Apr 26, 2009
I am happy to announce that the Bratza Vario coffee grinder is now available! I know many of you have been waiting patiently for this premium grinder to finally hit the market but the wait is finally over – and well worth it too! It is not often that a major new coffee / espresso grinder is introduced in the “mezzo” class. What is the “mezzo” class? Basically, it is the class of grinders between regular home coffee grinders and commercial espresso grinders – also referred to as semi-commercial or prosumer. These are the grinders that perform like the grinders in a high end espresso bar but are scaled for home or sometimes light commercial use. What makes this new entry into this class of grinder more significant is that Bratza has brought us this marvel. Baratza was at one time the US distributor of Solis espresso machines. Run by some very highly talented and respected experts in the coffee industry (who also happen to be very nice people to deal with as well) they decided to design a line of home coffee grinders to supplement the Solis line in the US. These grinders were marketed under the Solis name for many years and gained much critical acclaim and widespread popularity among coffee afficionados – legendary grinders like the Solis Maestro, Maestro Plus and Virtuoso grinders. These grinders now carry the Baratza brand name and still remain some of our most popular grinders as well as staff favorites for their thoughtful design, high performance and affordable price.
The Baratza grinders, although designed for home use, were some of the rare few grinders that were able to produce a grind fine enough and consistent enough to work with an espresso machine with a non-pressureized portafilter. A fine, uniform grind along with a proper tamp is needed to provide sufficient resistance to the flow of water through the grinds to build up the proper amount of pressure to produce a technically correct espresso. By technically correct espresso, I mean there is espresso and then there is espresso! – we mean the latter. To explain further – the term espresso is often used liberally. For instance, there are plenty of products on the market called espresso makers or espresso machines, but many do not possess the ability to meet the requirements of a true espresso, extracted at a certain temperature, time and pressure. For more details click here. But having a machine capable of producing a true espresso does not indeed mean you will obtain a true espresso. If the grind and tamp are not just right, the correct resistance to water flow is not produced and the proper pressure is not achieved – nor is the proper thick layer of crema and that magical taste that sets the proverbial “god shot” apart from just a plain old espresso.
So when Baratza decided to design a true prosumer grinder, the industry took notice. And as more and more details of the new Baratza Vario grinder design emerged, the more excited the industry became. The Vario is compact size and the design shows a strong family resemblence to the other Barazta grinders, but make no mistake, the Vario is in a league of its own. While the other Baratza grinders use a quite competent conical burr, the Vario uses German Mahlkönig 54mm Professional ceramic burrs that produce accurate grinding, high throughput and remain sharp for up to twice the lifetime of the highest quality steel burrs. These professional quality burs are driven by a high torque DC motor and an ultra-quiet belt-drive transmission. The German timing belt provides important thermal isolation of motor and burrs, ensuring cooler coffee. This powerful combination enables the Vario to achieve professional grind speeds – grinding 1.5 grams/second at Espresso and 2.5 grams/second at Press settings. Macro and Micro adjustments are instantly and repeatedly achievable with the intuitive VARIOTM adjustment system boasting 230 distinct grind settings – so you can tune in the perfect grind for your espresso machine. And of course, Baratza included signature features and attention to detail that you expect like reduced static design and the abilty to grind directly into a portafilter or into a ground coffee bin. With Grind on Demand electronic dosing, there’s no waste as you grind only what you need.
At Zaccardi’s, we are excited to hear your reaction to this great new grinder. Don’t forget to visit our site to learn more about the Vario, purchase yours and add your own Baratza Vario Coffee Grinder review.