October 20, 2022

Reviewing The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder: Is It Worth All The Hype?

Clint Doerfler
Clint Doerfler
 | 
Updated: October 20, 2022
       
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Back in the “blade grinder” days I used to think making a delicious cup of coffee at home wasn’t possible. I also didn’t think a “good” burr grinder was necessary or worth the investment.

But when I set out to achieve the best cup of coffee possible, I quickly realized my blade grinder was holding me back. After doing some research, I stumbled upon the Baratza Encore.

This affordable conical burr grinder consistently receives raving reviews, so I put it to the test to see if it was worth all the hype.

In this Baratza Encore conical burr coffee grinder review, I cover everything you should know so you can decide if it’s the right grinder for you.

Here’s what I discovered...

What is the Baratza Encore Burr Grinder?

The Baratza Encore is an affordable, entry-level home grinder with a simplistic approach.

It has 40 grind settings, so you’ll be able to grind for just about any brew method, including AeroPress, Hario v60, cold brew, French press, etc.

This grinder promises to produce a high-quality cup of coffee at home at an entry-level price, but does it deliver?
Baratza Encore Burr Grinder
  • High quality, yet affordable grinder
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Grinds for many different brew methods
  • Amazing grind consistency
If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a coffee grinder but still want quality results, the Baratza Encore is a great choice. With 40 grind settings, you can find the perfect grind for your needs.
➔  Click To Check Price

Pricing

The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder retails for $169.95, but you can often find it on sale for around $135.00.

At this price point, it’s one of the more affordable high-end coffee grinders on the market.

Features

Low Grind Retention

Thanks to its design, the Encore has a low grind retention, so you won’t have to worry about tainting your coffee with old grinds or wasting your precious coffee beans. Many have noted that the grinder only retains about 0.2 grams of coffee.

Small Footprint

The Baratza Encore has a small footprint and doesn’t take up too much counter space. It’s also quite lightweight, so it’s easy to move around when necessary.

Easy to Use

The Encore couldn’t be simpler to use. Push the pulse grind button for short bursts or activate the on/off switch for continuous grinding. Burr grinders can sometimes be daunting, but the Encore’s straightforward design makes it easy for anyone to use.

40 Grind Settings

The Baratza Encore has 40 grind settings, so you’ll be able to brew a wide variety of methods like French Press, Chemex, Hario v60, etc., with this one conical burr grinder.

Consistent Grinds

The Encore produces very consistent grinds, thanks to its 40mm steel conical burrs. This is important because inconsistent grinds can lead to an uneven extraction, which will ruin your cup of coffee.

Bean Hopper Capacity

The Encore’s hopper holds 8 ounces of coffee beans, so you’ll have enough for multiple brews if you’re entertaining guests.

Baratza designed the hopper to be removed with ease, so you can quickly swap out your coffee beans for another roast.

Performance

The Baratza Encore has a 40mm conical burr set that spins at 550rpm, which is slow enough to minimize heat buildup and static cling. This results in a tastier grind with less clumping.

It’s designed for home use, so it doesn’t have the same speed and power as a commercial grinder, but despite that, it’s still able to grind about 1 gram of coffee per second, which will be fast enough for most users.

Cleaning the Baratza Encore

The cleaning procedure is pretty straightforward. You can access the burrs by removing the bean hopper. The top burr comes right out and you can use the included brush to clean everything out.

World Class Support

Baratza is well-known for their world-class customer support. The Encore is backed by a one year warranty, but I’ve heard of Baratza helping their customers even years beyond the warranty window, which is pretty impressive.

If you have any problems with your coffee grinder, they will help you troubleshoot and get it back up and running in no time.

If you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty, they also offer a repair and calibration service for a reasonable fee.

First Impressions on the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder

The Price

The Encore currently retails for $169.95, which isn’t the cheapest in the lineup of entry-level grinders.

Consider though that a quality burr grinder will outlast a cheaper grinder by years, so it’s worth an extra $70.

Adjusting the Grind

There are 40 grind settings to choose from and they’re adjusted by turning the hopper. Baratza has included a grind size chart which references markings on the grinder for various brew methods—anything from AeroPress to French Press.

This aids as a good starting point, but finding the optimum grind size will really depend on many other factors, including the type of bean, brewing method, quantity you’re brewing, etc. Just know you’ll need to experiment a bit to get it just right.

Features

The Baratza Encore is a great all-around grinder but lacks a few features typically found on more expensive burr grinders, like a timer or other method of dosage control.

If you’re looking for a Baratza grinder with the extras, check out the Virtuoso+ instead. It features a 40 second digital timer accurate to a tenth of a second.

Burrs

The Encore uses 40mm steel conical burrs. These are durable and will stay sharp for many years with proper care.

The burrs produce a very consistent grind, which is vital for getting an even extraction and preventing bitter coffee.

One of the main selling points about a Baratza grinder is that they designed the burrs so they’re easy to clean and swap out when they eventually need to be replaced.

Using the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

I’ve been using the Baratza Encore coffee grinder for a little over three months now, and I have to say, I'm kind of impressed!

This affordable conical burr grinder has allowed me to craft an excellent cup of coffee at home with ease.

To follow are a couple of things that stood out to me:

Grind Consistency

It’s an entry-level coffee grinder, but the grind consistency it produces is on par with some high-end, more expensive models. No matter what grind setting I choose, I always get an even extraction, resulting in a well-balanced cup of coffee.

Ease of Use

Baratza Encore is really easy to use and adjust. It’s intuitive and self-explanatory, which is nice.

It’s easy to dial in the perfect grind size and once you find that sweet spot, and easy to replicate it grind after grind.

Ease of Cleaning

It’s very easy to remove the hopper and top burr for a thorough cleaning. The Encore comes with a stiff brush to break up any ground coffee that’s stuck in the burrs.

The grinds bin is easy to remove and wash with soapy water as well.
Tip: Compressed air also does a great job of removing any grinds that are lingering in the grinder. If you must use water to wash the top burr, just make sure it’s absolutely dry before you put it back in the grinder.
All in all, the entire process shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes.

The frequency with which you clean the burrs depends on usage. If you’re using your Baratza Encore coffee grinder daily, it’s a good idea to clean it once a week. If you only use it once a week or less, you can get away with cleaning it once a month.

Compact Size

As far as burr grinders are concerned, this conical burr grinder is pretty compact. It’s about 13.75" tall, 4.75" wide, & 6" deep (35cm / 12cm / 16cm). It’s takes up less space than the base of my gooseneck kettle and is just a little taller than my French Press.

I don’t have a lot of counter space left on my coffee bar due to GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), so I really appreciate that the Baratza Encore doesn’t take up a lot of room.

On/Off Switch and Pulse Button

The on/off switch is on the right side of the grinder. It’s easy enough to access, but you may have to tweak your specific setup a bit to accommodate it.

The pulse button is on the front of the grinder, and it works like you’d expect. This is a nice-to-have feature if you’re grinding coffee for a finicky pour over and need a tad bit more ground coffee to reach your intended dose.

Will It Espresso?

The Baratza Encore can produce an espresso grind, but it lacks the finer adjustments in the espresso range to really dial your beverage in. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but it’s something to keep in mind if your primary focus is to brew espresso.

To get the most out of espresso, I recommend stepping up to an espresso grinder, such as the Baratza Sette 270, Breville Smart Grinder Pro, or Rancilio Rocky.

Price

Using this coffee grinder now for around 3 months, I can say the Baratza Encore is definitely worth the price, especially considering its performance and grind consistency it produces.

Even at full price, the Encore is a great value. It’s well-built, designed to last (and repairable), and comes with a one-year warranty.

Also, with Baratza’s world-class support team, you can be confident that you’re getting a quality product.

My Results/Verdict

Overall, I really like this little grinder and would recommend it to anyone who might be on a budget, or just starting out. It’s a great entry-level grinder that will grow with you as your coffee knowledge and experience expands.

It will last you for years to come, especially considering it’s so easy to replace parts on.

Plus, with the one-year warranty and Baratza’s stellar customer service, your investment is protected. For me, it’s made brewing coffee at home even more enjoyable.

And with that, a few words on why the Baratza Encore might NOT be for you:

Don’t buy the Baratza Encore coffee grinder if:

  • You’re really looking for a grinder that specializes in espresso. The Encore is great for a lot of different brewing methods, but it won’t have the same finesse as a dedicated espresso grinder.
  • You’re looking for something with a ton of features. The Encore is a great basic grinder, but it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles.
  • You’re looking for a grinder with more of a “wow” factor, look elsewhere

The Baratza Encore grinder is for you if:

  • You’re looking for an affordable, entry-level grinder backed by an outstanding company.
  • You want an exceptional grinder that will last for years to come.
  • You want a coffee grinder that’s easy to use and maintain.
  • You’re looking for a grinder with many grind settings that can handle just about any brewing method.
  • You want a grinder with an amazing grind consistency.
Clint Doerfler
Clint Doerfler is the founder of Coffee Gear Gurus® and has been obsessed with everything coffee since a very young “growth-stunting” age. He is passionate about helping fellow coffee lovers make amazing coffee at home, no matter what their level of experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a burr grinder last?

With proper care and maintenance, a quality conical burr grinder will last for many years. Sometimes, upwards of ten years or more. The consensus is you should invest wisely upfront in a quality grinder, as it will save you money in the long run.

How do I know if my burrs are worn out?

If the burr edges feel dull or jagged, it’s time for a replacement. You may also notice that your grind consistency is suffering or that it takes longer to grind the same amount of coffee.

Another telltale sign that your burrs are worn is consistently having to grind finer. This is because the dull burrs struggle to cut through the beans, so you need to compensate by grinding finer.

How long do Baratza Encore burrs last?

Baratza has rated the Encore’s steel burrs to grind around 500lbs of coffee beans before replacing is necessary.

That means if you grind around 1 pound of coffee beans per week, your burrs will last you roughly 9.6 years.

If your machine is around 10 years old, it’s probably time for a new set of burrs, regardless!

Can you use a blender as a coffee grinder?

We do not recommend using a blender as a coffee grinder. Blenders are designed to chop (much like a blade grinder) whereas burr coffee grinders crush the coffee beans into a consistent grind and specific size.

The result is a better tasting cup of coffee.

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