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Baratza Virtuoso+ vs Encore: Find Out Who The Winner Is

What do you think makes coffee good or bad?

The water? Coffee beans? The barista from your local coffee shop?

All of these are correct. But there’s one thing missing: the grind.

The key to making a great cup of coffee is proper, fresh grinds.

Enter the battle of the burrs: Baratza Virtuoso+ vs Encore. Both are great grinders by Baratza, but which one is better for you?

In this article, we give you a detailed rundown of both grinders ranging from grind quality to price.

Read this before you make a purchase.

IMAGE PRODUCT
virtuoso
  • Consistent grind quality
  • Fast grinding process
  • Easy to clean
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baratza encore black 1
  • Ergonomic controls
  • Precise grinding
  • Easy to set-up
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At a Glance: Baratza Virtuoso+ vs Encore

Baratza Encore Overview

The Encore is Baratza’s best-selling entry-level burr grinder. It’s small enough to fit in most kitchen cabinets. But it’s packed with the power and high quality for a great brew.

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Making premium cafe-quality coffee doesn’t have to be difficult. The Baratza Encore features straightforward controls: a front-mounted pulse button and a simple on/off switch.

With various grind settings, you can now level-up your coffee experience at the comforts of your own home.

Specifications

  • Grind Speed: 0.8 g/sec – 1.1 g/sec / 450 RPM
  • Burrs: 40mm conical burrs
  • Bean Hopper Capacity: 8oz (227g)
  • Grounds Bin Capacity: 5oz (142g)
  • Weight: 7lbs (3.1kg)
  • Dimensions: 12 x 35 x 16 cm
  • Outer material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Ergonomic controls
  • Precise grinding
  • Easy to set-up
  • Durable

Cons

  • Static/clogging issues
  • Messy

Baratza Virtuoso+ Overview

The Virtuoso Plus is a tried and tested professional coffee grinder. It works on both a relaxing home use or a demanding cafe setup.

virtuoso

You can choose from a wide range of brewing methods, thanks to its commercial-grade blade grinder. This includes espresso, Aeropress, Chemex, French Press, and so on.

It has a digital screen with an intuitive interface; no need to learn from scratch. The LED-backlit coffee bin will also help you track the grinding process from start to finish.

Specifications

  • Grind Speed: 1.5 g/sec – 2.4 g/sec / 550 RPM
  • Burrs: 40mm conical burrs
  • Bean Hopper Capacity: 8oz (230g)
  • Grounds Bin Capacity: 5oz (142g)
  • Weight: 8lbs (3.6kg)
  • Dimensions: 12 x 35 x 16 cm
  • Outer material: Plastic and Stainless Steel
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Consistent grind quality
  • Fast grinding process
  • Easy to clean
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Timer is difficult to use
  • Expensive

Note: The old version features a 60-second timer. The old model got an update and is now known as Virtuoso+.

The Showdown: Baratza Virtuoso+ vs Encore

Confused? Unsure which one to buy? Don’t worry.

To help you choose better, we compared the two grinders side-by-side using five categories:

  • Grinding Speed & Settings
  • Usage
  • Design & Controls
  • Appearance
  • Price

If you don’t have time to read through it all… Spoiler alert: The Virtuoso+ wins.

Yes, the Virtuoso+ is much more expensive than the Encore. But why did it win our (caffeine-filled) hearts?

Read on to find out.

Grind Speed & Settings

Both the Baratza Encore and Virtuoso+ are burr grinders.

Burr grinders are great for customizing your grind size, ranging from very fine to very coarse. They’re also very durable, so the blade will be sharp for years.

Different types of coffee top view. Coffee beans, instant and ground coffee. Fragrant coffee drinks. flat lay, baratza virtuoso+ vs encore

The Baratza Encore and the Virtuoso+ also have over 40 grind settings.

This makes them suitable for a huge range of brewing methods, such as Aeropress, Chemex, French Press, and so on.

The key difference between the two? The Virtuoso+ is faster than the Encore.

Both the Encore & the Virtuoso+ use 40mm conical burrs. But there’s a slight difference.

The Encore uses M3 burrs, whereas the Virtuoso+ uses M2 burrs.

The M3 has a flatter and duller edge, whereas the M2 has a sharper and steeper cutting edge.

This makes the M2 superior in terms of speed and quality.

The Virtuoso+ runs at 550 RPM (rotations per minute), so it can grind coffee beans at 1.5g to 2.4g per second.

The Encore runs at 450 RPM, which means it can grind beans at 0.8g to 1.1g per second.

Additionally, the Virtuoso+ allows you to adjust the speed settings for its electronic controller.

It does entail opening the gearbox unit and fixing the controls. But it will allow you to modify the settings to anything between 405 to 550 RPM.

Thanks to its faster speed, the Virtuoso+ produces a finer and more uniform grind with less noise.

Winner: Baratza Virtuoso+

It’s not a huge difference. But for heavy coffee drinkers, every drop counts.

That’s why the winner for this round is the Virtuoso+.

With its faster speed, you’ll get more coffee in a shorter time. It also boasts consistency for a ‘cleaner’ and smoother flavor.

Usage

What will you use your grinder for?

Yes, we know it’s coffee. But to be more specific, what kind of coffee?

The Baratza Virtuoso+ has a grind range of 200 to 1200 microns, whereas the Baratza Encore has 250 to 1200 microns.

Micron, short for micrometer, is a unit of measurement that is one-millionth of a meter.

This means the Virtuoso+ has the ability to produce a finer grind. This makes it suitable for espressos and Turkish coffee, which require a finer grind.

On the other hand, this means the Encore may struggle to produce finer grinds.

Still, it won’t have a problem producing coarse grinds (e.g. cold brew or French press) or medium grinds (e.g. Chemex, drip coffee).

Winner: Baratza Virtuoso+

The Virtuoso+ offers more versatility for home brewers in terms of what types of coffee you can brew.

All thanks to its wide grind range from extra coarse to extra fine.

So whether you fancy a cold brew, Aeropress, or espresso, the Virtuoso+ got you covered.

Design & Controls

Both the Baratza Encore and Virtuoso+ have 40 grind settings that work the same way.

All you have to do is rotate the hopper to your desired grind setting. For finer grinds, use a lower number. For coarser grinds, choose a higher number.

Both grinders also have a pulse button. This makes the coffee beans to be ground in a quick burst, or in a continuous motion.

This is useful for releasing the ground directly into an espresso-brewing basket (e.g. portafilter). Remove the coffee bin and position your basket below the front-mounted pulse button.

What makes the Virtuoso+ stand out in this section are two things.

First, the digital timer allows you to time your grind up to 40 seconds, which is adjustable to a tenth of a second.

This will help you grind your coffee beans more precisely. Plus, it means you won’t have to stare at the beans since it is half-automatic. Just come back once the timer stops.

Second, it features an LED-backlit coffee bin. The transparent bin makes it easy to see when the grinder is full.

The Encore is more simple and straightforward since it is an entry-level grinder.

It has an on/off switch located on the right side of the machine. This allows you to have a more hands-on approach with your grinding since it is a manual start-and-stop process.

Winner: Baratza Virtuoso+

Both the Encore & Virtuoso+ are powerful for producing different types of coffee.

Plus, the pulse button is handy in case you want to grind directly onto an espresso-brewing basket.

If you’re after the ease of use, the Baratza Encore should be your pick.

But with two extra features, the Virtuoso+ is the clear winner.

It has a transparent, LED-backlit coffee bin so you can clearly see your coffee grounds.

Aside from the manual mode, it also gives you the choice to leave it semi-automatic with its digital 40-second timer.

Appearance

For this section, we’re comparing the size, structure, weight, and materials.

In terms of size and structure, both grinders are the same:

  • Both grinders have a dimension of 12 x 35 x 16 cm
  • They both have a hopper on top with a grounds bin at the bottom
  • Same hopper (8 oz) and grounds bin capacity (5 oz)

So what are the slight differences? It’s in the weight, materials, and color.

In terms of weight, the Virtuoso+ is a bit heavier at 8 lbs, whereas the Baratza Encore weighs 7 lbs. As both grinders are intended for home use, it’s not a big difference.

The Virtuoso+ uses stainless steel on the digital timer and base area, which explains the added weight. Other parts are plastic.

The Encore uses reinforced thermoplastic that is lightweight and durable.

Thermoplastic is a top-grade resin that is crack- and stain-resistant.

The Virtuoso+ only offers a silver color option, whereas you can choose from black or white for the Encore.

Winner: Tie

While the Virtuoso+ has a modern look due to the stainless steel parts, it is heavier than the Encore by 1 lb.

The Encore is lighter and has two color options, but all-plastic materials may not be the best for durability.

Because of the very minimal differences, there is no clear winner for this round.

Both grinders are from Baratza, which is known for producing high-quality coffee grinders. So quality is something you don’t have to worry about.

All in all, for this section, it’s really up to your preferences.

Price

Price is always a huge consideration when it comes to buying any product.

The Virtuoso+ markets itself as a grinder for baristas or professionals. It has a higher-grade M3 burr, a 40-second digital timer, and a faster grinding speed.

With this, you’re paying for the convenience, speed, and grind quality. So it does come with a heavier price tag.

On the other hand, the Baratza Encore is an entry-level grinder. So in comparison, the Encore is cheaper by $100.

Of course, the price will change depending on various market conditions, so this is just an estimate.

In terms of warranty and lifespan, Baratza got you covered.

Baratza offers a 1-year warranty on both the Encore and the Virtuoso+.

Plus, they have a Grinder Repair Program in case you need to replace or repair any parts.

Winner: Baratza Encore

While the Virutoso+ has a lot of great features, it is still expensive for a grinder.

In comparison, you can purchase the Encore and enjoy the same fresh-ground coffee at almost half the price.

You can use the extra savings to buy other materials (e.g. a portafilter).

Or more beans! Because there’s no such thing as too much coffee, right?

So for this section, Encore is the clear winner.

Baratza Virtuoso+ vs Encore: Which One Is Better for Me?

Still on the fence? Here’s our rundown of the two grinders.

Among five categories, the Virtuoso+ won three. With this, we crown the Virtuoso+ as the winner.

Although it is more expensive, why not consider it as an investment?

With the Virtuoso+, you’re getting extra features such as:

  • Convenience: Half-automatic grinder with a 40-second timer. No more staring at your coffee grounds bin!
  • Speed: Get your morning cup fast at 550 RPM without sacrificing quality.
  • Grind Quality: Experience any kind of brew with consistent and versatile grind options.

Use the Baratza Encore If…

  • You’re an entry-level home barista who want to explore various brew methods
  • You want a simple, straightforward design
  • You want a high quality, versatile grinder without the hefty price tag
baratza encore black 1

Use the Baratza Virtuoso+ If…

  • You need various grind settings especially for finer coffee grounds, such as espresso
  • You’re a busy bee and need a fast and “automatic” coffee grinder
  • You’re a coffee connoisseur who needs precision and consistency
virtuoso

Final Thoughts

Both the Baratza Encore and Virtuoso+ are great options for a coffee grinder.

Before you make a purchase, pick which features you value more. Keep in mind that a burr grinder will only get you so far.

A good cup of coffee depends on your beans, water, and coffee machine.

Happy brewing!

You can also check out our comparison review article between the Baratza Preciso vs Virtuoso+.