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Baratza Preciso vs. Baratza Vario | What's Best for you?

Baratza Preciso vs. Baratza Vario, What’s Best for you?

Baratza Preciso vs. Baratza Vario

Since 1999, Baratza has been producing innovative, high-quality coffee grinders that surpass most other comparable models on the market.

The company has really refined modern grinding technology in order to deliver consistent, precise grinds for finely-tuned coffee that even espresso aficionados can appreciate.

With different brewing methods going in and out of style, there really is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to grinders. Right now, it’s all about the different features that can deliver the grounds that you need for your favorite brew.

shot

The Final Shot: For espresso-only drinkers, the Vario is going to deliver better on fine grinds and automation. For coffee drinkers who may need a coarser grind and a wider range of options, the Preciso is the best pick..

Espresso machines, drip coffee makers, and French presses all require a different size grind to get achieve great drink, which will also vary based on the bean. The common thread? All need a consistent grind the perform their best.

When considering your different options, it can be tricky to determine which machine will give you the end result you need. Different grinding technology and size settings will obviously result in different types of grounds, but there is also a convenience factor to consider.

Are you looking to be hands-on and in control of the process? Or are you hoping for something a little more automated, and requiring less skill on your part?

This comparison will put the Preciso up against the Vario (both from Baratza), so you can see a breakdown of all the different qualities and features that are offered by each design.

It can be tough to tell what really separates them just from product listings, so this article should give you a more in depth look at how they stack up.

Vario vs Baratza Preciso Head to Head

 
NameBaratza VarioBaratza Preciso

Dimension
4.5 x 7.2 x 14.5 in5.3 x 5.1 x 13.8 in

Item Weight
13.5 pounds7.9 pounds

Grind Settings
230440

Automation
Auto-dosingNo

Hopper Size
8 oz8 oz

Grinder Type
Flat BurrConical Burr

Hands Free
YesYes

Similarities

The most obvious similarities between the Preciso and Vario models are the general design and versatility. The burr grinding technology is what puts these two models ahead of the old style, basic blade grinder.

Burr grinders, like the Preciso and Vario are designed to grind the beans while safeguarding the flavor and aroma. This is achieved by the burr action slowing the machine’s gears to cut down on heat and friction that naturally occurs during the grinding process. A more precise and consistent end product results from this technology.  

Both the Preciso and Vario have a top-loading design that is typical of coffee grinders, allowing for easy operation. Both models are easy to assemble out of the box, and just as simple to disassemble for cleaning.

Both designs are ideal for small kitchens or for those who prefer to store grinders when not in use. The Preciso and Vario can both fit under overhead kitchen cabinets pretty comfortably and don’t take up much room on the counter or tabletop.

For those who prefer to keep grinders out and ready for use, both of have sleek designs that blend into the rest of the kitchen pretty seamlessly.

sharedfeatures

Shared Features:
  • Multiple settings to produce different coarseness levels of grinds
  • Easy to clean-both disassemble easily
  • Both have porta-holders for securing a porta-filter, hands free
  • 8 ounce bean hoppers
  • Sleek, compact designs

Differences

The differences between the Preciso and the Vario models are not that obvious until it you start processing. What seem like small differences in grinding technology and settings in theory, actually result in coffee grounds that are noticeably different.

Both grinders are high-quality and consistent, the differences really speak to the kind of brewing technique. So what does that mean? Basically, it all boils down to individual preferences.

For example, while the Vario features micro-adjustments that offer a whopping 230 grind settings, this model just doesn’t produce the coarse grounds required by a lot of manual brew methods.

The Vario is excellent for espresso, however, and the fine-tuning is great for the discerning espresso drinker. The Vario’s programmable settings also makes it better for the multi-tasker and convenience-seeker.

Here is a breakdown of the different features offered by each model to help you decide which one fits your needs better. Both the Preciso and Vario are quality machines, but advancements in technology have resulted in more choices.

MaterialsMaterials

Both machines are burr grinders, but the type of burrs they use differ slightly. The Preciso uses a conical steel burr, while the Vario features a flat ceramic burr.

So which is better?

If given the choice, ceramic is the way to go. Both will produce an excellent, consistent grind, but the ceramic burrs will stay sharp twice as long.

pressureControls

Both the Preciso and Vario are programmable… to a point. The Vario takes it a step-further and offers totally hands-off grinding with programmed settings. This may not be a huge deal to a lot of users, but if you need to keep moving in the kitchen, then the Vario might be a better choice.

The Preciso does have a 60 second timer switch on it, but not all of the internal programmable options that the Vario does. Selecting the grind time is a little more manual, but hardly inconvenient.

On the other hand, the user has more control over the Preciso by adjusting the speed.

So, you don’t have to babysit with the Vario while it grinds, but you do have a little more control over the Preciso. Ultimately, it depends on which is more important to you- control or convenience.

Speed Settings

With the Preciso, the user can adjust the speed of the machine to optimize the grind. I love this feature and think it’s really nice to have if you need a quick grind for a coarse product rather than a longer, fine espresso grind. On this machine, the RPM can be manually adjusted from 405-495.

The lower speeds also reduce heat, noise and creation of static.

The Vario model, however, is calibrated at the factory with a set RPM. To offset this, there are more micro-settings available on this machine.

These differences don’t place one model ahead of the other, they just appeal to different preferences. You may have a bit more personal control over the Preciso, but the Vario is more convenient with the built-in calibration options.  

Range of Grind Settings

You would think that since the Vario has 230 different micro-settings, you would get a broader range of coffee grounds, right? Well, kind of. All of these micro-settings mean a broader range of fine grounds, not so much of the coarse variety that a lot of trendy manual brewing methods require.

So, if you like to experiment with the manual methods like pour-over, Aeropress, Siphon, or Chemex, the Vario might not be the best option. In this case, the Preciso is the best bet, especially since you can speed up the process for a chunkier result. Again-entirely dependent on preference.

The picky espresso drinker will enjoy the different fine settings of the Vario, though. Users have reported that you can customize each shot if you wanted to.

If you like to experiment with a lot of different kinds of beans, this is also a nice feature to have.

Summary

So there you have it. The Preciso and Vario are both high-quality machines, with the only real differences being the settings and controls. While it doesn’t seem like these would be significant differences, you do get a different result with each machine.

If you’re an espresso aficionado on the hunt for the perfect, finessed shot, the Vario will be the best choice for you. This model has the finite tuning abilities that suit this type of coffee. Plus, it is pretty convenient for those who need to multi-task.

For coffee drinkers that are a bit adventurous and like to experiment with different methods, then the Preciso is the ideal choice. More control and the ability to produce more varied coffee grounds make this the better pick for you.

Taking all the differences into consideration, both of these grinders are sturdy, consistent, and easy to use. As far as quality goes you really can’t go wrong with either of these machines. With either a fine or coarse grind, coffee or espresso, the key feature needs to be consistency, and both models deliver.

I hope this comparison breaks down some of the confusing differences between these two Baratza models and gives you an idea of what all of the differences mean to you as the every day user.

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Chatting about coffee is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better.

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About the Author Michael York

I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!

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