Is the Baratza Encore Still the King of Coffee Grinders?
The Baratza Encore is a truly classic coffee grinder. For many, it’s the grinder that opened the door to having fresh ground coffee more readily available. Is this venerable classic still the ultimate entry level home grinder? Let’s take a look!
For starters - the Encore is still the same excellent grinder that it’s always been. While Baratza hasn’t developed any enormous overalls of the Encore, they haven’t really needed to. The burrs still do a great job of providing consistent grounds without too much noise and with simple operation.
Plus, there’s the reliability and support that you get with the Encore. This is a grinder that lasts for years and that you can usually fix any issues on. For these reasons it really is still a strong choice for pour over coffee, drip coffee, French press, and more.
With all of this in mind, the biggest thing that has changed over the years is the competition, so it’s worth considering what other options are available aside from the Encore.
There are quite a few good alternatives to the Baratza Encore these days. One of the only issues that the Encore has encountered over the years is an increase in price. While it is an exceptional device that still offers good value, there are other less expensive options that offer much of the performance.
For example, both Solis Scala models, the Zero and the base model, are high quality grinders that are significantly more affordable than the Encore. While the Encore may offer better fit and finish, a less expensive product with similar performance is definitely compelling.
Perhaps even bigger competition for the Encore is the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. This grinder has the benefit of being a good fit for a wider range of brewing options. It’s capable of working well for espresso, and coarser grinds. However, it might not be the best choice for grind consistency if you exclusively drink press or cold brew coffee.
On the higher end, there are also options like the Fellow Ode and the Eureka Mignon Chrono. Both are slightly more niche in terms of specific performance than the Encore. However, they may work better for your selected brew method. The Chrono, for example, features stepless grind adjustment, which can provide more precision. Meanwhile, the Ode offers quality of life features that make certain brew methods easier. Because the price gap between these grinders and the Encore is smaller than in the past, they could be great choices for you.
Finally, there are compelling grinders available from Oxo and Capresso. These grinders don’t necessarily offer performance that equals the Encore, but they are still plenty capable for most slow coffee brewing methods. Considering their low cost they may be a better fit for your kitchen.
Hopefully we’ve conveyed here that the Baratza Encore is still an outstanding coffee grinder. While it has seen increases in price, it’s still a great value that will last a long time. With that said, there are good alternatives out there as well, so it’s worth shopping around to find the perfect grinder for you!