Tag Archives: Four Barrel Coffee

Commercial applications: Forte vs the Vario/Vario-W

by Kyle Anderson & Kyra Kennedy, Co-Owners of Baratza

December 12, 2013

Our experience with the Vario grinders over the last 3+ years has helped us understand the unique requirements of Baratza grinders in a commercial setting. We have continually improved these grinders to be more stout, however, without starting from scratch, it is not possible for us to make them as durable as the Forté. Even with improvements, the Vario adjustment arms can be accidentaly knocked out of adjustment or stones in the coffee beans can cause the drive belt to strip. We would recommend the Vario and Vario-W for about 1 lb./day in a light commercial setting. Any higher use than this is better suited to a Forte.

In contrast, the Forté was designed for commercial settings where grind accuracy, durability and reliability are paramount. The Forté is built around an all metal grinding chamber which produces an extremely accurate grind. The upgraded belt drive is capable of delivering 3 times more torque than a Vario belt drive. A faster gear ratio, combined with a powerful DC motor, increases the speed of grind and duty cycle. An all metal macro and micro adjustment system delivers a positive feel and secure grind settings. We recommend the Forté for about 5 lb/day on a continuous basis in the demanding environments of restaurants, cafés, and farmer’s markets.

Many cafés and roasters have made the decision to choose the Forté to support their businesses and here are just a few examples:

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Four Barrel Coffee Roasters, use the Forté-BG for their outside events. The weekend of the Renegade Fair, three Forte-BG grinders provided all the grinding action for approximately 700 pour overs each day, estimating that one grinder did about 300-350 cups over a 6-7hr period, while the others did between 150-175. At 24.5g per cup, that’s about 40lb of coffee per day.

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Counter Culture CoffeeThe Variety Show – the second installment of Counter Culture Coffee’s annual Works in Progress series – explored botanical coffee varieties with the owners of Finca El Puente, Moisés Herrera and Marysabel Caballero.  Erin McCarthy, 2013 World Brewers Cup Champion traveled with the tour using the Forte-BG to brew coffee for the tastings!

 

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1237594_10151856083010560_1344480058_nIntelligentsia Coffee Roasters – The Forté-BG is the grinder on truck for all their pour-over coffee on the“Mini Bar” parked at the High Line Hotel, in Chelsea, New York City. See Sprudge review

 

 

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Onyx Coffee Bar in Bellingham, Washington

 

 

 

new fortes

The Slow Bar at Steamdot Coffee in Anchorage, Alaska

Kyra & Nick Cho at SCAA Cafe

Forte Feedback from the Professionals!

June 4, 2013

At SCAA in Boston, there was a satellite cafe at the entrance to the show, organized by Nick Cho and Elise Hogan of Kalita USA. They invited Prima Coffee, Marco, La Marzocco, and Baratza to join them in providing the coffee service. They also invited Baristas and coffee professionals from across the US to come and prepare coffees offered from some of the best Roasters in the industry. The attendees were guaranteed excellent coffee every day!

The Forté was on the brew bar – it’s first ‘outing’ – and was really put through it’s paces from a multitude of baristas who had never seen it before, not to mention the huge crowd constantly lined up for coffee! We were anxious to hear what they had to say and reached out to ask about their experiences around the areas of:

  • Ease of Setup
  • Ease of Use with Interface
  • Intuitiveness
  • Consistency
  • Durability
  • The new Shut-Off Hopper

The feedback below from professionals from Intelligentsia Coffee, Sightglass Coffee, and Four Barrel Coffee all point to a grinder that answers the requests we’d received for a quality, commercial, weight-based grinder.

Jesse Raub, Wholesale Educator, Intelligentsia Coffee:

“It seemed super simple to set up. The interface was great — after a minute of studying it, I was able to set the dose without even thinking. Everything on the grinder seemed spot on. I was able to use it without any extra instructions. The weight function was great — I set it for 30g and got 30.1g everytime. It was really amazing. I was grinding right around the middle setting across the board, and was grinding 30 grams at a time. I went through a kilo in three hours, so it cranked out 30 batches with no trouble at all. The Shut-off Hopper worked great!”

Annie McGee, Wholesale Account Representative, Sightglass Coffee Roasters

“Ease of set up was great, I was able to hop on the brew bar and immediately make the needed adjustments to begin service. I think what really impressed me was the volume that the grinder could handle while still providing consistency. In a 4 hour period I brewed 5 lbs of coffee, which is an incredible amount for a pour over station. During that time the grinder was able to keep up with my flow of service and remained consistent with dose and grind.”

Alex Powar, Education, Four Barrel Coffee Roasters

“Overall I’m really impressed with the sturdiness of the build and more than anything else, I’m particularly excited for what this grinder means for high end restaurant accounts that are looking for a grinder that can satisfy their coffee brewing needs. One of the biggest hurdles in restaurant coffee is convincing accounts of the necessity of spending time to weigh out coffee in and coffee out. The dream scenario from a wholesaler perspective is to find a durable grinder that produces consistent particle size and predictable integrated weight-based dosing that one can lock in so that it’s not as easy for baristas or restaurant staff to void the programmed parameters.”