Varia VS3 Review - The best entry-level espresso grinder?
With home espresso becoming more and more popular, people are trying to improve their techniques. Producing a high-quality espresso requires great coffee beans but also a great grinder. Grinding the beans is an essential step in the espresso-making process. It determines the size and consistency of the coffee grounds. The Varia VS3 is a home-grade espresso grinder that is designed to deliver exceptional results.
Overview of the Varia VS3
The Varia VS3 is a new compact single-dose espresso grinder for home. It's motor and quality burrs make it capable of producing a fine espresso grind. The step-less settings can be easily adjusted to suit different types of coffees and brewing methods. It's simple no-display look makes for an easy-to-use grinder.
If you are interested in this grinder, it is available in our store!
Performance and Quality
The Varia VS3 is equipped with 38mm conical burrs designed to produce an espresso grind. The burrs operate at a low RPM to help to reduce heat buildup and grind size distribution.
Despite being conical burrs, generally known for producing a slightly wider grind distribution, the Varia VS3's burrs produce a surprisingly clear and refined coffee. This is thanks to the combination of low RPM operation and precision settings, which help to optimize the grinding process and deliver exceptional results.
When we tested the grind consistency with our Kruve Sifters, we found that the grind distribution was in fact a bit wide. This makes it easier to calibrate it since you have a larger area of great coffee. The overall quality of the coffee produced by the Varia VS3 is still high, making it a good choice for home espresso enthusiasts.
The Varia VS3 is designed to make it simple to adjust the grind size and switch between different brewing methods. The dial for adjusting grind size covers the full range from fine espresso to course pour-over.
With the Varia's stepless adjustment system, it"s easy to dial in the exact grind size required for espresso. The adjustment has a positive feel, with no play, making it easy to switch between settings and come back to the same position. Furthermore, the adjustment process is smooth and precise.
The VS3 has a 30g capacity to hold just the right amount of coffee beans for a single dose. I would prefer a bigger hopper for pour-over brews. The hopper includes bellows and an anti-popcorn feature to help prevent beans from being expelled during the grinding process.
The bellows are effective in reducing retention, but they can be bulky and stick out significantly from the grinder. The anti-popcorn feature is not as effective and causes beans to get stuck on it. Despite this, the hopper is a useful feature that helps to streamline the grinding process and ensure a consistent result.
A quiet grinder
The first thing I noticed about the Varia is how quiet this grinder is. Other home grinders at this price point at pretty loud, looking at you Sette 30. At the expense of grinding somewhat more slowly, it is possible to run this grinder without waking up the rest of the household. It is much quieter than any other grinder we have used, so that's a trade-off I am happy to make.
A static mess
The Varia VS3 has a few drawbacks to consider. One issue is the potential for static buildup during the grinding process. While this tends to decrease over time, it may be a nuisance. One month later this effect is much reduced, although not yet eliminated. We highly suggest using the RDT method.
The grinder also requires the use of bellows to reduce retention, which can be bulky and stick out significantly from the machine. The Varia VS3 is slower than other grinders on the market, which could be a drawback for some. The charger is also quite big so you will need some space on your counter. Additionally, the Varia VS3 may not be the best choice for those who primarily brew filter coffee, as it is optimized for producing fine coffee grounds suitable for espresso.
Comparison to Other Grinders
When compared to other grinders on the market, the Varia VS3 holds up well. It is priced competitively and offers a range of features that makes it suitable for use in a home setting. In terms of performance, it beats other espresso grinders in its price point for espresso, providing great value for money. However, there are other grinders like the Fellow Ode that do a better job for filter coffee, for those who use it mostly for brew.
We have a comparaison of other entry level espresso grinders here!
Who is it for
If you want to make espresso at home, the Varia VS3 is a great choice. With its capacity to produce fine coffee grounds, the Varia VS3 is for people looking to get into espresso. It's also an upgrade from the Breville Smart Grinder but if you have a bit more money I would recommend the DF64.
Since this grinder is more oriented towards espresso, it may not be the best choice for those who primarily brew filter coffee. While it can still produce good coffee for filter methods, other grinders on the market are specifically designed for this purpose and may be a better fit for those who prioritize filter coffee brewing.
Overall, the Varia VS3 is a quality entry-level espresso grinder. It's definately worth considering if you want to get into espresso or want an upgrade. It offers level of performance that make it stand out from many of the other grinders on the market. If you are an espresso enthusiast who is looking for a grinder that will produce fine coffee grounds and deliver top-quality espresso, the Varia VS3 is worth considering.
We have it available for you in our store!
Featured in this article
VARIA VS3 Grinder
The Varia VS3 is so precise, it's like wizardry in your kitchen! This wonder of a grinder lets you customize every cup with its stepless adjustment. Just give the 30g hopper a turn and you're off to exploring endless possibilities for brewing deliciousness - making this puppy an essential tool for any home barista worth their beans.