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Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity – Which one should you choose?

The best way to enjoy high-quality coffee at home is with freshly ground coffee beans. In truth, grinding your coffee at home can take your home brew to a whole new level. For the ultimate grind, burr grinders are all you'll need to look at.

Unlike blade grinders, burr grinders transform your coffee beans into consistent uniform-sized particles, making your coffee taste amazing, fresh and just the way it was intended to. When it comes to choosing a great grinder, The Baratza Encore vs. Capresso Infinity are two models you'll likely have a tough time choosing between - however, we'll help make the decision crystal clear in just a few moments.

Quick Look: The Baratza Encore

Here's a quick overview of the Encore. If you want to know more, read a full review of the Encore here.

Baratza Encore burr grinder

Hands down - the Baratza Encore is one of the best grinders on the market in the cheaper price range. It produces a consistent uniform grind, has an excellent track record of customer satisfaction and, to top things off, includes a repair program that let's you refurbish your used Baratza grinder (1). 

Grind quality is defined by how consistent a grinder can make those little particles... Burr-style grinders are your best opportunity to get the most out of a coffee, because they create similar-sized particles. - Blue Botte Coffee

The Encore is the ideal grinder for the novice who desires minimal cost but does not want to sacrifice quality (2). If you like the ever popular medium to coarse grind for manual brew techniques like Aeropress or Melitta, this grinder is extremely accurate. It features a proficient DC motor that does not heat your beans while grinding. In fact, your coffee beans stay crisp even with prolonged grind times. The grinder uses a combination of electric and gear speed reducers that lowers the burr to 450 revolutions per minute (RPM).

See the following video to find out a little more about this beauty:​

Quick Look: The Capresso Infinity

Capresso Infinity burr grinder

If you consider yourself a true coffee connoisseur, this premium burr grinder will make you smile. It has a funky yet innovative looking design with extremely precise grinding results. Because of its slow grind speed - the slowest in its class, in fact - it generates a lot less friction than most grinders on the market. Why is this a good thing? Well, some experts argue that the heat built-up during the grinding process can affect the extraction of your coffee grind and thus the taste of your cuppa (3). 

The Capresso Infinity has 4 clearly marked grind categories including extra fine, fine, regular and coarse. When grinding, the timer can be set to anywhere between 5 and 60 seconds, depending on the grind you desire. There's also a separate on/off button that allows you to stop the grinding process at any time. The fun doesn't end there though; the Infinity has a variety of features that many coffee entrepreneurs will appreciate.

The Showdown: The Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity

Illustration of burr grinder differences

The Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity are two products very similar in features and price, which makes things tough when you've got your credit card in hand, ready to purchase. If you're 'on the fence' between these two, the following few differences should help you pick a side.

Auto-Shutoff Mode

The main difference between the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity is the the auto-shut off feature. Auto-shut off means your grinder will use the perfect amount of coffee beans needed to achieve the weight goal before turning itself off - very handy! Unfortunately, the Baratza Encore doesn't have this feature. But, if you just can't live without it, you can purchase the so-called Baratza Esatto. The Baratza Esatto accessory essentially adds this feature to the grinder.

The Capresso Infinity has an automated timer that you can set while grinding, but doing this correctly will take some getting used to. The grinder will operate for the set amount of time and then stop - fingers crossed you chose the right amount of time. While this feature is not as useful as a weight based shut-off feature, it's still better than nothing.

WINNER: The Encore. Even though you'll have to pay extra for the privilege, we like that it has the auto-shutoff feature.

Storage Capacity

Although both burr grinders have a hopper for storing coffee beans prior to grinding, their storage capacity is not the same. The Baratza Encore has an 8-ounce hopper with a 5-ounce grounds bin. The Capresso Infinity has an 8.8 ounce hopper that is capable of holding 4 ounces. In true Baratza style, they do offer an accessory that can be set up on top of the hopper for additional storage. With the extension, you can essentially add an extra 9 ounces of space.

WINNER: The Encore, because it has the option to add more storage. Just want something compact? Choose the Infinity. 

Build Quality

Coffee beans in burr grinder

In terms of build quality, the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity are fairly comparable. Both units are reasonably priced and considered above-average quality grinders. Their affordability is mainly due to the savvy selection of materials and how they are applied. Both designs use high quality metal parts only where it's essential and incorporate durable and less expensive plastic components wherever suitable making it more budget-friendly.

ITS A TIE: They are both well-built machines.

Grind settings and features

Glass jar with coffee beans and powder

This feature is the most important when it comes to making a decision on what unit to buy - but the hardest to assess until you've actually used each unit.

In terms of grind settings, the Baratza Encore is miles ahead offering a whopping 40 different grind sizes ranging from ultra-fine to coarse grinds. The grinder is set up to run at 250 RPM, but you can manually adjust the motor to 200 and 299 RPM to achieve an even more consistent grind.

With 40 grind sizes to choose from you can brew any way, any day.

The Capresso Infinity features 16 grind settings consisting of four categories labeled extra fine to coarse. Within each category you can select from another four settings. Unlike the Baratza Encore, there is no manual adjustment to change the RPM’s but the unit runs less than 250 RPM keeping it cool and reasonably quiet.

WINNER: The Encore is the obvious winner due to selection of grind settings and manual adjustment options.

Aesthetics

Both grinders are aesthetically pleasing and are aerodynamically designed to take up minimal counter space. They feature a nice black exterior and a sturdy clear hopper that displays your coffee beans in a sleek compact design. Whereas the Capresso Infinity comes in three different colors - black, stainless and brushed silver - the Baratza Encore is only available in black.

WINNER: The Infinity. Although it's a matter of taste; if you like a little color, the Infinity offers a few options.

THE VERDICT

The Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity are both good burr grinders and similar in quality and functionality, meaning it's a damn tough decision. But, only one can take it home today and we just can't ignore the aspect of grind settings in this episode of versus. 

So, the winner is... The Baratza Encore Burr Grinder! 

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

If you'd like more control over your grinds (and trust me, you will once you get deeper into the world of home brewed coffee) the Baratza Encore is for you - the high range of grind settings, adjustable RPM's and auto-shutoff capability will allow you to brew just about anything with ease.

If you're not too concerned with controlling your grinds, the Infinity will guarantee you a consistent grind, time after time, and is available in a few different funky colors - it's basically an easier way to grind your beans to perfection.

FAQs

Where are Baratza grinders made?

Baratza designs their burr grinders in Seattle but has them built in Taiwan. They use precision burrs from Europe for their products, then distribute them globally.

How do burr grinders work?

Burr grinders work with two flat rings to pulverize coffee beans to the desired grind size. Typically, they rotate in opposite directions while facing each other on the serrated sides. As one of the burrs is directly attached to the motor while the other is screwed to the body of the grinder, they steadily tear the beans into smaller particles.

Are manual coffee grinders better than electric?

Manual coffee grinders are not necessarily better than electric ones. But, there are a few benefits such as price and portability, for example. Check out our article about the best manual grinders here


References:

  1. Grind 101: Stumptown Coffee Roasters Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/blog/grind-101
  2. Ursua, H. (2017, April 14). How to Make Your Friends Love Specialty in 5 Steps. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2016/07/make-friends-love-specialty-5-steps/
  3. Petrich, I. (2019, March 12). Is Your Ground Coffee Temperature Causing Uneven Espresso Extraction? Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2019/03/how-ground-coffee-temperature-causes-uneven-espresso-extraction/
  • Alex
  • August 21, 2019
Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.

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