Last Updated: August 2017
Both the Baratza Vario 885 and the Baratza Vario 886 offer up several unique features and distinctions to make them some of the best coffee grinders on the market. In fact, the Vario 886 is simply the most recent version of the Baratza Vario line. Because both machines are the same price, choosing the better of the two is a bit of a challenge. In this comparison, you can discover which one would work best for your unique needs.
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Baratza Vario 885 Features
The Baratza Vario 885 is still one of the most popular grinders available from this manufacturer. It comes with a variety of features designed to please even the most finicky coffee enthusiasts. They include:
- 230 unique and repeatable grind settings that allow users to choose very fine or very course grinds – or anything in between.
- One-touch dosing and three user programmable buttons to make daily grinding a snap.
- A ceramic burr that provides the ultimate performance and remains sharp for twice as long as its steel counterparts.
- A high-torque motor and belt-driven to ensure minimal heat generation.
- A digital display for ease of use.
Baratza Vario 886 Features
The Baratza Vario 886 is simply an updated version of the previous Vario 885. It offers all of the same features as the 885 with one major change: the 886 was manufactured with the very popular metal porta-holder, which is more durable and stable than the one found on the 885. However, Vario 885 owners do have the option to purchase an upgrade kit.
The Vario 886 has the same motor, the same burrs, and the same electronics as its predecessor.
Consumers who want to purchase a luxury coffee grinder expect not only beauty, but also a streamlined design that makes the grinding experience a more enjoyable one. It seems that Baratza thought these things through when it developed the Vario line. These machines are small and compact, but even though they have a very small footprint on your counter, they can both deliver some huge taste. The Vario 885 was the first of the two, and while it offers up phenomenal design in terms of overall ease of use, the porta-holder design was a bit lacking. The Vario 886 makes things better with the introduction of the metal porta-holder and more stable arms.
In terms of performance, both machines offer the exact same technology. There are some 250 grind settings with presets for grinding some of the most popular types, including pressed coffees, espressos, and traditional manual brews. Most consumers who reviewed these products claimed that they were impressed by the overall performance provided by their grinders. They are simple enough for the beginner to use, but they also perform well enough for even the most particular coffee connoisseur.
The Baratza Vario line is constructed of both metal and plastic, which keeps it lightweight yet still powerful. Because both machines have the exact same burrs and casings, they rank equally in this category. However, the Baratza Vario 886 offers up the metal porta-holder, and users claim that it feels more durable in their hands and makes the grinding and brewing process feel more stable. The Baratza 885 did not come with the metal porta-holder, but an upgrade kit for that particular model is available at Baratza’s website.
Both of these machines fall within the $400 to $500 price range, making them luxury models when compared to inexpensive hand grinders or even electric models with bare-bones features. When it comes to these offerings from Baratza, though, consumers really are paying for a high-quality product that will last for years to come. Features such as automatic timers and presets simplify the grind process, and for many people, it is well worth the price.
Which is Best?
There is only one real difference in the Baratza 885 vs. the Baratza 886, and that is the metal porta-holder with redesigned arms. Thus, if you are purchasing your first Baratza grinder, we recommend the 886. It is the same price as the 885, but it offers the upgraded design. On the other hand, if you already own the Baratza 885 and you want to know whether upgrading to the 886 is worth the money, we recommend visiting Baratza’s website to check out the upgrade kit.
Baratza Vario coffee grinders are some of the most popular in the world. They have one of the smallest footprints out there, but there is no sacrificing power. You can create nearly any cup of coffee you can imagine with relative ease, and because these machines have presets designed to automate the process, you can simply press a button and walk away. It’s easy to see why coffee connoisseurs prefer Baratza products.