We’ve already compared two grinders by Baratza, Virtuoso vs. Encore. In this post, we’ll continue our Baratza comparisons by comparing two more grinder: the Vario and Vario-W. As both carry the same name, we can tell that they’re just a variant of the same grinder, but we’ll talk about it in details to help you understand the difference better.
Features of the Baratza Vario Burr Grinder:
- Professional grade grinder perfect for home use or commercial use.
- Features 230 distinct grind settings from fine to coarse.
- Macro and Micro grind settings give you precise grind options for any coffee brewing method.
- Built-in digital timer.
- Three user-programmable buttons can be used to create pre-sets for repeatable grinds.
- Unique 54mm ceramic flat burrs provide accurate, fast-grinding performance and remain sharp for twice as long as the best steel burrs.
- Metal Portaholder allows you to grind right into the portafilter.
- 8 oz ground bean container.
Features of Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder:
- Weight based grinder gives you extreme accuracy
- The grinder weighs your grind in real-time, providing you with the exact grams of coffee you need. (+/- .1g)
- Grinds 1.6 grams/second for espresso and 2.2 grams/second for Press.
- LED screen allows you to easily select your grind weight.
- Range of grind (230 microns to 1150 microns).
- Three user-programmable buttons for repeatable grind settings.
- Perfect for all grind settings from espresso to press.
What’s The Difference Between The Vario and Vario-W?
The major difference between the two grinders is the fact the the Vario-W is a weight-based system, unlike the Vario. This amazing system automatically and in real time measure the ground beans and gives you the exact amount you need, weight wise. This means great precision in coffee making, you won’t grind more than you need and it eliminates the need to weight before or after you grind.
While the Vario-W is quite a ground-breaking piece of equipment, it’s on the expensive side and would set you a little over $500. If it’s within your budget, then by all means, it’s the grinder to get! However, if that’s over your budget, here’s another way to get a weight-based grinder for less…
How To Turn Any Baratza Grinder Into a Weight-Based Grinder?
Lucky for us, Baratza has created the Esatto, an accessory made specifically to be used with the Baratza Encore, Virtuoso or Preciso to turn them into a weight-based grinder. The Esatto features a digital front panel that includes the weight selector as well as the 3 programmable buttons that the Vario grinders have which make any repeatable grinds as easy as one-press. You can learn more about Esatto here.
Watch These Video Reviews:
Baratza Vario Grinder:
Baratza Vario-W Grinder:
Features of Baratza Virtuoso:
- Professional grade conical burr grinder
- 40mm conical burrs offer consistent grinds every time.
- 40 grind settings from coarse for french press to fine of espresso brewing.
- Grind range goes from 250 to 1200 microns.
- Built-in 60 second timer.
- Bean hopper capacity: 8 oz.
- Bin capacity 5 oz.
- Speed control allows you to use a combination of gear and electronic speed reduction to control the speed of the burrs, up to 500 RPM.
Features of the Baratza Encore:
- An entry-level conical burr grinder perfect for home use.
- 40 grind settings from coarse to fine. Perfect for all brewing methods.
- Bean hopper capacity: 8 oz.
- Ground bin capacity: 5 oz.
- Speed control, control the rotation of the burr to 450 RPM.
What Is The Difference Between Virtuoso and Encore?
- Both grinders have the same basic features of 40 grind settings as well as the same hopper and bin capacity.
- The Virtuoso offers speed rotation control to 500 RPM.
- The Encore offers speed rotation control to 450 RPM.
- The Virtuoso features a 60 sec. timer that the Encore doesn’t have.
Which One Should You Buy?
Both the Virtuoso and Encore are quite similar in features that it makes it hard to choose between the two. Truth is, you won’t find a lot of difference between the two grinders apart from the fact that the Virtuoso features stainless steel accents that give it a more expensive feel. When in operation, the Virtuoso produces a lot LESS noise than the Encore. While that doesn’t affect the grind produced, it does affect your experience. Watch the videos below to see the difference.
Watch a Video Review of the Baratza Encore:
Virtuoso vs. Encore Video:
These two conical burr grinders by Cuisinart are seemingly identical, yet, there’s a price difference that makes you wonder which could make your buying decision harder. In this post, we’ll be comparing the two grinders side by side to make it easier for you to choose between them.
Cuisinart DBM-8 vs. CBM-18N Conical, What’s The Difference?
- Both grinders are conical burr.
- Both give you 18 grind options from extra fine to coarse.
- Both have the same bean hopper capacity of 8 oz ( half a pound).
- Both feature a timer with auto shut off.
- The CBM-18N features an LCD display which allows you to easily select cup sizes and grind settings.
- The CBM-18N also gives you a selection of cup sizes starting from 1 cup up to 14 cups, while the DBM-8 cup selection starts at 4 cups up to 14 cups.
- The CBM-18N also has manual settings which allow you to grind your own desired amount and fineness.
Which of These Grinders Is Best To Buy?
The Cuisinart CBM-18N gives you more options when it comes to grinding. Although it has the same amount grind selections (18 positions), it also has manual options which allow you to freely adjust the settings to your liking. There’s also the option to grind a minimum of 1 cup, which can be quite handy for single cup brewing without worrying about grinding more than you need. However, if you plan to grind for more than one cup often, the DBM-8 should be a great choice as well.
The perfect shot of Espresso starts with the perfect coffee grind. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t skimp on, it is the coffee grinder. And one of the best coffee grinders to invest in has to be a conical burr grinder.
Why Is a Conical Burr Grinder The Best?
It has to do with how it works. A conical blade is slower than a flat grinder blade, this results in less heat transfer to the beans, which means, more flavor is preserved. So when you brew that freshly ground coffee, you know you’ll be getting full blast of flavor! Also, a conical burr grinder gives you consistent grind every time. Where a blade grinder creates a very inconsistent grind.
Top 3 Conical Burr Coffee Grinders for Espresso:
Breville BVG800XL Smart Grinder:
Whether you’re grinding coffee for espresso, drip or french press, this grinder has 25 grind settings that guarantee the perfect grind of coffee for your preferred brew method. With its clear blacklit LCD display, you can read and easily set the grind settings, number of shots or cups you’re preparing as well as other customization settings. The grinder will automatically dose and grind the coffee according to your custom settings. The coffee is grind directly into a storage unit with special air-tight locking system. It also includes a portafilter accessory that will allow you to have the coffee ground pour directly into your espresso machine’s portafilter.
UPDATE: The Breville Smart Grinder has been updated to a newer version, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
Features of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro:
- More grind settings: choose from 60 grind settings for a more precise grind.
- Stainless steel conical burr grinders.
- Electronic timer that allows you to set the time in 0.2 second increments.
- Grind directly into a portafilter using the included holder.
- Bean hopper capacity: 16 oz.
What’s The Difference Between Breville Smart Grinder vs. Smart Grinder Pro?
There are two main differences, the Smart Grinder Pro has these two additional features:
- It has more grinder settings… 6o settings in comparison to the previous 25 settings on the Smart Grinder.
- It has a timer with 0.2 second increments. This allows you to really fine tune the time of your grind.
Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder:
With Bodum’s electric conical burr grinder you’ll get 14 adjustable settings from coarse to fine. It features a timed grinding feature that lets you set your preferred time for the amount of coffee you want. What sets this grinder from others, though, is its Borosilicate glass coffee catcher that noticeably reduces the coffee static which usually causes jumping coffee grounds. This grinder will guarantee you a mess-free area around your grinder, and very minimal to no coffee waste.
Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Grinder:
Baratza is a well known brand that specializes in creating professional grade burr grinders with the home user in mind. The Virtuoso features professional grade 40mm conical burrs that allow you to grind from finest fine to coarse. It features 40 grind settings from fine to coarse and has a 60-second timer. Its a great choice for grinding for any type of brewing method, really. The bean hopper capacity is 8 oz, while the ground container is 5 oz capacity.
Also available from 1stincoffee.com
Breville Smart Grinder vs. Bodum Bistro: Which Should You Buy?
Buy the Breville Smart Grinder if these features are important to you:
- Custom grind adjustments, 25 settings.
- Backlit LCD that makes choosing the prefect settings easier.
- Built-in portafilter holder, if you’re grinding for espresso, you can grind directly into the portafilter.
- Airtight ground bean container.
- Overall better build quality with stainless steel housing.
These extra features come with an extra price, of course. The Bodum Bistro is a great performing conical burr grinder and it’s budget friendly. But the customization the Breville Smart Grinder can offer is absolutely worth the price.