Baratza Encore vs. Virtuoso: The Similarities & The Differences
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of improving the quality of your cup of coffee is by investing in a good grinder as it will allow you to make your brew from freshly ground beans.
And when it comes to buying a coffee grinder, Baratza is one of those brands that should be at the top of your mind as they have some of the best in the market like their Encore and Virtuoso conical burr grinders.
The two are among the most popular Baratza coffee grinders, and they are famous for making some high-quality and consistent coffee grinds. But because they share many similar aspects, many coffee drinkers find it hard to decide which one to buy.
In this piece, we help provide more information on what each has to offer and also compare them to help you make a more informed pick between the two amazing coffee grinders.
Baratza Encore Overview
Many coffee fanatics that prefer to grind their coffee beans at home love the Baratza Encore grinder for its precise grinding ability and smoother operation, and it is the kind that almost anyone can use with little hassle.
This coffee grinder also offers many other features and all at an amazing price, which means you get the perfect coffee grounds for your coffee without having to spend much.
The coffee grinder provides 40 different grind settings to allow you to make coffee grounds for everything from super fine Turkish coffee to extra course cold brew grounds.
With the improved gearbox and gears, you get a durable machine that will also get the job done without producing too much noise. And when compared to the many other models in its class out there, the Encore is also a simple and easy-to-use coffee grinder.
Encore also comes with larger bean hopper and grounds container, and if you want something that you can carry and use in different places, its lightweight and portable design will make it perfect for this.
But, when compared to the Virtuoso, this coffee grinder can be quite messy, and this is more so when being used by an experienced individual, and it also does not include a timer.
Baratza Virtuoso Overview
Baratza Virtuoso is all about speed and reliability, and this is reflected in the fact that it costs much more than the Encore grinder as these things come at a price.
This grinder also offers 40 grind settings to choose from, which allows you to make coffee grinds for all your favorite brewing methods.
And with the commercial-grade 40mm burrs, you can be confident of always getting commercial-grade coffee grounds for excellent extraction, and hence highly flavorful coffee.
Better yet, when using this grinder, there will be no need for trial and error or have to guess things because it also includes a built-in timer that works perfectly with the pulse button functions to make grinding more convenient and easy.
With this coffee grinder, you can also grind up to 2.5 grams of coffee beans per second which is more than double the top speed you can expect to get from Encore. Overall, this is also a well-built grinder that uses both heavy-duty plastic and brushed stainless steel.
But, many users tend to complain that the timer knob feels a little too loose. And despite the high-quality coffee grounds and construction, this grinder might still not have what it takes for effective commercial use.
M3 40mm stainless steel
M2 40mm stainless steel
200 to 1200 microns
200 to 1200 microns
Plastic and brushed stainless steel
Maximum Burr RPM
Weight and Dimensions
6.83 lbs, 4.7” x 6.3” x 13.8”
7.15 lbs, 4.7” x 6.3” x 13.8”
Baratza Encore vs. Baratza Virtuoso
There are some choices that you should not stress over such as picking between the Baratza Encore and Virtuoso grinders because, given the popularity of both grinders, you can be sure you will be able to make even and consistent grinds regardless of what you choose. But, to ensure you have an easy time deciding, you need to keep the points below in mind.
Burrs are what will chop down and crush your coffee beans into a coarse or fine powder, and they are hence one of the most crucial elements of a grinder. You need to keep this in mind when trying to decide whether to go with Encore or Virtuoso.
Both are fitted with 40mm stainless steel conical burrs which besides being a perfect size are also made from a durable material to ensure long-lasting performance.
But, while these two use the same size burrs, they are not entirely the same. Encore uses an M3 burr while Virtuoso uses M2. M2 burrs are designed for precision while the M3 burrs offer a more affordable, but still highly effective and consistent grinding solution.
2. Grind Settings
Grind settings are what will determine the versatility of your grinder or what you can use it for and are hence also a crucial element to watch out for.
But here, no model seems to have an edge over the other as both are designed to offer 40 different grind settings. which are as many as you can hope to get for grinders in their class or price range.
With the 40 grind settings, this grinder will allow you to make everything from extra fine to extra coarse coffee grounds which means they will be handy for almost every coffee-making method from French press to espresso.
3. Grind Range
While the grind settings can give you an idea of the size and consistency of the coffee grounds that you will make, if you want more precise information on the grinds, you can get on your grinder the right idea is to look at the grind range.
Like with the grind settings, there is no difference between Baratza Encore and Virtuoso when it comes to the grind range because both will make coffee grounds between 200 to 1,200 microns.
This wide grind range is a positive attribute of these grinders as it means you can easily get coarse or fine coffee grounds at the turn of the knob.
4. Hopper Capacity
Both Encore and Virtuoso will offer large enough hopper capacity which is meant to ensure you can grind as much coffee beans as you want at a go, which is a great feature for the heavy drinkers.
The two coffee grinders have 8-ounce bean hoppers which will hold enough beans for several cups of coffee, but these hoppers are still not as large as what you get on the commercial grinders.
For home use, you will hardly ever need anything larger than this. And besides holding lots of coffee grounds, the hoppers are designed to be airtight which also makes them perfect storage for coffee beans even when not grinding.
5. Grounds Capacity
In many instances, most coffee lovers will pay a lot of attention to the bean hopper, and so it is easy to forget about the other bin on the grinder that is equally important, and this is the grounds bin.
Like the bean hopper, the larger the grounds bin the better and these two grinders will come with the same size container which has a capacity of 5.1 ounces.
While 5.1 ounces might not look like much, if you think of how much coffee grounds you need to make your brew, you will see that it is more than enough to make several cups of coffee.
And besides the decent capacity, the grounds containers are also super easy to take out on both grinders which makes them even more convenient.
6. Housing Material
With Baratza, you can expect to get some of the most long-lasting products as they always use the finest quality material for their products. Hence, even before using either of these particular two, you can be confident they are designed to last.
However, because the Encore was made to be a more affordable entry-level coffee grinder, it will not have a very solid housing as this could have increased its price. Instead, the company makes it with 100% plastic housing.
For the Virtuoso, the construction factors in durability and does not necessarily aim to keep the cost down. Hence, for the housing material, you get heavy-duty plastic and brushed stainless steel for the front panel.
7. Maximum Burr RPM
It should be obvious that the grinding speeds also matters when trying to decide which model to choose between these two amazing grinders. Speed determines how fast you get the job done and is hence crucial.
In many instances, the burr speed is what takes the attention and it is quite different for these two grinders. With Encore, you will get a maximum of 450 RPM while Virtuoso will have the burrs spinning at speeds of up to 500 RPM.
However, you need to be careful with the speeds to ensure you do not confuse the burr RPM and the actual grinding speeds that the grinders deliver.
For the actual speed of grinding, the Encore will give you grinding speed of between 0.8 and 1.1 grams per second while Virtuoso grinds 1.5 to 2.5 grams per second, and hence making it relatively faster
Baratza Virtuoso comes with a built-in timer while the Encore does not include one, a feature that can make a huge difference when it comes to grinding convenience.
The 60-second timer allows you to set the grinder and leave it to do other things without having to worry about overdoing things in case you forget. Also, the timer will eliminate the need to turn off the grinder manually which adds to its convenience.
But, while the encore might not have a fancy built-in timer, the simple on/off switch still does a great job, and for many users, it is often more than enough.
9. Weight and Dimensions
Because you will most likely end up having to place the grinder on your kitchen counter, its size matters a lot as you do not want something that uses up all the space.
For the dimensions, these two are quite compact and space-saving appliances that will have an almost insignificant footprint on your kitchen. Their dimensions are the same which are 4.7 x 6.3 x 13.8 inches.
But, when it comes to their weight, Encore seems to have a slight edge over the Virtuoso as it weighs 6.83 pounds, which is relatively lighter than the latter's 7.15-pound weight, and hence making it more portable.
While the Baratza Encore and Virtuoso are still on the low to mid-tier rice range for the automatic conical burr grinders, you still need to make sure that you pick an option that fits your budget.
Given the few extra features and the more durable construction that the Virtuoso offers, it should be obvious that it will also cost relatively more than Encore. And the price difference between the two is larger than what many people might assume.
Prices are always fluctuating and will differ from one retail site to the other. However, on average, the Virtuoso is around $100 more expensive than Encore.
Because both Encore and Virtuoso are well-built and feature-rich coffee grinders that produce even and consistent coffee grounds, what you choose between the two mostly depends on your specific preferences.
However, understanding the key differences highlighted above which include speed, housing material, timer, and of course, the price should help you decide which between these two will work well for you and offer the best value for money.
Using the points highlighted above, Baratza Encore will be the perfect grinder choice for a beginner looking for something more affordable that is also more lightweight and portable. Baratza Virtuoso, on the other hand, will be perfect for you if you want something more heavy-duty with a few extra features like a timer and do not mind burning more cash.