Baratza Encore Vs. Encore ESP Comparison
Have you seen the exciting new Baratza Encore ESP Espresso Grinder? Built on the Baratza Encore as a platform, but engineered for more than just slow brewing, there's a lot to like about the ESP. Let's take a look at how it compares with the classic Encore!
From a visual and aesthetic perspective these grinders have a lot in common. Both are simple modern designs without too much flash. That doesn't mean either grinder is ugly. The Encore cuts a nice profile that means business, but isn't hard on the eyes. On top of that, the color options really pop. We especially love the white. The basic Encore has a clean interface as well, and a nice looking rounded hopper. Finally, the catch bin may be plastic, but it looks great with just enough tinting.
The Encore ESP shares many of these traits, but you might notice some slight differences in its case and interface. These are pretty minimal, but the shift to a dosing cup will be quite noticeable. These dosing cups are becoming more and more popular, and we love that the ESP uses one. They allow for easier grinding without mess, and distribute the grounds into your portafilter better than grinding and tapping the sides. It's also a great looking accessory that adds a bit of extra refinement to the ESP.
The base model Encore is a great coffee grinder for slow brew methods. This means it's a perfect pick for pour over, drip brewing, press brewing, and other non-espresso methods. This model is still available, and still a fantastic choice for so many new or experienced coffee enthusiasts out there. 40 stepped grind settings and conical steel burrs deliver speedy and consistent grounds that are about as good as you can get for slow brewing.
The Encore ESP may cost a bit more, but it's for an exciting reason. Baratza have worked on their macro-micro adjustment system found on some of their grinders to provide tighter, more precise grind settings at the fine end of the Encore ESP's settings band. This means that the grinder is capable of the kind of powdery fineness that's needed for brewing in an espresso machine. You can also dial back to more coarse settings with the macro adjustment, meaning you can still use this grinder for slow brewing as well. The ESP also comes stock with Baratza's exceptional M2 conical steel burrs, which ensure that those extended settings are backed up by espresso-ready grinding implements. When combined with the aforementioned cup receptacle, the Encore ESP is a great choice for new espresso users.
One exciting part of the Encore ESP's performance is how well it switches from brew method to brew method. We usually find that it can be finicky and challenging to re-dial in for espresso after switching to a slow brew setting on most multi-purpose grinders. It's why we often advocate for having two grinders. With the Encore ESP, switching back to your dialed in setting brings you right back to the grind size you need without additional work. It makes this grinder one of the best we've seen for multi-purpose use.
The Baratza Encore offer tool-free access to the burrs. This means that you can easily disassemble the grinders for cleaning. Additionally, Baratza is well known for producing grinders that are serviceable and repairable. They offer many of the parts you'd need to do your own fixes, making this a grinder that can last many years with proper maintenance.
The Encore ESP is similarly easy to maintain, with many of the same maintenance features of the Encore. It's also easy to clean and care for beyond opening it up. Like we mentioned earlier, having that dosing cup means you can grind with much less mess compared to grinding directly into the portafilter.
Which One is for Me?
Determining which model of Encore is right for you really comes down to the kind of coffee that you drink. If you know you're going to be a drip and pour over drinker for the long term, you can save a bit with the base Encore. If you think you might want the flexibility to grind for espresso then it's absolutely worth the extra cost to upgrade to the Encore ESP.
One thing is for sure, whichever Encore you select, we're sure you're going to love the performance, build quality, and ease of use.