Rancilio Rocky VS Baratza Vario

Coffee grinders are crucial equipment to have for all coffee enthusiasts because they can help you control the beverage we are making along with its quality and taste. There are also many to choose from such as Rancilio Rocky Vs Baratza Vario that are both reliable but also different and you may like one better to match with the coffee machine or brewing method. For those who wonder which to go for, let’s see what they can offer below.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • How Coffee Ground Affect Coffee Taste
  • What are Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario
  • How are the Grinder of Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario
  • How are the Burr Grinder of Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario
  • How are the Features in Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario
  • How are the Grind Sizes on Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario
  • Rancilio Rocky Vs Baratza Vario

Coffee Grinder and the Beverage

When it comes to coffee, you get so many different choices to consider starting from the coffee bean itself to the brewing method that we use to extract the taste from your coffee ground. The option is all yours and we have freedom on combining lots of different factors in order to achieve the best taste. For the enthusiast, you may want to start with choosing the coffee grinder because it gives us freedom on making the fresh coffee ground at home.

Many may not realize yet but the size of coffee ground affects the taste of the beverage and regardless of the method, you will extract the coffee beverage and caffeine from the coffee ground; the finer the coffee, the more we can expose its surface area and speed the extraction. This is why the super fast brewing method espresso is very quick and requires a fine coffee ground to work with. This method uses hot water that is pressed against coffee ground on a filter to produce the beverage.

If you are doing cold brew on the other hand, we will need a coarse coffee ground because this cold-extraction method allows the coffee to sit with water for a much longer time for several hours or even more than 24 hours depending on the brewer’s desire. The benefit of always having a freshly ground coffee at home? It is because whole beans have a longer shelf life compared to ground coffee. We agree about the convenience of pre-ground coffee but they are far from the best.

Roasted coffee beans contain carbon dioxide to prevent oxidation and staling so usually we can keep them at room temperature for about two weeks but, once we grind the coffee, there will be more surface area being exposed to oxygen and causing it to lose flavors. They are only best for a few days and this is why if you don’t have a coffee grinder we should buy the pre-ground coffee in very small amounts rather than keeping them for prolonged time.

If this is your first time wanting to buy a coffee grinder, there is a perfect grind size for every brewing method or you can modify it based on your own taste. For example extra coarse grind that is about 1.5 millimeters will be perfect for cold brew while slightly smaller particle size will be perfect for French press and percolators. If you prefer a richer flavor, espresso machines require fine coffee ground or if you have a small business selling Turkish coffee, we will need something extremely fine in flour consistency.

Rancilio RockyBaratza Vario
Product Dimensions9.8 x 4.7 x 13.8 inches
5.1 x 7.1 x 14.2 inches
Shipping Weight15.1 pounds 15 pounds
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About Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario

There are more than plenty of coffee grinders to consider depending on which seems to match your taste or brewing method. For home brewing an espresso machine, moka pot, and cold brew are probably some of the most versatile and convenient to make. If you brew using various brewing methods, it is great to have a coffee grinder that can produce a wide range of sizes too. We do recommend to match them with your budget if you want to shop quickly.

For those who are planning on buying a new coffee grinder, Rancilio and Baratza are two promising options to go for. These brands are some of the most well-known when it comes to coffee grinder but they do have several options that should fit into different pockets and also preference. What we love the most from their coffee grinders is that you can always rely on them for the performance along with the lasting ability to keep the grinder useful for many years to come.

Some of the most popular options from their collection are Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario that are very much different from each other. These are also in the mid to high-end range in terms of price point but they are not similar. You can go amazing with any of the two for espresso making at home but the most prominent difference will be the range of grind size as well as their ease of use. In comparison, Rocky is very basic when it comes to operation.

It is probably very similar to some of the most affordable machines on the entry level but Rocky is one of the best for those who want to get to a very coarse and fine setting, though it is not reaching Turkish consistency yet. On the other hand Vario is promising an ease of use and programmability so you can definitely rely on this machine for quick and personalized grind setting. It is also automatic which is great if you often make several cups at once. Read also: Rancilio Rocky Vs Breville Smart Grinder here.

Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario Unit

The coffee grinders are very common in terms of design as you can see they are similar and the build quality is equally good. You can notice Vario has these plastic panels too but overall the housing is reliable. They come with these detachable arms to hold a portafilter or you can grind right into a canister to contain the coffee ground. The Rocky is very simple with one power switch on its sidewall, one switch to grind, and one switch to unlock the grind size adjustment.

The adjustment for coffee size is by rotating the neck below its hopper but you need to press the switch next to it to unlock the mechanism. On the other hand Vario is fully automatic here, you can see it has the manual and automatic button to grind and the portafilter holder is actually removable so we can fit a plastic canister here. The machine is timer based and there are two sliders on each side of the panel to adjust the coffee grind size.

Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario Grinder

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario can offer starting from the burr type itself because both machines are using flat burr grinder at 50mm and 54mm respectively. This type of burr grinder is known to produce very even or consistent particles but expect it to warm faster compared to typical conical burr grinders. In comparison larger burr is usually faster to work with but the motor is larger on Rocky compared to Vario.

Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario Features

Next we want to talk about the features that you can enjoy on these machines but as it has been mentioned above, they are very different and Rocky is practically feature-less especially when it comes to ease of use. On the Vario we get a two system adjustable setting from up to 10 macro settings and up to 23 micro settings so we can achieve lots of different combinations from the two sliders. The Vario is a timer based machine so it doesn’t weigh your coffee ground.

But, users can decide how much they grind at a time based on the time we decide before. There are three programmable times for espresso, filter, and press which can be adjusted as you need. We can use the machine in manual mode as well hence it is very convenient compared to Rocky which is manual only, no timer and no weight adjustment. You need to press the grind button for as long as you need the amount of coffee ground.

Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario Grind Sizes

Lastly let’s see how Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario produce the coffee ground because this is also very interesting. The total of 230 settings on Vario surely let you to fine tune the size compared to the options provided by Rocky which is around 50-55 sizes. But, Rocky’s finest setting will produce a very fine coffee ground compared to Vario; not to the extent of Turkish brew but it is very fine and will probably harm your espresso machine.

The Vario can actually go finer than espresso sizes but not as fine as Rocky and the most noticeable difference is probably when you choose the coarser setting because Rocky is very coarse that it can go perfect for cold brew and similar methods. Vario can go coarse too but not even to the perfect setting for French Press yet it is great for pour over.

Rancilio Rocky Vs Baratza Vario

The Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Vario are both great options when it comes to espresso grinder. The differences are when it comes to burr sizes and the ease of use, as well as the grind sizes. We do think Rocky is able to produce both finer and coarser coffee grounds but the ease of use and programmability is much better on the Vario. This machine comes with a timer so it can be useful to automatically decide how much you want to produce in each operation while Rocky is more manual.

- 50mm commercial grade grinding burrs. Grinds directly into porta filter for simple operation
- Powerful 166-watt direct drive quiet operation motor.
- Tinted hopper with a 0.65lb capacity.
- Simple variable grinder adjustment control.
- 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.


The decision is all yours and there are plenty of amazing options too besides these grinders but, for the ease of use we will recommend getting the Vario and if you are often brewing using coarser settings, the Rocky is a more promising choice to go for.

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