An Intro to Baratza Encore Grinder
Marketed as an “entry-level grinder” the Baratza Encore offers a wide range of grinds at an affordable price. It is widely used by many kitchens and can be said as one of the best Burr Coffee Grinder in the market. The brand Baratza is a reputed brand under grinders and Encore model is the entry level model. It offers quite a good number of functions for the beginners in the coffee world.
Features and Specifications
- 40 mm conical burrs stay sharp for years and provide consistent grind
- 40 different grind settings range from fine (250 microns) for espresso to coarse (1200 microns) for French press
- Powerful and efficient DC motor won’t overheat the coffee. Motor turns slowly enough to allow for long cycles of grinding.
- Burrs can be removed easily for cleaning
- Pulse button on front gives you the option of “on-demand” grinding, which is great if you grind directly into your brewing basket.
- Hopper has an 8 ounce (227 gram) capacity, and bin has a 5 ounce (142 gram) capacity
How well does this grinder deliver on its promises?
Most people, when they first start grinding their own beans, will start with a cheap blade grinder. The Encore is a good choice for people who want to upgrade from the inconsistent performance of blade grinders, but are not prepared to shell out for a top-of-the-line professional quality grinder. This is a definite step up in quality from a blade grinder, and reasonably priced at about 130 dollars.
Consistency of grind
The Baratza Encore works best in the middle range, making it an excellent choice for automatic drip or pour-over brewing methods. You can also do a really fine espresso grind with this machine, but at the finest settings it has a tendency to clump up and clog the machine.
At the coarsest settings, the Encore doesn’t deliver as consistent a grind, and you’ll find a lot of “fines” mixed in with the coarse grind. You can still get a decent grind for a French press by dialing it back to about 30 or so. Of course, this is very much a matter of personal taste, but most buyers are very happy using this grinder for French press.
What it’s Lacking
Baratza’s earlier entry-level grinder, the Maestro, included a timer that allowed you to pre-determine exactly how much coffee you wanted to grind. This feature is missing from the Encore, so you just have to estimate it.
The hopper only holds 8 ounces of beans and doesn’t have an airtight seal at the top, so it’s not the best place to store your beans. The best solution to this problem, and to the lack of a timer, is to store your beans in an airtight container and measure the amount you want to grind each time you use it. If you are graduating from a blade grinder this won’t strike you as a hardship. It’s a good example of the kind of features people are looking for when they pay hundreds of dollars for a coffee grinder.
If you really want to be able to set the amount you grind by weight, you can purchase an accessory called the Esatto. This will weigh the ground coffee and automatically stop the machine when it reaches the desired weight.
If the ability to store beans in the hopper is important to you, you can purchase a hopper extender to increase the capacity by 9 ounces. You can even use multiple extenders if you wish.
The Baratza Encore is an excellent choice for most home coffee needs. With some practice and experimentation you can get a good grind for all common brewing methods. Though it doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, it’s durable and well worth the price.
If you are a little bit confused in selecting the right grinder, then you must see our Coffee Grinder Buying Guide.
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