Wildly acclaimed as the go-to grinder for brewing coffee at home - The Encore Conical Burr Grinder packs a huge punch with it's versatility - without a hard hit to the wallet.
Today - we're going to dive into the nitty-gritty of the Encore - covering all of it's features, recommended grind settings, as well as care and maintenance.
You can find these grinders on Amazon or our website for around $129.00. But - if you do a little research, you can often find these grinders refurbished by an Authorized Baratza Service Center - for as low as $89.
What. A. Steal.
Now, let's get to it.
Functions & Features
The Encore Grinder is the ideal starter grinder for those brewing coffee at home.
A lot of different variables go into making the perfect cup of coffee. Those variables include where it was sourced, how it was roasted, styles & methods of brewing, etc.
An often overlooked factor - is how and when it is ground.
Ideally - you should be brewing your coffee within fifteen minutes of grinding. (And you should be grinding within 24-48 hours of roasting... but that's for another blog).
Regardless of your brewing method, your grounds need to be consistent to achieve the most balanced cup. This is where the Encore seriously shines.
It's durability, consistency and overall resiliency are unmatched at this price point. Let's take a look at it's basic features.
Conical burrs, whether steel or ceramic, are a must-have amongst coffee enthusiasts. Conical burrs sort of roll the beans as they're being evenly pulverized - while blade grinders split, hack, and cut through each bean without any real consistency.
Blade Grinder = Bummer.
Because of this, blade grinders produce coffee grounds with varying particle sizes - a HUGE contributing factor in both taste and brewing times.
The hopper on the Encore grinder can hold up to 8 oz. of fresh coffee beans. However, with that said - we recommend only filling the hopper with as much coffee as is needed for immediate brewing. This cuts down on both wasted beans, and grinds left in the hopper - ensuring freshness for each and every use.
The hopper also plays an integral role in adjusting the grind settings on the Encore. Rotating counter-clockwise for a coarser grind, and clockwise for a fine grind.
Adjustable Grind Settings
Ranging on a scale of 0-40, the Encore can produce a grind for nearly every method of brewing. Easily adjusted by simply rotating the hopper, it can prepare fine grinds for a nice espresso - or mega-coarse for a 24-hour steeped cold brew.
Bartaza has done extensive research and testing on this grinder and it's settings: and their grind preferences align pretty closely with ours.
Recommended Brew Settings
For an standard espresso grind, you should aim to set your grinder somewhere between 0-10. An appropriately calibrated machine should have a fine grind setting of about '5'. (If you are wondering how to calibrate your grinder, check out this helpful video tutorial from Baratza.)
For a Chemex or CoastLine carafe pour-over, you should aim to be at around a '20'.
And for a coarser grind, for use in a French Press, you should aim for '30'.
With that said, this grinder can produce a much coarser grind - at setting 35-40 - if you are interested in making a 24-hour style cold brew.
As always, when adjusting the grind settings, make sure the machine is either off, with the burrs completely clear of any beans OR while the machine is on and running.
Care & Cleaning
As long as you take care of your grinder, your grinder will take care of you. Routine maintenance, burr replacement and proper cleanings with keep your Encore running in tip-top shape.
Even if you aren't running an oily french roast through your grinder every day - oils WILL build up. It is a fact of Grinder Life. This will not only affect the taste of your coffee, but will also affect the productivity of your machine. This along with chaff, dust, and grinds will clog up your machine, and keep it from grinding effectively.
There are a few techniques that we perform as often as possible to keep our grinders, well.. grinding.
The first is removing the hopper after every other use, and running a soft, dry brush over the burrs. (We love our Brushtech Brush, available here in our coffee grinding accessory kit). This removes any noticeable debris, and can prolong the life of your burrs.
The second is something we try to do at least once per month.
We use a product called Urnex Grindz (also available in our set). Grindz are small cleaning pellets that are run through your machine the same way you would grind beans.
Following directions on the manufacturer's packaging, you should use approximately one tablespoon of Grindz and set your grinder to a medium-fine setting (around 10). These food-safe particles clear away any residual grinds and oils, and keep your grinder running smooth.
(We do recommend running a tablespoon of coffee through the grinder after cleaning, just to be sure it's free from cleaning pellets).
If you find that after proper maintenance and adequate cleanings, your grinder isn't performing the way it should - you may need to have it serviced by an Authorized Baratza Service Center. It's fine.. it happens to all of us. An authorized Baratza Technician will look over your machine, replace any needed parts (Most often, burrs), re-calibrate and bench-test it, and send your grinder back on it's merry way! (Usually within 48 hours after receipt).
So that's that! A quick overview of The Baratza Encore Grinder!
Still have more questions? Feel free to reach out on social media, we would love to hear from you!
But before you go....
For a limited time, order your Baratza Encore Grinder with us, and receive a free gift! (No.. we're not telling you what the gift is. It's a surprise.). Just use code ENCOREGIFT at check out for 5% off your Baratza Encore order AND a unique gift with purchase.
Now go ahead, run along.
Enter the world with your coffee cup held high, having learned all there is to know about this glorious little grinder.
Curious to learn more about The Encore? Subscribe to this blog - and join our VIP club to stay up-to-date and in-the-know about the latest deals, promotions, tutorials - and more!
Until next time, friends.