Are you a coffee aficionado? Then you will agree with me on this. It is not all about the quality of your beans or your brew’s consistency: the grind has a say too. You could say you are good to go with pre-ground beans. Well, that’s your preference; but you should count your losses. One, you are getting less flavor. Two, you cannot bet on the freshness of your brew.
Why Does Grinding Beans Matter?
As soon as the beans are ground, oxidation starts straight away. Pre-ground beans will taste stale. Also, you can only second guess on the uniformity of the grind and trust that someone else did an excellent job. You see, it is your brew, but you are letting someone else have a say on it. It’s a long story, but let me cut it short. You get the real deal when you grind your beans.
I can guess your next question. Which is the best grinder for you? It is a sea of options, but that is why this post is here. We have filtered through hundreds of grinders and narrowed your search to two grinders: Baratza Encore vs Virtuoso. Also, we will compare the two telling you the good and the bad of each. We won’t leave until you have made the right decision. Ride with us, and you will not regret bumping into this post for Baratza Encore vs Virtuoso.
Quick Summary Table: Encore vs Virtuoso
|Body material||Plastic||Plastic and stainless steel|
|Max grind capacity||2.2lbs or 1kg||2.2lbs or 1kg|
|Grind speed||12g per 15 seconds||12g per 8 seconds|
|Hopper capacity||0.51lbs or 230g||0.51lbs or 230g|
|Grind range||250-1200 microns||250-1200 microns|
|Burr size||40mm conical burrs||40mm conical burrs|
Product Quick Compare
The Baratza Encore grinder has rich features, thus a darling for most people who cannot turn away from a steaming cup of coffee. Its grinding precision is impressive, and so are its durability and stealth operation. At its price range, you are getting the bargain of the year.
All the power comes from the DC motor that does the heavy lifting. You will get an amazing 40 grind settings, which is not a mean achievement. Thanks to it, you can grind your beans to all levels of coarseness and fineness. Whatever quality of grind you want, this baby will serve it to you just the way you like it.
The biggest score for this grinder is on the gears. They have 15% thermoplastic glass, which guarantees longevity and almost zero noise when grinding. You will get years of service, and you can grind your coffee at night and not risks waking up those who are sleeping. Its hopper capacity is generous. You are getting 8 ounces for each grinding session. You won’t have a grinding marathon when you have coffee lovers at your home and this Baratza Encore grinder sitting on the counter top.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
Reliability is the other name of Baratza Virtuoso. Wherever you need a cup of coffee brewed to your preferences, you will get it all the time. Giving you 40mm of conical burrs, this is the ideal tool for grinding coffee beans for a large group. It evenly grounds the beans, and your guess is right, you are getting a rich flavor in your mug.
Your beans will be ground to sizes ranging from 250 to 1200 microns. Do you know what that means? Just a single turn of the hopper will get you the precise flavor. Whether it is an espresso or French grind, your wish is the command this appliance will obey.
When grinding your beans in the Baratza Virtuoso, you will no longer be using a try and error approach. The 60-second timer makes it easy to grind your beans to whatever duration gives you the flavor you want. Press the timer and repeat as many times as you feel necessary.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
The Titanic Showdown
There is no doubt that when it comes to burr grinders, the Baratza twins are ahead of the rest. It is a battle of titanic, where only the best will win. To leave no doubt about your choice, let’s get into details about the similarities and differences between the two.
Baratza Encore and Virtuoso are not identical twins per se, but they share a few features. After all, they are both products of a brand that appreciates a treat of well-ground coffee beans.
Both Baratza Encore and Virtuoso are packed with 40mm conical burrs. You will get even grinding of your beans. Whether you want them fine or coarse, you play with the settings.
Their heavy-duty DC motors are readily equipped to give you the power you need for an even ground. Each grinder will provide you with 450PM, and a grinding range between 250 and 1200 microns.
This is the section that will significantly sway your decision. Let’s see what kind of a punch each of the two grinders pack when it comes to winning your purchase decision. Baratza Encore comes with a straightforward on and off switch at the side of the grinder.
There is a pulse button at the front to channel the beans to a filter basket. Baratza Virtuoso has the same buttons, but the on/off switch comes with a 60-second timer. You can customize the timer depending on what you want to brew.
M2 vs M3 burr
A quick look will tell you that the burrs on Baratza Encore and Virtuoso are the same, but that is not right. The Encore comes with Baratza’s patented M3 burr. On the flipside, Virtuoso uses M2 burr. The M3 has flatter edges and is slightly dull in color. On the other hand, M2 is sharper, and the edges are steep. From it, you get precision cutting aligned more to consistency and uniform ground.
Grinding settings: Baratza Encore vs Virtuoso
The Baratza Encore will churn out your ground beans at the rate of 0.8 to 1.1g/s. In one minute, you will have enough coffee for a group of six people. In the setting, you will get 40 levels to give you coarse to fine coffee treat. You are getting versatility that does not come with a lot of grinders. Choose your setting on the hopper, and wait for your brew to come exactly how you like it.
The Baratza Virtuoso wins the speed battle. It will grind between 1.5 and 2.4g of coffee beans in each second. It is ideal for a large group or a family of coffee enthusiasts. There is an electronic setting control to make sure that your beans do not get burned. With it, you can shift the rotation pace between 405 and 495 rotations in every minute.
Encore is for those trying to find their foot into the world of coffee. It is designed so that you do not find trouble using it. It is what you need to take baby steps in honing your coffee making skills. Its learning curve is gentle, and you do not need anyone showing you the ropes.
Ease of use: Baratza Encore vs Virtuoso
How simple is it using the Encore? It is a piece of cake easy. You use switches and buttons to run the show. Choosing your intensity of ground is easy. Pick your magic number between 1 and 40. 1 Is for the finest grind, while 40 is for the coarsest grind.
You will also love how easy it is to clean this grinder. You will not need any handyman tools to dismantle it. Everything is detachable for effortless cleaning and re-assembling. The Virtuoso is a tool for the big boys. Well, it is not complicated to use, but it comes with an advanced level of settings. One of the things you should be familiar with before buying this grinder is telling the signs of overheating.
If this is something you do not know, then this fancy machine may not be your best choice, yet.
With Virtuoso, you get a 60-second time. You will not be second-guessing how long your beans have been ground. You can set it on and continue doing other things in your kitchen. Also, you can reduce the rotation rate if you are afraid of burring out as well as reducing the level of noise.
Both Baratza Encore and Virtuoso follow the same path of maintenance. You can detach or adjust their parts when it is time for cleaning. Their respective materials viz. plastic and stainless steel are easy to clean. You can wipe them with a wet rag, and they will shine as you have just unpacked them.
Design: Baratza Encore vs Virtuoso
Of course, there are structural and feature differences, but it should not give you headaches about maintenance. You can take care of whichever grinder of the two you choose.
Encore design is top-loaded. Your beans will be directly put into the hopper right from the overhead. The grinder is at the bottom of the machine. It is made of a thermoplastic material that is sturdy and stain-resistant. The burrs are 100% stainless steel. You can agree with me that the design of the Encore locks out the enemies of perfect coffee grinding, which are light, moisture, and heat.
For its capacity, Encore can hold 8 ounces of coffee beans at once. Virtuoso is bigger and heavier. The extra weight is coming from the bottom made of steel. While this makes it sturdier, you will find it less portable.
Its hopper comes at the top, while the cabinet takes the space below. One of the deviations Virtuoso takes away from Encore is the extra use of steel plating. Its style is gleaming, and you will be happy to get the extra shine in your kitchen. Just like its twin, Virtuoso hopper will hold up 8 ounces of coffee beans at one time. However, its grinding speed is faster. Are you having a group of coffee lovers at your house? No problem, this grinder will keep every cup full.
Both grinders are from the same manufacturer, but they have a share of differences. But you can be sure that there is diversity in their differences. Both Encore and Virtuoso are attracting coffee connoisseurs from all corners of the globe.
For coffee beginners, it is the Encore that will give you a rich experience and help you learn the art of making an irresistible mug of coffee. Everything happens by the touch of a button. You will also appreciate its lightweight design for easy portability.
The Virtuoso may be on the heavier side, but you are getting your wish for finely brewed coffee any time you want it. It is also true that its design is a bit complicated for a beginner, but you can learn from day to the other. The timer is particularly a big plus that will rule out the guesswork of how long you have to grind your beans.
Another extra feature of the Virtuoso that coffee lovers cannot get of their lips is the portafilter holder. You will not need a ground bin since the portafilter can do it for you without having to touch it as you grind.
The Verdict: Baratza Encore vs Virtuoso
Burr grinders are the coffee brewer’s game-changer. They revolutionize the process, the taste, and the flavor, as well as user convenience. Of course, leading the line of attack in this revolution are Baratza’s Encore and Virtuoso. However, since it is pointless to buy the two of them, you have to make a decision. To help you with that, we are giving you our verdict of what we think about each one of them.
The Baratza Encore is a more appropriate purchase for someone who is in their trial face of coffee grinding. It is easy to use thanks to the function buttons that will have everything figured out for you — not forgetting that it comes at a very pocket-friendly price tag.
Baratza Virtuoso is a bit of the manual type. It is not a starter’s machine, but it does no harm to have it anyway. Skilled coffee grinders will appreciate whatever this machine is putting on the table. It is faster, sturdier, and precisely what you need to keep cups filled for a group of coffee enthusiasts.
Choosing between the Baratza twins, Encore vs Virtuoso, is a choice you will never have a shred of regret. They are both going to serve you as a master. Remember, as much as you need a great grinder by your side, you will also need a dependable brewer and fresh beans.
Our turn is done; now it is yours to make a choice. Is it going to be Baratza Encore or Virtuoso for your next grind? We hope this article has been an eye-opener and you will make the correct choice. We are happy to see you happy, and from us, cheers to a great cup of coffee. Thank you for reading with us today! Be sure to check out more helpful guides if you have the time for choosing the right products online at ReviewsCube.