There are two things we take very seriously in this life: one is doughnuts, the other is coffee (not surprisingly, they go together hand in hand). While the bulk of our day is consumed with talking about, reading about, and making doughnuts, we felt it necessary to focus on our other interest and write about the Vario coffee grinder and emphasize how great this product is.
Most coffee experts as well as everyday, casual drinkers agree that the best tasting coffee is brewed with freshly ground beans. Once beans are ground, they begin to oxidize, much like an opened bottle of wine. Old pre-ground coffee has a tendency to taste bitter, and with the proliferation of inexpensive grinders, more and more people are buying whole bean coffee to grind right before they brew. Of course, finding the RIGHT grinder for the price is the tough part. Grinders exist in every form and size and expense bracket.
Now, while a novice coffee drinker may be able to get away with the luck of the draw we needed the best!! Sublime Doughnuts, Inc., founded in 2008, launched its flagship store in Atlanta, Georgia’s West Midtown district. Sublime is a specialty doughnut and bakeshop with the mission to up-hold its name by selling the highest quality products. To uphold our mission to serve the highest quality products we serve fresh French pressed coffee, which is ground to order. This is significant because we serve up to 300 guests a day, which means we sell 1,000 – 2,000 doughnuts and nearly 150 cups of coffee.
Our coffee service is sustained with ONE Vario Coffee Bean Grinder. The grinders settings “espresso,” “filter,” and “press” perfectly correlates to the amount of water in our 12 oz., 16 oz., and 20 oz French pressed coffee cups. The grinder is easy to operate, makes a wonderful consistent cup of coffee with perfectly ground beans, and is sturdy enough to withstand a commercial volume.
Sublime Doughnuts whole-heartedly endorses Vario Coffee Bean Grinders as the best coffee bean grinder.
Kamal Grant and
the Sublime Team
Sublime Doughnuts, Atlanta, GA
The feedback is in and it’s very positive! The Vario-E, our new weight based grinder that was launched in Houston at the SCAA, has been put to work! We were anxious to see how the Vario-E would perform in a live, busy coffee shop setting, so we loaned the only two we have to Noble Coffee in Ashland, OR and Thump Coffee in Bend, OR to put it through its paces. See our earlier blog for our story on Thump Coffee. We didn’t have an Esatto for them to try, but they were happy to have the Vario-E!
At Noble, they have been using it at their walkup window, brewing 2 Chemex at a time, all day long and going through around 25 pounds of coffee a week. They have around six different people using it.
Jared Rennie, Owner at Noble Coffee says “To sum it up, we love it! It saves us SO much time, the accuracy is wonderful, the footprint is great, and everyone loves it”. One piece of feedback from Jared was a desire for a larger hopper and we were glad that we were able to let him know that we’ve already manufactured hopper extenders (which will work with all our hoppers BTW). Each extension adds 9oz capacity, about 3 to 4 inches in additional height and can be stacked up to 3 high. They will be available from our website at the end of July.
Kent Chapple from Thump Coffee is really pleased with the consistency of the weight, using the Vario-E, in comparison to the pre-weighing approach they previously used with their Ditting. For him, the hopper size is not an issue as they like how the grinder fits neatly under their overhead cabinets.
Kent says “Initial brews have the staff very excited. We are producing delicious coffee with much less hassle and mess. Use of the machine is very intuitive and after I set the grind, the training time for another barista was about 30 seconds”.
Interest is high on the Vario-E and the Esatto and we are in production now. We plan to have them available in North America at the end of July!
Photos below are of the Vario-E at Noble Coffee, Ashland, OR.
Wow, what a week it’s been! Our new weight-based grinding products, the Esatto and Vario-E were announced last Tuesday (4/19). We knew that this would cause a stir and we were right! The Twitter world has been a chorus of chatter! Our phone and email conversations just got WAY longer – everyone wants to talk about it. We’d have to say that pretty much all the feedback has been very positive, so we know for sure we’re on the right track. Sure, we have had some pushback, and that is to be expected whenever you come out with a new product. However, overall we are so impressed with the thought and debate that the industry is giving to the introduction of weight-based grinding (WBG). People are trying to figure out how it might work for them, especially in their work/cafe settings. We’ve had conversations with many coffee people who would like to try the products out, not just at SCAA, but testing it real-time in their cafes. Here’s the thinking from Kent Chappell of Thump Coffee in Bend, Oregon on how the Esatto could help provide a solution to his increasing customer demand for pour-over.
“We would use the Esatto with our pourover bar and our existing Preciso. We are currently pre-weighing little canisters of beans for the pourover. But, as the brew method is gaining in popularity, keeping track of the contents and amount in each container is becoming cumbersome. We are also wrestling with the issue of serving more than 1 size of drink, which means having different amounts pre-weighed in the same kind of canisters. We have a complicated system of marking each canister and updating a chart with the varietal, roast date and mass of its contents. This system will eventually break down as the pourover program continues to grow.
The Esatto would be a perfect fit for us, because we feature 1 premium bean on pourover at a time, and it would allow us to serve different sized cups. All we would have to keep track of is what is in the hopper. It would also allow us to skip the tedious steps of pre-weighing and charting. We would improve quality by making fewer mistakes with our manual weighing and charting system. And of course we love the Preciso for its consistency and accuracy (for this application, I believe it produces a better cup than even the Vario)
As for the quantity, we serve an average of about 80 pourover cups per day. We are currently limiting the pourover to certain time periods when we can handle the additional labor it takes to prepare a single cup. As much as our staff and customers seem to like the single cup service, it has been difficult to integrate the pourover bar into our current workflow during busy times. I see the Esatto as a potential component in streamlining that workflow.”
The Esatto will be a great solution for Kent and Thump Coffee. We’d love to hear more stories like this, come and talk to us at the SCAA this week (booth # 1825), or send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve been at it again – we can’t stop! We love to innovate and give our customers improved products and functionality everywhere we can. Not just innovate for the sake of fun or wow factor. Of course we love those aspects, but we’re truly about giving you an improved coffee grinding experience that will result in a consistent and delicious cup of coffee, and support you in giving your customers a ‘wow’ experience that has them becoming repeat customers.
Last year at the SCAA in Anaheim, we were talking with Jared at Noble Coffee, all about the on-going rise in manual brewing. Jared talked about what a great tool our grinders were for this, but the whole pre-weighing of beans –especially in the busy café, was a pain. What could Baratza do? Well we love a challenge, so we focused this year on how to marry the weighing with the grinding of beans. We developed an accessory, the Esatto, that is designed specifically for use with your Maestro Plus, Virtuoso or Preciso. This innovative addition to your grinder will allow you to grind precise dosages of coffee using real-time weight-based control. With its easy assembly and simple operation, you will be automatically dosing ground coffee to within +/- 0.2 gram repeatedly.
In addition, we have designed a new Vario, the Vario-E, that is a fully integrated weight based grinder. Baratza’s groundbreaking Vario-E uses real time weight-based grinding with a built-in electronic scale. Set the weight you want, the Vario-E does the rest, weighing the ground coffee within a tenth of a gram while grinding, and stopping automatically.
How cool is all this?! We are so excited about it as we feel that it’s going to be a real game changer for so many cafes/coffee shops. Many cafes want to showcase a selection of beans at one time, be they a Single Origin or seasonal blend, offering the customer a choice for the bean and the brew method. Using the Baratza solution you could easily set up two to three dedicated grinders, each set to match the particular weight and grind type best suited the particular bean, and all that for the price of one ‘commercial’ grinder. We’ve even come up with a new hopper extender. With one extension, you can hold about 17.5 ounces (500 grams).
We will have the Esatto and Vario-E ready to ship in June.
Come check us out at the SCAA. We’ll be at booth #1825. This year we’re having our own manual brew bar, manned by some great local baristas. Come see the newest weight based grinding solution – we feel you will be charmed, intrigued and desirous!
Mark Prince’s comprehensive review of Baratza grinders is informative about the capabilities of the specific Baratza Grinders, but also helps all of us understand what we should look for in a coffee grinder. Baratza Grinders SM (3)