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blacktoe

1 or 2 grinder replacement for Vario

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I've had a Vario for a good few years and whilst I've gotten a lot of good use out of it there have been a number of quality/build issues. Had to switch the motor out about 5 months ago and recently the new one burnt out too, so think it might be time to move on.

 

I mostly make brewed coffee at home - Kalita wave, v60, chemex, aeropress, french press. I do have a Gaggia Evolution for espresso that still ticks along okay although also getting on a bit, but I do enjoy making espresso on the weekends.

 

In looking for a replacement I'm hearing some concerning things re the Sette, which might have been the obvious replacement. What I am understanding generally is that there isn't going to be a good solution for both brewed and espresso grinds, so I may need to move to a two-grinder set up instead.

 

Looking for any advice or recommendations anyone can share.

 

Not keen on going down the hand grinder route for brewed, mostly as I think others in the family might struggle with making adjustments for different grinds, and I'm a bit lazy in the mornings! :drink:

 

Have heard good things about the Wilfa Svart which goes for £105, so would leave more cash to go towards a separate espresso grinder. Or would this be a big step down for brewed from the Vario? If so, any suggestions for better alternatives.

 

Think that at the moment for grinders my total budget would be around £500, so £100 for a Wilfa would leave £400 for an espresso grinder. Obviously more spent on the grinder for brewed means less money for the espresso one.

 

Anticipate I'll probably get the itch to upgrade the espresso machine in the long run too, maybe able to spend £500-£700, so am thinking the investment in the separate espresso grinder might still be worthwhile even if it's overkill for the current set up.

 

Thanks in advance!

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I wouldn't totally write off a hand grinder for brewed. Any knock grinder would be a great option and adjustment is quite easy or just leave it on the same setting.

 

If you think you'll want to upgrade espresso equipment soon then consider making an investment. £400 would get you a gigantic Mazzer Major or something equivalent. Keep an eye on the for sale section of the forum.

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Thanks fatboyslim. Adjustment on the knock does look a bit simpler than some other hand grinders I've looked at (e.g. Lido), so will investigate. Do you know whether this is likely to give better results than something like the Wilfa for brewed? Will need a pretty broad range in terms of very coarse grinds as I also make the occasional batch of cold brew in my toddy, so will also do some research on this aspect.

 

Am sure I'll end up being lured into some better espresso kit, and sounds like at least on the grinder front I could be getting something pretty decent with the budget I have if I do keep costs for the brewed grinder down. Will probably start taking a look through the espresso machine threads to start getting a sense of what might be a good option there too. Will also check out the sale section once I've earned access :)

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If you got a separate grinder for espresso, and steel burrs for your vario (for brewed) then I think this would be a pretty good solution (they're still ~100 quid though)

 

Long story short, unless you are prepared to spend silly money there isn't a grinder that will do both well (The EK is the primary exception to this rule), however prior to the EK becoming the brewed coffee grinder of choice, Varios with steel burrs were used at most competitions....


Home: Vesuvius + EK

Work: Aeropress + EK

 

Founder of upgradeitis anonymous - "The first step is admitting you no longer have any money"

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Thanks UbiquitousPhoton. By EK I assume you mean the EK43 which seems to sell at around £2k? Does look lovely, but not going to be an option any time soon sadly.

 

Am loathed to try and revive the vario as there's the cost of yet another motor, and potentially new burrs as you suggest, and then I'd just be worried it would die a death again in another six months so I'd end up shelling out again.

 

So for brewed I'm still at either the Wilfa or exploring a knock hand grinder for the moment. I can potentially pick the Wilfa up from a shop on the way home today, so am trying to resist temptation and wait to do some more research and see if there are any other suggestions that come through.

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Buy cheap, buy twice. Do the research and be happy with your purchases for longer

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Just to follow up, whilst I didn't pick up the Wilfa yesterday I think I'm tempted to do so next week and see how I go with this. If it's disappointing I might come back to the hand grinder option as an alternative... Will aim to pop some thoughts on it here once I've got it and had a chance to play around with it a bit.

 

So, that should mean I'm able to put around £400 towards the espresso grinder. Any advice on where to start with this? Typically only make a couple of shots at a time, so imagining doserless would be a better way to go? Happy to consider second hand, but would be good to have an idea of what I could look for with this budget for both new and second hand as a starting point.

 

Thanks! :D

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Hi @Norm,

 

I picked up the Wilfa Svart today, am planning to do a post on the forums with some thoughts in case others are interested. Have a feeling it will be a bit of a step down from the Vario, especially given it goes for £105 whereas I think I paid at least £300 for my Vario when I bought it. Get the impression that a better quality grind might be had from one of the hand grinders that were recommended by others in this thread, but we'll see how the Wilfa does.

 

But the plan is that hopefully this will do for pour overs etc, and then I might satisfy my itch to invest some more serious cash in a decent espresso grinder (and possibly a new espresso machine too). Currently investigating Eureka grinders (Mignon, Zenith), and trying to suppress my interest in the Rocket Appartamento machine which looks so very shiny... :o

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I must confess I'm spending far too much time drooling over those Rocket machines too. I'm very tempted by the Faust grinder.

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