Selecting a quality burr grinder will have a significant impact on improving the taste of your daily cup.
These two machines are among the most popular burr grinders on the market. They are both meant for home brewing, use stainless steel burrs to grind the coffee, and come with similar attributes.
If you’re deciding between these two grinders, you’re already on the right track for brewing better coffee at home.
This article will examine the similarities and the differences between these two grinders so that you can make an informed decision about which grinder is better for you.
Baratza Burr Grinders
If you are considering these two grinders, you already know that having a burr grinder is an essential part of brewing a delicious cup of coffee.
Grinders that use burrs rather than blades utilize pressure instead of chopping the beans randomly, as it is the case with blade grinders.
This ensures more consistent grind size, even extraction and better-tasting cups of coffee.
Let’s look at the similarities between these two burr grinders.
Baratza Encore Vs Virtuoso: How Are They Similar?
Both Baratza Encore and Baratha Virtuoso are entry-level machines designed for beginners and filter coffee drinkers who want consistently ground coffee.
They both have 40 grind size settings, use 40mm stainless steel conical burrs and grind coffee at 450 RPM.
These attributes mean that they are both sufficient for grinding filter coffee, but won’t perform very well if you need to fine grounds for espresso brewing.
Both grinders are of similar size, have a large 8oz hopper and easy access grind buttons and settings.
They are both constructed from durable materials and are simple to take apart, making them easy to maintain. They feature the same 1 year warranty and a the straightforward cleaning process.
Baratza Encore Vs Virtuoso: How Are They Different?
These two grinders have similar attributes and belong to the same category of entry-level machines.
Now, let’s have a closer look at their differences and how exactly is the Virtuoso a Baratza Encore upgrade, so that you can select the right one for you.
The burrs can be considetered the most important part of your grinder. They are responsible for the consistency of the grind and ensure even extraction, which is crucial for brewing a delicious cup of coffee.
As mentioned above, both grinders have 40mm conical stainless steel burrs. However, they are not exactly the same.
While the Encore grinder has a M3 burr, the Virtuoso grinds with a Baratza M2 burr. The difference between the two is subtle but the M3 has a duller, flatter cutting edge, while the Baratza Virtuoso burrs are sharper and steeper.
If you’re looking for a Baratza Encore burr upgrade, the M2 will produce a more uniform grind with fewer inconsistencies and fines, which is slightly better suited for brewing esppressos. Virtuoso is not ideal for achieving a precise espresso grind, but better than the M3 Encore burr.
This is because while the Encore has a grinding range of 250 to 1200 microns, the Virtuoso provides a slightly better 200-1200 range.
In terms of speed, Virtuoso can grind coffee faster, with 1.5 to 2.4 grams of beans per second. While the Encore can handle around 0.8 to 1.1 grams per second.
This difference is because the Baratza Encore M2 burr upgrade inside the Virtuoso grinder is faster and can generate up to 500 RPM with the motor.
The increased speed comes with more heat generated inside the grinder, which can negatively impact the flavor.
These differences in heat and speed are very subtle, and if you’re making coffee at home, which both of these grinders are intended for, these differences won’t have a significant impact on the brewing process.
While the construction inside of these grinders is similar, the outside materials differ.
The design of the Encore grinder is basic and finished with plastic, which allows for an affordable price and creates a simple aesthetic.
The Virtuoso, the more expensive model, has the outside constructed of stainless steel, making the design sleeker but also slightly heavier.
Ease of Use
While the basic operation of these two burr grinders is similar, the Virtuoso has little but more functionality to it.
The Virtuoso features an auto shut off timer as well as an automatic grinding timer, where you can set a time after which the machine stops grinding.
You can also slightly adjust the grinding speed on the Virtuoso grinder, but most people find it more annoying rather than useful.
The enhanced functionality isn’t significant and the preference between the two will depend on your needs, but lots of users enjoy the simple design and easy on and off switch on the Encore model.
The price is one of the biggest differences between these two models and will be a determining factor for many users.
The Encore is the more affordable option out of the two and the cheaper price comes at the cost of plastic design and slightly lower-performing burrs.
The Virtuoso is slightly improved but the differences in speed, power, and performance aren’t that significant.
Baratza Encore Vs Virtuoso: Which One Is Better For You?
Whether you decide to go with Baratza Encore or Virtuoso machine, you are making the right choice in selecting burr rather than a blade grinder, which will be reflected in the improved taste of your coffee.
While there are differences between the two, they are both considered entry-level grinders that are perfect for manual or drip brewing methods. But neither of them would be sufficient for making espressos.
The Baratza Virtuoso is an upgrade that has a slightly better burr, grinds faster, offers more functionality and has a more attractive stainless steel outer construction.
Are these differences worth the higher price tag? That is for you to decide.
If you’re looking for a basic burr grinder and you want to maintain a low budget, the Baratzo Encore will be sufficient.
But if you’re looking for a significantly improved grinder suited for espresso brewing, go for higher quality grinder, such as the Baratzo Sette, which allows you to micro-adjust the fineness of your grind and allows you to brew espressos.