Expert Review: Baratza Encore Coffee GrinderPublished on 05/13/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the coffee grinder, which I purchased with my own money in 2013 and have used since then.
All photos courtesy of Eric T.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the coffee grinder, which I purchased with my own money in 2013 and have used since then.
The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder has been around for some time. Tried and true, this entry-level grinder is perfect for drip coffee, French press, pour-overs, and even stove-top espresso makers. It’s a workhorse of a grinder for the not-so-finicky coffee lover.
About the grinder
- Model: Baratza Encore 1EP1SP
- Type: Burr
- Burr Type: Conical Burr
- Burr Size: 40mm
- Dosable: No
- Stepped or Stepless: Stepped
- Motor Size: High Torque 70-Watt Motor
- Experience: I have been involved in coffee since 2010, with seven years behind the bar working with espresso machines and grinders. I don’t work in a cafe at the moment, but I still keep my finger on the pulse of the coffee industry and enjoy brewing at home. I’m also a coffee writer and have had the chance to meet and interview many passionate coffee people.
- When I bought it: 2013
- Days used: Too many to count
- Grinds per day: 2
- Machine used to brew: Chemex, Hario V60, French press, stove-top espresso makers, cold brew
- Coffee beans used: Everything from grocery store coffee to high-end micro-roasted beans.
- Drink Made: Primarily pour-overs
How it performs
What I was looking for
At the time, I had outgrown blade grinders and wanted more consistency and ease of use for my morning routine. I also didn’t want to invest much more than $100 into a grinder.
Why I chose this gear
I wanted a simple grinder that would last a long time. For less than $200, the Encore is a great value. There are many other entry-level burr grinders on the market, but Baratza has a reputation for standing by its products and giving customers access to all parts. As someone who would rather repair gear than throw it away, I was excited to hear that the help desk at Baratza would walk me through any repairs I might want to make.
What I love about it
- Durability: Besides the burrs, the Encore is mostly plastic inside and out. That being said, I got about five years of daily use out of my grinder before making any repairs. Some internal parts will wear out over time, but fortunately, those parts are relatively easy to switch out.
- Size: This grinder is compact with an approximate footprint of 7” wide x 5” deep and is 14” tall. It doesn’t need much room on a countertop.
- Ease of use: Once I found the range of grind settings that worked for my gear, it was easy to adjust and dial in for all coffees.
- Home/Commercial: I find this grinder is at home in a home. It can take the daily use of an average coffee drinker but would not hold up in a cafe setting.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Noise level: The Encore is pretty loud, but not surprisingly so. I wouldn’t use it when a baby naps, but beyond that, I have no issues.
- Time to grind: The Encore is not the fastest grinder on the market; grinding 25g of coffee for a pour-over takes close to a minute. It isn’t a deal breaker for me, but it can feel like forever before the beans are ground.
- Grind consistency: This grinder's 40mm conical burrs do the job but will not make one’s coffee sing. The Encore is more than capable of giving my coffee machine or Chemex the right grind for medium and dark roasts. Light roasts, however, are challenging for this grinder. When I bought some really high-end coffee, I was always frustrated by the results.
- Features: If someone wants to get nerdy about their grind, this is not the grinder to go with. I wanted something simple, and that’s what I got. It grinds, I can adjust the grind, and that’s about it.
- Grind retention: The grinder holds about a gram of coffee inside its mechanisms, which eventually falls out bit by bit as static decreases. I find this to be a little frustrating and messy. However, I developed a technique of knocking on the grinder with my hand to help the retained grinds fall.
Favorite moment with this machine
It may sound odd, but my favorite experience with this grinder was taking it apart and repairing it myself. After over five years of daily use, some of the internals wore out. So I took that opportunity to repair it and upgrade the burrs. I had a lot of fun learning more about my grinder and talking to Baratza’s help desk when I needed guidance. After that, I was able to get another five years of life out of the Encore. It’s nice to have the option of repairing a machine in an age of throw-away culture.
Value for the money vs. other options
For about $150, this grinder is hard to beat. True, other home brands make similar conical burr grinders for cheaper, but no other grinder in this price range has a maker that stands by their products like Baratza. Recently, exciting grinders have been released that offer a lot of bang for their buck. Given today’s options, I would spend a bit more and go with the Fellow Ode, a much more precise grinder with more power.
The Baratza Encore is a great option for a simple and inexpensive grinder. I got a lot of use from it making brewed coffee, and it does much better than most other budget grinders. As a coffee nerd and someone who likes to play around with grind settings and brewing recipes, I outgrew it and moved on to a more expensive grinder.