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Thread: Upgrade for Breville smart grinder to Mahlkonig Vario Grinder is worth it

  1. #1
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Upgrade for Breville smart grinder to Mahlkonig Vario Grinder is worth it

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Thinking about upgrading from smart grinder, I am not having any problems with it latter model did not need shims. I can get the Mahlkonig Vario Grinder for $540.delivered but is it worth the move using it with the BES900. I would appreciate any views on this

  2. #2
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    not sure if it's worth upgrading to another grinder if you aren't having any problems with the smart grinder? probably a fairly good match for the BES900?

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    i can vouch for the vario especially if you plan on using different brew methods

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    I believe the guts of the question is Quote: "...Is it worth the move..."

    My take on this would be:
    Client already has the "smart" grinder. Therefore, "the move", unless it offers something significantly "better" than the "smart", could be a total waste of $540.00 OR, if we assume he may be able to sell off the "smart" for say, $150.00, "the move" would cost $390.00.

    Therefore, does the cost of the move at say $390.00 represent any significant value at all to the client for the spend?

    Is there anyone in the room that can offer a factual (based on having had ownership of both, or trade experience) comparison between the two?

    I would also be interested to know.
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  5. #5
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    I'm pretty sure if you can't get results from the smart grinder then you need to practice more. It is a great grinder that needs no replacing if you're doing the right things with the dose, tamp etc. Having said all that, you are free to do what you wish, but only know that like a mug golfer, you can only blame your sticks for so long. haha nah... smart grinder is tops.... unless you go for a mazzer, theres no point replacing it.....

    Check out my blog/podcast...... We talk shit about Beer, music and this week, coffee in a waaaay over saturated market.... it's cool!

    http://discomforsouthern.blogspot.com

    heisenberg
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  6. #6
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    If its any help, i had a the smart grinder and was also very pleased with it. I never needed shims and it always help me produce a good cup of coffee. After having played with the K3 a few times that my brother has I thought I wouldnt mind owning my own. So thats what I did. Having now done that i wouldnt say it wasnt a waste of money yet the smart grinder for its price over the K3 held its own. I still have a lot of learning to do on the K3, but so far its a great grinder. The bottom line is if you want to up grade like alot of us do beacuase we can or just want to, go for it.

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Chris

  7. #7
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    I'm pretty sure if you can't get results from the smart grinder then you need to practice more. It is a great grinder that needs no replacing if you're doing the right things with the dose, tamp etc. Having said all that, you are free to do what you wish, but only know that like a mug golfer, you can only blame your sticks for so long. haha nah... smart grinder is tops.... unless you go for a mazzer, theres no point replacing it.....

    Check out my blog/podcast...... We talk shit about Beer, music and this week, coffee in a waaaay over saturated market.... it's cool!

    http://discomforsouthern.blogspot.com

    heisenberg
    Sorry but I don't find anything here of any relevance to my question, I have been making coffee since cocky was an egg!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water_dragon View Post
    Thinking about upgrading from smart grinder, I am not having any problems with it latter model did not need shims. I can get the Mahlkonig Vario Grinder for $540.delivered but is it worth the move using it with the BES900. I would appreciate any views on this
    Do you drink decaf as well? If so having a second grinder can be handy (so you don't have to switch the grind settings back and forth).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by water_dragon View Post
    Sorry but I don't find anything here of any relevance to my question, I have been making coffee since cocky was an egg!

    Thats okay, cos it is kind of an irrelevant question... I mean, I understand what you're asking, but really, as i said, unless you're upgrading to a mazzer, then there's no real point as the SG is the best (or at least equal) to anything in that price range. Kinda like a guitar player thinking they're upgrading from a yamaha to a chinese fender... Same price range, no difference in quality...... Sorry if I made my point in an unclear manner....


  10. #10
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Thats okay, cos it is kind of an irrelevant question... I mean, I understand what you're asking, but really, as i said, unless you're upgrading to a mazzer, then there's no real point as the SG is the best (or at least equal) to anything in that price range. Kinda like a guitar player thinking they're upgrading from a yamaha to a chinese fender... Same price range, no difference in quality...... Sorry if I made my point in an unclear manner....

    your remarks are not helpful at all unless you have some experience between these two grinders then there is no point to your comments please leave your mazzer out of the equation If you were to even read any reviews on these two then you might have some perspective but all you seem to want to do is give vague comparisons and generalisations

  11. #11
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Do you drink decaf as well? If so having a second grinder can be handy (so you don't have to switch the grind settings back and forth).
    Thanks for the input Barry but I don't drink decaf and it is not allowed in my house nor is low fat milk which they now seem to say can be very unhealthy
    Last edited by water_dragon; 11th December 2012 at 12:00 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water_dragon View Post
    Thanks for the input Barry but I don't drink decaf and it is not allowed in my house nor is low fat milk which they now seem to say can be very unhealthy
    Ahh....another who hasn't tried the Decaf WOW!
    Cheers
    BOSW
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  13. #13
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the above comment. I thought there is no way Decaf Wow could be any good. How wrong was i and how happy i was to be wrong. Its nice stuff

  14. #14
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Still trying to find any one with experience of both these grinders

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    iv used both but im abit unclear as to what your asking really, are you only using the grinder for espresso or multiple brew methods? this is where the vario shines in accuracy compared to the smart?
    how many grams of coffee do you grind per day? are you happy to spend $540 or are you looking for bang for your buck?
    to many variables. you need to understand that if you making only one espresso shot a day then the smart grinder will suffice, if your getting to the point where yup think life would be easier with a superior grinder then yes its a wise upgrade.

  16. #16
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    and... if you don't need weighted doses (say if you dose your beans in to the hopper), get the Preciso instead of the Vario

  17. #17
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D4MMO View Post
    iv used both but im abit unclear as to what your asking really, are you only using the grinder for espresso or multiple brew methods? this is where the vario shines in accuracy compared to the smart?
    how many grams of coffee do you grind per day? are you happy to spend $540 or are you looking for bang for your buck?
    to many variables. you need to understand that if you making only one espresso shot a day then the smart grinder will suffice, if your getting to the point where yup think life would be easier with a superior grinder then yes its a wise upgrade.
    I on average have 3 double espresso's a day and sometimes the odd french press for visitors. What I am looking for really is a more consistent grind with out clumping for espresso do you find a noticeable difference with the vario

  18. #18
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
    and... if you don't need weighted doses (say if you dose your beans in to the hopper), get the Preciso instead of the Vario
    That model does not have the ceramic burrs as far as I know and the weighted dose model is the vario W which is a few hundred more again.I am glad I am getting some good feed back at last and not being directed to some one's holy grail "the mazzer"

  19. #19
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    I have a Mazzer Mini, it's fine and solid, but it sucks for different brew methods. Especially because it's a doser model, and especially because of grinds retention.

    The Preciso is conical, it grinds VERY well for all brew methods and some consider it better than the Vario models. Check out the writings around the place regarding the Baratza's, including David Walsh's notes on his site "otherblackstuff". There is loads of information, some very scientific. Either way, the Preciso or Vario are going to be brilliant.

    It sounds like you've made up your mind already, do it!

    I'm about to buy a Preciso. Probably this/next week. I'll keep my mazzer, for now... but it might go eventually!

  20. #20
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water_dragon View Post
    That model does not have the ceramic burrs as far as I know and the weighted dose model is the vario W which is a few hundred more again.I am glad I am getting some good feed back at last and not being directed to some one's holy grail "the mazzer"
    As much as you feel you are being directed into other peoples opinions, it does help to know what other people think. Its easy to get tunnel vision on buying products, coffee products are no exception. In this case grinders, many types, many features to think about. I understand you want a certain grinder but others on here who do have something equivalent are offering you an insight into what they think and know about grinders. Good luck with finding the grinder and hope it all works out for you.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  21. #21
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Chris,
    I'm pretty sure water_dragon is just referring to one bloke who used his reply to plug his own website (and then say its Mazzer or the highway)

    Cheers
    BOSW.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member NakiChap's Avatar
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    I have no experience with the smart grinder,but I do have a Baratza preciso and love it,

    Previously I had a K3 touch then Mazzer mini but I prefer the preciso above those two, it is so easy to dial in and the micro adjustment is excellent for fine tuning your espresso grind

    From my experience the conicals give more length to the pour before blonding, you can really tighten up and stretch out the shots thats what I have found with the preciso and especially with the Pharos

    I would go the preciso over the vario.
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  23. #23
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeechris View Post
    As much as you feel you are being directed into other peoples opinions, it does help to know what other people think. Its easy to get tunnel vision on buying products, coffee products are no exception. In this case grinders, many types, many features to think about. I understand you want a certain grinder but others on here who do have something equivalent are offering you an insight into what they think and know about grinders. Good luck with finding the grinder and hope it all works out for you.

    Cheers,

    Chris
    Thanks Chris but Barry nailed it I have been doing lots of research before coming down to this choice I have looked at everything on all coffee forums so far the best info I have found was on Amazon I have just to come to a conclusion which may be in the new year. If and when I do get a Vario I will certainly let everyone know my opinion

  24. #24
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Thats cool, like i said i hope you get the grinder and it works out well. Would love to know how it goes. I have always like the them myself and thought on many occasions should I...

    Cheers,

    Chris

  25. #25
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    I have just been looking through other forums and I think I will get the vario in the new year, boxing day sale? I had a laugh
    Last edited by water_dragon; 14th December 2012 at 05:12 PM.

  26. #26
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    I picked up the Preciso. Blown away... at grind quality, rentention of grinds (near none), and SPEED. It flogs my Mazzer. Looking forward to more brewing (this weekend!)

  27. #27
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    That's very reassuring James I am glad you are immpressed.

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    James, perhaps this is not the right topic for it, but how are you judging the grind quality in comparison to your mazzer? I am interested to know.

  29. #29
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Off topic replies have been moved here: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/grinders/3...a-preciso.html
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  30. #30
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    This thread needs a bumb still need some input

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    Hi,
    I've never used a smart grinder but I've compared my Vario against a NS Grinta grinder and Sunbeam 0480 (both sort of in the price range of the Smart grinder), and my experience is that there is a significant step up in quality with the Vario. Worth the extra $3-400 in my opinion. I'm sure this step up would also apply to other grinders in it's category like the Mazzer and K3 etc.
    Hope that helps.
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  32. #32
    Senior Member saroadie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water_dragon View Post
    I have just been looking through other forums and I think I will get the vario in the new year, boxing day sale? I had a laugh
    Well if you do get the vario, I for one will be grateful to read your opinion of it especially vs the smart grinder.

  33. #33
    Member water_dragon's Avatar
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    Have been away for a while riding my new ebike- moutain bike so the budget won't get the vario just yet but it it is still on my agenda. When I am ready I will sell my Smart grinder on here also my Bellman stove top with gauge and frother.

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    Drop me a PM re the SG when your ready. Mitchell



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