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Baratza Encore vs Baratza Virtuoso. Is one Baratza grinder better than the other? Even if you consider yourself to be a coffee aficionado, buying a coffee grinder can be a complicated process. Once you have decided on a brand that you know will provide you with a good quality grinder, such as Baratza, there are still other factors to consider.
You will likely have seen vintage coffee bean grinders. These are the simple brass and wood devices that simply require you to pour in some beans and turn a handle to grind them.
Modern coffee grinders are more simple on your end (you definitely won’t have to provide the power yourself) but they are more technologically advanced.
This can make it difficult to know exactly what you need from a coffee grinder, beyond it producing grounds that you can make into a drink.
But you also need to know your preferred fineness of the grounds, how much you want ground at one time, and how quickly the beans will grind. For weekday mornings, you’re also going to need to know how noisy it is.
The Baratza Encore and Baratza Virtuoso are relatively similar coffee bean grinders. But they have some important differences. To help you choose between the two, we have considered all they have to offer.
So you can compare, contrast, and then make this very important decision.
Bean Hopper Capacity
First up, let’s look at how these grinders compare in terms of capacity. If you’re buying a coffee bean grinder, we think it’s safe to assume that you drink a lot of coffee. So, the capacity of the bean hopper is pretty important.
Here is how the Encore and Virtuoso measure up.
- Encore Capacity: 8oz/227g
- Virtuoso Capacity: 8oz/227g
As you can see, both the Encore and the Virtuoso have exactly the same bean hopper capacity. This might seem like it won’t help with your decision-making.
But, comparing the capacity to the grind speed will give you a good idea of how much each grinder can do, and how quickly.
So, how do the Encore and Virtuoso grinders compare when it comes to grinding speed? This is one of the most important features of a grinder.
Although the actual grinding ability is, of course, the most important feature. Being able to know how quickly you can make a cup of coffee is important. Plus, generally speaking, the faster the grind, the more efficient the machine and the finer the grounds.
- Encore Grind Speed: 0.8g to 1.1g per second
- Virtuoso Grind Speed: 1.5g to 2.4g per second.
The Virtuoso has a much faster grind speed than the Encore. This means that, despite having the same bean hopper capacity, the Virtuoso is much more efficient.
The speed of the grind might not seem like the most important factor. But it is a good way of assessing the quality and efficiency of a grinder. It will also seem a lot more important on an early Monday morning when you’re desperate for your first cup.
As well as the capacity and speed, the grind settings will give you a very good idea of the sort of grounds these grinders will provide for you.
- Number of Encore Grind Settings: 1
- Number of Virtuoso Grind Settings: 5
As you can see, the Virtuoso completely outdoes the Encore in terms of variety. The Virtuoso will provide you with 5 different kinds of grinds. This is great for trying out different coffees or just gives you a smooth and soft coffee, or something more coarse and intense.
If you don’t find the exact grind too important, then only one setting might be enough for you. But, because of the variety, the Virtuoso absolutely comes out on top in terms of grind settings.
One of the main similarities between the Encore and Virtuoso is the way they are used. Despite the higher number of grind settings on the Virtuoso, both grinders feature a simple dial.
The dial on the Encore simply has “on” and “off” settings. Whereas the Virtuoso has markings that signify the different grinds.
For the Encore and the Virtuoso, you simply pour the beans into the bean hopper, replace the lid, turn the dial, and wait. The grounds will gather in a small bin beneath the hopper.
To use both grinders, you simply fill up the bean hopper, press the button, and turn the dial to your preferred setting. One of the useful settings of both grinders is that you have complete control over how many grounds to make at one time.
You can make enough for just one espresso. Or you can turn on the grinder, leave it for a while, and then come back to find your coffee grounds ready for the whole week.
When it comes to usage, the Encore and Virtuoso are identical. But, in terms of practical design, the Virtuoso comes out slightly on top. This is purely down to the design that makes removing the grind bin much easier.
When you first look at these grinders, you would be forgiven for thinking they were the same product.
Both the Encore and Virtuoso grinders are compact devices with a funnel hopper above a small bin. This is a very standard style and shape. But the Virtuoso has slightly more going on.
The Encore has a very standard and classic black finish. The Virtuoso has stainless steel accents and has an overall more modern style. But, neither is particularly more attractive than the other.
The Encore has a sleeker overall style and shape. As black will go better with other appliances, for appearance the Encore just about beats the Virtuoso.
This isn’t something many people consider before buying a coffee bean grinder. But it’s definitely something they are aware of once it’s in their kitchen. The level of noise a coffee bean grinder produces is difficult to ascertain and measure.
Although manufacturers try to make coffee bean grinders as quiet as possible, it’s impossible to make them silent. But, just how noisy are the Encore and Virtuoso? Both are relatively quiet.
But the Encore has a slightly faster burr rotation of 550RPM, compared to 500RPM for the Virtuoso. This means that the Encore will be slightly quieter than the Virtuoso.
But, as mentioned before, there really isn’t such a thing as a “quiet” coffee bean grinder.
Weight and Overall Size
Coffee bean grinders come in a huge variety of sizes. Some are incredibly tall and almost industrial in size. But for your home, you don’t need anything particularly big.
You certainly don’t need something that would be better suited to a cafe.
For size, the Encore and Virtuoso are identical:
- Encore Dimensions: 12” x 35” x 16”
- Virtuoso Dimensions: 12” x 35” x 16”
So, whichever coffee grinder you choose, they will take up just as much space as the other. But what about weight? Being able to move the coffee grinder will be important at certain times.
Although neither will be heavy enough to cause too much damage, there is a chance that any kitchen appliance might damage the countertop.
- Encore Weight: 6.83lbs
- Virtuoso Weight: 7.15lbs
Both the Encore and Virtuoso are dense coffee grinders. Neither are particularly heavy but they can’t be described as lightweight. Both are still manageable.
The difference in weight between the two coffee grinders is very small and so can be considered negligible. It’s definitely not enough to affect your choice.
That said, a slightly lighter weight would be preferable. So for this reason only, the Encore just beats the Virtuoso.
Now on to the most important factor. If you’re on a budget, the price is going to be the main factor, regardless of the impressive features.
Although the price will vary depending on where you buy your grinder, the Virtuoso is generally around four times more expensive than the Encore. This is a huge difference.
The Virtuoso does have some more impressive features and is more complicated. But, when all features are considered, the price difference seems a little too much.
So, if you’re concerned about the cost, Encore will be a great option. Even though it isn’t quite as good as the Virtuoso, the difference in price will make up for that.
Summary and Conclusion
The most striking difference between the Baratza Encore and the Baratza Virtuoso is the price. The Virtuoso is much more expensive than the Encore. But it does have some slightly more impressive features.
The most important difference is the number of grind settings. The Encore has 1 setting while the Virtuoso has 5. The Virtuoso also has a much faster grind speed. Aside from these differences, these coffee bean grinders are almost identical.
So, when you’re choosing between the two, keep in mind the price, speed, and number of settings. These are the most important factors to consider when buying a coffee grinder.
And they are the biggest differences between the Baratza Encore and the Baratza Virtuoso.