The Baratza Forte vs Vario: What’s Different Between These Two High End Coffee Grinders

Baratza Forte vs VarioYou may have heard that using freshly ground coffee is the best way to ensure that every cup is fresh.

Or maybe you’re running a coffee shop and need a good grinder so that those working for you will be able to make several different kinds of coffee.

Regardless of the reason, it can be hard to choose the right kind of grinder.

Luckily, there are brands like Baratza that create grinders that are made to be able to withstand commercial use.

However, even though they have plenty of great grinders, you may not always be able to tell what makes each style stand out from the others.

An example of this is between the well known Baratza Forte models AP & BG and the Baratza Vario.

Both of these options are commercial-grade, offer a lot of value and can really improve each cup of coffee through creating the perfect grounds.

First the Baratza Forte Grinders

Baratza Forte BGThe Baratza Forte is just one of multiple types of commercial-grade coffee grinders made by Baratza.

There are actually two different Forte models whch we have compared here.

To suit the needs of a number of different people, there are a few different types with key differences that range from the more simple to the technologically advanced.

With the Forte especially, you’ll be able to achieve results that are perfect for just about any kind of brew you may be looking to make. From the kind of beans to the coarseness of the ground, there are so many different settings and features that can help you get what you want.

The Forte will offer you 260 different grind settings, which goes to show that it’s really up for anything.

With a 10.5oz hopper and a 54mm ceramic burr, it will have an easy time grinding up larger amounts of coffee. The large motor gives it more strength and a greater capacity to make any grounds easy.

This machine is going to be the ideal choice for coffee shops or restaurants that need to do a lot of grinding. It has the power, capacity and settings to be a great all-in-one tool for several different kinds of grounds.

The Forte is also made with a larger digital screen to help you with making your selections whether you want to grind by time, weight or dosing.

It’s also a metal machine, so you’ll be able to trust that it will last you many years.


  • The Baratza Forte is a heavy-duty, durable device that is made for a lot of use.
  • Uses a 10oz hopper to be able to handle more grinding than the Vario.
  • It’s made with a larger motor, making it more powerful than other options.


  • The Baratza Forte is the more expensive of the two options.
  • It may be a little harder to move and clean for some users because it is a larger machine.

Next the Baratza Vario Grinder

Baratza Forte vs VarioWhile the Forte is the large, high-tech option the Vario is the simpler and more laid back option.

Aside from simple manual and on/off buttons, there are also three buttons that you’ll be able to set for specific weight preferences so you won’t have to keep a close eye to make sure you get the right amount every time.

Overall, it’s a less expensive option than the Forte and will come with a few smaller caveats due to that difference.

One such difference is that you’ll get 230 grind settings , which is slightly less than the Forte but not by much.

The Vario is also a smaller machine, weighing in at about 9lbs in comparison to the 13lbs you get with the Forte. The hopper on this device will be slightly smaller at 8oz, which may work perfectly for those who may not need to grind quite as much as those looking for the heavy-duty option.

However, you will also see come similarities including the 54mm ceramic burr and convenient portafilter holder.

Basically, if you’re new to buying commercial-grade grinders or aren’t certain that you’ll need to do enough grinding to warrant a bigger machine, then the Vario is a great option to get started with.


  • Offers a less expensive option for those who don’t want a lot of frills.
  • The Vario is a lightweight device, making it easy to move around.
  • Simple and easy to use.


  • Offers 30 fewer grinding settings than the Forte.
  • The scale doesn’t function well with the portafilter holder in use.

What Are The Differences Between the Forte and the Vario?

Overall, the pricing between these two models is going to be quite a large factor. The Forte sits closer to a grand range while the Vario can be found for hundred less. That’s a pretty big deal for those who are keen on saving money.

Within that pricing difference, you’ll also find that the Vario is a smaller device with a fewer technical features. This might make it more suitable as an at-home device or perhaps something for a smaller coffee shop because it isn’t going to have the same overall power and space that you get with the Forte.

The Vario can also be a great entry point for those who are new to purchasing commercial-grade equipment and don’t want to dish out nearly a full grand for a grinder.

Meanwhile, the Forte brings a whole lot of power to the table as it’s able to grind through a large amount of beans quite easily, allowing you to make just about any adjustment you need for the perfect grounds.

When it comes to grind settings, the Vario is only a little short when compared to the Forte, which means it’s still got a lot of power and ability backing it up.

You can also expect that both devices will be very durable, so plan for them to last a long time.

The biggest difference here is whether you want the large, powerful, high-tech option or the smaller and more simple one.

Is the Forte Better then the Vario?

The matter of which device is more suitable is going to be up to each individual buyer, because not everyone is going to have the same needs.

For example, someone who wants a high-quality device for at-home use isn’t going to be looking for the same qualities that a busy coffee shop owner needs.

Something to consider would be just how much grinding you need to do. How much is the device going to be used?

Both of these grinders can handle a lot in the way of use, but the Forte may be better if you’re looking for the power to get through large amounts of coffee beans.

Meanwhile, if the use is going to be a little more on the casual side, there may be no need to spend the extra money on the Forte when the Vario will work perfectly well.

You may also want to think about the level of tech you want. Would a bigger screen be more of a benefit, or is it not as important to you? Would having those 30 extra grind settings be useful?

Overall, you’re going to need to balance out the benefits and the cost in order to determine which will be the perfect fit for your home, shop, restaurant or any other place where a coffee grinder might be a necessary tool to have around.

Regardless of which you choose, you’ll still end up with a durable machine that will surely be a highly useful tool.

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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