Coffee is sold in either whole bean or ground varieties at the grocery store, and while there’s nothing wrong with buying ground, getting it whole and grinding it yourself is the key to unlocking better flavor. And right now, the gold standard for home coffee grinders is discounted by 20%.
The Baratza Encore isn’t the most high-end coffee grinder on the market, but it is the most well-regarded option in the sub-$200 range. The Baratza Encore is often dubbed the best entry-level coffee grinder, but to be fair, $170 at full retail is still pretty pricey for something considered “entry-level.” The discounted $135 price is still a hefty hit to the wallet, but there’s a reason this coffee grinder doesn’t go on sale very often. To get the features and quality Encore provides, you’d typically have to pay substantially more. It’s not cheap, but it is a good value for coffee lovers.
At $135, down 21% from the $170 list price, the Baratza Encore is an even better value right now. It’s available in either black or white. This deal applies across a range of retailers, including Amazon and Crate and Barrel, as well as coffee-specific sites like Seattle Coffee Gear. They’re selling fast, though, so don’t hesitate to check other retailers if your preferred shop is out of stock.
What We Love About The Baratza Encore
The Baratza Encore is a conical burr grinder. What that means is that there are interlocking cone-shaped burrs, (similar to gears), which spin and grind whole bean coffee into grounds. Coffee enthusiasts and baristas pretty much unanimously recommend a burr grinder over a blade grinder or spice grinder.
Blade grinders have spinning blades, similar to a propeller, that spin around and chop the beans up. The reason these aren’t ideal for coffee is that the results are very uneven. You’ll have some grounds that are too big and some that are too small, so some of your ground coffee will be over-extracted and some will be under-extracted. It’s also hard to fine-tune your grind with a blade grinder, whereas a burr grinder allows you to grind your beans to different sizes depending on your brew method.
The Baratza Encore is designed to be easy to use; simply twist the hopper to your preferred grind setting, then either twist the on/off switch or use the pulse function to grind your coffee. The Encore produces an even grind with minimal mess or effort.
A burr grinder, like the Baratza Encore, is a must-have if you like to brew coffee using different methods. For example, if you do pour-overs when you have time and French press when you’re in a rush, it’s crucial to be able to grind to different consistencies. Making a French press with fine coffee will result in a sludgy, gritty cup while putting coarse coffee in a pour-over or drip maker will result in coffee that’s too weak.
However, as Baratza’s most basic model, the Encore does have some limitations. With only an on/off switch and pulse function, there’s no way to fine-tune the amount of coffee you want to grind. In addition, the Encore is not the ideal option for espresso enthusiasts, though it can capably handle most other ways of making coffee.
Ultimately, there’s a reason the Baratza Encore is the most widely endorsed option in this price range; it’s consistent and delivers quality results, and it has a repair and parts program if it ever does malfunction. The deals on the Baratza Encore are across the board, so wherever you like to buy your coffee gear, you can score a 20% discount.