Updated: January 30, 2022 by Owen Richardson
Year after year, new coffee grinders enter the market, and to be honest, some are way more innovative, superior, and generally way better than what most of us have been used to. This is a Baratza Encore review, and as you might guess, I just want to know what the hype is all about.
Baratza Encore is one of the most popular grinders, but any coffee geek will tell you not to take anyone’s word for it. Take your time to learn as much as you can about it just to clear any doubts you may have. Afterward, you can give it a try.
That’s what I did in this review because I didn’t want to regret my decision to buy it either. Join me as I walk you through its design, aesthetics, performance, and more. But first, let’s arm ourselves with some solid buyer information.
What to Consider Before Buying Burr Grinders
You may not know this, but grinders play the most significant role in the coffee-making process. It’s the one thing you can’t afford to go wrong with as a coffee lover. And the battle of which is the best to use often boils down to two options: burr and blade grinders.
Blade grinders come second to burr grinders in almost all areas that matter to coffee connoisseurs, from consistency and taste to control and durability.
What primarily makes them an attraction to many is how they grind coffee beans to a uniform size, leading to a consistent grind and ultimately better flavor and taste. Flat or conical burr grinders do the same job.
Actually, no other grinder type comes close to brewing the best espresso and French press as electric burr grinders. But you’ll be paying through the nose for that, so if you are not ready to fork out upwards of $100, I would recommend a blade or manual burr grinders like the 1Zpresso JX or JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder.
Even though affordable and convenient, blade grinders struggle to produce a consistent grind, and the worst fear for many is ending up with bad-tasting coffee because of the uneven grind. The good news is that you can still afford a decent manual burr grinder for as cheap as $50.
Now, when you go shopping for burr grinders, keep the following in mind:
- Grind settings
- Grinding style
- Rounder per minute (RPM)
- Burr size
- Ease of use
Baratza Encore Overview
In the world of entry-level grinders, Baratza Encore stands tall. And yes, it is the most basic model from the brand, but it goes toe to toe with the premium versions from its competitors when it comes to grind quality and overall performance. I’m talking about the likes of Breville Smart Grinder Pro and 1Zpresso JX.
Encore may not have all the bells and whistles you love to see in a grinder like the digital timers, scale, or dose control, but it compensates for that with its superior build quality, diverse grind settings, and solid motor. Plus, it’s going to help you brew a tasty cup of joe using different styles such as:
- Pour over
- French press
Also, this is an updated version with new and improved gears that help to deliver a smoother performance.
“What’s inside the box?” you may ask. Well, you only get your conical burr coffee grinder, nothing more!
You are going to fall in love with the grinder if your only concern and goal is to find a simple, quiet, and reliable grinder that will help you brew the perfect French press, Aeropress, or pour-over coffee.
But if you are looking to brew the perfect espresso shot or more versatility, this grinder may let you down. I would recommend that you top up your budget and go for its older brother instead, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus or Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
Baratza Encore Review: Features & Benefits
Design & Build Quality
Baratza Encore exudes simplicity on almost all fronts, and the design isn’t an exception. But don’t let the absence of sophistication fool you into underrating what it’s capable of.
There’s no LCD screen to show you time, grind size, and whatnot. In place of that, you have an on/off two-way switch on the side and a pulse button at the center of the device on the front.
Right after the hopper’s bottom, you have the calibrations for the different grind sizes. Simply twist the hopper to your preferred mark, and the machine will do the rest of the job.
Something else to note about this hopper is that it’s transparent and has a capacity of 8 ounces. Its base is made of heavy metal ballast to offer optimum stability while 15% of its new and improved gears comprise glass-filled thermoplastic for excellent durability and stability.
The Encore isn’t heavily endowed with charming attributes, yet it’s easy on the eyes. It’s largely made of plastic, but that’s not as noticeable as the sleek black finish. This is a grinder that’s going to fit in well with your other kitchen equipment and even interior decor.
Ease of Use
On this front, Baratza is hands down the undisputed champion. It’s automatic! Switch it on, rotate the hopper to the grind size appropriate for your brew method, and let the machine do its thing. It’s that effortless!
Quiet and smooth! That’s the first thing you notice when the Baratza Encore comes to life.
You have new and improved gears that pair with a powerful DC motor to rotate the 40 mm conical steel burrs at 550 RPM.
Sounds too slow, right? But don’t give up on it just yet. That’s what makes the grinder quiet and helps to minimize heat and static generation. So in the end, you get a generous reward for your patience.
Settings and Grind Quality
I bet this is what you’ve been anxiously waiting for, and you’re right. This matters a lot. It’s what decides whether you’ll have good or awful coffee.
Baratza Encore won’t fail you here. With a total of 40 coarseness settings, it has a range huge enough to help you brew different coffee and toy around with the various brewing styles.
Here’s the best part: It churns out super consistent grinds (except for the higher settings). You can count on it to produce quality French press grind as easily as it can create an espresso grind.
But at its full coarseness settings (35-40), the grind becomes a little inconsistent. However, this should not be news that breaks your heart because it’s typical of most entry-level automatic grinders. Plus, you could still use such a grind for your cold brews.
An additional feature I’ve really been pressed to mention is the thermal overload cutout. It’s a clever addition that makes sure the motor remains intact when overheating occurs. And when a jam occurs, the feature recognizes it right away and stops the grinder immediately so that no part is damaged.
What We Like
Not many entry-level burr grinders can boast of the flavor quality Baratza Encore yields. Add to that its simplicity and versatile grind settings, and you have the most beginner-friendly grinder.
Even though it grinds slow, this cannot overshadow the upsides of such a low RPM. It’s not noisy at all, and that’s part of what we love most about it. Plus, it runs smoothly and leaves you less worried about heat or static generation.
What We Don’t Like
It hurts a little bit to come to terms with the fact the Encore may never brew for you that perfect espresso shot we all crave. You could force it to churn out finer grinds, but this will only eat into its performance and ultimately affect its durability.
However, among coffee geeks, the Baratza Encore is the go-to automatic burr grinder you can rely on for sweet, tasty coffee. In most Baratza coffee grinder reviews, consumers are also attracted to its simplicity and the fact that they are easy to repair.
Baratza is an award-winning coffee grinder maker headquartered in the United States. Established in 1999, the brand has built its reputation over the years, and they have also won the hearts of many coffee lovers as the go-to place for superior quality, state-of-the-art grinders. And this has only gotten better.
Not too long ago, the company partnered with Breville Group, a leading Australian coffee equipment maker, the result of which has been the creation of more dynamic, innovative, and way better grinders and other coffee equipment. Right now, the brand enjoys a wider market, with more consumers doubling their trust and confidence in the company products.
Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder Review Summary
- Low RPM that reduces noise, heat, and static generation
- A thermal overload cutout that protects the motor and other grinder components
- Easy to clean
- Easy to operate; no effort required
- Moderately priced
- Highly durable
- Great customer service and support
- Not the best for espresso
- Grinds slowly
- No advanced features
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Will a Baratza Encore Last?
How long your grinder lasts generally depends on how often you use it and how you take care of it. For example, if you only use about a pound of whole coffee beans per week, your grinder can serve you for up to a decade. The durability reduces with more intense use.
Also, if you clean and maintain your Encore grinder as recommended by the manufacturer, it will serve you longer.
Is the Baratza Encore Worth It?
In comparison to other entry-level burr grinders, Baratza Encore is relatively more expensive, but for its higher price, you get better value for your money. Its performance is undoubtedly better than what most of its rivals offer, plus it’s durable and loaded with a few other features like the new and improved gear and thermal overload cutout that make it a great buy
How Do You Maintain Baratza Encore?
It’s simple really — by cleaning and maintaining it as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. You will be glad to know that repairing the Encore is easy, and the spare parts are easily available.
Cleaning it isn’t tough either. You don’t need any special tools. Simply lift off the hopper to rinse it. The grounds bin is removable too. As for the burrs, use a recommended brush to clean them.
Summing It Up
In a market where it’s difficult to find a well-priced grinder that blends excellent performance and durability, Baratza Encore has risen to fill the gap. It dominates blade grinders and the budget disk-burr grinders in almost every aspect and even outcompetes some of its premium rivals. Even though it’s only a basic model, Encore:
- Produces quality consistent grind
- Is easy to operate and clean
- Lasts longer than most of its competitors
This is the best time to try this coffee grinder. Go beyond reading Baratza coffee grinder reviews and go see it do what it does best.