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Coffee lovers are always up for a good cup of coffee. They invest huge amounts in coffee machines to satisfy their love for coffee but most of the time they overlook the most important gadget in coffee making which can bring a huge difference in the taste.
That gadget is a good quality coffee grinder. If you have a good coffee grinder, without upgrading your coffee machine now and then, you can still have a very fulfilling coffee experience with each cup. All in all, a coffee grinder of high quality can make your coffee more flavorful and tastier.
Each type of coffee needs a different level of grinding of coffee beans. If you have bought good quality coffee beans that are paired with a high-performance coffee grinder, the chances of brewing a fantastic coffee are doubled even if you are a newcomer in coffee making.
Below we are going to present a comparative study of two coffee grinders which are manufactured by the same company, Baratza. They have features and pricing and cater to different types of coffee lovers. After studying this comparison, you would be able to choose the best suitable coffee grinder for yourself to enjoy a nice cup of coffee as per your taste.
What is Baratza?
Baratza was founded by Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy in 1999 in Seattle. They design their coffee grinders in Seattle itself, but they get them manufactured from Taiwan. The meticulousness of their conical burrs is coming from Europe giving them an extra edge in coffee grinding. These high-quality grinders help in giving a consistent taste to each cup of coffee at a reasonable price.
Baratza is continuously upgrading the look and features of their products and has their coffee grinders distributed all over the world, through their worldwide network. To top it all the price of Baratza coffee grinders is economical in comparison to their competitors. One thing is for sure although they are comparatively low priced, it does not mean any compromise on the quality.
Baratza is coming up with a wide range of coffee grinders that help in bringing out the right flavor from your finely roasted coffee beans. Their range of coffee grinders caters to different brewing methods to satisfy the need of every type of coffee lover. In this article, we are going to show a comparative study of two of its coffee grinders.
Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder from Baratza
The Encore was introduced in the market in 2012. It has a plastic body, yet it is preferred by coffee professionals. It has easy-to-use controls which make it a user-friendly gadget. It is not just like any other coffee grinder but with its help, you can taste different varieties of coffee flavors. It comes with a 40 individual grind setting that offers the perfect grind size for all types of brewing methods.
These brewing methods give an extensive range from espresso, AeroPress, French Press, and automatic brewers, etc. Its hopper can hold 8ounces of whole coffee beans, the see-through grounds bin which has a capacity of 5ounces indicates a fill line to show how much quantity is left to grind.
All you need to do is fill up your hopper with the coffee beans of your choice and grind them as per your required settings. State-of-the-art 40mm conical burrs will make sure you get a good grind quality to enjoy a consistent taste every time. It has got a good speed to grind. It has a 550 RPM grind speed, which gives you 0.8gms/s – 1.1gms/s coffee ground.
It is a true user-friendly device. It is equipped with a front-mounted pulse button. It has a convenient and simple on/off switch making it easy to function and operate.
Encore comes with unique speed control, the slow speed helps in reducing the static generation, heat, and noise inside the grinder. It also makes sure that the burrs are being fed smoothly with the beans. These burrs are easy to remove without the help of any tools, this makes their cleaning easy and hassle-free.
It also comes with a hopper extender which helps in extending the existing hopper capacity of 8ounces to 9ounces. The replacement of the grounds bin can hold the espresso portafilter. It not only offers hands-free grinding but also makes cleaning easy.
Sometimes the coffee grinders become unserviceable due to overheating. This coffee grinder comes with a thermal overload cutout which protects the motor from overheating because of excessive usage. Having said that one needs to keep in mind that these grinders have been designed for home use. They can only grind one dose at a time.
The Encore has been smartly designed with a sleek finish and dependable functionality by the manufacturers. It can fit under most of the kitchen cabinets hence it remains accessible for your coffee grinds in a daily routine.
This coffee grinder has a plastic body, but it is built to last a long time. Its parts are very conveniently replaceable. The machine can be dismantled and assembled quite easily. If one of its parts needs to be replaced, you can have a replacement without purchasing the whole gadget altogether.
Baratza Encore coffee grinder is supported by the world-class Baratza’s one-year warranty. It is economically priced to fit in every coffee lover’s budget. On Amazon, it is priced at $139.
Virtouso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder by Baratza
The Virtuoso was introduced in the market way back in 2005. It has a plastic body, but it serves its purpose to the fullest for home use and even in cafes. This coffee grinder is known to make coffees with balanced flavors and café quality. It offers a vast range of flavor profiles with easy control and perfect grinding performance. It also comes with an intuitive interface and digital screen.
Variety of Coffee
It serves its users with uniform grind particles to make different varieties of coffees catering to every taste. Its state-of-the-art functionality gives the coffee lovers the consistency and flavor which they are always looking for in their cups.
Be it a cup of espresso or French Press, or any other variety of coffee, this coffee grinder with easy controls offers a perfect grind size with 40 individualized settings. The grinding size can be adjusted quite easily from one setting to another. The grind range offers 200 – 1200 microns.
The Virtuoso+ comes with a 40-second digital timer which is adjustable to the tenth of a second. This feature allows repeatable dosing. Its motor turns slowly allowing the operation to be cool and quiet. Its circuitry comes with a thermal cut-off switch which has an automatic resetting. This feature permits long-duty grinding cycles.
Its burrs are manufactured in Europe. They have a 40mm conical shape and depending on the setting can grind coffee at 1.5gms/s – 2.4gms/s. It has a speed of 550 RPM which gives its grinding range an exceptional feel for every variety of coffee brewing methods. This slow speed ensures the smooth feeding of coffee beans into the burrs. At the same time the static generation, heat, and noise are also reduced in the grinder.
This coffee grinder comes with a backlit grounds bin having a capacity of 5ounce. While its bean hopper capacity is 8ounce. Just turn the hopper and you are ready for fine ground coffee for espresso or coarse one for your French Press.
Virtuoso+ coffee grinder, for the sake of maximizing freshness, helps in minimizing the coffee ground left in its grinder. One thing is to be remembered that these grinders are designed for personal use and hence can grind a single dose of coffee at a time. Excessive usage can burn its motor.
Virtuoso+ is styled and designed in a sophisticated and eye-catching exterior body. It has a well sculptured silver metallic top and base. These features give the coffee counter a stylish look. Combined with a powerful motor and hardened alloy steel burrs, the durability and longevity of this coffee grinder become long-lasting.
Like any other product of Baratza, this gadget also comes with a 1-year warranty and world-class support of Baratza. It is not very low-priced, but its features and functionality make it a value-for-money product in its true sense. At Amazon, this coffee grinder is priced at $249. Many people may find it on the expensive side, but a true coffee lover will love to invest in this coffee grinder for its likable functionality paired with a stylish exterior.
Overall Comparison Between Virtuoso+ And Encore
Design and Style
Virtuoso+ is a durable machine with a sturdy metallic and plastic body. It has a shiny metallic top and base, which enhance its image and give it a trendy look. It’s design and style are suitable for both home and café.
In comparison to Virtuoso+, the Encore is less stylish and trendy. It has a plastic body and a very homely feel to it. It has the durability for long-term use, yet it lags the finesse and craftsmanship which does not let it stand out.
Baratza Virtuoso+ has a greater grind speed which enables to make coffee ground finer and even for all kinds of coffee needs. That is why it is also a favorite for a lot of coffee professionals.
The Encore on the other hand does not measure up to the ground speed of Virtuoso. It is more suitable for home use. If you are an espresso lover then it might disappoint your expectations.
The Baratza Virtuoso+ has a bigger particle range than the entrant level grinder. The benefit of having a wider particle range is that coffee beans are ground more homogeneously, thus the extraction is more than lesser homogeneous grind.
The Baratza Encore being the entrant level coffee bean grinder does not match up to the ground level of its competitor. Although it also offers a good particle range, it is lesser in finer range limits.
Bean Hopper Extendibility
Baratza Encore takes the lead when it comes to the option of extending the bean hopper. Although it is an accessory and may be purchased separately once you have it you can increase the coffee bean quantity by one whole ounce.
Baratza Virtuoso+ does not offer an option to extend bean hopper capacity. Therefore, you need to manage the existing capacity of the bean hopper.
Digital Screen and Timer
Virtouso+ coffee grinder comes with a digital 3.5inch screen and a timer. The timer is precise and adjustable which allows repeatable dosing.
The Encore on the other hand does not offer any digital screen feature or any timer facility. It comes with plain and straightforward controls.
LED Backlit Grounds Bin
Virtuoso+ has a very unique and extraordinary feature, it comes with an LED-backlit grounds bin. Paired with a digital timer it doses coffee ground accurately and consistently.
Again, the Baratza Encore falls short in comparison to its competitor, in this feature as well. The Encore is equipped with a simplistic grounds bin and does not have an LED feature.
Size and Weight
Encore coffee grinder has a very compact size. It can be easily stored or placed in kitchen cabinets which makes it a very hands-on and accessible kitchen appliance to use on daily basis. Since its body is made of plastic therefore it is lighter in weight than its competitor.
The virtuoso coffee grinder has a broader size hence it cannot be stored in kitchen cabinets. It needs a counter-top to house it. Since it has a trendy and modern image therefore it adds style to your coffee counter. As it has a mix of metal and plastic body it is heavier in weight.
Baratza Encore coffee grinder is a winner when it comes to being pocket-friendly. Although it is less in price, it fulfills the purpose of a domestic household. If used with care, it is a long-lasting gadget. It is priced at $139 on the Amazon website.
Virtuoso+ coffee grinder has a heavier price tag than Encore. It is offering many features like, stylish design, efficiency, and is a quality-driven product that can be used at homes or in cafés alike. It is also preferred by many coffee professionals and baristas. Because of all these qualities, its high price is good value for many and a wise investment for beginners and pros. It carries a price tag of $249 on the Amazon website.
Which One We Would Prefer.
If Virtuoso+ and Encore are compared on fairgrounds no doubt both of them are equally good products. Both the products are manufactured by the same company, the overall quality is good and is built to last for a long time. A lot of innovative ideas and research are visible in both the products.
Both these coffee grinders are capable of serving their users to the fullest, keeping in mind their features, design, and capacity.
When it comes to overall performance the fact cannot be denied that Baratza Virtuoso+ is a winner all the way. It is crafted in such a way that comes out as very sturdy yet classy. It has a design to stand out on the countertop of a kitchen as well as the coffee counter of any high-end café.
It has many features that are not available in the Encore model. Not only features but it also exceeds Encore inefficiency and consistent quality output.
All in all, it is a good value for money catering to the needs of diverse types of coffee lovers.