Buying Guides

Baratza Vario Review: A Barista-Quality Burr Grinder

The quality of your coffee grounds can make or break your pot of joe. To get the best grinds, you need the best grinder – that’s where the Baratza Vario comes in. Our team at Roasty Coffee had the chance to test this professional-grade burr grinder, so read our full review to see if it’s worth purchasing!

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A high-quality grinder can make a big difference in the taste of your coffee. While there are a variety of grinders on the market to choose from, the Baratza Vario is the top choice for many coffee aficionados. But why has it remained a popular choice for so many years?

Our team at Roasty Coffee has taken a detailed look at this machine to learn the answer to that question. To discover whether this grinder fits your needs, keep reading below for or full review of the Baratza Vario.

Baratza Vario Review

Find more choices in our commercial coffee grinder guide!

A Quick Look at the Baratza Vario

The Vario has a lot of features to love, but also some aspects that could be enhanced. Let’s examine a few of these variables below:

Things We Like

  • Doesn’t take up a lot of space on your countertop.
  • Features 230 micro-adjustment settings to provide distinctive grind grades for most forms of brewing.
  • Three programmable timing buttons to mill the right amount of beans for oft-repeated grinds.
  • Includes a removable metal portaholder to grind directly into your espresso portafilter.
  • The design features sleek metal components.
  • Baratza is a company dedicated to sustainability and product repairability.
  • The flat ceramic burr grinder produces coffee with a superior taste and aroma.

Room for Improvement

Features That Make the Baratza Vario Stand Out

The Baratza Vario has many features and benefits that result in a great cup of joe for your customers, friends, or family. Let’s examine a few of these features below:

Burr Grinder

If you want to brew top-quality coffee, there’s no question about it – you need a burr grinder.

Unlike blade grinders, which cut coffee beans to pieces, burr grinders mill your coffee beans together.

With less heat from friction, your beans won’t lose as many oils or decrease in taste quality, preserving both the taste and aroma of your brew.

Further, you can get more uniformly-sized coffee particles from burr grinders than blade grinders, which give you a better flavor, and prevent clogs in your machine filters.

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Ceramic Burrs


If you want a coffee grinder that will last a lifetime, choose one with ceramic rather than stainless steel burrs. Baratza’s 54 mm ceramic burrs come from the German “king of grinders,” Mahlkönig.

Stainless steel burrs can oxidize and become dull with time. In contrast, ceramic burrs aren’t susceptible to corrosion from humidity and maintain their original sharpness indefinitely.

Ceramic burrs also produce coffee with more body than coffee milled with steel burrs or blades.

That said, if you’re purchasing this machine for home use, note that a grinder with ceramic burrs shouldn’t be moved around or jostled a lot to avoid damage.

Flat Burrs

A lot of commercial-grade grinders use conical rather than flat burrs.

While flat burrs are noisier and produce more heat than conical, the advantage comes from the way the beans move through the burrs, resulting in a unimodal distribution of the grounds.

As well, flat burrs produce coffee grounds with one shape, which conical grinders don’t provide, and studies show that having uniformly shaped coffee grounds helps prevent over-extraction for better taste.

Digital Timing Control Panel

BARATZA VARIO Digital Control Panel

The Vario gives you the option of setting a grind time or grinding manually. Once you’ve determined your ideal grind time, you can lock it into one of three programmable timing buttons so that you don’t have to do it manually every time.

For example, #1 could be for an espresso shot, #2 could be for a Chemex, and #3 could be for a French Press.

The Baratza Vario can grind 1.6 to 2.2 grams of beans per second, depending on the grind setting.



Just how much of a grind nerd are you? If you’re not yet, the Vario will turn you into one.

You can adjust the fineness of your grind on a scale of 1 to 10. You can then fine-tune within those adjustments on a scale from A to W. This gives you 230 fineness options from which to choose.

The Vario has a grind grade range of 230 to 1150 microns, which works fine for most coffee and espresso-grinding needs. It almost reaches the extra-fine Turkish coffee grind range of 200-100 microns, but not quite.

Portaholder Grounds & Bin

Not only does the Vario come with a 180g grounds bin, but it also comes standard with a metal portaholder. These are interchangeable so that you can choose to grind into the grounds bin or straight into your espresso maker’s portafilter.

The Vario has a short chute between the grinder and the container. Having almost no lag time at the end of a grinding cycle is especially helpful for filling your portafilter without making a mess. Plus, it doesn’t leave a lot of extra coffee grounds behind.


The Vario comes with an 8 oz hopper to hold your beans.

You can buy one or connect several 9.7 oz hopper extenders if you need a larger-capacity hopper.

The Baratza also has a 10.6 oz shutoff hopper option that allows you to switch out bean varieties while keeping beans in the hopper.

By keeping beans in the hopper, you can switch between regular, decaf, and flavored coffee seamlessly.


You don’t have to worry about overheating the Vario’s high-torque motor if you need to grind several pounds of beans. It has a thermal cutoff switch, just in case. But you can usually count on your grinding cycles being cool and quiet.

Baratza includes a calibration tool that you can use to make sure your machine remains adequately calibrated.


The burrs are easily removable for washing.

You will want to wipe away any excess grounds or oils with a soft cloth and never use water or soap.

Things To Consider Before Taking the Dive

If you’re thinking about purchasing a grinder that’s nearly $500, you’re serious about the grade of your coffee. But if you’re going to shell out that much money, you want to ensure you’re paying for quality.

The Baratza Vario is a professional-level machine, making it not only a great choice for your at-home coffee set-up but also an excellent addition to a coffee shop’s equipment.

It features many of the components you’d want in a professional grinder: flat ceramic burrs, a strong motor, 230 fine-tunable grind settings, a programmable timer, and a removable portaholder for an espresso machine portafilter.

Baratza has been making high-quality grinders since 2001. Their engineering and design team takes pride in designing coffee grinders that should last you a lifetime, and they also believe in the sustainability of their machines.

This brand has a “don’t dump it–fix it” philosophy, providing email and phone support, troubleshooting guides, and videos to help you repair any issues yourself.

Conclusion: Our Thoughts on the Baratza Vario

The Vario is a professional-level grinder that has been around for about ten years and, in that time, has garnered a well-deserved reputation for being the best grinder on the market.

Because it’s reasonably small, the Vario fits well in both a small business and home environment. We also like that the Vario has so many grind settings and can grind straight into our espresso portafilter.

Some new owners’ reports for the last five years say that their machines arrived broken, which raises some eyebrows. These could just be anomalies (like the one that was missing a screw), but it’s important to keep in mind when looking at the price ($500).

Overall, our team at Roasty Coffee has many good things to say about this grinder. If you’re looking for a barista-level grinder, and the price is within your personal range, the Vario is an excellent choice.

(If, however, you find this grinder doesn’t meet your needs, we recommend checking out other Baratza grinders like the Sette 270 W or the Forte AP.)

Happy Caffeinating!

Baratza Vario Review: A Barista-Quality Burr Grinder
Baratza Vario Review

Delve into the world of specialty coffee grinding with our in-depth Baratza Vario review, exploring its features and performance for coffee enthusiasts.

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