Going to your local coffee place can get expensive if you are visiting every day. Finding a good burr grinder for your home can save you some money and make you into an awesome barista. Baratza offers you a solution for this.
Their Encore and Virtuoso grinders are good products that have both their pros and cons. We hope to help you choose the best one for you to get you on the road to brewing your favourite coffee beverages.
The word Baratza in both Arabic and Swahili indicates “a place where locals gather to drink coffee.”
Their products use 40mm conical burrs to grind a coffee beans into tiny particles, so you have a smooth consistency and great flavor.
Twenty two years later, they are still going strong. In this article we take a closer look at two of their popular home and prosumer grinders.
The Virtuoso and The Encore
The Virtuoso’s name implies honor as the Italian word defines it. Virtuoso foreshadows the performance of the machine. Its high-end burr grinding system will exceed all expectations that the home barista might hold.
The Encore is the grinder that Baratza put out first. It was created and produced so coffee lovers could have freshly brewed coffee at home. It offers French Press to Espresso grinds with almost limitless grind options. A quick click and the home barista will have fresh grounds ready to go in just a few seconds.
Now let's see how they stand up against each other.
Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
This grinder is the higher end Baratza offering. It is engineered to be stylish while offering a great grind at 2g each second.
It has a dial that is mounted on the front making it easy to adjust the timer to exactly what you want. It also has a blue backlight so you can see into the grounds bin and assess the number of grounds produced.
The Virtuoso has 40 grind settings to choose from as does the Encore. The span of grind variety goes from fine to course. This machine can hold up to 8 ounces of beans, so you are ready to go for any amount of people.
Similar to the Encore, it has a glitch or two such as periodic overspill with the grounds bin but overall is a great product.
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The Encore grinder is easy to use and not overly expensive. It has 40 settings for grinding and it works quickly and efficiently.
The grind settings include fine, course, fine/coarse and many more. There is one to suit your preferred coffee blend.
Using these various settings means that you can be ready to use a French press, pour-over, drip, espresso and almost any other coffee maker you may need. Its high speed offers café perfection.
It comes with a one year warranty to make sure there are no issues to interfere with your coffee brewing.
The Encore is designed for all users. Whether you are an amateur or expert coffee brewer, the Encore is simple to use. Be aware that coffee beans can clog the grinder periodically, but it comes with clear directions on how to fix the issue.
Choosing Between the Virtuoso and Encore
No matter how big a coffee fan you are, here's what you need to know when considering Baratza Virtuoso vs Encore.
A significant difference between these two grinders is the speed at which they grind and produce fine grounds.
The Virtuoso has burrs that are sharp and inverted, making grinding a breeze at 2g per second. While the Encore has burrs that are a little flatter and duller.
This slows grinding to 1g per second, so the Virtuoso is going to make work of the beans at twice the speed.
This includes size, weight and build material. There is little difference between the two machines when it comes to size and weight, but the materials differ.
The Virtuoso is just over 7lbs and is wider yet shorter than the Encore which is just under 7lbs.
The Encore is generally made from plastic. The Virtuoso is a mix of metal and plastic, making it the more durable of the two, but it does take up more counter space compared to the Encore.
Switch or Timer
The Virtuoso has a 40-second timer that means you don’t have to stand over the machine while it does its job. The Encore has an on/off switch that has to be activated and deactivated manually.
While the Encore's switch lets you control the grind, it does mean that you have to watch it and turn it off when it is ready.
While both products are of good quality, the price point may be the thing that determines which grinder you will purchase. The Virtuoso is more expensive by almost $100 but is more solid and automated compared to the Encore. It offers quick hands-off quality grinds.
However, both products cost more than $100 so they aren’t the least expensive grinders on the market either way.
The Encore is cheaper and can certainly offer quality grounds as well. No matter which you choose, both offer a quality end product.
Baratza Virtuoso vs Encore: The Final Word
The Baratza Virtuoso and Encore are both good coffee grinders, however, one may suit your lifestyle and coffee preferences over the other. If you want speed and an exact grind, then the Virtuoso is probably the way to go. The extra expense will get you a fast process and a consistent grind.
However, if you don’t want to incur that extra expense, then the Encore can certainly do the job as well. You can still have great ground beans without a lot of fuss and muss. It will take a little more work and oversight, but you will still have the right grind for whatever coffee beverage you are going to make.
No matter which grinder you chose, you are going to be able to brew a great cup of java.