Baratza makes some of the most popular burr coffee grinders on the market, like this one, which is the Baratza Encore, and the Virtuoso+. The Encore is the best-selling model, and this is because it’s a cheaper grinder, even though it has most of the features you’ll find in the Virtuoso+.
The latter is an upgraded version of the former and costs almost twice as much. The main reasons for the huge price difference is the higher build quality, the presence of a digital timer which the former lacks, and the stainless steel top and base (the Encore is completely made of plastic).
I know I’ve been comparing both versions so far and the Virtuoso+ is the superior model that comes at a much higher cost, but the Encore is a wonderful entry-level grinder that should meet all your needs regardless of your preferred brewing method.
Benefits of the Baratza Encore
The first benefit of buying this product is the fact that it is made by Baratza, a company that makes award-winning grinders, and whose products are loved by professionals. As an appliance with a small footprint, this is perfect for making coffee grounds at home, since it will only take up a small amount of space.
It’s also perfect for those who are new to brewing coffee at home and experienced home baristas so long as you don’t have exacting requirements. In other words, if a simple grinder is sufficient for your needs, this model is a great option for you.
As far as ease of use is concerned, this machine is incredibly easy to use. There is a pulse button on the front part of the machine that you can hold for as long as you want it to grind your beans and release it when you have the quantity of grounds you want.
The bean hopper can hold up to 8 ounces of beans, while the grounds container or bin can hold a good amount of ground coffee as well. The container has a fill line and you’ll have to empty it when it fills up to that point.
This is an entry-level grinder, but it’s not a limited one. It supports all the grind sizes you’ll need for most brewing methods – espresso, V60, Aeropress, Chemex, French Press, and more. There are 40 grind settings to choose from, so fine or coarse or anything in between is not beyond the functionality of this product.
Starting the machine is an easy process, thanks to its simple on/off switch on the right side of the grinder. A simple turn switches it on or off. The 40mm European-made conical steel burrs powered by its powerful DC motor are the most important parts of the machine and responsible for transforming your whole beans into the flavorful grounds you need to make the perfect cup of coffee.
Lastly, the replacement parts for this grinder are relatively cheap, so it should be cheap to replace a broken part if you ever have to deal with that.
Side note: This machine is available in two colors – black and white.
Drawbacks of the Baratza Encore
It has no timer. Some users measure their beans using a digital scale to determine how much beans they’ll need before grinding, and this helps to get around this disadvantage.
If you want a workhorse with incredible grind consistency and quality, that is also simple, cheap, and easy to use, then get this product. If you want the fancy features like a timer, better build quality, and a more premium look/feel, then get the Virtuoso+.
Make no mistake, though. The all-plastic build of this machine has no impact on longevity. It’s a highly durable coffee grinder.
- Is this product easy to clean? Yes, and no. Yes, for the burrs, no for the chute (not too difficult, but a bit challenging).
- Do I need to worry about static cling? Yes, as with all grinders, but there are simple solutions to this problem — adding two drops of water to the beans before grinding or letting the grounds sit in the bin for a few minutes so the static electricity discharges on its own.
- How long is the power cord? 55 inches!