Baratza Encore ESP

This is the Baratza Encore ESP. The newest edition to the Baratza lineup, and a refreshed version of the very successful Encore aimed at providing improved grind quality, and finer adjustments when it comes to dialing in espresso. Although I’m a little late to the jump making this review, it does mean that I’ve had a long while to get to know this grinder, and some of its competitors. Is it the right entry-level electric grinder for you? Let’s find out!

Build Quality / Design

The encore is and has always been an entry-level offering, and for that reason the finishes are understandably plasticky on the outer shell and main touch points.

The grinder doesn’t feel excessively cheap or fragile, but it is firmly in line with other grinders in this price point. Compared to probably its biggest competitor, the Fellow OPUS, I actually have to give a slight edge to the Encore when placed side by size, but don’t expect to be blown away just because it’s from a very big brand like Baratza.

In fact, Baratza often carries this type of build even into it’s MUCH more expensive grinders, instead choosing to focus on the burrs and internal components.

In terms of appearance, the story is much the same. No, it’s not a modern angular kitchen ornament, but it is classic Baratza in its simplicity and hopper-fed design.


The encore is and has always been an entry-level offering, and for that reason the finishes are Grind adjustment on the Encore ESP is done by rotating the hopper relative to the body, which is a pretty traditional system. Again, compared to the OPUS who’s grind adjustments take a post graduate math degree to operate, this system is beautifully simple, and that’s a major plus especially for beginners who already have enough to learn when venturing into the world of home espresso.

Each of the first 20 “espresso” grind steps is about 9 microns, which is very good resolution for dialing in. After that, the next 20 steps jump to 45 microns per click which will be better suited to less touchy methods such as pour over, drip, or cold brew. This is a pretty clever system which adds functionality, without complicating usability with macro and micro adjustments or other finicky dials. Lower numbers are finer, higher are coarser, and that gets two thumbs way up from me.

Grinding is initiated by either the side switch which hold the grinder on until switched back off, or the front button which gives a quick pulse to help top you up to the exact dose you’re looking for.

The Encore ESP comes with a classic Baratza grounds bin for larger doses and batch brewing, while espresso duty is handled by dosing cup that can be adapted for both 54mm AND 58mm portafilters thanks to an included rubber conversion ring.

Noise levels are on the higher side when compared to competitors, but still not AS high as some of the other Baratza grinders such as the woodchipper that is the Sette 270. In terms of grinding speed, the Encore is quite average at around 1-1.5g/sec in the espresso range, and upwards of 2g/sec in the filter range.

Grind Quality

Finally, and most importantly, let’s talk about the grind quality you get for your money. The new Encore ESP features upgraded 40mm M2 conical burrs over the last generations M3 burrs.

While I haven’t personally tasted the older M3s, so I can’t comment on the significance of the upgrade, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised by both the espresso and filter coffee this grinder was able to produce. We’re truly living in an AMAZING time where you can get this level of grind quality in an electric grinder at this price point.

Espresso shots were sweet, had good body, and weren’t muddy or muted. Filter brews also leaned towards higher body rather than clarity, but I think for the market segment this grinder is targeting that will be preferable.

When compared to the OPUS, for espresso I found myself preferring the Encore ESP. In reality, if you didn’t have these grinders side-by-side to compare I don’t think you’d be able to distinguish a difference, but if we’re splitting hairs, I found shots on the Encore maybe had slightly less astringency, and were overall just slightly sweeter.

When it came to filter, my clarity seeking preferences came forward and I was picking the OPUS in blind tests, but again, the differences are pretty minor here, and like I said, maybe people may actually prefer the slightly heavier body the ESP is giving.

Final Word

So, should you be considering the Baratza Encore ESP? Absofreakinglutely!

If you’re looking for a bang for your buck espresso grinder, then I’m not sure any electric grinder on the market exemplifies that as much as the ESP right now. That being said, the Fellow OPUS is also a value monster, and if you’re going to be exclusively brewing filter coffee or single dosing, then I might recommend you go that route.

However, if you’re strictly considering a hopper-fed espresso workflow, then the choice is pretty clear. The simple, very granular grind adjustment and espresso quality of the Encore ESP win out, making this my budget electric espresso grinder of choice at the moment.

Need more? Watch the video!

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