Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
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Comparing Baratza Encore vs. Capresso Infinity is probably a hurdle you’ll have to go through if you’re a specialist coffee lover searching for the ideal grinding machine. Admittedly, opinions on the matter are split, with some people in favor of the Baratza encore being superior while others insist the Capresso Infinity is the better machine. This makes choosing one or the other a tricky affair since you don’t know what you’ll be getting.
However, since we are in a knowledgeable position, we can help you navigate this problem. After all, the only thing you need to make a decision is information on the features in both of these machines. This is the information we’ve provided in the sections below, as well as adequate comparisons between the two. With that, picking a winner in the Baratza Encore vs. Capresso Infinity debate becomes infinitely easier.
Started in 1999, Baratza has been a coffee grinder-making company since its inception under founders Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy. The manufacturer understands that the specialty coffee community has certain needs and standards for coffee grinds. As such, Baratza as a manufacturer, has tried to service these needs for a couple of decades. Notably, the company has gotten quite good at it, as shown in their recent offerings, including the Baratza Encore.
One of the innovations that have made Baratza so popular is a macro/micro-adjustment system so you can adjust the size of your grinds with ease. Additionally, there is a portaholder that holds your portafilter in place so you can grind your coffee hands-free. There is even a grind by weight system that allows you to pick and choose how much coffee you grind per session.
On the other hand, you have the Capresso brand, which is pretty impressive as well. It’s a bit older than Baratza since it was founded in 1994. However, the main focus was on high end Euro-style coffee makers rather than grinders. Years later, Capresso got the mandate to market automatic coffee makers from a swiss developer named JURA. JURA also came to own Capresso later.
Although it seems coffee grinders were an afterthought to coffee makers, Capresso still has its fair share of achievements in the space. One example is that they were the first to combine a coffeemaker and conical burr grinder machine combination. These innovations continue to date and allow the manufacturer to be a suitable competitor for Baratza in the grinder industry. As such, comparing two of their popular grinder models may help identify which of the two is superior.
Baratza has a couple of conical and flat burr grinders in their lineup that have been well received by the public according to their ratings and reviews. Of course, they come in a wide variety of budgetary options, with the Baratza Encore being one of the most affordable.
Also, they provide warranty policies with all their grinders, which should give buyers some peace of mind. That said, the warranty doesn’t set their offerings apart from the Capresso grinder models since they offer similar terms. As such, you might need to look at other factors to separate the two.
Speaking of the Capresso brand, most of their offerings are very affordable. They do also have more expensive machines, although these are typically combined with coffee makers.
Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity: Comparing two popular models
In terms of sales numbers, the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity are pretty close to each other. They are also in the same budget range, meaning they are meant for the same market. As such, we will compare them below to see how the brands fare against each other.
Below we look at the nitty-gritty of these two popular grinders. The primary comparison points we consider are the grinder type, dimensions, grinding speed, grinding settings, grind range, hopper capacity, weight, timer, and warranty, among others. We look at how each machine fares in each section before giving you a summary of which option is better.
There is not much separating the Capresso Infinity and the Baratza Encore in terms of the exterior design. The Encore uses a commercial-grade conical burr made in Liechtenstein, Europe. This component also features hardened alloy steel construction. As such, it can handle the friction and workload that accompanies grinding coffee daily.
However, the Baratza incorporates both electronic and gear speed reduction to keep the friction and heat at a minimum. This is necessary for the preservation of aroma in your coffee grinds. This is also supported by the powerful DC motor inside the machine.
Notably, the settings are well-labeled on the body of the machine. Also, both the hopper and the coffee container are see-through, so you can keep a watchful eye on the coffee you’re grinding.
You’ll notice an on/off knob on the side of the Baratza machine. Since it doesn’t have a timer, you’ll have to rely on this component to dictate how long the device should grind. Lastly, this machine is available in white and black exterior finishes.
The Capresso infinity comes in either a black or stainless steel finish, although the construction is plastic. Additionally, it features the same basic design as the Encore, where there is a hopper on top of the machine. The main body covers the grinder and motor, and you have a see-through coffee container.
The machine also comes with a conical burr design, with the burrs having been sourced from Switzerland. This is pretty understandable since the parent company, JURA, is based in Switzerland.
One very impressive element of the design of the Infinity is the gear reduction motor. This slows down the movement of the burrs, which in turn reduces the noise associated with grinding coffee. There is also very little static build-up brought about by the workings of the machine. As such, the Infinity can retain the original aroma of the beans; something that coffee aficionados appreciate when brewing their beverages.
Also, there is a timer knob on the front of the machine. This allows you to set the grind duration and go about your other chores. Lastly, both machines have removable burrs to make cleaning a little easier.
The hopper capacity is also something you need to be aware of before you pick a side. Notably, the Encore comes with an 8 oz hopper. This is not bad since the device is a beginner machine meant for home use. Chances are, you won’t even need to use the full capacity of the hopper unless you have guests.
There are exceptions where this might not be enough. If you have a large family or want the grinder for an office setting where there are many people, 8 oz may not cut it. The Capresso Infinity is slightly better, with a capacity of 8.8 oz. However, with such a slight difference, the hopper capacity may not be enough to sway our opinion in favor of the Infinity.
The hopper capacity difference does allude to the size difference between the Capresso Infinity and the Baratza Encore. After all, more capacity means the Capresso’s hopper is larger than the one in the Encore. That said, the Encore measures 7 x 7.5 x 14 while the Capresso infinity measures 9.6 x 14.6 x 7.8 in.
Since the Infinity is larger, it will probably take up more real estate in your kitchen and on your counter. If there’s not much counter space, this is definitely something to avoid. However, if you have lots of space on your counter, it probably won’t matter as much which option you pick.
When it comes to the grinding speed, there are two major things to consider. How many times the burrs rotate per minute, and how that translates into coffee grinds.
Notably, it may seem like a good thing for the grinder to have fast-rotating burrs, but it isn’t. This leads to friction which can lead to static between the grinds. Consequently, the coffee will lose some of the aroma and taste if the burrs rotate too fast. As such, a machine with a lower RPM is better suited to coffee enthusiasts and aficionados.
The Capresso Infinity takes the lead in terms of grinding speed since it maxes out at 450RPM, while the Baratza encore has a speed of 550 RPM. However, you also don’t want to waste all your time waiting for the machine to finish grinding. As such, you need to check how much coffee the two machines grind in a given amount of time.
You would expect the Baratza Encore to take the lead since its burrs rotate faster. However, its performance is rated at between 0.8 and 1.1 grams per second. This means that the Infinity has it beat in this area since it grinds 1.5 to 3 grams of coffee per second.
Also notable is the fact that the grinding settings affect the type of coffee you can make. While regular people may not be able to tell the difference in the beverage when the grind is different, if you’re a coffee-lover, you will likely catch on. As such, you will need to grind the coffee to a particular texture to enjoy the beverage.
The Baratza Encore is a better pick for people who are particular about the texture and coarseness of their coffee. It features up to 40 different settings that you can access by rotating the hopper and aligning the marker. Also, by having 40 different settings, it means the device easily caters to the needs of different people.
The Infinity, on the other hand, only has 16 coffee settings. Like the Encore, you will need to rotate the hopper to adjust the settings. This could prove to be enough for you as you still have a wide range of settings to pick from. The options vary from coarse to extra fine. However, if you want more variety, the Baratza is the way to go.
Ease of Use
No matter how good you are with grinders and other types of coffee devices, having an easy-to-use device is an asset. You can rest easy knowing that anybody in the household can use the grinder with ease, including children. The manufacturer of the Baratza Encore considers this in the design of the kitchen tool.
For one, the grinder is well labeled. You can clearly see the on/off knob, the grind settings indicated just below the hopper, and the pulse button. Reading the manual once should be enough to catch you up with the device’s functions and how to access them. However, most people can still make do without even having to read the manual.
The grinder lives up to its billing of being an entry-level all-purpose device by being so easy to use. That said, the Capresso Infinity is another entry-level device with some automatic capabilities. Notably, the grind settings are in the same position as they are in the Baratza encore. As such, you can rotate the hopper to access the options you want.
After that, it’s a matter of setting the timer and letting the machine work. The timer works for 1-60 seconds. However, since it is labeled from 0-10, it might be a little confusing for first-timers. Notably, the grinder won’t work if the black dot on the hopper isn’t pointing towards a fineness setting.
Overall, it seems like a tie between the two grinders. The fact that you have to stand there and wait for the Baratza machine to finish grinding so you can turn it off may not sit well with some of you. However, if you don’t mind the extra work, the grinder should be an excellent option for you.
To access the pulse option, you press the button on the front of the machine until you’re done grinding. Releasing it prompts the device to stop working. Also, it doesn’t take long to grind your beans, so you won’t waste a lot of time standing there.
With regards to noise level, you want a quiet machine that doesn’t wake up the kids or your partner while you make coffee in the morning. With the two devices using relatively slow burr speeds, they’re relatively quiet in operation. As such, they’re tied where the noise level is concerned.
Ease of Cleaning
Of course, the grinder you pick will need a wash from time to time. Some machines are somewhat tricky to clean since they contain components that you can’t reach. However, with the Baratza, you can take out the hopper, the top burr, and the coffee collection bin. You don’t even need tools which means you can wash these components in your sink and return them to the device after they’re clean.
Also, the fact that the machine minimizes the grinds left in the grinder should make your work easier. The Infinity Encore is not that different. The hopper, top burr, and coffee collection bin are removable. Furthermore, you’re provided with a cleaning brush to help clean some of the interior components. As such, the cleaning process for both machines seems to be fairly similar, leading to another draw.
Safety of Use
For the safety features, the Capresso Infinity is an excellent pick. The manufacturer makes sure the machine doesn’t start unless the hopper container is locked. As such, the burrs won’t move unless they’re covered, which helps protect the user’s hands.
The Baratza Encore option, on the other hand, features a thermal overload cutout. Consequently, if you use the machine for too long and the motor starts to overheat, it will shut down. This protects the motor from damage and allows you to use the device for longer.
Since both machine options have one safety feature, it’s safe to say they’re tied with regard to the safety of use.
The warranty is another area where you can’t tell the two grinders apart. Both options come with a single year of warranty coverage upon purchase.
In terms of pricing, the Infinity takes a clear lead over its competition. As at the time of this review, the device costs less than $100. Alternatively, the Encore is priced at almost $140. Despite being in a similar budget range compared to other grinders, most shoppers will prefer the Infinity over the Encore due to the cost savings.
One extra reason to get the Baratza is because of the additional features. You can add an optional hopper extender to add to the device’s capacity. Also, you can incorporate a portaholder, so the grinds are dropped directly into a portafilter. This would make cleanup easier after use.
Lastly, the Baratza is user-serviceable, and you can get replacement parts to extend the lifespan of the grinder.
How long do Baratza and Capresso grinders last?
How long each grinder lasts will depend on its design, the materials used to make the burrs, and the frequency of use. For instance, a flat steel burr should handle between 500 and 1000 pounds of coffee during its lifetime. On the other hand, if it comes with ceramic burrs, it means a reduction in heat and friction during grinding sessions. These grinders typically last for 1000 – 1500 pounds of coffee. This translates to about 5-7 years of regular use. However, the higher the frequency of use, the shorter the lifespan of the device.
Why should I invest in a grinder instead of buying pre-ground coffee?
The coffee bean tends to act as a protective shell and keep the aroma, coffee oils, moisture, and the gases that make the beverage so good inside the bean. Grinding leads to the loss of these crucial elements making the final beverage result lackluster. However, by grinding the beans just before you brew a cup, you keep these elements in the coffee and can experience them as you drink the beverage.
How can I pick the right coffee grinder for me?
First, determine the type of brewing method you use to make your coffee. Most people don’t have any preferences with how they drink their coffee and won’t mind if it is drip coffee, french press coffee, or espresso. If this is you, a non-dosing burr grinder should be an excellent pick for you. You can then grind your beans to any fineness or coarseness you prefer before putting them into a filter of choice.
If you’re more of an espresso person, a dosing grinder is a good bet. It will grind the appropriate amount of beans for a single shot of espresso. It can do this consistently while depositing the grinds into your coffee maker’s portafilter.
A blade grinder, on the other hand, seems perfect for those making drip coffee. This option is also very budget-friendly.
What types of grinders are there?
There are about four different types of coffee grinders in the market, including blade grinders, burr grinders, automatic grinders, and manual grinders. Blade grinders are the most budget-friendly option. They use propelling blades to slice and dice coffee beans at random. This often leads to an uneven grind that might affect the taste of your coffee. Also, there is the aspect of friction due to the fast-spinning blades that might negatively affect your coffee.
Burr grinders, on the other hand, use two oscillating serrated plates. These burrs may feature ceramic or steel construction, depending on the model you pick. The burrs crush the beans while they rotate. Notably, they produce even coffee grinds, and since they rotate slower, they reduce the amount of friction with the beans. You can also change the grind size at will. The Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity are good examples of burr grinders.
Next, we have automatic grinders. Typically, you plug these into a socket, choose the settings and press a button to grind your beans. As such, both the Baratza Encore and the Capresso Infinity are examples of automatic grinders. That said, automatic blade grinders are also available in the market.
Finally, we have the manual grinder. These tend to have burrs in their construction rather than blades. This means consistency in your grinds, and you can choose the fineness that you want. Also, you get them to work by turning a hand crank.
Why is it important to get the grind right?
The grind size is an essential factor in getting the right flavor and aroma from your coffee. As mentioned above, even using an uneven coffee grind can affect your beverage negatively.
Both the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity are excellent machines, and there is not much to separate them. However, they have their strong areas, as highlighted above, and that should help you make the purchase decision. For instance, the Encore is a better budgetary option, but the Infinity performs slightly better when comparing most features. Ultimately you’ll have to decide which features matter the most to you and use that to break the deadlock in the Baratza Encore vs the Capresso Infinity comparison.