This Is The Only Coffee Grinder Worth Investing In, According To Experts

This barista-approved burr grinder is “money well spent,” according to one reviewer.
The Baratza Encore grinder can create even-sized grounds for a variety of a brew options.
The Baratza Encore grinder can create even-sized grounds for a variety of a brew options.

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Like most people, coffee plays a pretty integral role in my daily routine. If a product can help get the best brew possible right in my kitchen, it’s worth my time and the money. As someone who has always just purchased pre-ground beans or simply ground them in store, I’ve always wondered if an at-home coffee grinder can really make a difference.

According to Drew Frohn, a wholesale manager and coffee educator for Coava Coffee Roasters, “The single most important tool you can invest in to make better coffee at home is a burr grinder – full stop.” Frohn, along with three other knowledgeable coffee experts that HuffPost recently spoke with, overwhelmingly agreed that the Baratza Encore coffee grinder is the best grinding tool for making exceptional coffee at home. “I’ve been using mine for eight-plus years,” Frohn added.

He explained that a grinder is crucial because once coffee is ground, it rapidly loses volatile and vital aromatic compounds, so pre-ground coffee will never give you as full of a flavor experience as coffee that is freshly ground.

“Burr grinders, [like the Baratza Encore], use rotating metal burrs to do the grinding, which ensures a more uniform size than blade grinders and thus a better, more consistent brew,” Frohn told me, calling the Baratza a great entry-level grinder that’s remained so popular due to its simplicity, durability and quality, all in one fairly affordable package.

Similarly, Jordan G.L. Hardin, director of food and beverage at Alfred Coffee, said that he considers this professional-backed grinder the best time-tested choice, especially if you want the ease and convenience of an electric grinder that involves practically zero work on your part.

Engineered with a powerful motor and featuring commercial-grade conical burrs that are constructed from hardened alloy steel, the Baratza Encore offers 40 different grind settings to fit an extensive range of brewing options, from French press to standard automatic to pour-over style brewing. Its streamlined operation is equally commendable thanks to its straightforward on-and-off dial and single pulse button. The design is also fairly compact, measuring a little over 13 inches tall and just under four inches wide.

It’s not just experts that swear by this beloved machine. People of every type, from serious at-home brewers to coffee beginners, consider the Baratza an important addition to their countertop. Several reviewers claim that what makes the grinder a particular standout is that it can create fine grounds without making a staticky mess when you open the grounds receptacle, a problem that many say is common with less expensive burr grinders.

You can see even more Baratza praises from the lineup of promising reviews below, or snag your very own from any of the retailers above.

Promising Amazon reviews:

“I was looking to replace my old burr coffee grinder and followed the product reviews. I landed on the Encore Grinder even though it was a bit more expensive. I bit the bullet and bought it and after a month [of] owning it, I’m very satisfied with my purchase. The grind is very consistant with its 40 settings makes it possible to find your particular grind. What impressed me the most was the lack of static electricity in its plastic bin. My previous burr grinder was such that I needed to leave it after the grind or risk a small explosion of coffee. Yes, it takes a little longer to grind and there is no auto shut-off, but I don’t mind standing there for a minute to smell the aroma. I opted for the baffle which helps to blow the remaining particles into the bin. I have yet to clean it, but I’m guessing it’s as easy as they say. If you’re like me, not someone who needs to spend top dollar on your daily grind, you would be happy with this device. The company offers parts and Customer Service, so win-win. Buy it!! You won’t be sorry. I’m not.” — Amazon customer

″I’ve been grinding beans for 15 years. Started out with a blade-type coffee/spice grinder. I moved on quickly to a couple of flat blade burr grinders (like the $40 Krupps) and used them for years. They were a pain in the a$$. I was just lazy and complacent, I guess. I finally bit the bullet and moved up to a conical burr grinder with this Baratza Encore. This thing is unbeatable in this price range. My nephew who owns several coffee shops told me that when his Capresso that he uses at his house breaks, his getting this Baratza Encore.

“The biggest joy: Virtually no static! The static with the old hi-revving burr grinders was unbearable. When I would remove the cup, the grinds would literally fly out. With this Baratza, just give the thing a couple of bumps with the heal of your hand to get all of the grinds out of the throat before you remove the cup. When you remove the cup, there’s no dust, no grinds falling out anywhere, and NO STATIC.
Secondly, the uniformity of grind is superb. No extreme variations in size and no dust or powder. Just beautifully uniform grounds. I’ve only used it between the number 15 and 18 settings for pour-overs and an automatic drip coffee maker―the two settings recommended by Baratza.

“Next, I gave it 3 stars for noise level. While it generates a fair amount of noise, show me a coffee grinder that’s whisper-quiet. They make noise, get used to it.

“It has a DC motor which has more constant torque and rpm than AC motors and it utilizes a gear reduction. The manufacturer’s specs states that it operates at a cool, comfortable 550 rpm. I’m sure my old flat blade burr grinders were screaming at 1000 rpm or faster ― probably contributing to the ‘fines’ and the extreme static.
I cleaned it once after a week and it really wasn’t dirty ― no accumulated dust or funk. Amazing! Worth noting is that if you grind extremely dark-roasted beans, they’re oily and could lead to more frequent cleaning being necessary.” — James L. (This review was edited for length. Read the full review here.)

“OMG I love this coffee grinder so much. I previously owned 2 conical grinders, a Mr. Coffee and a Cuisinart. What can I say, I’m frugal, thrifty, well OK, cheap. I figured for a basically simple gadget, an inexpensive grinder should do fine. I’m not such a coffee snob that I can taste the difference between coffee made with one grinder or another. Consistency of grind isn’t important, I thought. I’m here to tell you: the money you ‘saved’ on cheap grinders will be so much better spent on the Baratza Encore instead. The Mr. Coffee grinder cost what, $40 bucks? It didn’t last long, not even a year. Enough said. The Cuisinart cost $100 and it ran, but was a pain in the ass to use.

“I finally had some extra cash and went for this lovely Baratza. Wow, just wow. I’ve used it for a month and there’s still no static buildup in the receptacle. It’s very easy to use. Works exactly as expected, grinds the coffee perfectly. The $50 difference between the Baratza and the Cuisinart is money well spent. You won’t regret it, I promise. If you’re looking for a conical burr grinder, this is the one!” — P. Albee (This review was edited for length. Read the full review here.)

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