Baratza Vario vs Eureka Mignon Specialita: Which is Right for You?
Have you stumbled across the Baratza Vario and Eureka Mignon Specialita, and now you don’t know which grinder is right for you? They’re both fantastic grinders for those who love to brew coffee and espresso at home, so it’s easy to see why you’d have difficulty making your decision.
To make your decision easier, we’ll be comparing and contrasting the two grinders in-depth here. This is what we’ll investigate:
- Features the Vario and Mignon Specialita have in common.
- Which qualities separate them from each other.
- Prices for both the grinders.
- Our advice on how to choose the best one for you.
Let’s dive right in.
As far as high-end home grinders go, the Baratza Vario is one of the more affordable options you’ll find out there. It’s a great all-around grinder for making espresso or coffee, with the flexibility to grind into a portafilter or bin. Get this one if you’re a beginning barista who will be preparing coffee and espresso at home often.
If you’re an experienced barista, your home grinder should be one that gives you maximum control over the grind. This is where the Eureka Mignon Specialita excels, thanks to its stepless grind system and touchscreen control. It’s a great pick for you if you’re a knowledgeable espresso enthusiast with grinder experience.
The first thing the Vario and Specialita have in common is one of a grinder’s most important qualities: burr shape. Conical and flat are the two burr shapes used widely in commercial-level espresso and coffee grinders.
Conical burrs, as you might imagine, are shaped like cones. Their shape makes it so they produce bimodal coffee particles of varying sizes. As far as your actual beverage goes, this tends to lead to a fruitier flavor profile.
The grinders in this comparison have flat burrs, which are incredibly consistent. Every time you grind a shot or batch of coffee, the grounds will be the same uniform size, which creates a balanced extraction and full flavor.
Their basic shape isn’t the only thing the burrs inside the Vario and Specialita have in common. These burrs also share a similar size.
It’s not exact, but it’s generally more alike than different. The Vario’s burrs are 54mm and the Specialita’s burrs are 55mm.
These are modestly sized burrs. They’re not the largest you’ll find, but as far as home grinders go, they’re sizable enough to grind your coffee and espresso quickly.
Low Noise Pollution
Coffee shops are usually places where you can relax and work, talk, or even study while you sip on a well-made drink. However, there’s no getting past the unmistakable noise produced by an espresso grinder at work.
If you’ve experienced the noise of a grinder in a coffee shop, you might assume that all grinders are naturally going to make a racket. Surprisingly, that isn’t true for the Vario or Specialita, which have both been created to operate at a lower volume than many competitors.
While we can’t say they’re perfectly silent, you will find that they aren’t as loud as many other options out there. This is just part of what makes them suitable for home usage.
Think of everything you could be doing in your home at any given time. There are probably chores you could be doing or maybe you need time to relax. Moments of relaxation can be hard to achieve when you’re using an espresso grinder, though, if you have stand right next to it and hold the portafilter up each time.
You won’t need to do this with either the Baratza or Eureka in this comparison. Either one has a portafilter fork on the front that will hold your portafilter securely in place for you whenever you use the grinder. No more having to stand in front of it the entire time as if you’re tied to it.
If you’ve shopped for an appliance recently, then you remember all the considerations that go into purchasing one. In addition to price, one of the first things you probably ask is whether the product in question will fit in your space.
That’s a question you’ll want to answer for any potential espresso grinder, too. Fortunately, either one of them is fairly small.
To be specific, the Baratza Vario is 5.50 inches wide, 7 inches deep, and 14.25 inches tall. The Eureka Mignon Specialita is 5 inches wide, 5.6 inches deep, and 13.8 inches tall.
The single greatest difference in their dimension is depth, with the Specialita being shallower than the Vario. However, their overall size is close enough that we feel it’s more of a similarity.
Ceramic vs Metal Burrs
The material used in the burrs is also surprisingly important. It’s another quality that differs between the Vario and Specialita.
The Vario’s burrs are ceramic. This creates a burr that’s resistant to dulling, operates more quietly, and keeps your beans cooler during grinding. A drawback to ceramic burrs, though, is that they’re prone to cracking if they’re dropped.
The Specialita’s burrs are made from steel. Steel is a popular material in commercial-level espresso grinders because it’s extra-sharp and resistant to breaking. Their greatest weakness is their ability to transfer heat, which can potentially burn your beans.
Further Reading: Baratza Vario vs Niche Zero
Do you foresee yourself needing to grind often for extended periods or needing to make drinks for multiple people? Then the size of your grinder’s hopper should be one of the first things you check out.
Hopper capacity directly influences the quantity of coffee beans your grinder can store. If it can hold more, then it can grind longer without needing to pause for a refill.
The Eureka Mignon Specialita has the larger hopper here. It can hold 12 ounces of coffee beans, which is 50% more than the Vario’s 8-ounce hopper. As a result, the Specialita is able to grind longer than the Vario in one sitting.
Stepped vs Stepless Grind Adjustment
Unless you’re going to be grinding the coffee for the exact same brewing method time after time, you’ll need to make adjustments to your grinder’s fineness. Stepped and stepless are the two ways grinders have for making those adjustments.
You’ll have a stepped adjustment system on the Vario. In short, it means you have a limited range of options to choose based on what the manufacturer included. However, it has a micro adjustment dial that allows you to make further tweaks within a given fineness setting.
The Specialita uses a stepless grind adjustment system. It removes the limitations of preset options by allowing you to twist its adjustment dial to any point. It’s more flexible and precise, but can be confusing for novices to get the hang of.
Eureka Mignon Specialita Color Options
Are you searching for an espresso grinder that blends in with your settings? You’ll want an espresso grinder like the Eureka Mignon Specialita that’s available in more than one color.
In fact, the Specialita is sold in four stylish colors: black, red, chrome, or white. This gives you quite a few options to customize the look of your grinder with, so you can get one that truly complements your kitchen’s décor.
On the flipside, the Vario is only available in one basic color.
Baratza Vario Grounds Bin
If you’re wanting to grind larger servings of coffee than shots of espresso, then you’ll want to grind into something bigger than a portafilter. It would be incredibly inconvenient to grind into a small portafilter, then repeatedly have to transfer the grounds into another container.
That’s why the Vario includes a grounds bin. It’s a large capacity container that you can grind coffee directly into if you need more at one time.
Related Article: Baratza Vario vs Virtuoso
Eureka Mignon Specialita Touchscreen Panel
The Eureka Mignon Specialita’s monochrome touchscreen may not look as high-tech as other touchscreens, but it’s still a nice modern feature.
Imagine having a grinder in which all the settings you need are front and center. Using it is much easier than alternatives, which may have hidden buttons or options you could struggle to find.
Furthermore, the touchscreen’s high-contrast appearance makes it easy to read and navigate.
Baratza Vario Digital Control Panel
On the front of the Baratza Vario, you’ll find a digital control panel. This looks even more dated than the Specialita’s touchscreen, but it still has its benefits if you look past the appearance.
For instance, the panel makes repairing the Vario easy. If anything breaks in the panel, you can remove it and slip a new one in quickly.
Additionally, like with the Specialita’s touchscreen, the Vario’s panel keeps everything you need in one place. As a result, the grinder is remarkably user-friendly.
Eureka Mignon Specialita Anti-Clumping Design
Clumps are an unfortunate part of grinding coffee and espresso. Even more unfortunately, they can impact the flavor of your drinks, as your coffee or espresso machine may not be able to evenly soak the grounds when there’s a clump.
The Specialita is equipped to deal with the clump problem before it can even occur. Its design incorporates anti-clumping elements that stop clumps before they can form, leading to a balanced extraction.
Majesty Coffee works tirelessly to bring our customers the best prices for the best grinders. We’re happy to include our Baratza and Eureka grinders in that statement.
Which is Right for You?
We could recommend either one of the grinders in this list to home baristas. Both are high-quality and remarkably affordable.
There are, however, specific reasons to pick either one.
Price is usually a good starting point. In this case, the Baratza Vario is the less expensive of the two grinders, making it a viable option for those on a tighter budget.
Beyond price, consider the aesthetics of the grinder. Do you want something that looks a little more modern or that comes in different colors? Then you’ll prefer the Specialita here, since it has a touchscreen and multiple color versions.
Be sure to think about the types of coffee you’re going to be making, too. If you’re going to make large batches of drip coffee, you’ll love the Vario’s included grounds bin.
Consider your experience with grinders, as well. A more experienced barista may find the Vario’s stepped grind adjustment system a little limiting. The Specialita’s stepless design will give you all the flexibility you need.
This is the bottom line:
Buy the Eureka Mignon Specialita if you’re searching for a more visually versatile grinder or one that will give you the maximum control over the grind.
On the flipside, the Baratza Vario will do nicely for you if you want a more affordable or beginner-friendly grinder.