Baratza Sette vs Vario: What’s the Difference and Which is the Best Coffee Grinder?

Baratza is a common name in the coffee grinding industry, well-known for their variety of high-quality electric grinders. Deciding on the perfect grinder can be difficult, as there are so many different brands, and lines of products within those brands. We’re going to take a look at two Baratza grinders today, the Sette and the Vario

If you’re looking to upgrade your morning brew, or add a new gadget to your coffee setup, a Baratza grinder is a top quality choice. These grinders are large, and offer great flexibility and functionality. Specific features of each model may suit different lifestyles more than others.

The Sette is great for someone looking to get more from their beans, but not the best for commercial use. If you’re looking for more control over your brew, and more ability to experiment, this is a great, more affordable option than the Vario.

If you’re running a business, or just really love making and experimenting with coffee, the Vario will offer more useful features. If you just want to upgrade your grinder and get a better brew, you might not need to splurge all the way for a Vario, when the Sette is a great alternative.

Whatever your specific needs may be, the right grinder is out there. We will be comparing two popular grinder models from Baratza in this article to help others narrow down their decision.

Let’s begin with the Baratza Sette.

Main Features of the Baratza Sette

There Sette grinders come in a few different variations, dependent on the number of grind settings the machine has. The Baratza Sette 270 Conical Burr Coffee Grinder comes packed with 270 different grind settings, meaning you have the control to get the exact type of grind desired.

The variety of settings allow for a coarse grind you’d use in a French press, all the way to the finest grind possible for use in an Aeropress. All of the settings in between mean you get to really experiment with your grind, and find the perfect texture for each type of coffee you brew.

This grinder is designed to grind at high speeds, able to go through five grams each second, with very little retention. It works by driving the outer burr to grind, while keeping the inner burr fixed in place. This is an effective method that produces a quick, consistent grind.

The Sette offers a lot of control with your grind, and allows you to set a desired grinding time, or choose from a few fixed options to remain consistent each time. The control panel is lit with an LCD display, which makes using the different functions clear and simple.

Another great function of the LCD display is it saves previous grind settings, so if you forget your favorite setting, you can go back and find it again later. This is especially useful for someone who likes to experiment a lot, but doesn’t always have the foresight to keep track of what did and did not work for them.

There is also a smaller, entry-level Sette grinder, which offers most of the same features, but cuts off at 30 different grind levels. It is still capable of achieving finer grinds necessary for brewing methods like an Aeropress. If the settings we’ve gone over so far feel overwhelming, this may be a better choice to transition into heavier duty coffee grinding.

Keep an eye on the product listings, as they tend to fluctuate from time to time.

Main Features of the Baratza Vario

This grinder is similar to the Sette, with 230 available grind settings. It also offers three different preset grinding settings, and an LCD display. A difference here is that the Vario has a digital scale for grinding your coffee by weight.

This machine uses ceramic burrs to achieve an even grind. It can grind between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of coffee per second, and the grinds deposit through a removable grounds container.

This grinder is designed to minimize any build up from within the chambers, but also allows for easy clean up. Both the bean hopper and the ceramic burr can be easily removed without the use of any tools or safety precautions. This will make cleanup and any sort of inspection a breeze.

The addition of weight-based grinding is a useful tool for this grinder, as it’s an easy and accurate way to get the perfect brew. Using weight to measure out how much ground coffee will be used allows for an easily repeatable process.

The scale is important for someone who is running a cafe or similar situation where they will be making lots of coffee throughout the day. Weighing the grounds is an extremely simple and accurate way to ensure your coffee turns out the same each time.

If you already are in the habit of using a scale, this will minimize space taken up on the counter.

The Vario has a high torque motor and belt drive transmission that helps keep the heat generation from the machine to a minimum. This is important for keeping the beans from losing or changing flavor because of heat from the grinder.

As with the Sette, the prices for the Vario are often in flux, so you’ll want to check the product listings.

The Main Differences

While the two grinders have a lot in common, there are some key aspects that may influence your final decision. Consider your lifestyle, and which extra features will make your life easier, and which ones are just extra features.

Neither are entry-level grinders, so if you’re looking to purchase your first grinder, you may want to check out the best small electric burr grinders instead. Luckily, if you’re new to grinding but a big fan of the Sette grinder, you can get your hands on a more entry-level one.

The Sette has more grind settings than the Vario, though they both top 200, offering a huge selection of options.

When it comes to efficiency, both can grind a lot of coffee in a short amount of time. The Sette comes out the leader for this aspect with faster grinding times. The Sette can grind five grams per second, and the Vario grinders can grind between 1.6 and 2.2 grams per second.

The Baratza Vario has an eight ounce bin for collecting the ground coffee, the Vario-W has a five ounce bin, and the Sette has a 5.5-ounce bin. The Sette’s bin is anti-static, which helps to cut any potential grounds from sticking to the plastic.

The Vario comes with a scale, allowing for weight-based grinding. This function opens the doors for a whole new world of accuracy and precision. This feature is important for making consistent coffee in a simple way, because once you’ve nailed the perfect amount, you can weight it out each time and get the same results.

Prices on the lines of products vary, but the Sette grinders tend to be significantly less expensive than the Vario grinders. Of course, it’s important to remember the cost reflects the functionality, and it’s not always a bad idea to spend more money if it means you’ll get exactly what you need out of your product.


Any coffee enthusiast would agree that perfectly ground beans are essential to achieving the desired flavor out of your coffee. There are so many grinders, choosing one can seem like a convoluted process.

It comes down to figuring out exactly what you need. If you’re here to figure out what sets the Baratza Vario apart from the Baratza Sette, you probably are well-versed in your grinder knowledge, and are looking for something more heavy duty than a small grinder used for a personal French press.

The Sette is a great grinder for personal and smaller group use. It has an amazing assortment of functions, and can produce a speedy quick grind, ranging from coarse to extra fine.

If you’re looking to upgrade the quality of your coffee and grinder, but don’t necessarily need functionality for use outside of the home, the Sette would be a great choice.

The Vario grinders are great for a wider range of uses than the Sette grinders. If you’re looking to get a new grinder for a cafe, the Vario would suit your needs better than the Setter. It would also be a better choice for an extreme coffee enthusiast, because the weight-based grinding allows for better control and consistency.

Personally, I prefer to stick to a smaller grinder with less functionality, because I almost exclusively make French press and drip coffee, and know exactly how to get my desired result. Between the two Baratza varieties, I would go for the Sette as I don’t need the extra features of the Vario, and find it aligns with my financial abilities as well.

If you’re struggling to decide what the right grinder for your coffee-making needs is, take this product comparison into consideration as you consider your unique lifestyle. Both are great options, they just suit slightly different needs.

The Baratza Sette vs Vario: Coffee Grinders Compared

Baratza Sette Series and ForteBaratza is well known for their quality burr grinders and choosing one to purchase is understandably confusing with all the different options available.

Today we are going to talk about what makes the Sette different than the Vario. We will put the Vario up against its toughest competition yet since Baratza offered up its 3 Sette models to its consumers in 2016.

The Main Differences

While the Vario was built for use as a light commercial grinder, the Sette is truly a home grinder. While the Sette might be able to withstand some light cafe use, it’s designed primarily for home coffee enthusiasts that demand perfection from their grinders.

Perhaps the largest difference between the two, is where they have a burr to grind. Sorry, I couldn’t help it!

Literally, the Vario uses flat ceramic burrs to grind the coffee beans into submission while the Sette uses conical steel burrs. This allows the Sette to be a minimal retention grinder because the beans have nowhere to sit once ground.

Now there are whole forum posts devoted to which burr design is best. Trust me, I found them. But both burr designs are going to give you consistent grinding results based on the fact that they bring two surfaces together to crush the beans. Baratza has designed both of these grinders to be minimal retention grinders

Ceramic burrs tend to give you a few more fines than steel burrs. However, Vario has been designed with a narrow particle distribution making it superior to other ceramic burr grinders. Baratza has brought on the steel burrs because of their exact grinding consistency.

So let’s compare:

Baratza Vario

The Vario features 3 adjustable preset time buttons and macro and micro adjustments for accurate grinding and dosing into either your portafilter with the portaholder or into the included 8 oz grinds bin. This professional grade grinder is small enough to use at home and is a workhorse for use in a cafe. The 54mm ceramic burrs coupled with the high torque DC motor, grind the coffee during long grind cycles without heating up the beans.

The bean hopper holds 8 oz of beans and an additional extender can be purchased that can hold 9 more oz. Baratza also offers a shutoff hopper which allows you to remove the hopper with the beans in it so you can change between beans. Since this grinder was designed for commercial use, this is a no brainer but a somewhat new change that Baratza has added. Baratza has also made steel burrs for this machine for those that still prefer steel to ceramic.


  • Grind Speed 1.6-2.6 g/sec
  • Grind range 230-1150 microns
  • 10 Macro and 23 micro adjustments, 230 total combinations
  • 3 adjustable preset timer buttons plus a manual timer button, adjustable within 0.1 seconds
  • 8 oz bean hopper
  • 8 oz grinds bin
  • Portaholder and grinds bin included

Baratza Vario-W

The same great grinder but offered with the capability of accurate weight based grinding. The Vario-W offers the same footprint, macro and micro adjustments and ceramic burrs that exist in the Vario grinder, they’ve just upgraded it. It features a precision load cell that guarantees accurate weight based dosing, eliminating the need for an additional scale in your work space. This model does not have a portaholder like the basic Vario, but does come standard with a shutoff hopper.


  • Grind Speed 1.6-2.6 g/sec
  • Grind range 230-1150 microns
  • 10 macro and 23 micro adjustments, 230 total combinations
  • 3 adjustable preset buttons plus a manual start/stop button, adjustable within 0.1 gram
  • 10 oz bean shutoff hopper
  • 5 oz grinds bin

Baratza Sette 270

The Sette 270 as well as the entire Sette line, feature an entirely new design look and grinding technology. The 40 mm steel conical burrs and their placement create the perfect delivery of your grounds with minimal grind retention. The new design uses the outer burr to turn, while the inner burr is stationary. This grinder also has a different and unique look to it compared to the rest. The grinds bin isn’t enclosed like it is with the Vario grinders and it’s easier to switch between the portaholder and the grinds bin or even into your preferred brewing holder like the Hario V-60.

The Sette 270 is a time based grinder and like the Vario, is adjustable with 3 presets within 0.1 seconds. It also has macro and micro adjustments but the micro adjustment is stepless, making it almost infinite in grind combinations. It grinds faster than the Vario and the hopper has a shutoff key that makes it easy to switch between different beans.


  • Grind Speed 3.5g-5.5g/sec
  • Grind Range 230-950 microns
  • 30 macro and 9 stepless micro adjustments, 270 combinations, maybe more
  • 3 adjustable preset timer buttons plus a manual timer button, adjustable within 0.1 seconds
  • 10 oz bean shutoff hopper
  • 5.5 oz anti-static grinds bin
  • Adjustable portaholder, holds portafilter, grinds bin, or any other brewing holder

Sette 30 AP

For those who don’t need as much out of their grinders, the Sette 30 AP is Baratza’s economy model in the Sette line. The same great design, burrs, and timer based grinding in a much more affordable and simpler model. 30 steps of grinding adjustment coupled with the simple to use adjustable timer, make this the grinder accessible to those who want to get into excellent espresso grinding not spend a lot.


  • Grind Speed 3.5g-5.5g/sec
  • Grind Range 230-950 microns
  • 30 Macro steps of adjustment
  • Digital display with 2 time adjustment buttons allow for 0.1 second increments and a start/pause and stop button
  • 10 oz bean shutoff hopper
  • 5.5 oz anti-static grinds bin
  • Adjustable portaholder, holds portafilter, grinds bin, or any other brewing holder

Sette 270W

Baratza Virtuoso vs Sette Coffee Grinder
Baratza Sette 270W Coffee Grinder

The 270W is the final and most revolutionary of the Sette models featuring weight based grinding capability. Everything is the same in this model as in the 270 but it is further upgraded with a built in scale with a 20 millisecond response time and a tenth of a gram sensitivity. If you require a weight based grinder or are just enamored with the fact that this great grinder weighs your coffee for you, this is a great option.


  • Grind Speed 3.5g-5.5g/sec
  • Grind Range 230-950 microns
  • 30 macro and 9 stepless micro adjustments, 270 combinations, maybe more
  • 3 adjustable preset weight buttons, start/pause button, stop button and grind adjustments within 0.1 grams
  • 10 oz bean shutoff hopper
  • 5.5 oz anti-static grinds bin
  • Adjustable portaholder, holds portafilter, grinds bin, or any other brewing holder

So Which One Is The Best?

Where And How Do You Want To Use It?

To decide which grinder is best for you, you’ll need to ask yourself this question. If it is to be used in a cafe for espresso, the basic Vario is going to suit you best because of it’s long grind abilities and the standard portaholder. But if you want to use it for pour-overs in your cafe, the Vario-W is going to be better suited to your uses.

If you are looking for a home grinder, then the Sette line is going to be a better option for you and they’re a bit more affordable as well. The AP is a great option for beginners wanting a good quality espresso grinder but for those that like to play with their grinders, they will quickly become frustrated with just 30 steps of adjustment.

This is why the Sette 270 or 270W are the better options for extreme coffee enthusiasts that want to play with their grind settings and perfect their craft. You’ll just have to decide between time or weight based grinding abilities to choose between the two.

For me, I love weight based grinders because I drink pour overs every morning. Eliminating the extra step of weighing my coffee makes my morning cuppa habit more streamlined. For more information about the Sette line, see the other article here.

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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