It’s well-known that the right coffee grinder is the backbone of your brewing arsenal.
Today, we’re examining two entry-point level coffee grinders to compare: Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity.
I’ve had my fair share of experiences with both, and each has distinct perks.
With its remarkable grind settings and spacious hopper capacity, I believe the Baratza Encore claims the throne.
However, something must be said for the user-friendly design and consistent grinding of the Capresso Infinity. The lower price point doesn’t hurt either.
Let’s get into the details.
Overview of the Baratza Encore
- Versatility: The grinder offers an impressive 40 grind settings, catering to various coffee preparation methods, from fine to coarse grinds.
- Simplicity: It’s straightforward to operate, making the daily coffee grinding routine hassle-free.
- Consistent Grinds: The Encore provides consistent grinds suitable for brew methods ranging from espresso to French Press.
- Sturdy Construction: The grinder is sturdily built, ensuring longevity and reliable performance.
- Quiet Operation: The DC motor and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 550 RPM, resulting in less noise and smoother bean feeding.
Design and Build
The Baratza Encore is not just a coffee grinder; it’s a statement piece for your kitchen. It boasts a sleek, black exterior that adds a touch of elegance to any countertop. The design is tall and thin, making it an ideal choice for those with limited kitchen space.
When it comes to features, the Baratza Encore is a powerhouse. With its 40 individual grind settings, you can grind your beans to the exact coarse grinds you need. The speed of grind ranges between 0.8 – 1.1 grams per second, ensuring your morning cup of joe is never delayed.
But what truly sets the Encore apart is its improved conical burrs. These offer an expanded range of fineness settings, allowing you to experiment and find your perfect brew.
Performance and User Experience
User reviews of the Baratza Encore are overwhelmingly positive. People love how quickly and evenly it grinds beans, making it suitable for almost all brewing methods. However, they note that it grinds beans slowly and lacks extra features like a timer. But for many, the quality of the grind outweighs these minor inconveniences.
Pros of Baratza Encore
- Consistent Grind: Every time I used this grinder, I was impressed by its ability to produce a uniform grind size. This consistency played a significant role in helping me brew the perfect cup of coffee.
- Built to Last: I’ve had this grinder for several years now, and it’s still performing as well as the day I got it. Its durability is commendable.
- Hassle-Free Cleaning: One of the things I genuinely appreciate is how easy it is to take apart and clean. This feature ensures that I spend less time on maintenance and more on enjoying my coffee.
- Peaceful Mornings: The grinder operates so quietly, making it a pleasure to use, especially during early morning brews.
Cons of Baratza Encore
- Plastic Components: I did notice that some parts of the grinder are made of plastic. While they’ve held up so far, I’m a bit cautious about their long-term durability.
- Static Issues: On some occasions, I’ve experienced static build-up, which caused the coffee grounds to cling to the container. It’s a minor inconvenience but worth noting.
Overview of the Capresso Infinity
- Wide Grinding Range: The grinder offers an extremely wide grinding range from ultrafine Turkish to coarse, catering to all kinds of coffee preparation.
- Commercial-Grade Components: It features commercial-grade solid conical steel burrs which ensure high precision grinding.
- Advanced Cutting Design: The advanced cutting design of the burrs ensures consistent and precise grinding.
Design and Build
On the other hand, the Capresso Infinity has a distinct design with a shallow and wide container. Available in several finishes, including stainless steel and black, it can easily blend in with any kitchen decor.
The Infinity shines with its commercial-grade, solid steel conical burrs. This advanced cutting design promises high-precision grinding. The wide grinding range from ultrafine Turkish to coarse makes it suitable for all coffee preparations. From drip coffee to Turkish coffee, these grinders can take whole coffee beans into any size ground coffee.
One of the standout features of the Infinity is its gear reduction motor. It grinds slowly, resulting in a more uniform grind with less heat buildup. Plus, it offers 16 settings for fineness, allowing a tailored grind for a variety of brewing methods.
Performance and User Experience
The Capresso Infinity has gathered a loyal following thanks to its consistency, speed, and simple operation. Users appreciate its robust performance and the quality of the grind it produces.
Pros of Capresso Infinity
- Consistent Grind: Every time I used this grinder, I was impressed by the consistency of the grind. Whether I was making espresso or a French press, the results were always on point.
- Quiet Mornings: One of the things I truly appreciated was its quiet operation. It didn’t disrupt my peaceful morning routine.
- Cleaning Made Simple: Cleaning the grinder was a breeze. Regular maintenance ensured that my coffee always tasted fresh.
- Built to Last: I’ve had this grinder for a good while now, and it’s still going strong. It’s evident that it’s made with durability in mind.
Cons of Capresso Infinity
- Static Build-up: Occasionally, I noticed some static, which made the coffee grounds stick to the container. It wasn’t a deal-breaker, but something to be aware of.
- Coarse Setting: For those who prefer an ultra-coarse grind, you might find the coarsest setting a tad finer than expected.
Head-to-Head Comparison: Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity
Now, to get to the main event!
Conical Burr Grinder System
Both the Capresso Infinity and the Baratza Encore sport a conical burr system. This system ensures a consistent grind size, which is crucial to achieving enhanced flavor in your coffee. The precision of this system is impressive, with the Capresso Infinity boasting grinding heads cut to within 0.1 mm precision.
While the performance and precision of both systems are commendable, user preference does come into play. Some users may lean towards a flat burr grinder for their specific brewing methods.
Motor Type and Speed
The Capresso Infinity uses a multiple-gear motor, ensuring a slow grinding process. This results in reduced noise and static buildup. On the other hand, the Baratza Encore burr grinder is equipped with a high-torque motor, which also operates slowly for cool and quiet operation. Both these motors offer the advantage of preserving the coffee beans’ flavor due to their slow speed.
However, this slow speed might lengthen the grinding process, which could be a downside for those who are in a rush for their morning brew.
Regarding grind settings, the Baratza Encore takes the lead with 40 different settings. This wide range allows you to customize your grind to suit various brewing methods. The Capresso Infinity isn’t far behind with its 16 fineness settings, catering to different brewing methods.
While this versatility is a plus for those who enjoy experimenting with different brew types, it might be overwhelming for beginners who are still determining the ideal grind size for their brewing method.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
The Capresso Infinity features a large bean hopper and removable parts. This design reduces the need for constant refilling and makes cleaning and maintenance easier. The Baratza Encore, on the other hand, offers a simple one-touch operation for ease of use.
However, the larger size of the Infinity may require more counter space, and the lack of manual controls in the Encore may limit customization for more experienced users.
Unique features like the built-in timer in the Capresso Infinity and increased adjustability in the Baratza Encore ESP model add to the utility of these grinders. The built-in timer allows you to set the grinding time for unattended operation. At the same time, the additional adjustability in the Encore ESP can improve the quality of espresso shots.
However, the lack of a digital display in the Infinity may make precise timing challenging, and the added adjustability in the Encore ESP may not be necessary for those who don’t brew espresso.
Price-wise, both grinders are relatively affordable, considering their features. The standard Encore model is priced lower than the ESP model.
The Capresso Infinity, considered an entry-level to mid-range grinder, is also quite wallet-friendly (and usually cheaper than the Encore).
Both the Capresso Infinity and the Baratza Encore offer a host of features that cater to different needs and preferences. They both excel in delivering a consistent grind size, thanks to their conical burr grinders, and operate quietly due to their slow motor speeds.
Considering all these aspects, the Baratza Encore takes the lead in terms of grind settings and hopper capacity.
However, the Capresso Infinity shines with its ease of operation and user-friendly design.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences in the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity hopper sizes?
The Baratza Encore features an 8-ounce hopper, while the Capresso Infinity has a slightly larger 8.8-ounce hopper.
Which grinder is better for espresso, the Baratza Encore or the Capresso Infinity?
While both grinders can grind beans for espresso, the quality of the Baratza Encore is often considered outstanding for espresso brewing. Plus, having 40 grind settings means more fine control.
How do the grind settings of the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity compare?
The Baratza Encore offers many more grind settings than the Capresso Infinity, giving it a more comprehensive range of brewing options.
How do the designs of the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity differ?
The Baratza Encore has a tall and thin container, while the Capresso Infinity has a shallow and wide container.
Which grinder is better for tight spaces, the Baratza Encore or the Capresso Infinity?
The Capresso Infinity is a better option if you’re tight on space, as it’s slightly wider but quite a bit shorter than the Baratza grinder.
How do the sizes and weights of the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity compare?
While the Baratza Encore is smaller in size, it’s actually heavier than the Capresso Infinity, which is larger.