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I love my coffee almost more than life itself.
Without my coffee, I’m an absolute mess.
If you are like me, you need your cup of satisfaction…all day long.
Your tastebuds can easily feel when a cup of coffee is AMAZING and when it’s absolute swill.
You also know how essential a grinder is in releasing those beautiful coffee bean oils.
And, if you don’t know why a great grinder is essential, let me tell you.
Why Would You Need a Grinder?
There is a magic that happens when coffee beans meet the burr of a grinder. If grocery store coffee grounds are all you’ve had in your life up until this point, you’ve been missing out on a lot of potential flavors.
When beans are ground, they release wonderful oils that give your coffee that mouthwatering aromatic quality.
But, this magic won’t last for long.
Coffee beans begin to go stale within five minutes of being ground. That’s why a cup of coffee made from pre-ground, store-bought beans will never…ever…live up to the quality of a freshly ground pot of coffee.
So, yes, a grinder is an absolute must-have if you want your coffee to go above and beyond for you.
It is also an absolute must-have to choose a burr grinder over a blade grinder.
Because a burr grinder makes sure, every single bean is ground. A burr grinder is all about consistency.
And as much as a blade grinder may want to be like a burr grinder, it will always lose a bean or two along the way. It just can’t keep up.
When you have a large variation in bean size, that’s how you end up with a muddy tasting or completely flavorless cup of coffee. Not good.
So what the heck kind of grinder should you get that will grind the beans just right?
Meet the machine that can do it all (mostly).
Meet the Baratza Encore Conical Coffee Grinder
There is one grinder on the market I’ve been using daily.
The Baratza Encore Conical Coffee Grinder is a pretty great machine. It’s one of the coffee grinders offered by the Baratza brand that can boast its SCA-Certified award status.
Now, don’t expect it to work as a commercial grinder with tons of grinds being thrown in every day. It’s known as the go-to grinder for at-home use, so your coffee bean consumption needs to be…dare I say it, reasonable.
With 40 grind settings (I know, it’s a lot, right!?), you can play with all the ranges of coffee ground goodness until you find the perfect level of grind for you.
With its burr technology, the Baratza is also more than capable of producing a consistent grind without leaving any beans behind.
When I first came across the Baratza Encore, I knew I had to try it out and give my honest opinion.
It’s something that just had to be done.
So here we go!
Conical Burr Tech + Motor Power
Smooth and even coffee grounds are essential components in creating a tasty cup of coffee. The Baratza Encore uses fancy conical burr tech to create coffee grounds that fit this description to a T.
The best part? When grounds are smooth, and even consistently, you can make exquisite beverages like cappuccinos and drip coffees.
I can honestly say from my own experience, a cup of French press just doesn’t taste right when you don’t use super coarse ground beans. But, with the Baratza’s 40mm steel burrs, you can achieve the perfect cup of French Press by adjusting its 40 grind type variations.
Now that’s service!
The one thing I do have to point out is espresso is not an ideal coffee beverage to make with this machine. As great as it is for almost every other ground type on the planet, it doesn’t quite get the superfine grind an espresso ultimately needs.
That being said, the powerful and high torque DC motor burrs are effortlessly driven to create the perfect grinds for most other drinks.
The DC motor is well built and has a grind range of 250 – 1200 microns. This means your coffee grounds will be ground…quick. Like super quick. You will barely have to wait.
With its nifty gearbox, the Baratza also won’t overheat, an unfortunate quality other Baratza’s have been known to do. But with the Baratza Encore, you can grind away for as long as you need.
Design and Ease of Use
Design-wise, the Baratza is pretty darn simple.
Throw your beans in the 8-ounce plastic hopper on top, adjust the metal ring surrounding the hopper to your ideal grind setting (1-40), and then switch it on by pressing the button on the front.
If you are picky about the length of time your beans grind for, you can also adjust the dial timer on the left side of the machine.
A few quick steps and your beans will be effortlessly ground right before your eyes.
If you have no need to play with the grind settings or grinding time, you can just throw your beans in the hopper, close the lid, and turn it on. Easy.
If you have been a fan of the Baratza from previous years, you may want to consider buying the latest model. It has the exact same design and method of use, but it has more of a sleek, high-quality exterior that makes it a darn great coffee grinder to show off on your counter-top.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning the Baratza is a super simple process.
The burrs can easily be removed with no tools required, and there’s no need to wash or disassemble the other components of the machine.
You do need to clean the Baratza encore once every month to avoid clogging, but with the simplified design, it isn’t that difficult to do.
If your machine ever breaks down, it’s also easy to find replacement parts. Baratza grinders have been designed with repairability in mind. This is a neat factor, as it shows the company actually values the products it puts on the market.
What we like
- With 40 different grind settings, you can use this coffee grinder to perfect your grounds for any style of coffee drink. Whether it is a cappuccino or just a straight-up bold roast, this grinder will make sure your grounds hit just the right consistency.
- The Baratza is just an overall well-built machine. With its DC motor and 40 mm conical burrs, it has a full range of grind and allows for longer grind times with its unique speed control system. The burrs are also exceptionally durable, so they will last you a long time without losing their overall sharpness.
- Easy to clean, easy to use, this grinder is all about being efficient, quiet, and convenient. If you just want to create quick grinds to throw in your French press, you can do that. Or, if you want to set the grind type and time, you have that option as well. This machine is made for anybody and requires minimal maintenance.
- It’s also a great bang for your buck type of product. Grinders in this price range just can’t produce as consistent of a grind as the Baratza can. It’s a fairly priced machine that is reliable in delivering a high-quality grind.
What we don’t like
- The superfine grind setting doesn’t produce the finest grounds out there. This isn’t ideal when wanting to make a top-notch espresso.
- There are issues with the grounds getting clogged in the grinding chamber, and it can be a pain to clean the grinds out.
- The grinder can also be a bit messy, as it has a tendency to spit out grinds.
What’s the bottom line?
If you are just starting out being a coffee bean type of person, then this is an absolutely great grinder for you to use.
It’s simple and gives you so many different grinding options that anything else would be too overwhelming for a newbie coffee bean guy or gal.
It’s also a great little machine for the coffee bean addict (lover?) who has had experience grinding their own beans for a while.
Sturdy, easy to use, and capable of producing smooth and even grinds, it’s a great machine to prepare your French press, drip, and pour-overs.
One thing to mention is if you are a hardcore espresso addict, you may want to look the other way on this one. It just doesn’t do the job as well as it should. You would be cheated of the finesse a cup of espresso can bring to the table by using this machine.
If you are all about espresso, you may want to check out the latest Baratza Virtuoso Plus.
But, if you could take or leave a quality espresso, then I would definitely recommend this affordable and high-class Baratza Encore Conical Coffee Grinder.
You will be able to achieve a great-tasting coffee beverage from this machine.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what we coffee addicts (lovers?!) want?
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