Baratza Encore Burr Grinder
When people ask us how to brew better coffee at home, we tell them the most important investment you can make is in a quality burr grinder. The Encore by Baratza is our favorite.
And we're not alone! Recently, Wirecutter (a products research company owned by the New York Times) announced that after 65 hours of research over 2 years, they found the Baratza Encore to be the best grinder for most people. Here's what they have to say about it:
The Baratza Encore grinds coffee more evenly than almost any other machine we tested, on a wide range of settings. It’s a reliable, straightforward tool—there’s almost no learning curve—and takes up only a modest square of counter space. It’s also super easy to clean and maintain, meaning it’ll be an investment you can rely on morning in, morning out. And all that is only sweetened by its price tag: Though around $90 cheaper than its swankier sibling, the Baratza Virtuoso, the Encore proved itself to be just as good a grinder for most people.
That's why, after years of recommending the Encore to our friends, we've now made them available for purchase right through our online coffee shop!
What's a burr grinder? And why are burr grinders better?
We've been using the Encore burr grinder at home for a few years now. Before that, we used a basic blade grinder—the kind you can get for $12 at any box store. When we finally leveled up and made the switch to a burr grinder, we couldn't believe it had taken us so long.
As opposed to blade grinders, which "chop" or "slice" the beans and heat them up in the process, the action of burr grinders is better described as "crushing" the beans. The way they're built enables only grinds of a certain size to pass through the burrs to the coffee bin below. This is why burr grinders are such a game changer. Instead of brewing coffee grinds of all sizes (fine, medium and coarsely chopped) the burr grinder produces consistently sized beans which enables you to make a smooth, balanced cup of coffee.
Long story short, it's literally impossible to make a better cup of coffee with a blade grinder than a burr grinder. That doesn't mean you can't make a decent cup with a blade grinder (we're not coffee snobs!), it's just that it will never taste quite as good!
Here's some more, from Baratza:
Featuring 40 individual grind settings, from fine to coarse, the Encore can please any palate with its gamut of accurate and repeatable grind settings. The Encore has an accurate medium to coarse grind for the increasingly popular manual brew methods such as pour-over, Aeropress, Siphon and Chemex. The specially designed burrs give a precise grind with minimal fines for a flavorful, balanced extraction when making espresso.
And, of course, the Encore is built with the quality Baratza parts you’ve come to trust. The efficient DC motor keeps your beans cool, even during extended grind times, while a combination of electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup.