Baratza is a company that many coffee lovers turn to when it comes to adding an espresso grinder to their own kitchen. They’re well-known for their intuitive weight-based grinders and user-friendly macro/micro grind adjustment systems.
We’ll be taking a closer look at Baratza in this guide by comparing the Baratza Sette 270Wi vs Vario W. Here’s exactly what we’ll be discussing:
- Similarities shared by both grinders.
- Which things are different between the 270Wi and Vario W.
- Information on the prices of these machines.
- Our guidance on how to choose which one to buy.
Let’s get started…
The original Baratza Sette 270 was already an easy and affordable grinder, but the 270Wi takes it to new heights with its highly accurate weight-based grinding design. Now, the 270Wi is even more accurate than many of its competitors. This is a great grinder for home baristas who want the utmost accuracy in their grind.
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The Baratza Vario W makes the same improvement to design that the 270Wi does: a weight-based grinding design that increases its precision. It also features Baratza’s famous macro/micro grind adjustment system that allows you to make precise adjustments to your grind. We feel that this one is a good choice for at-home coffee enthusiasts in search of a precise grinder, as well.
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Macro/Micro Grind Adjustment
One quality that Baratza grinders are well-known for, including the 270Wi and Vario W, is their efficient macro/micro grind adjustment system. This design gives new flexibility to traditional stepped adjustment systems that are normally limited in their use.
You’ll start by rotating the dial on one side to a general fineness level. Once you’ve selected your overall fineness, there’s a second dial you can use to adjust even further within your chosen setting.
It’s not as versatile as a stepless grinder, which doesn’t have premade settings to choose from at all, but the macro/micro adjustment system at least brings you closer to that versatility.
Read Also: Baratza Forte vs Sette
Traditionally, baristas would get the amount of espresso they need by carefully timing how long they use the grinder. The problem with this approach is that it isn’t necessarily consistent from grinder to grinder, and you may end up with doses of varying amounts.
With the weight-based grinding used by these Baratzas, though, you’ll be able to enjoy the utmost accuracy in your grind. Either grinder will weigh how much espresso or coffee you’ve ground for you, ensuring you get the same amount whenever you use them.
Not only does this guarantee accurate doses, but it helps eliminate waste. You’ll never end up with too much or too little.
Anti-Static Grounds Bin
You can grind into a grounds bin on either the 270Wi or Vario W. A grounds bin is a better option than a portafilter when you’re planning on grinding enough coffee to make a pot or for French press coffee.
We should point out that with the 270Wi, using the grounds bin is optional. On the Vario W, however, it is the only grinding receptable that the machine is compatible with.
With either grinder, the bin is made from anti-static plastic. The plastic will prevent clumps from forming in your grounds that could interfere with your ability to brew them.
Worried that you don’t have enough room for a grinder in your home? There’s no need to worry with these Baratza grinders, as both are remarkably compact.
There is a slight difference in size. The 270Wi is 5 inches wide, 9.5 inches deep, and 15 inches tall. On the other hand, the Vario W is 5.1 inches wide, 7.1 inches deep, and 14.1 inches tall.
Overall, however, these grinders are more alike than different in size. Both are small enough to be easily accommodated on even the most crowded kitchen counters.
Further Reading: Baratza Sette 270Wi vs 270
Unless you have the proper doses memorized for coffee or espresso, you probably won’t want to have to manually grind to the correct weight each and every time. It’s too easy to forget how long you should grind for, especially when you’ve got other things occupying your mind.
That’s why these Baratza grinders have three programmable buttons. You can program the precise weights for each dose into the buttons, then simply choose the right button whenever you need to grind in the future.
If you’re going to be grinding often or for long stretches, you’ll want a grinder that can handle it. One aspect that you’ll need is a spacious hopper that can hold more coffee beans.
Between the 270Wi and Vario W, the 270Wi has the greater capacity. It can hold 10 ounces of coffee beans, while the Vario W can only hold 8 ounces.
Truthfully, neither of them has what would be considered a large hopper. The capacities they do offer are still likely to be plenty for use at home, though. You’ll just probably prefer the 270Wi if your home’s demand for freshly ground coffee is high.
Grounds Bin Capacity
We mentioned earlier that either one of these grinders can grind coffee into a large grounds bin. Exactly how much the grounds bin holds is another quality that varies between these Baratzas.
The Vario’s grounds bin is a little larger and can hold 6.3 ounces of coffee. In comparison, the 270Wi’s grounds bin has a 5.5-ounce capacity.
This means you’ll be able to grind slightly larger portions using the Vario W. If you tend to prefer drip coffee or you’ll need to prepare espresso drinks for groups of people often, the larger grounds bin could be preferable.
Related Article: Best Espresso Grinders Under $1,000
In the average home environment, a difference of a few seconds in grinding time isn’t likely to be a dealbreaker for you. However, if you’re planning on serving espresso to guests and family, those few seconds can suddenly add up.
Those in need of a faster grinder, then, will appreciate the 270Wi’s speed. It can produce a seven-gram shot of espresso in two seconds flat.
On the Vario W, that same shot of espresso would take you just over three seconds at its fastest speed. Put another way, the 270Wi is approximately 50% faster than the Vario W when it comes to producing a shot of espresso.
The shape of the grinder’s burrs will have a noticeable impact on your daily use of the machine, so it’s important to discuss the burrs in these Baratzas. In the Baratza Sette 270Wi, you’ll have conical burrs and in the Vario W, you’ll have flat ones.
There are honestly benefits to either type of burr. Flat burrs, for instance, are adept at producing consistently sized coffee particles that lead to a balanced extraction. As a result, the flavor of the coffee is full-bodied and sweet.
Conical burrs create coffee particles of two different sizes called bimodal particles. The resulting flavor is fruity and almost zesty. Some also believe conical burrs are quieter than flat ones.
After burr shape, burr material is another distinction that’s important to make. The material can affect the durability and the temperature of the grinder during operation.
The Vario W has ceramic burrs. Ceramic burrs can reduce the heat that is transferred to your beans, protecting them from being burnt. Furthermore, ceramic doesn’t wear down quickly and many believe it is quieter than metal.
The 270Wi has steel burrs. As you can imagine, they are long-lasting and durable, in addition to being extra-sharp. Their greatest drawback is that they can heat up during use, which risks burning your coffee beans.
Read Also: Mahlkonig vs Baratza
Burr size is a topic that shouldn’t be neglected. A larger set of burrs can grind more quickly than smaller alternatives.
Of the two Baratza grinders in this comparison, the Vario W has larger burrs. Its burrs are 54mm while the 270Wi’s burrs are 40mm.
On top of helping with grinding speed, increased burr size can help keep your beans cool during grinding. This is because they don’t have to turn as much in order to grind the same amount of coffee, therefore reducing heat from friction.
Baratza Sette 270Wi Portafilter Holder
Both grinders will allow you to grind into a grounds bin, but many baristas prefer grinding espresso directly into their portafilter. Doing so makes it easier to evenly pack your portafilter for a more balanced extraction.
The Baratza Sette 270Wi has a portafilter holder option. With the portafilter holder, you can set your portafilter basket in place and let the grinder hold it for you while it does all the work.
The grinders in Majesty Coffee’s store are available for the most competitive prices you’ll find online. We’re pleased to include Baratza grinders in our store.
We have the Baratza Sette 270Wi for $549 and the Baratza Vario W for $559.
So, Which One Should You Buy?
You may still have one question remaining about these Baratza grinders: which one should you buy?
We’ll start by saying either one would excel in your home’s kitchen. They’re both fantastic budget-friendly grinders that are easy to learn to use.
Given that their prices are similar, your choice will come down to a few specific differences between them that can vary their use.
If you’re planning on making drip coffee or another brewing method that requires more grounds, you’ll need a larger grounds bin to hold your batches. That’s where the Vario W excels, since its bin has a greater capacity.
What if you need to whip through a few shots of espresso quickly to serve guests and family? Then you’ll appreciate the 270Wi’s increased grinding speed.
Furthermore, the 270Wi’s compatibility with a portafilter holder makes it the better choice for anyone who will be using their grinder for espresso most. It will save you the hassle of a sore arm from always having to hold a portafilter up beneath the dispenser.
This is our recommendation:
Get the Vario W if you need a bigger grounds bin for brewing methods such as drip coffee or French press.
On the opposite side, grab the Sette 270Wi if you plan on using your grinder mostly for espresso. It will produce shots more quickly and it has a portafilter holder.
Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team
Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.