Capacity: 250 grams
Today we are going to talk about one of the most prestigious grinders on the market: the Baratza Encore. Not in vain, Baratza is a high-level firm with great worldwide consideration in the coffee grinder sector. This Encore is perhaps its most popular model, as it is the only one in the whole range that has a non-prohibitive price (although it is still expensive, because Baratza products are at the highest quality level in the sector).
If you are looking for a grinder with special features, and need more power or precision than a standard grinder can give you, this Baratza Encore is one of the few you can trust. For example, if we are fond of preparing espressos and we are also demanding with the results, we will need a very, very fine grinder. Or if we use at home coffee machines with different extraction methods, which require us to grind coarse, medium, fine… (see our post about “a grind for every type of coffee“) then you will also take advantage of the versatility and precision of the Baratza Encore.
Baratza Encore: maximum precision in your own home
The truth is that the exterior appearance of the Baratza Encore grinder does not dazzle with its spectacularity. It has very sober lines, a plastic casing, and a very serious black colour. The company and model logos (Baratza on the side and Encore on the front) are engraved in white, and both the ornaments and the superfluous elements are conspicuous by their absence.
It is in the interior where the true strength of this coffee grinding beast lies. The Baratza Encore is a conical grinder with 40 degrees of grinding (much more precise than any other domestic grinder, which is usually about ten degrees thick). The grinding wheels, which are ultimately responsible for the quality of a mill, are made of hardened Swiss steel.
They offer a particularly valid result for preparing espressos in espresso machines, as the grinding is very homogeneous, the friction of the grinding wheels is minimal, and therefore the risk of overheating is almost non-existent. You already know that overheating of steel grinders is a very delicate problem if we want to use the coffee to prepare espressos later on since there are usually remains of aromas and burnt tastes, not very pleasant on the palate.
If you are looking for a grinder to prepare espressos, this Baratza Encore is a must.
In the following image you can see the wheel that selects the 40 grinding levels, located just under the hopper.
Another interesting virtue of the Baratza Encore is that it has two modes of operation: automatic and manual. You can use the automatic control located on the side of the grinder to grind large quantities. Simply turn it on and let it run for the predetermined time.
However, if you need to grind smaller amounts of coffee, you may need less grinding time. In this case, you can use the manual control to activate and stop the grinder at will, so you know you’ll never go too far!
If you still need to know more, or have doubts about its use, please consult the Baratza Encore instruction manual.
Baratza Encore: main features
- It uses hardened steel conical grinding wheels, 40 mm in diameter.
- 40 grinding levels. The thickness of the grinding varies between 250 (thinner) and 1200 microns (thicker).
- The hopper has a capacity to store about 250 grams of coffee beans.
- The tank for ground coffee has a maximum capacity of 150 grams.
- The motor turns the grinders at 450 RPM (revolutions per minute), a lower speed than usual, which reduces the risk of overheating and increases the life of the grinders.
- Both the coffee bean container and the container for ground coffee can be removed for cleaning or convenient handling.
- Two control possibilities: automatic or manual grinding.
- Includes a cleaning brush.
- Power: 1600 watts.
- Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 35 cms.
- Weight: approximately 3.1 kg.
Advantages of the Baratza Encore grinder
- The possibility of activating an automatic and a manual control, according to your needs.
- 40 different levels of grinding: perhaps too many for the average user, but they adapt to all tastes and needs. It’s just a matter of practice.
- It behaves great in all the situations we ask it to, but we can think of few better grinders than this one if our purpose is to make espressos with an espresso machine.
- It is possible to purchase accessories and complements separately (for example, a filter holder, which allows you to pour the ground coffee directly onto the filter where you are going to use it).
Disadvantages of the Baratza Encore grinder
- It is clear that its price is not suitable for all pockets, and that not all users will take advantage of such power. In many cases it is going to cost us more for the grinder than for the coffee maker itself (although many experts argue that this should be the logical thing to do, contrary to popular opinion).
- So why not include ceramic grinding wheels?
- Don’t expect such a powerful grinder to be silent as well…
Baratza Encore: videos
This is a video that can get you out of a tight spot: how to recalibrate your Baratza Encore grinder:
Secondly, a detailed presentation of the grinder:
And finally, a much more in-depth product review, courtesy of our friends at Seattle Coffee Gear:
Why buy a Baratza Encore?
A fundamental question when buying a home grinder is: does it serve to grind coffee for espresso? You know that espressos need a very fine grind. Not all home grinders are accurate enough to make a perfect espresso (although many users settle for making espressos with coarser grinds than recommended).
Well, in the case of the Baratza Encore, there is no doubt about it. It is suitable for grinding coffee for espresso, and the more demanding we are (and the more we know what we are doing), the more satisfied we will be with the result. It is a grinder that works perfectly with both very fine and very coarse grinding levels. It’s just a matter of practice and finding the right level for the coffee you’re going to prepare, as, between 40 levels of thickness, it’s sometimes difficult to get it right.
For your reference, we have consulted various specialised articles (at barista/professional level), and they usually talk about levels 7, 8 and 9 of the 40 wheels being the best for making espressos. From this point on, it is up to you to taste, taste and find the perfect one for your needs.
In the chapter on alternatives, the only possible equivalence to the Baratza Encore is any other of the premium range grinders, such as the KitchenAid Artisan 5KCG100, the Rancilio Rocky or the GR0203 from MiniMoka. There are not many others that stand up to comparison. Even the “good” domestic grinders, the top-of-the-range grinders, are a step below this real coffee grinder for every situation and need.
And if the price of this grinder makes you feel a little down, don’t forget to visit Baratza’s website because they sometimes have reconditioned or semi-new models for sale at a much lower cost than usual.