The key to a good cup of coffee is the machine. However, another critical equipment that is often overlook is the grinder. Getting a coffee grinder will give you consistent grind size and even extraction. While most people are content with a simple blade grinder, burr grinder gives you better result. Perhaps a good example of a good burr grinder is the Baratza Encore Grinder. Its often rated as the best automatic burr grinder. This review will take a closer look at the design and feature.
Is Baratza Encore a Good Grinder
Yes, its a pretty decent grinder for the price. However, prices of coffee grinder can go to the thousand. It depends on the heat, burrs, construction, sound and grind quality. But for the price of Baratza, it does better than most other brand.
The most important thing about any coffee grinder is the quality of the grind. Uniformness and grind size determines how well your coffee is extracted. In my test, I found that at the rough setting, the eveness is acceptable but not spectauluar. I found sizes from big chunks to medium chunks. Its not necessarily uniform. At Mid Range which is typically used for drip coffee, performance is really good. Grind size is fairly consistent and so is bean quality.
At the finest espresso setting, it was fairly uniform. It got to a fine enough powder that a shot can be pulled. However, the uniformity can only be seen through a naked eye. With the shot, its transparent that Baratza Encore is not the best for espresso. You are better off getting a machine dedicated to espresso.
Baratza Encore vs Virtuoso
The main difference between these machine is the Burr. The the burr on the Virtuoso is better and grind at a faster rate. The interesting thing is that you can upgrade the Encore by adding that burr into the machine. The other benefit of the Virtuoso is that it has a metal body. As a result, its a bit quieter. Whether its worth the extra money depends on you. However, I think the Encore is the better bargain of the two. If you want the extra performance, you can always upgrade the burr later.
Cleaning and Care
Every now and then, the grinder will get dirty. A simple brush can take care of it. I would avoid getting the burr wet as it can rust. For the plastic exterior, a damp towel will work. If you need, you can use some soap.
Unclogging your coffee Machine
After a while, sometimes the coffee machine will jammed. You can hear the grinder running but no beans is coming out. Usually the result is due to chute getting stuck. What you can do in this situation is get a paper clip and poking a hole through it.
You do have to dissamble the top then remove the top burr. You should be able to access the chute from there. If that doesnt work, you can access the chute from the bottom as well. Baratza even have a video to show you how to unjamm it.
Is Baratza Encore Grinder Worth It?
For Drip Coffee and possibly French Press, then yes its worth it. However, the subpar performance of espresso grind means that you should look for something else. The good thing is that most people buy the Baratza Encore Grinder for drip coffee.
Like Espresso? Check out our article on the Best Espresso Grinder.