Owning the Baratza Vario-W
Baratza’s Vario-W is an innovative dream come true for weight-based grinding in real time. Rather than dispense coffee by time like its counterpart, the Vario-W has a built in electronic scale to yield real time, weight measurements for precise results. The Vario-W is very exact; it can accurately measure within 0.2 grams of the programmed weight as it’s grinding. The three weight presets can be adjusted in 0.1 gram increments to suit your needs, and grinding ceases automatically once the programmed weight is reached. For those of us that weigh our coffee prior to brewing, the Vario-W is a serious gamechanger. Similar to the standard Vario, the Vario-W nixes hopper-twisting adjustment, opting instead for dual-cam grind adjustment. With it, you can adjust the grind across ten macro settings and twenty-three micro settings, for a total of 230 steps. This vast adjustment allows you to really fine tune your grind for any brew method, but is especially important when dialing in an espresso grind for a prosumer machine. The Vario-W can easily accommodate any brew method, though it’s important to note that the container needs to be in place in order for it to operate, so no swapping to a portaholder on this grinder. Just like the standard Vario, the Vario-W features 54mm flat ceramic burrs, which don’t retain the amount of heat stainless burrs can, thus protecting the coffee’s natural flavors; and, as an added bonus, they’re harder than steel and stay sharper longer.
The Baratza Vario-W is just as easy to use and program as the standard Vario. The grind can be fine tuned within a range of 250 to 1150 microns by adjusting the macro and micro sliders on the Vario W’s face. Micro adjustments are made in between macro settings for the most possible refinement of the grind. We recommend jotting down the settings for your favorite brew methods so you can easily swap between them. You can grind manually, or program one of the presets to automatically dispense weighed grounds with an accuracy of 0.2 grams. The Vario-W also features a high speed motor that whips the burrs around at speedy 1350 RPM, making short work of beans and dispensing them directly into the enclosed 5 oz. grounds container in a quick 2 grams per second on average. For time-based grinding on demand, take a look at the standard Vario; or, for more grind settings, touch screen controls, and timed or weight based grinding functionality, the Forte AP is an excellent step up.
The Baratza Vario W 986 does not come with portafilter hooks.