Coffee Grinders | Gear

Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity Plus: Battle of the Starter Grinders

If you love your coffee, you’d know that fresh ground beans taste the best. And when you’re starting on your coffee journey, the Baratza Encore and the Capresso Infinity Plus are two of the best around.

But which one of these entry-level coffee burr grinders should you get? Find out in our grinder showdown below.

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  • Value for money
  • Precise grinding
  • Easy to set-up
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  • Affordable
  • High Precision grinding
  • Less noise when grinding
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Baratza Encore vs. Capresso Infinity Plus: At A Glance

Baratza Encore

The Baraza Encore is one of the best-selling beginner-level electric coffee grinders in the market. It’s usually recommended for those trying to level up from blade grinders or pre-ground coffee.

baratza encore vs capresso infinity plus

Its price, quality, and convenience are pretty hard to beat, and it’s definitely one of the best value coffee grinders your money could buy today.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Baratza Encore specs for your convenience:

  • Burr: 40mm conical burr
  • Burr Material: Stainless Steel
  • Body Material: Plastic
  • Grind Size: 250-1200 microns
  • Bean Hopper Capacity: 8 oz.
  • Grind Speed: 450 rpm.
  • Grinds Catch Material: Plastic
  • Motor: High torque DC motor

Capresso Infinity Plus

Capresso hasn’t been around in the market as long as Baratza, but it’s been innovating since the brand was born in 1994.

baratza encore vs capresso infinity plus

The Capresso Infinity Plus also comes highly recommended for beginner coffee enthusiasts, so it’s a great place to start if you’re new to all things coffee.

Read about the basic features of the Capresso Infinity Plus below:

  • Burr: 40mm conical burr
  • Burr Material: Stainless Steel
  • Body Material: Plastic
  • Grind Size: 300-1200 microns
  • Bean Hopper Capacity: 11 oz.
  • Grind Speed: 250 rpm.
  • Grinds Catch Material: Plastic
  • Motor: High torque DC motor

Coffee Grinding 101

Before our review, we thought it’s best to tell you what you should look for in a grinder. Investing in a coffee grinder is the second most important factor in making a tasty cup of coffee.

The most important thing is choosing the right beans, of course. But you’ll bring out all the flavor notes in your bag of coffee if you choose a quality coffee grinder.

Why Buy An Electric Grinder?

Electric coffee grinders are more efficient and make coffee much faster than hand grinders. If you’re coming from conical burr hand grinders like the Skerton or the Porlex, electric is an easy upgrade.

Instead of taking 5 minutes to grind enough for a single cup, it will only take seconds. Just imagine the time you save if you’re used to grinding enough coffee for a carafe!

You also grind your coffee beans with sharp stainless steel burrs, which is better than the ceramic conical burrs from a Skerton or Porlex.

There are great hand grinders like the Comandante and the Kinu with steel conical burrs, but those high-end grinders cost nearly twice the Baratza Encore and the Capresso Infinity Plus price.

And yes, even with expensive hand grinders, there’s still some manual labor involved. So electric burr grinders really are the best marriage of convenience and quality.

Uniform Grind Size

Uniform grind size is the most important factor when you choose a grinder. While electric blade grinders can give you a decent cup, you might notice some sludge at the bottom of your cup.

The sludge and bitter flavors from your cup might be because the size isn’t all the same. There’s a term for coffee geeks out there: rocks and boulders.

When you’ve got ground coffee with inconsistent sizes, the extra fine coffee dust extracts much faster than the coarser grounds.

Before you know it, you’ll over-extract all the harsh flavor compounds from your cup of coffee. And that’s not the only problem with a bad grinder.

If you’ve tried making French Press coffee with a blade grinder, or even with ceramic conical burrs, you’ve probably tasted muddy sludge from your brew.

That’s also a consistency problem. So if you make different kinds of coffee at home, from drip coffee to French Press and Aeropress, a high-quality grinder will help you get better tasting cups.

Grind Speed

Speed is the number one advantage of electric conical burr grinders over hand grinders. Because of the built-in motors, you get to streamline the grinding process.

Instead of taking 5 minutes to grind your coffee and another 5 to brew it, you can just run your coffee through your grinder and get ground coffee in less than a minute.

The differences in time for beginner electric grinders are minimal, but the few extra seconds do make a difference in your morning.

Heat

You might have to watch out for this detail if you’re going to be brewing consecutive batches for plenty of carafes of coffee.

Electric burr grinders can generate some heat if you run them for longer periods of time, and that heat can affect the quality of your ground coffee.

This is a bigger problem with blade grinders than burr grinders, but if you choose quality gear, then you can control this problem.

Encore Vs. Infinity Plus Showdown: Grind Range and Settings

Grind Range

The grind range in the Baratza Encore is wider than in the Capresso Infinity Plus. The range of an Encore is 250-1200 μm while the Capresso Infinity Plus has 300-1200 μm.

It’s not a big difference, but you can make finer coffee grounds with the Baratza. If you’re trying to see the limits of your bean, then the finest setting of the Encore is more versatile than the Capresso’s.

Of course, they both won’t grind to espresso fineness as commercial-grade grinders would. So if you have an espresso machine, it’s best to look elsewhere.

But the Baratza’s finest setting, at 250 μm, can make Turkish coffee if you’re interested in making your own.

Grind Settings

The grind settings are where these two entry-level coffee grinders differ significantly. The Baratza Encore has 40 grind settings, while the Capresso Infinity Plus only has 16 grind settings.

These grinders can both grind fine, regular, and coarse beans, but more settings mean you have more flexibility in dialing in your grind size.

Of course, stepless is always better – but there aren’t any stepless electric burr grinders for these prices. So if you want a coffee with more specific settings, the Baratza is better.

Baratza Encore vs. Capresso Infinity Plus: Grind Range Verdict

The grind range is pretty similar on both machines, but the Baratza Encore gives you more grind size options. At 40 steps, you can narrow down the size just enough for your drip homebrew.

Grind Retention

Grind retention helps with dose consistency because you could be more or less sure that the amount of coffee beans you put in the hopper will be more or less the same as what you get from the grinder.

With a conical burr grinder, coffee beans and grinds can get stuck in the mechanism. A quick tap of your beans container will fix the problem with either the Infinity Plus or the Encore.

But the Baratza retains fewer grounds than the Capresso. The coffee beans/grinds retention is around 2g in the Baratza, at most, so if you regularly clean the grinder, you’re sure of accurate dosing.

Grind Speed

Choosing a grinder based on grind speed depends on what you prefer. A faster grind can give you more coffee grounds in less time, while a slower grind speed minimizes heat in your grounds.

The Baratza runs at 450 revolutions per minute (rpm), though you can adjust the motor to run anywhere between 405 t0 495 RPM.

The Capresso Infinity Plus is one of the slowest grinders in this price range, though it is one of their selling points. Capresso boasts a slow 250 RPM because of its speed reducers, which keeps the grinder cool.

A grinder’s rotation can also affect the noise that your grinder makes. A slow grinder 250RPM is quieter than running a 450RPM grinder.

Verdict: It Depends

If you need a cup fast, then the Baratza is the grinder to get. Its faster grind time gets you coffee much faster, so you can continue with your morning without the wait.

The Capresso Infinity Plus is around 20 seconds slower in our tests, but it’s also quieter. And if you have the right settings for your grind, it can yield a tasty cup of coffee.

So it really depends on your priority. The Baratza is faster, but the Capresso is quieter. They both have upsides and downsides.

Aesthetics

To be honest, these two machines look more utilitarian than sleek. With the plastic body on both of these grinders, they can look cheap.

With these grinders, you’re paying more for the steel burrs and motor housed inside the grinder than the look and feel of the grinder body itself.

But if you have to choose between the Capresso Infinity Plus and the Baratza Encore, the looks of an Infinity Plus are just a wee bit better than the Encore.

It has a slightly smaller footprint, a more welcoming chocolate brown color, and a hopper that’s more symmetrical to the body than the Encore’s more conical bean container.

The grounds bin in the Capresso Infinity Plus looks better than the Encore’s translucent grounds bin.

The Capresso grounds bin is made of transparent plastic, which lets you see the amount of coffee you’ve already finished grinding.

Verdict: Capresso Infinity Plus

Both entry-level grinders won’t win in the looks department, especially against high-quality commercial grinders. Still, the Capresso Infinity Plus looks like it could fit in with the rest of your kitchen.

Extra Features

As a coffee enthusiast, you expect to buy a grinder that will make your grinding process as streamlined as possible. And sometimes, extra features can help you with that.

Now, the Baratza and the Infinity Plus won’t give you mind-blowing extra features – they’re budget coffee burr coffee grinders, after all – but some features could be useful.

The Capresso Infinity Plus has a timer option that limits your grinding to a set period of time – anytime from 5 seconds to 1 minute. If you’re busy cleaning dishes while grinding, this is a useful feature.

The Infinity Plus also does pulse grinding. Like a blender, your Infinity Plus can grind at pulses when you press the pulse button. By pulse grinding, you can try achieving an extra fine grind.

The Baratza can pulse by using its on/off button, but it’s not as effective as the Infinity Plus’s pulse option.

Verdict: Capresso Infinity Plus

The Capresso Infinity Plus has more features, like timers and pulse grinding, that the Encore doesn’t. The Encore is just a burr grinder, plain and simple.

Then again, these grinders don’t promise anything more than a better grinding experience, so this wasn’t a deal-breaker for the ENcore.

Maintenance

In an age of planned obsolescence, you probably want to be more careful where you spend your money. Sure, some machines might be cheaper.

But if your grinder breaks in a few years, you could spend more money, in the long run, trying to buy new every time instead of paying for maintenance.

Both machines have two-year warranties, but the Encore can give you more value for your money beyond the two years.

With the Baratza repair program, you can have the company refurbish your conical burr grinder for a minimal cost, which is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than buying brand new.

Baratza sells burr sets for the Encore, so if your burrs aren’t as sharp as they used to be, it’s as easy as buying an affordable swap.

Baratza even sells a cone burr upgrade, so with your entry-level Encore, you can get the grind quality of a Virtuoso, which is a few hundred dollars more expensive than the Encore.

Verdict: Baratza Encore

If you’re someone in the market for a coffee grinder that will last you a long time, the Encore is the clear winner.

The swappable burrs and easy maintenance means your Baratza will keep grinding for you after a few years.

Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity Plus: The Best Beginner Grinder For Your Daily Grind

The Capresso is the more affordable burr grinder vs. Baratza Encore. So if you don’t have plenty of money to spend but still want freshly ground coffee at home, it’s a great budget option.

But even if the Capresso Infinity Plus has some charming qualities, like its looks and its extra features, the Baratza Encore still wins as the best-value grinder for your money.

baratza encore vs capresso infinity plus

With 40 different grind settings, customizable motor, and swappable burrs, you get a machine that can last you well beyond the 2-year warranty period.

It’s the definitive entry-level grinder for coffee aficionados for a reason. And after testing both of these, there’s no reason – except perhaps for budget – why you wouldn’t buy an Encore.

So for coffee lovers out there, the Baratza Encore is the clear winner if you’re out for a new electric coffee grinder.

baratza encore vs capresso infinity plus

Conclusion

The Baratza Encore and the Capresso Infinity Plus are excellent grinders, especially if you’re starting out with coffee.

You can’t go wrong choosing any of them, though the Encore will give you more value for your money. But we hope our review helped you make your decision to buy your next grinder!

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