Reviews You Can Rely On

Baratza Encore Review

Unlikely to win any popularity awards, but just as unlikely to displease
Baratza Encore
Credit: Baratza
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Price:   $170 List | $169.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Above average grind consistency, clean operation
Cons:  Slightly pricier than some comparable models
Manufacturer:   Baratza
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Aug 9, 2021
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 14
  • Grind Consistency - 35% 6
  • Cleanliness - 25% 8
  • User Friendliness - 25% 6
  • Noise - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Baratza Encore is a capable and reliable burr grinder that offers well-balanced all-around performance. It performed above average in every one of our tests and was one of the top models for cleanliness. Though we didn't find any specific faults with this product, we also didn't find any salient strengths in particular. It's a grinder we think most people will be happy with, but also not the first one we would recommend. If you find this model on sale or happen to inherit it from someone, we think it will serve you well. However, if you're buying a new grinder and paying full price, we think there are some slightly better options out there.

Aesthetics Update
The current version of the Encore has a snazzy new exterior and is now available in both black and white, but the grinder itself remains the same as the version we tested.
- June 2021

Compare to Similar Products

 
Baratza Encore
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Baratza Encore
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $170 List
$169.95 at Amazon
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$100 List
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$25 List
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Pros Above average grind consistency, clean operationGreat grind consistency, intuitive interface, relatively clean and quietGood grind consistency, relatively inexpensiveRelatively clean and easy to use, quieter than most blade modelsInexpensive, small footprint
Cons Slightly pricier than some comparable modelsNot ideal for coarser grinds, expensiveSomewhat loud, can make a messProduces inconsistent grindsInconsistant grind-sizes, heavy static
Bottom Line Unlikely to win any popularity awards, but just as unlikely to displeaseThis grinder provides top-notch performance in every category except for the coarsest of grindsExcellent performance and one of the best values on the market make this a great choiceOne of the better blade models on the market, but definitely don't expect it to produce consistent grindsA basic burr grinder one-step above a blade grinder, providing mediocre grind consistency
Rating Categories Baratza Encore Breville the Smart Pro Bodum Bistro Mr. Coffee 12 Cup E... Krups GX500050
Grind Consistency (35%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
6.0
Cleanliness (25%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
User Friendliness (25%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Noise (15%)
6.0
8.0
3.0
6.0
4.0
Specs Baratza Encore Breville the Smart Pro Bodum Bistro Mr. Coffee 12 Cup E... Krups GX500050
Grinding Mechanism Conical burr Conical burr Conical burr Blade Flat burr
Burr/Blade Material Stainless steel Stainless steel Stainless steel Stainless steel Metallic
Dosing Mechanism Manual Timer Timer Timer Timer
Best Brew Application Pour over Pour over, espresso Pour over, french press Pour over, french press Pour over, french press
Dimensions 4.7" x 6.3" x 13.8" 12.5" x 8.5" x 16.3" 7.6" x 7.1" x 12.5" 5" x 5" x 9" 4.29" x 7.24" x 10.4"
Weight 6.8 lbs 6.4 lbs 3.2 lbs 1.7 lbs 3.2 lbs
Cup Material Plastic Plastic Plastic Plastic, metal Plastic

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Baratza Encore is a well-designed machine that delivered all we needed in our testing process, but it didn't particularly endear itself to us either. If you just want a simple, reliable burr grinder, this model won't disappoint, but if you're looking for exceptional performance in any particular category (grind consistency, user-friendliness, etc.), you will probably be happier with a different machine.

Performance Comparison


Tried and true, this little workhorse is a great machine for the...
Tried and true, this little workhorse is a great machine for the price.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Likes


To be worth its salt, a burr grinder has to grind significantly more consistently than a blade grinder. While it wasn't one of the top-performing burr models in our grind consistency testing, the Encore still cleared this bar with room to spare. It did create more fine coffee dust than most of the other burr models we tested, but it still managed to get an impressive 69% of its grinds into the ideal size range when grinding at a pour-over grind size. It took us some experimenting to find the right settings to mitigate those extra fine grinds, but once we did (#10 setting seemed to do the trick), the Encore created fairly consistent pour-over extraction times. This means pour-over aficionados will likely be able to get repeatable, predictable results with this machine.

The Encore grinds quite well in the pourover size range.
The Encore grinds quite well in the pourover size range.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

We were also able to get decent results at the fine (espresso) and coarse (French press) ends of the spectrum, but again this took quite a bit of experimenting and dialing things in. Overall we think this machine is better suited to mid-range, pour-over type grind sizes, but with some finicking, you can get good French press results as well.

Grind consistency was proficient and repeatable with the Encore.
Grind consistency was proficient and repeatable with the Encore.
Credit: Michelle Powell

Possibly our favorite thing about the Encore is that it generally keeps things nice and tidy. It doesn't shoot grinds around when grinding like some other models, doesn't create much static that would cause grinds to cling to things, the grind cup pours neatly, and the grind chute doesn't tend to spill many grinds. All in all, we ended up with less required cleanup when using the Encore compared to most other models.

The encore is generally simple to operate and keeps things...
The encore is generally simple to operate and keeps things relatively tidy.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Dislikes


Though the Encore isn't really a standout performer in most categories, it also doesn't perform poorly in any category either. Sure, we wish that it ground a bit more consistently or cost a bit less, as we have found some models that do. However, neither of those faults are so egregious as to make us dislike the Encore. Possibly our biggest qualm is that it doesn't quite live up to its name. It is more of a dependable opening act that will reliably get the crowd warmed up than it is a headliner worthy of an encore.

The Encore sometimes spills some grinds but is better than most...
The Encore sometimes spills some grinds but is better than most models in this capacity.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


The Baratza Encore isn't a bad value — it offers decent overall performance at a reasonable price — but it isn't a particularly great value either. You can certainly get better or slightly better performance for less. That said, we don't think the Encore asks you to overpay too much either.

Conclusion


The Baratza Encore probably isn't going to earn any emphatic accolades, but it likely won't draw any passionate ire either. If you're looking for a no-frills, no-fuss type of burr grinder, it's not a bad choice.

Max Mutter and Michelle Powell