Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder [REVIEW]
The Baratza Encore is one of the few entry-level burr grinders that I recommend my friend when they want to start brewing coffee at home. I think I used this machine when I grounded coffee for the very first time in a convention.
Anyway, the Encore is one of the community’s favorite starter grinders. The machine has many good features and is great value for money. In this review, I’ll go through my experience when testing the product out:
The Baratza Encore's Features
The machine uses 40mm stainless steel conical burr set, it weighs 6.8lbs (3.1kg) and has measures of 7.5 x 7 x 14’ (19.1 x 17.8 x 35.6cm) – it’s a small grinder that won’t take up too much kitchen space. The exterior looks very similar to the Virtuoso and Preciso, but instead of a stainless steel exterior, it uses plastic (just like the hopper and ground container). There’s also an on-off switch on the side and a pulse button at the front.
Similar to other Baratza coffee grinders, the Encore offer 40 easily adjustable grind settings that support anything from espresso to French press. The machine produces coffee that’s quite consistent, and it performs slightly better at the finer range.
Who's It Suitable For?
The Baratza Encore is a perfect start for coffee enthusiasts who want to take the plunge and start brewing coffee at home. It’s easy to use; there’s only two buttons you need to care about – the on-off switch and the pulse button. It’s easy to clean; everything is detachable, and the burr sets are very accessible. It’s easy to control, 40 different settings. That’s it!
This grinder is also very versatile; the on-off switch offers hands-free grinding, and the 40 settings will produce even grinds for any espresso drinkers and filter fans. It really is the go-to coffee grinder for beginners.
The Encore is currently on sale on Amazon. The price is very reasonable and is a good deal considering the features and versatility that the grinder offers.
- 40 easily adjustable settings.
- Hands-free grinding with the on-off switch.
- Simple dosing adjustments using the manual pulse button.
- Great consistency throughout, especially around the finer - medium range.
The cool thing about this grinder is that it really is very damn easy to use! With the Encore, you’ll pick things up quickly and be able to produce a good cup of coffee in no time. All you have to do is turn the hopper to change the setting, and turn it on.
Of course, it’s slightly more complex than that. You’ll have to test the settings out and see which ones work best for your preference. You’ll have to learn a bit about dosing so you’ll know how much coffee you’ll need for your brew.
Here’s a quick and dirty guide on settings from Baratza:
Basket Brewers (Coffee Makers)
Press Pot (French)
I recommend that you test other settings around the guide because the calibration of every grinder is slightly different and everyone has slightly different taste. It’s all about trial and error!
- Messy! Lots of static under the ground container.
- Fine grounds sometimes clump up (especially if you use darker, oilier beans).
- Inconsistent grind at coarser settings.
- Some dosing knowledge required since the machine doesn't assist you in this area!
I know I’ve been selling this grinder like its perfect, but unfortunately, it’s not – it’s still an entry-level coffee grinder after all.
Despite being having the option to produce grinds for all range, the results are inconsistent on the coarser side. When I was preparing my French press, I used 26 but noticed the grinder produced lots of fine grinds; this is bad because the fine grinds went through the mesh and made my coffee muddy, yuck!
The Encore is also quite messy. When I was testing the machine out, I noticed lots of static and grounds left over when I removed the ground container. It’s not difficult to clean, but it’s still extra work. Good thing that’s not the case inside.
Alternative & Similar Products
On the other hand, if your budget is limited, don’t pick a burr grinder that’s below $100! At that price range, the majority uses fake burrs. Fake burrs crush the coffee beans instead of grinding them; this creates lots of heat and inconsistent grounds – BAD! If you really have a tight budget, go for a hand-crank grinder like the Hario Skerton instead.
The Coffee Barrister's Verdict
Overall, the Baratza Encore is definitely one of the best grinders at its price range. For an entry-level grinder, the machine offers superior features and competitive grind consistency. The appearance, quality, and capacity make it a great option for home, especially if you’ve always bought pre-ground coffee and never owned your own burr grinder before.