Baratza Encore Review: Is the Baratza Encore Worth The Money?
There’s no better way to start your day than by inhaling the smell of freshly ground coffee. But when you’re jonesing for your first cup in the morning, struggling with a cheaply-made grinder is aggravating enough to ruin the precious moment.
Grinders unfortunately come with a host of potential problems. Many people say you can’t go wrong with an at-home conical burr grinder, but does that ring true for the Baratza Encore grinder? And is this eye-catching contraption worth the price point?
At Black Ink, we make it our mission to provide you with the honest facts, which you’ll find in this thorough coffee grinder review.
Conceptualized and engineered in Seattle, the idea for the burr grinder was born in one of the greatest coffee capitals in the world. After being designed in Seattle, WA, the concept of the grinder was originally sent to Taiwan, where the idea became a reality.
The grinders are manufactured and assembled in East Asia, but the actual burr grinders are sourced from Europe. After all of the parts are put together, the Encore conical burr grinders are made available to people all over the world.
Baratza Encore Review
Technical Specifications of the Baratza Encore Grinder
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Dimensions: 4.7” x 6.3” x 13.8”
Key Details Worth Knowing About the Baratza Encore Grinder
Before committing to a purchase, it’s always wise to take a close look at the key details of coffee equipment. Today, we would like to share some of the key details worth knowing about before you decide if it’s the right at-home conical grinder for you!
- Design and build quality
- Ease of use
Design and Build Quality 5/5
The Baratza Encore grinder comes with an electrical motor. Considered a high-torque motor, the Encore grinder is incredibly effective. People often confuse a slow grind speed with an inefficient motor, but that's actually not the case!
Rather, slow grind speeds are better for the equipment especially in the long run. In addition to a high torque electric motor, the Baratza Encore grinder has an easy-to-understand design.
The Encore burrs are made out of steel, and the Encore's gears are made from thermoplastic. The gears have an advantageous build because the thermoplastic creates flexibility, allowing the gears to move more easily and readily than gears made from other materials.
The rest of the Encore grinder is made out of plastic, which might make you think the grinder is a cheaply made grinder, but that isn't true at all. The gearbox of the Encore grinder has been modified from its original design.
These updates resulted in a new gearbox that functions quietly and more efficiently. With this new and improved grinder design, Encore owners can rely on the grinder to be more resistant to errors that other grinders face.
For instance, coffee beans are far less likely to get stuck in the gears of an Encore grinder than other coffee grinders on the market. Overall, the Encore design is well-engineered, and it is designed with quality materials.
At face value, the performance of the Encore grinder is outstanding and impressive. With forty different grind sizes to choose from, the grinder is suitable for nearly every coffee grinder purpose, from drip coffee and cold brew to pour-overs and more.
However, when you take a closer look, you start to realize that forty-grind settings are not that many in all actuality. While the Encore grinder yields very consistent grind sizes, this is only true until you start grinding coffee at the 35 setting and the 40 setting.
Unfortunately, once you reach peak coarseness, the consistency starts to plummet, and your grinds will not be the same from one to the next. Similarly, the Encore grinder doesn’t make it possible to grind coffee beans for the purpose of pulling espresso shots.
These two points are important to recognize because they will render the Encore machine relatively unusable if you are seeking a grinder for either espresso or very coarse grinds. Take the performance levels into consideration when considering the Encore grinder.
Ease of Use 5/5
Whether you're a coffee-making beginner or a seasoned pro, the Baratza Encore burr grinder is incredibly easy to use. The machine is very straightforward, meaning you won't feel overwhelmed by numerous different buttons, switches, or features.
The simplistic design makes for a very to-the-point grinding experience. With a manual grinding button, you have full control over the amount of coffee beans that you grind at any given time.
All you have to do is decide on the right grind setting, which will depend on how you want to prepare your coffee once the beans are ground. From there, press the manual grinding button and begin grinding to your heart's content!
When it comes to cleaning your Encore Baratza, you'll find that it only takes a few minutes. The best part is that you don't need to use any tools, except for when it comes to cleaning the burr grinders.
The hardest part is figuring out how to clean the burr grinders, but even that is an easy step to check off your cleaning to-do list. When cleaning the burr grinders of your Baratza Encore machine, make sure you have access to the following tools:
- Cleaning pellets specifically for grinders
- A cleaning brush
- A toothpick or two
- A towel or cleaning rag
- Cotton swabs, like Q-tips
- A screwdriver
The best part about cleaning your grinder is that you likely already have these cleaning supplies lying around the house.
Burr grinder cleaning pellets are not necessary every single time you clean your grinders either. You can save these for the occasional deep cleaning. It’s always good to go in with a cleaning brush because it’ll make those deep crevices a lot easier for you to reach.
All in all, the Encore grinder is impressively easy to use, clean, and maintain, no matter how advanced your coffee skills are!
The Baratza Encore grinder can grind coffee beans at a rate of 0.8 grams to 1.1 grams per second. This is a relatively low grind speed, but that's not necessarily a bad thing!
With a slower grinding speed, the conical burr grinder requires much less heat, which is not only good for your grinder but positively impacts the quality of your ground coffee beans as well.
Coffee beans are very sensitive to temperature changes. Even the slightest addition of heat to the environment can cause your coffee beans to release oils that will subsequently change the flavor and aroma of your beans. So, it’s important to find a grinder that creates little to no heat!
With a grounds bin capacity of 142 grams and a bean hopper capacity of 227 grams, the Encore grinder offers a decent amount of space for all your grinding needs.
Equipped with 40mm European conical burrs, the Encore grinder grants you the power of grinding your beans with up to 40 different grind sizes.
Whether you need coarsely-ground coffee beans or you need to grind very fine beans, the options feel endless with an Encore conical grinder. With forty unique grind settings, the Encore grinder has you covered in terms of variety.
Here are the proper grind settings depending on how you wish to prepare your coffee:
- 1-3: Turkish coffee
- 4-9: Espresso
- 4-23: Aeropress
- 4-16: Moka pot
- 11-16: V60
- 11-29: Pour over or Siphon coffee
- 17-23: Flat drip or drip machines
- 24-29: Chemex
- 31-36: French press, cupping, or a percolator
- 31-40: Cold brew
- 37-40: Cowboy-style coffee
It’s already impressive that the Encore grinder comes equipped with forty different grind sizes and settings. But do you know what makes this feature even more captivating? Well, it’s rare to find a grinder that lets you specify your grind size so precisely at the same price point.
It's rare for grinders at the same price point as the Encore grinder to come with the ability for users to calibrate the machine. Being able to adjust the grinder is a special feature that makes the price even more reasonable.
Speaking of costs, let’s explore the value that you get for the price of an Encore grinder from Baratza!
Value for Money 4/5
The Encore grinder is very valuable. They say you get what you pay for, and in a positive way, that’s true! The cost of the Baratza grinder matches the value you can expect from it. While the grinder isn't necessarily inexpensive, it's also not the most costly grinder out there either.
You can think of it as a happy medium. For the price, you certainly get a lot of value, and it's a long-lasting coffee appliance as well. Unlike many cheaper models, the Baratza grinder can withstand years of grinding, making it a worthwhile investment.CHECK PRICE →
The Pros and Cons of the Baratza Encore Grinder
Before you spend money on the Encore conical grinder, it’s important that you fully understand the pros and cons. Don’t let yourself be blinded by all of the positive attributes to the point where you ignore the drawbacks of the grinder.
Having a balanced understanding of what the Encore grinder can and cannot offer you will make it a lot easier to make a well-informed decision. Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Baratza Encore grinder before exploring the downsides to this coffee-grinding tool.
✔️ Grinds at a slow pace
✔️ Little to no heat used when grinding
✔️ Forty different grind settings
✔️ Ability to grind for a wide array of purposes
✔️ Does not make a lot of noise when grinding
✔️ Very easy to clean
✔️ User-friendly and straightforward design
✔️ Reasonably priced and long-lasting
🚫 Not the best for espresso
🚫 More expensive than grinders of the same caliber
🚫 A basic and simple design for the price
🚫 Not the most precise grinder on the market
🚫 Does not come with a built-in timer
🚫 Requires you to manually grind your coffee beansCHECK PRICE →
Is The Encore Good For espresso?
The Encore grinder is not ideal for espresso. This is one of the most important details to understand about the Encore burr grinder because if you are buying it for the sake of pulling espresso shots, you might find yourself feeling disappointed by your purchase.
The only way to make decent-tasting espresso shots after using an Encore grinder is if you are planning to pull shots with a pressurized portafilter. Otherwise, dialing in espresso will be very difficult simply because of the grinder’s design.
The Encore grinder from Baratza is designed with other brew methods in mind. Since espresso is not what the grinder is designed for, you should explore other grinding options if espresso is your coffee method of choice. Espresso aside, the Encore grinder is spectacular!
What Is the Best Home Use Grinder?
The best coffee grinder for home use is hard to determine simply because it depends on your preferences. For instance, the Encore grinder is not going to be the best coffee grinder for home use if you only drink espresso.
However, the Encore grinder could be considered the best coffee grinder for home use if you don’t mind drinking coffee in other forms, like as a pour-over or from an Aeropress. To better understand if this grinder is right for you, it helps to read a Baratza Encore review!
Verdict: Is It Worth It?
All in all, the Encore grinder scored an average of 4.6 stars out of 5. At Black Ink, we would give this coffee grinding machine a 92% recommendation rate. While the value for the money and the performance of the grinder could be improved, the features, usability, and quality are great!
The Baratza Encore burr grinder is worth the investment if you are not strictly an espresso connoisseur. As long as you enjoy drinking other forms of coffee and you don’t mind grinding your own beans manually, then the Encore grinder is suitable for you.CHECK PRICE →