresso and french press — or a stepless grinder — which gives you excellent control over very minutely dialing in the coffee’s grind.
The Vario was released earlier this year as a hybrid grinder that allows for both easy changes between different grinds and for slightly tweaking the grind to produce better shots. If you find that you’re stuck between two steps on your grinder, the Vario may be the solution. In this video, Gail talks to us about the machine’s features, functionality and demonstrates how it’s used.
Occasionally, a customer will call us because their Baratza grinder isn’t grinding finely enough for them to pull a great shot with their espresso machine. For the Maestro, Maestro Plus or Virtuoso, there is a minor adjustment that can be made inside the machine which will reset the grinder to the finest possible setting.
To assist folks in recalibrating their Baratza grinder, we filmed Gail going through the process outlined on Baratza’s website.
However, please keep in mind that the Baratza Maestro and Maestro Plus don’t grind fine enough for most espresso machines (unless you’re using a pressurized portafilter), so no matter how much you adjust it, you’re not going to be able to effectively use these grinders with your Rancilio Silvia or Rocket Cellini. These grinders are great options for folks that are interested in making superb french press or drip coffee, however, because while they don’t go fine enough for espresso, they are incredibly consistent — the particle size of your grounds will be uniform and result in improved flavor extraction.
Grab a few extra seconds in the morning with the Baratza PortaHolder attachment, made for Baratza Maestro, Maestro Plus or Virtuoso grinders.
Insert the PortaHolder into the grounds bin slot and you’ll be able to rest your portafilter there, set the grind time and step away while your espresso is freshly ground. We love this new modification to the Baratza grinders and think you will, too.