A great coffee grinder can enhance your coffee experience to unfathomable heights. Your coffee will most certainly be more flavorful and delightful. If you’re interested in getting a new grinder you have probably considered two of the best in the market. The Baratza Encore and the Capresso Infinity can produce fresh grinds releasing some incredible flavors for even the most discerning coffee palate.
While the two are top notch coffee grinders, there are some differences. The Encore provides better maintenance and repair options. The infinity offers more capacity in its bean hopper. Both provide precision grinding with uniform particles.
If you’re looking for a reliable coffee grinder, both the Baratza Encore and the Capresso Infinity are capable of offering you full flavored coffee grinds at the press of a button. This article guides us through the main similarities and glaring differences between these two home grinders. Read on to uncover which grinder would best suit your needs.
Brand Profiles: Baratza Vs Capresso
Before we look into individual models and how they compare, let’s take a dive into the two companies.
Baratza started as a US company in 1999, founded by Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy. Baratza is now owned by the Breville Group, an Australian multinational company that specializes in small home appliances.
Baratza headquarters are in Bellevue while their products are designed in Seattle. The grinders are built in Taiwan while the famous Baratza conical burrs are created in Europe through precision technology.
The name Baratza has its roots in Arab and Swahili culture where community members meet in Barazas (meeting places) to discuss issues of interest over a cup of coffee. Baratza manufactures some of the best home burr grinders. The company is big on creating quality products which are easy to use and backed by warranties. The Baratza company’s popularity also stems in part from their easy-to-follow tutorials on product care and maintenance.
Capresso was founded in 1994 with the intent of bringing high-end European coffee making machines into the American market. In 2008, Jura Elektroapparate AG, a Swiss distributor of automatic coffee machines, acquired Capresso to become the sole owners. All Capresso conical burrs are manufactured in Switzerland for precision and durability.
The Capresso name is a word play on the names ‘cappuccino’ and ‘espresso.’ The naming is a signal that the company intends to bring new innovations and combinations to the thriving specialty coffee industry.
Capresso is an industry leader and among many other achievements, have been responsible for:
- Creating the first conical burr grinder-programmable coffeemaker combination.
- Designing the first semi-automatic espresso machine.
- Bringing to market the first stand-alone automatic milk-frother meant for the consumer market.
With both companies being so notable and popular, it goes without saying that their machines are top quality. Both brands are clearly committed to quality, reliable service, performance, and durability.
Key Features of the Baratza Encore Grinder
The Baratza Encore is a beginner-friendly conical burr grinder. It produces an incredibly consistent grind within a wide range of grind settings. With 40 settings to choose from, you can grind anything from a coarse cold brew to an ultrafine Turkish coffee.
The Baratza Encore’s hopper can carry up to 8 ounces of coffee beans while the ground bin can carry up to five ounces of ground coffee.
The Baratza Encore is housed in a full plastic ergonomic-looking curved design which can look pretty sleek in your kitchen. The unit features a pulse button to regulate grinding.
Key Features of the Capresso Infinity Grinder
The Capresso Infinity has a timeless design with user friendly buttons and dials. The machine is on automatic off any time the bean container isn’t locked in place. The black ABS plastic housing features a timer where you can set your grind anywhere from 5 seconds to 60 seconds for higher precision and energy saving.
The Capresso Infinity has a transparent hopper bin which can hold up to 8.8 ounces of coffee beans. There’s also a tight-fitting ground bin which holds up to four ounces of ground coffee. Both bins are detachable for easy emptying, refilling, and cleaning.
The upper conical burr is also detachable to ease cleaning. The burrs run on a gear reduction motor which grinds slowly to reduce noise emission and static buildup.
The Capresso Infinity has 16 grind settings, with each setting having an additional four levels which are coarse, regular, fine, and extra fine.
The Infinity is equipped with commercial-grade solid steel conical burrs designed for advanced high precision grinding. The burrs provide uniform grinds through a wide range, from a very coarse grind to ultrafine for all types of coffee servings.
To use the Infinity grinder, the black dot on the bean container has to align to one of the fineness settings. You then have to set the timer and the grinder turns on immediately. When you want to refill the hopper, make sure it’s empty first. Otherwise, removing the hopper will result in beans scattering all over.
The Capresso infinity is a commercial-grade machine created for home use. The units last long offering first-rate reliability throughout its lifespan.
It’s an inexpensive grinder yet provides premium quality grinds. The gadget is shock resistant and doesn’t vibrate much due to the heavy-duty base. Additionally, the DC motor ensures slow grinding thus enhancing efficiency while limiting noise, heat, and static emission.
The built-in 60-second timer means you don’t have to hang around pressing buttons. You simply set and go, knowing your ground coffee will be ready for brewing in less than a minute.
With the Capresso Infinity, you can grind beans for just one cup or a full pot in any of the fineness settings.
However, despite the many pros of the Infinity, there are still a few cons. The black dots indicating fineness can be quick to fade away. Thus, this machine would probably not do well in a busy kitchen with many people operating it.
For example, a cafe with a high turnover of employees would have new employees confused about the right setting. Another disadvantage is when you use oily beans, such as dark roasted beans, they tend to create a static buildup. Grinds and dust may then stick on the inside and outside of the grinder, making your kitchen space look messy.
Also, while it is easy to remove the higher burr for cleaning, it is much more difficult to clean the lower conical burrs.
Difference Between Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity
The Baratza Encore and the Capresso Infinity are two of the best entry-level class of burr grinders. They are both quite affordable and user friendly. Nonetheless, when you’re making a choice between the two, these are the factors you should consider.
When comparing two grinders within the same price range, the most important factor to look at is the grind settings.
The Baratza Encore offers a wider grind range, with 40 different settings. The grind sizes range from 250 microns to 1,200 microns. Though it’s not able to produce connoisseur level espresso grounds, the fine grinds are good enough for home use for a beginner.
Because the Encore uses precision steel conical burrs, the grinds are very accurate across all fineness settings.
The Capresso Infinity has a grid range of 300 microns to 1,200 microns. Though the Encore produces finer grinds, they both fare equally with the coarser grinds.
The Capresso Infinity has 16 grind settings. However, each of these 16 settings can be subdivided into either of four categories. The categories are coarse, medium, fine, and extra fine.
Once you’ve compared grind settings, it’s time to look at grind quality. Both the Encore and the Infinity produce consistent and uniform grinds across all settings.
Nonetheless, many beginners often find they mix in some fine grinds when looking for a coarse grind. These are from the dust [particles formed during grinding.
The Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity use DC motors which run at low speeds. Thus, they minimize dust particles during the grinding action. The slow grind also avoids heat dissipation, so the coffee doesn’t get burned and the oils don’t get released too early before brewing. Both machines grind at speeds of 450 RPM.
The most glaring difference between these two units is how you operate and control them. The Baratza Encore is a fully manual control grinder. The Capresso Infinity has a mechanical timer and an automatic shutoff.
The Encore has a pulse button on the front panel for on-demand grinding. The machine will keep grinding for as long as you hold down the pulse button. This presents an advantage in that you can stop grinding when you have enough ground coffee.
The Encore also features an on and off dial for continuous grinding. Once you turn the knob ‘On’ you don’t have to stand around waiting as the grinder works. Nonetheless, you have to come back with the dial to the ‘Off’ position to stop the grinding.
The Capresso Infinity has a mechanical timer which runs down the clock as it grinds. Nonetheless, it’s often very difficult for a beginner to get the timing right for the different grind size settings. You can also turn the grinder on and off by simply twisting the timer knob.
Both the Baratza Encore and the Capresso Infinity have been hoppers at the top. They work through gravity to slowly feed the beans into the conical burrs. While both models have relatively small bean hoppers, at 8 ounces and 8.8 ounces the hoppers are enough for regular home brewing.
The Capresso Infinity has a larger bean hopper, holding 0.8 more ounces compared to the Baratza Encore’s bean hopper. The slight difference is probably because the Encore’s hopper tapers off into a funnel shape while the Capresso’s hopper maintains a cylindrical shape.
Even though the Baratza Encore’s bean hopper is smaller, the unit has an optional extension accessory which adds an extra nine ounces of coffee bean capacity on top of the bean hopper.
Both the Encore and the infinity have a ground bin with a capacity of four ounces.
The quality of material is comparable for both grinders. They both have plastic covers and high-precision steel burrs. Even though the bodies are made out of plastic, both grinders have very solid structures and are highly durable.
The Encore is black in color and looks classic and elegant. The bean hopper and ground bin are semi-transparent with a black tint which protects your coffee when in direct sunlight but allows you to see how full or empty it is.
The Capresso Infinity comes in three different color options. You can purchase it in black, silver, and stainless steel. Both the bean hopper and ground bin are completely transparent.
Warranties and Parts
Some parts of your grinder will eventually wear off and need replacement or repair. Therefore, a crucial part of choosing the best coffee grinder is to consider parts availability and warranty covers.
The Capresso Infinity comes with a one-year warranty. However, the warranty mainly covers manufacturing errors. Many users report that finding replacement for worn out burrs is very difficult.
The Baratza Encore compares better in terms of parts availability. The Encore, like most Baratza products, is made for easy maintenance and repairability. Through their website, you can find replacement parts for the Encore’s burrs, hoppers, and ground bins. Finding parts readily makes maintenance much cheaper than buying a new unit.
Both the Capresso Infinity and Baratza Encore offer slow grinding speeds resulting in precision grinding, uniform particles, less friction, reduced heat emission, and reduced static buildup in the grinder.
The Baratza Encore is a simpler machine to use, even for a beginner. The Encore also offers more grind size options with 40 different settings. The availability of parts and superior customer care also works in favor of the Encore.
The Capresso Infinity has a mechanical timer and an automatic shut-off. This allows you to set your grind and let it run its course without having to stand watching the machine work.