Review of Mahlkoenig Vario

The new Vario Grinder is on its way very soon, we have seen one that I’ve had on test and one we sold to a customer (David) who was on a waiting list (email me if you want adding to this list). We don have the grinder on the site as I don’t like ot sell things we don’t have, but to wet your appetite, David has kindly done a review for me.

Review Mahlkoenig Vario

I received my new toy this week after what seemed like an interminable wait for its release. For once, Europe is ahead of the States in its release……..hoorraayy!
Right, nicely packaged box and immediately you realise even before opening it, that it is going to have a small footprint, ideal for under those kitchen benches! It is not heavy either at under 4 kilos. Take it out of the packaging, attach the hopper which you need to gently prise on to make it lock, plug it in and away you go.

Electric on and the blue lights appear. In a nutshell, you can either press a button, and let it manually grind whereby you simply press a button to stop or start. As an alternative, there are 3 more buttons which are factory preset to grind for 10, 20 and 30 seconds but it is straight forward to programme these to any time that you want (up to 99.9 seconds).
The grind settings are controlled by 2 levers. The right lever has 10 settings on it, and the left lever 15. Each of the 10 settings can be micro adjusted by the left lever by the 15 adjustments. This gives you 150 settings or 15 settings at each of10 levels of coarseness (if that makes sense!).

You need to play around a bit now. I put the right setting on finest and the left on coarsest but it choked my machine! Eventually, the right cam setting is on number 7 and the left on about 4. For the combination of bean and age I am currently using, this seems to work. I can see micro adjustments aplenty!

You have a choice of grinding into a container, which also pulls out to be replaced by a porta filter allowing you to grind straight into that. I use a naked pf and find it is not a good fit, but I am sure this will be dealt with in the future.

Who is going to want one of these? Well, seasoned Pro’s will knock it. It cannot be compared to a commercial machine and it will have its faults, but the level of expertise that the average home enthusiast has will be more than matched by this grinder. At the price, allowing for the built in bias that we all have when looking at the kit we choose, then I am happy to say the decision I made to trade down from my Mahlkoenig K30 (bought from Hasbean 7 months ago) was right. It was massive overkill having a beast like that in the home to produce 4 espressos a day! I can produce just as good a shot now as I could before.

Would I buy another one? Based on the short time I have had it, most definitely. Mahlkoenig are without doubt, the leading experts in the world on grinding blades and it is interesting to see them go down the ceramic route. I do not have the knowledge to really judge that one but plenty of so called experts in the world are excited by them.

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  1. Any idea for a price-point yet Steve?

  2. Providing that the Euro stabilizes it should be £315 including VAT.

  3. Anything new on this front? Will the Vario be on HasBean any time soon?
    Judging from the reviews, it looks like the Vario may be an excellent choice for those mostly into Espresso and Turkish.

  4. Got one directly from Baratza and am thrilled with it. The factory setting was a little too coarse on the finest settings but with a little calibration and patience I got the right espresso grind, which comes to about 16 mg in about 12 seconds. Wonderful crema and a solid puck on my Gaggia Classic. I would buy again and highly recommend it.

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