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Baratza Encore Review

Unlikely to win any popularity awards, but just as unlikely to displease
Baratza Encore
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Price:   $145 List | $145 at Amazon
Pros:  Above average grind consistency, clean operation
Cons:  Slightly pricier than some comparable models
Manufacturer:   Baratza
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Oct 9, 2019
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 12
  • 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 when it came to 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 to most people. 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.

Compare to Similar Products

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, et cetera) you will probably be happier with a different machine.

Performance Comparison



Likes


In order 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 pourover 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 pourover extraction times. This means pourover 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.

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, pourover type grind sizes, but with some finicking you can get good French press results as well.


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, it doesn't create much static that would cause grinds to cling to things, the grind cups pour 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 relatively tidy.
The encore is generally simple to operate and keeps things relatively tidy.

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 grind slightly better while costing slightly less. However, neither of those faults are so egregious as to make us dislike the Encore. Possibly our biggest qualm with the Encore 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 grind s but is better than most models in this capacity.
The Encore sometimes spills some grind,s but is better than most models in this capacity.

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, but 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