September 06, 2013

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Kit Review - Baratza Encore Grinder

Overview

The grind size and flexibility of the Baratza Encore makes it the perfect grinder to use for brew methods such as V60, Chemex, Syphon, Aeropress and French Press. It's also well built and very easy to use. As far as affordable electric conical grinders go, it’s the best out there and comes in at an affordable £159.

Initial Impressions

This grinder is fairly small and made of sleek black plastic, with a tiny 227g hopper that is easily tucked under kitchen cabinets. There is no gate on the hopper, meaning that if you want to change beans, you’ll need to pour out any leftovers. Our suggestion is to single-dose, only grinding the exact amount of coffee that you need to avoid tipping the whole thing upside down.

First Grind

The grind range on the Encore goes from 0 – 40 and there are 40 increments on the scale with markings at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40. We found that grinding finer than number 10 was far too fine and the grinder was unable to grind any coffee at all. This still leaves plenty of range to grind fine for V60/Aeropress, medium for Chemex/Syphon, and coarse for French press, with lots of settings in between for fine tuning.

Timer Setting

The grinder does not have timer functionality, but uses a basic ON/OFF switch – ideal if you’re looking to grind everything you’ve put in the hopper. There’s also a handy Purge button on the front if you just need to add a little to a dose of coffee, or purge the grinder between grind changes or when changing coffee beans.

Grind retention

The level of grind retention is very low. As the Encore is not grinding for espresso, it only holds back an average figure of around 2g - retained within the burrs and exit path.

Distribution

The coffee is ground directly into a plastic bin, and is very tidy, though occasionally there will be a few odd coffee grounds landing under where the bin sits. The bin can hold approximately 140g of ground coffee.

Conclusion

The Encore is brilliantly simple and easy to use. We would recommend it as the perfect grinder for the home or workplace that uses filter coffee, whether that be in single servings, large capacity French Press or Drip Coffee brewers.

At £159 the price is difficult to beat for something of this standard. We’re looking forward to lots more coffee from the small but highly functional Encore!


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