Mikespresso Senior Member Joined: 15 Jul 2012 Posts: 16 Location: India Expertise: Just starting
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 8:51am Subject: Honest opinion of the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
I'm looking to buy a burr grinder to make real espresso. I'm getting rid of my pressurized portafilter model and buying a non pressurized one. Could all those who have any experience with the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder tell me if it can produce a grind quality good enough for use in a high end espresso machine. This is more to do with the fact that the machine is just $129. Its not that I don't want to spend on a good grinder, I just want honest opinions about the Baratza Encore. I actually found this video on youtube Click Here (www.youtube.com) that shows the grinder being used in a high end espresso machine. Can that be trusted.
I'd appreciate if any of the senior members with this forum could be of help. Please do not provide a judgement based just on the cost of the machine but if you have actually used the machine for real espresso. Thanks a lot.
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 9:04am Subject: Re: Honest opinion of the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
Internet rule number one: If somebody's selling a particular piece of grear, don't trust any video you find of them showing how cool it is. Such things are too easily jiggered.
I'm not saying either way about the Encore, other than that I don't know anybody who is using it as their primary espresso grinder. I have not used one, so I don't have hands-on with it, but my impression from those who have is there is not enough adjustability and not an even enough grind. You need to at least step up to the Virtuoso or the Preciso to get something that will work reliably for espresso.
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 10:00am Subject: Re: Honest opinion of the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
What the Encore lacks for espresso is a low-step fineness control. The difference in one click on the Encore will go from gush to choke when brewing. You might be able to hit a sweet spot for a particular bean at a particular time, but I've heard it's mostly not reliable.
I don't brew espresso myself, but I've heard the Preciso is a good choice, especially if you switch between espresso and other methods, or if you don't want to pay as much for a Vario. The Vario is a good grinder for espresso, but I find that it has dust problems for drip or even moka pot. However if you are considering the Encore for espresso, you probably have budget limitations so you'll have to find the right balance.
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 10:19am Subject: Re: Honest opinion of the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
Towards the end of that youtube video, the comment is made that the Encore is not recommended for everyday espresso usage as the grinder is simply not beefy enough and an espresso grind would put too much strain on it if used consistently that way. As others have noted, the inability to make fine adjustments with the Encore is also a real limitation. Personally, for espresso usage I would not go any lower than the Preciso model in the Baratza line. I can vouch that it is quite capable as an espresso grinder and also a great grinder for other brewing methods.
CMIN Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2012 Posts: 1,627 Location: South FL Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: CC1 Grinder: Baratza
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 11:02am Subject: Re: Honest opinion of the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
Problem with the Encore is no real dialing in, you may get an "ok" shot one day, and then nothing but gushers or crazy fast blonding rest of the time as it has wide steps. It's a fine grinder for a pressurized portafilter though and for coarser needs, but the Preciso (and Vario) are in a completely different league. Every few days I can move the micro arm on the Preciso slightly to keep the shots dialed in as the beans age.... can't do that on the Encore. Have owners of both whom have posted similar on here and HB site.
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