Welcome to our Baratza Encore review, where we dig down into what makes this entry-level grinder one of the most popular on the market.
American brand Baratza is relatively new to the coffee grinding scene. It was founded in 1999 and makes grinders for both home and commercial use.
The Encore is their most basic grinder, and even though they have rolled out more advanced versions in recent years, it remains their most trusted product to date. It is simple to use, it is consistently reliable and it is affordable without compromising on quality.
The Baratza Encore conical burr coffee grinder has had a facelift since its first edition and it now comes with a sleek new exterior, but it still promises to deliver “consistent, quality ground coffee every time.”
It is also very easy to take apart and repair, unlike some competitors which require a degree in engineering. Baratza prides itself on designing grinders with easy repairs in mind, a rarity in the manufacturing industry.
We Think You’ll Like: Best Coffee Grinder for a French Press
Things to consider before buying a Baratza Encore
Choosing the right coffee grinder is the most important decision you’ll make on your craft coffee journey. The size, freshness, and quality of a grind affect how your coffee will taste.
The Encore is the perfect grinder for you if you’re new to home-brewing. It’s a basic model and doesn’t have the convenience functions that you’ll find in higher-priced grinders, but it doesn’t compromise on quality like some cheaper options.
If you’re experienced and you want a more versatile grinder with extra features, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro with a digital timer and dose control is a good option.
The Encore doesn’t have an anti-static function so the bin can get sticky with grounds and can be difficult to clean. If this is a deal-breaker, check out the Bodum Bistro which has a borosilicate grounds bin that is specially designed to combat static cling.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to the Encore, the Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder is a good alternative. It has similar consistency but is around half the price.
Features and Benefits of the Baratza Encore
Design And Durability
The durability of the design is the real highlight of this grinder.
It has 40 mm conical stainless steel burrs which are extremely resilient and rotate at 550RPM. This is on the slow side, but the advantage is that the grinder doesn’t get too hot and it keeps the noise to a minimum. It also extends the overall lifespan.
The recently revamped gearbox is so quiet you can chat easily while your beans are being ground. The gears are made of 15% glass-filled thermoplastic which significantly increases their durability. They are designed to stop quickly without jamming so there’s less risk of internal damage.
Most parts of the Encore are made of high-quality plastic, with the exception of the heavy metal ballast which stabilizes it. The ballast makes the machine heavier than expected, but it’s not over the top and is otherwise neat and compact.
Baratza intentionally designed the machine to easily fit under most kitchen cabinets without compromising on power. It measures 13.3 inches tall by 5.5 inches wide.
The sleek exterior is made of plastic but doesn’t look cheap. It wouldn’t look out of place in an artisan coffee shop, so you can rest assured that your friends will be impressed!
We Think You’ll Like: Keurig K50 Vs K55
Ease Of Use
As long as you use average-sized coffee beans, the Encore is a breeze to use. The hopper has 40 size-adjustment settings in graduated positions along the base, allowing you to switch easily from Pour Over to French Press or anywhere in between.
Larger beans don’t feed as well through the hopper and may get stuck, leaving you with leftover, unground beans.
The Encore doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you’d expect to find on a more expensive grinder, but it doesn’t need them. Once you know the number of beans you need for your preferred coffee style, you can simply switch the machine on and wait for your perfect brew.
A 2-way on/off switch is on the side while the pulse grinding button is on the front. To adjust your grind size, you simply twist the hopper to your choice of the 40 settings.
The catch bin collects the loose grounds, but some users have found that static causes the grounds to stick inside, meaning it’s messier to clean than some of its competitors.
The Encore is a basic model, but it has some tricks up its sleeve.
The thermal overload cutout ensures that the motor doesn’t overheat with excessive use, which is essential if you’re making multiple coffees quickly.
We also previously mentioned the anti-jam feature which is unusual to find in an entry-level grinder.
Another surprise is the conical burr grinder calibration system which is more commonly found in commercial grinders. Although it’s fairly basic, we loved that we could adjust the calibration ourselves and control the range of each grind.
Perhaps the best feature is the easy-to-remove burrs. You can do this with no tools so cleaning the machine is straightforward.
In terms of accessories which you can buy at extra cost, Baratza offers a hopper extender that adds an additional 9 oz. capacity to the existing 8 oz hopper.
There’s nothing like a peer review to help you make the choice, so we’ve scoured the internet for user reviews and found some generally positive comments.
What stood out was the number of positive reviews about customer service. If anything went wrong with their Encores, users unanimously applauded Baratza for their swift and satisfactory resolution of the problem. Many users also commented on the superior grind quality and consistency.
Some users mentioned frustration with persistent clogging. Those who contacted Baratza support found they resolved the problem with instructions.
Our takeaway is that this is a grinder where you’ll want to read and follow the instructions carefully to get the best experience.
We Think You’ll Like: Best Kona Coffee Beans
Alternatives to the Baratza Encore
If you decide the Baratza Encore isn’t right for you, we have found some alternatives that should do the trick.
The Bodum Bistro grinder is probably the closest match to the Encore with a few key differences. Both are easy to clean, but Bistro’s anti-static design means less clogging and less mess.
It’s also better at grinding fine coffee so it’s ideal for espresso. The main disadvantage is that the motor overheats easily, so it’s not ideal for making multiple cups of coffee. The Bistro is more affordable than the Encore so check it out if you have a small budget.
- Easy to clean
- Good for espresso
- Inconsistent for French Press
- Overheats easily
- More affordable
The Baratza Virtuoso is the Encore’s older, smarter brother. If you love the Encore’s features but you’re looking for a dash of extra power, this is a great choice. The Virtuoso’s higher grinding speed lets you grind more beans in less time which is ideal if you’re making several cups of coffee.
Its higher-quality steel parts push the price up slightly, but it’s worth it as they make the grinder more resilient. The grinders have the same consistency and both come with 40 grind settings.
The Virtuoso comes with a 60 second timer where the Encore has just the simple on/off switch. We recommend that you choose the Virtuoso if you’re a home-brewing fanatic who has graduated from the Encore’s entry-level enthusiast stage.
- Grind speed of 5 to 2.4G/sec
- Only slightly more expensive
- Excellent durability
- 60 second timer
Capresso Infinity 565.05
The Capresso Infinity is hands down the best home grinder for very fine grounds. It’s a worthy alternative to the Encore if you love espresso or Turkish coffee.
Like the Encore, it produces very little heat and can grind large amounts of coffee without overheating. Both machines retain the flavor of your coffee beans with their low operating temperature.
The downside of the Capresso is the static. Grinds stick determinedly to its parts and you’ll need to clean it more frequently than the Encore to keep the old grinds from affecting your coffee flavor. It’s also not ideal for French Press.
- Requires frequent cleaning
- Fine grind settings
- Less consistent
- 14 grind settings
- Very affordable
A manual grinder certainly has a lot to bring to the table. Not only is it a simple solution but you have so much versatility and functionality that is ready at your fingertips when you need it. You might consider a manual grinder for coffee options that can do the job for you. In this guide, we will share our top picks for the best manual coffee grinder options on the market.Learn More
If you’ve come this far in our Baratza Encore review, you’re serious about taking the next step towards becoming a home-brewing enthusiast. The Baratza Encore will push you over the finish line!
Its consistency, simple features, and very reasonable price make it the perfect entry-level grinder if you’re a first-time buyer.
If you like our review and you’re sold on this grinder, check it out here: