If you’re a huge coffee fan like us, you know the value in a good coffee grinder. Who wants to get their coffee pre-grinded when you can have the alluring scent of freshly ground coffee in the morning?
The Baratza name is well known to any coffee lover, likely due to their high-quality machines. In this review, we’ll take a close look at one of their beginner models: the Baratza Encore.
What We Look For in Coffee Grinders
Before we dive right into the review, we’d like to talk about the parameters we use when testing out coffee brewing equipment. Here are a few things that we look at while giving our coffee grinders a test run.
Most coffee grinders have multiple grind settings that allow you to fine-tune how your coffee comes out. A good coffee grinder will have settings that range from very fine to very coarse, depending on how you plan to brew your coffee.
When reviewing coffee grinders, we try to test out as many settings as possible to get an idea of the range the machine offers. This allows us to get a better idea of how accurate the settings are.
Grind Quality and Consistency
When grinding an extra-fine grind, you don’t want there to be any large pieces mixed in. A good grinder will give you a quality grind with consistent texture throughout. This helps you make the perfect cup of coffee every time, no matter how you brew it.
To test the grind quality and consistency, we run beans through the same settings multiple times and observe the result. We look for a smooth grind that doesn’t have any pieces of an unusual size.
Ease of Use
Grinding coffee should be simple, especially if we’re expected to do it before our first cup. A good coffee grinder should have simple controls that are easy to understand. This doesn’t mean that all of the best coffee grinders are simplistic, but even the most professional grinders should be easy to control.
To test the ease of use, we run our grinders through various grinds to determine how easy and accurate the controls are. We follow the directions on the included guides to make sure that the grinder can be used without expert knowledge.
Some of the best coffee grinders can last up to 20 years of everyday use. If you make a lot of coffee, you want to be sure that your grinder is up for the task. Many grinders are made from highly durable materials that won’t break down during frequent use.
To check the product lifespan, we typically look for other customers who have had their grinders for a long time. We also check the durability of the materials to make sure they’ll keep together through the grinder’s lifespan.
Some coffee grinders only do one thing, and that’s grind coffee. However, many of the best coffee grinders have additional features that add to your coffee grinding experience. This can include anything from a built-in weight to a digital display to give you a more fine-tuned control.
When reviewing coffee grinders, we make sure to test out any additional features. We make sure they work as advertised, and gauge whether or not they actually add to the performance of the grinder.
Price is relative, especially when it comes to quality. Not all of the best coffee grinders cost several hundreds of dollars. In fact, you can get a relatively high quality grinder at a reasonable price.
When looking for the best coffee grinders, we try to only take price in account when comparing it with quality.
Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder Overall Review:
The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder is a powerful entry-level grinder that can be used by newbies and pros alike. Baratza claims that the Encore is “THE go-to entry level grinder for those brewing coffee at home.” We can’t help but agree with this statement.
The Baratza Encore has 40 individual grind settings, which range from fine to course. The finer settings are great for espresso, and help create a smooth finish. The course grind settings are present for drip or manual brews, such as a pour-over or Siphon.
The burrs on the Baratza Encore are made from a strong metal material that provide a perfect grind, without taking away any of the flavor. The DC motor helps slowly grind your beans to perfection, and helps keep them cool throughout the process. This leaves you with an even and flavorful grind.
We appreciated the low profile design of the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder, and felt it would look great on any countertop. The design is sleek and doesn’t stick out too much, so you can easily fit it between your other kitchen appliances.
Best Features of the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder
Now that we talked about the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder as a whole, let’s take some time to break down the machine’s best features.
Transparent Bean Hopper
The transparent bean hopper can hold up to 8 ounces of beans, which ground down to about 5 ounces of grind. The bean hopper is attractive, showing off the beans behind a lightly frosted tint. You can watch the beans feed down into the burrs, checking the grind process as you go.
The transparent bean hopper is designed to minimize grind waste with its funnel-like shape, which helps guide the grind down into the container. When it’s time to clean your grinder, you can remove the bean hopper for a quick wash.
The Encore features 40 mm conical burrs manufactured in Europe that can grind beans perfectly every time. These burrs are powerful enough to handle all kinds of coffee beans, and can produce a variety of grinds from coarse to fine. These extremely durable burrs will continue to provide a consistent quality of grind each time the Encore is used.
The burrs are easily removed, making it easy to clean between uses. This helps keep the burrs sharp to ensure a perfect grind for years to come.
High Torque Motor and Gear Box
The Encore’s high-quality burrs are driven by a powerful DC motor that is specially designed for a better grind. The motor can be rotated between 405 and 495 RPM, based on how fine you want your grounds to be. The slower turn rate helps keep down the noise, and prevents the beans from heating up.
The motor is contained in a Gearbox, which helps increase the strength and durability of the drive transmission. It also has a motor mounting plate that is shock resistant and reduces the amount of noise made by the motor.
Grind Size Adjuster
The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder has an adjustable grind setting located at the bottom of the bean hopper. There are 40 individual settings, ranging from fine to coarse. The grind size range goes from a heavy 250 microns to an extremely fine 1200 microns.
We found that the adjuster worked very well, and provided consistent grinds no matter what it was set too. The smaller settings were perfect for a fine espresso, while the larger grinds are great for a French press or cold brews.
The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder has a thin profile that will fit any kitchen or office. With dimensions of 12’x35’x16’, it can easily fit in tight spaces. Despite it’s compact design, the coffee grinder is relatively heavy due to the durable materials it’s made from.
The sleek design is very attractive, and will fit well with any décor.
Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder Pros and Cons
If you’re still unsure about whether or not the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder is right for you, let’s take a look at a quick list of pros and cons.
How the Baratza Encore Compares to Other Grinders
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The KRUPS Professional Electric Coffee Burr Grinder is one of the most popular grinders on Amazon due to its versitility and low price. This grinder has 9 grind levels ranging from fine to coarse, and it can take on just about any type of bean. There is also a grind fineness selector for a more precise grind. The built-in burr mill system helps prevent the beans from overheating, keeping the grinds at full flavor.
Similar to the Encore, the KRUPS Professional is perfect for those who are just starting out or looking for an inexpensive grinder. However, the KRUPS Professional lacks in a few area where the Encore shines, such as noise control and consistency of the grind.
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The Baratza Virtuoso is a step above the Encore with a few added features. They both have the same professional-grade 40 mm conical burrs, which grind through coffee beans with ease. The Virtuoso also has the same amount of grind settings, which range from ultra fine to coarse.
There are a few ways in which the Virtuoso outmatched the Encore. The Virtuoso grinds a bit faster than the Encore, without sacrificing the beans to heat. There are also a few new features on the Virtuoso, including a 60-second timer to help recreate your desired grind.
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The Capresso Infinity Grinder is one of the quietest grinders on the market, thanks to its low grinding speed. The 250 RPM motor creates less friction, and prevents any heat buildup. This helps preserve the flavor and aroma of the beans, and keeps the grind fresh.
The Capresso has 16 grinding settings ranging from an extra fine Turkish grind to a coarse cold brew grind. There is also a timer that can be set between 5 and 60 seconds for the perfect, consistent grind.
Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder Pricing
The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder costs around $200 to $250. Can be purchased from a variety of different retail stores, which are listed on the Baratza website. It can also be found on online retail shops, including Amazon.
Would We Recommend the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder?
When Baratza said that the Encore was the go-to entry level grinder, they definitely weren’t kidding. The Encore is an inexpensive grinder that is easy to use and produces quality results every time.
We absolutely recommend the Encore to anyone looking for a simple coffee grinder that can be used for all your grinding needs. If you’re looking for a more experienced grinding option, we recommend that you look for a more high-end product, such as the Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder.