Baratza Vario vs Niche Zero: Which One Should You Buy?

If you’re anything like me, you probably go to great lengths to get the freshest possible cup of coffee. A major part of that is finding a high-quality grinder. But how do you choose?

That’s where this blog comes in. I’ll be reviewing two of the most popular products, the Baratza Vario and the Niche Zero.

The Niche Zero is an innovative new grinder that’s completely customizable. The Vario is a classic grinder that’s been around for years. This blog will be a side

These are the topics we’ll cover in this Baratza Vario vs Niche Zero comparison:

  • Characteristics that both grinders have.
  • Which qualities are different between them.
  • How to decide which one is suitable for you.

Let’s get started.

Baratza Vario Flat Burr Coffee Grinder

Welcome to Baratza’s Vario. This is the cheapest grinder in our line, but don’t let that cost fool you! It has all of the functionality and delicious results you would expect from an expensive grinder.

From generous grind settings to a massive bean hopper, this will quickly become your favorite piece of equipment during your morning routine.

So as long as you are looking for something that won’t break your budget but still offer incredibly precise grinding capabilities, give the Baratza Vario a call!

  • Specialty Coffee Association Award Winning Grinders – Baratza grinders are preferred by coffee professionals and backed by Baratza’s world-class support.
  • 230 Grind Settings – For dialing in espresso and all brewing methods (Aeropress, Hario V60, Chemex, French Press, and automatic brewers). Offers exceptional cup quality for home, office, or light commercial use.
  • High Performance – 54mm professional ceramic flat burrs by Mahlkonig, provide high throughput and maintain sharpness, and a built-in digital timer provides precise dosing. Programmable buttons allow you to save up to 3 different presets for repeatable, one-touch grinding.
  • Portafilter Holder – A heavy-duty, all-metal portaholder allows you to grind directly into your portafilter.
  • Warranty/Quality Parts – Engineered with 54mm professional ceramic flat burrs by Mahlkonig in Germany, plus a powerful DC motor. This combination creates a consistent grind and durability ensuring the longevity users have come to expect from the Baratza brand. The Vario is backed by Baratza’s world-class support and a 1-year warranty.

Niche Zero Coffee Grinder

What once started as an innovative idea funded by the Indiegogo campaign has made a real splash into the coffee grinder community.

The Niche Zero is compact and beautiful in its design, as it’s a virtual replica of what most home chefs would already use in their kitchen slash bistros.

This is one to be on the lookout for if you want something that looks elegant and comes with automatic settings!

 

Read: 4 Alternatives Ways To Dispose Coffee Grounds

What Are The Similarities In Baratza Vario And Niche Zero?

#1 Contactless Grinding

Imagine if you had to manually position your grinding dispenser underneath your portafilter or a bin every single time you want to grind some coffee beans? How annoying would that be?

It would be so inconvenient, especially in the morning when trying to prepare for work on an empty stomach, but thankfully with either of these 2 grinders (the Baratza Vario or the Niche Zero) – you won’t have to do that!

They come with the patented hands-free grinding dispensing system which means they can securely hold the grinder’s container in place the entire time and it has a display too!

#2 Grinder Pace

There’s nothing better than a cup of good coffee in the morning, except for maybe a second cup of fresh coffee later in the day.

But it might be time to upgrade your home espresso equipment if you have been facing problems like slow grinding speeds or inconsistent shots being pulled from your current grinder.

Fortunately for you, there are two new products – Baratza Vario and Niche Zero – that can help solve these problems and allow you to brew coffee even faster than before!

#4 Soundless Grinding

One more quality that some people are very particular about is the volume of their grinder. If you’ve ever owned a grinder with razor-sharp blades and powerful motors, then you’re likely familiar with the ultra-high-pitch whirs that make every morning a real nightmare for those in your immediate vicinity.

Who needs this kind of stress when all one needs is something to wake up to? That’s why we designed the Baratza Vario and Niche Zero not to be just powerful but also incredibly quiet – so you can enjoy fresh coffee no matter what time of day it is!

What Are The Differences Between Baratza Vario vs Niche Zero?

#1 Stepped vs Stepless Grind Arrangement

Setting up your coffee grinder is necessary to ensure you’re getting the best flavor when brewing your morning Joe. It’s kind of like custom fitting a baseball cap; no matter how great it looks on the shelf, it won’t be most enjoyable until it fits just right.

The Vario and Niche Zero both have different styles of grind adjustment systems – with stepped versus stepless options respectively – but both will help you achieve your desired texture!

#2 Overall Size

While their exterior dimensions may not be too vastly different, there are small differences that differentiate the Niche Zero from the Baratza Vario.

The Vario is 5.50 inches wide, 7 inches deep, and 14.25 inches tall overall; in comparison, the Zero is 4.8’ wide by 8.3 inches long and 12.24’ high in total.

Scale-wise – on paper at least – this means that the Vario is larger than its competitor but if you have to work with limited space, then it might make more sense to go with something a bit more compact like that offered by Zero.

As most things go, size isn’t everything so keep this in mind when you’re looking at both of these grinders!

#3 Burr Shape 

Coffee bean grinding just wouldn’t be possible without burrs. Like with grind adjustment systems, there are two types of burrs: conical and flat. Now we’ll compare the difference in flavor from one coffee maker to its counterpart – which utilizes the opposite burr type.

The Niche Zero runs on a conical burr, which is similar to the shape of an ice cream scoop. This cone-shaped burr grinds your coffee into bimodal particles listed on a chart you might find hanging up at your favorite art museum or “fine dining” restaurant featuring ratings for 10 different pots of coffee. The result is a light and zesty flavor in your coffee!

Consequently, we have chosen not to consider the Vario grinder by Baratza because it has flat burrs that do nothing but create perfectly uniform coffee grounds, which leads to a richer flavor!

#4 Burr Material

The burrs are the part that grinds the coffee beans up. Ideally, you will want a grinder with ceramic burrs (although less expensive models typically use stainless steel). Ceramic burrs remain sharper for an extended period of time than metallic ones do and they are also said to be quieter. Ceramic burrs generally don’t heat up like metallic ones do either, so they won’t negatively affect your coffee beans by burning them.

The Niche Zero uses metal burrs whereas the Vario has ceramic burrs. Metal burrs are often sharper than ceramic ones, but they can break if you drop the grinder or if it is jolted in any other way.

#5 Burr Size

There’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to burrs. Let’s look at the size of burrs in both of these grinders: The Zero has 63mm burrs, while the Vario has 54mm burrs. Are that nine millimeters really that significant?

It may not seem like much compared to other features on this list, but when comparing specs such as size, you have to think about what kind of impact small differences can make.

First, there are the obvious – smaller burrs means less surface area with which to crush coffee beans and therefore results in slower grinding speeds. But what does this mean for you?

Well, if you tend to be a speed freak who appreciates fast grinding speeds and opt for larger sized espresso grounds than small French press ones, then you might find yourself disappointed by this one.

But that’s not all – larger burrs are typically sturdier since they undergo heavier use thanks to those who desire high-end quality from their grinders!

#6 Hopper Capacity

When you’re planning a big gathering, the length of time that you have to make your coffee can be rather short if your grinder can’t produce many cups all at once.

While the Niche Single-Serve and Vario have a similar amount of features available, there’s one very significant difference between the two.

The Niche Single-Serve has a more compact hopper and while it’s able to function admirably, the Vario towers above it with an 8-ounce hopper to help facilitate its desirable grinding capacity.

This is beneficial for people who don’t want to spend lots of money on coffee every month or are responsible for keeping their office’s espresso machine!

#7 Niche Zero Wood Accents

It’s just as much a rule that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but it seems to be upsettingly forgotten. We spend our lives decorating our homes, picking out clothes we like, and making other cosmetic changes to ourselves and our surroundings.

The Niche Zero has real wooden accents which is an excellent touch of visual warmth. For those who happen to love the vintage look or even rustic settings then the Niche Zero would be perfect for you.

#8 Baratza Vario Digital Display Panel

Everything about the Vario can be updated and is adjustable through one simple panel. The first benefit to this that you might think of is obvious: you don’t have to struggle to find buttons hidden on the grinder somewhere.

Everything you need is just sitting right there on the main interface so all you have to do is go ahead and tweak it as needed. Another benefit, though, is that if there’s an issue with some aspect of the panel, you can replace it all at once with minimal effort.

#9 Niche Zero Direct Grind Path

The Niche Zero has a shortened and compacted grinding path that helps ensure minimal retention. With grind retention in check, each beverage you brew is as fresh as it can be because nothing outside of what you want to brew gets mixed into your grounds during the grinding process.

This feature is unlike most grinders on the market that have grind paths that are too long and full of dead space between the burrs and hopper which isn’t something you have to deal with when you’re brewing with the Niche Zero!

#10 Baratza Vario Programmable Buttons

If you’re someone who doesn’t like clocks but loves coffee, it’s time to rethink your priorities because the barista world has this solution for you.

You see, the Vario comes equipped with three buttons that can be programmed to whatever time you like. So program it for 5 minutes or 7 minutes – whatever floats your boat.

If later on in the day, it’s about that time to get another shot of something caffeinated, why not call on this little grinder. Just press the button and let it do the work for you!

#11 Niche Zero Cord Storage

Frustrating isn’t it? That ugly, irritating cord gets in the way around any gadget. It drives us up the wall and makes us want to bang our heads against a wall!

Well with the Niche Zero Grinder, this hassle has been minimized to a certain extent because of its helpful easy-to-store cord compartment on the back.

This means nuisance tucks away any unwanted cables so they don’t get in your way when you’re grinding your favorite herbs.

#12 Baratza Vario Portafilter Or Grounds Bin

When it comes to grinding your beans for espresso, there is a lot of debate. Some think that grinding in the portafilter with a bench grinder is optimal as it disperses your grounds evenly and you have fewer chances of clumping or any other issues.

Others argue that ground coffee actually expands twice its original size when wet. This makes careful precision weighings difficult to achieve.

An espresso maker like the Niche Zero can only hold ground coffee directly – it doesn’t have a portafilter (even though they sell grinders separately, of course).

The Vario, on the other hand, can be used with one of their grinders or an external grinder if preferred. It comes with an attachment that allows you to use it with multiple sizes of grinders as well as some different styles/types.

Read More: 5+ Savory Ways To Include Coffee To Your Meal

Pricing Consideration

When customers have demonstrated a willingness to make a purchase, we’ll examine the price. We’re pleased to say that Majesty Coffee provides reasonable pricing.

Which One Should You Buy? 

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