Choosing the right coffee grinder is crucial for achieving a perfect brew, and two popular contenders in the market are the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and the Baratza Encore.
With their impressive features and reputable brands behind them, it can be challenging to determine which one suits your needs best.
Coffee enthusiasts who value precise grind adjustments and a wide range of settings, particularly for espresso brewing, may prefer the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
On the other hand, budget-conscious individuals seeking a durable grinder with consistent grind quality for filter and immersion brewing methods should consider the Baratza Encore.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into a concise comparison between these two grinders, exploring their key features, performance, and overall value for coffee enthusiasts.
Whether you’re a home barista or a coffee aficionado, this analysis will help you make an informed decision and elevate your coffee experience to new heights.
|Breville Smart Grinder Pro
|8.5 x 6 x 15.5 inches
|6.3 x 4.7 x 13.8 inches
|18 oz (510g)
|40mm Stock Breville Burrs
|40mm M3 Burrs
|Up to 2g
|Less than 0.5g
|Wide range, fine adjustments (ideal for espresso)
|More uniform, excels at filter and immersion brewing
|Ease of Use
|Intuitive digital LCD screen, easy adjustments
|Manual adjustments, no presets
|Design and Build Quality
|Heavy plastic body with brushed stainless steel
|Durable plastic body with sleek black finish
Overview of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro stands as a reliable and user-friendly coffee grinder that caters to both novice and experienced coffee enthusiasts.
With its impressive range of adjustable settings and intuitive design, this grinder delivers an efficient and convenient grinding experience.
Boasting 60 grind settings, users have the freedom to achieve the perfect grind size for their preferred brewing method, whether it’s espresso, drip, or French press.
One of the notable advantages of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is its user-friendly features.
Equipped with a large LCD display, it provides clear and precise information, making it easy to navigate and adjust settings.
This accessibility is a great asset for beginners who are still learning about different grind sizes and extraction techniques.
Additionally, the grinder operates with relative quietness, ensuring a peaceful coffee preparation process.
Crafted with durable stainless steel construction, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro exudes durability and longevity.
Its versatility is showcased by its ability to grind directly into various receptacles, including the portafilter, an airtight container, gold tone filter basket, or paper filter.
This flexibility accommodates different brewing methods and simplifies the overall coffee preparation process.
While the Breville Smart Grinder Pro offers a myriad of advantages, it is worth noting that some users may find the user interface slightly convoluted.
However, once familiarized with its functionality, the grinder becomes an indispensable tool for achieving consistently high-quality coffee.
Overall, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro offers exceptional value for money, combining performance, versatility, and ease of use in a single package.
- Versatile Adjustable Options: The Breville Smart Grinder Pro offers an extensive range of adjustable settings, catering to the needs of both beginners and professionals alike.
- User-Friendly Experience: With its streamlined and intuitive operation, the Smart Grinder Pro ensures a hassle-free user experience.
- Consistent Grind Quality: The Smart Grinder Pro excels in delivering a consistent grind, positioning itself as a strong competitor among other grinders in the market.
- Quiet Operation and Generous Capacity: Equipped with noise-reduction technology, this grinder operates quietly, providing a peaceful coffee preparation experience. Additionally, its large capacity allows it to accommodate espresso brewing, making it an excellent value for its price.
- Durable Construction: Crafted with a brushed metal exterior and stainless steel burrs, the Smart Grinder Pro exemplifies sturdiness and durability. Its high-quality materials ensure reliable performance and make it compatible with various types of coffee beans.
- Complex User Interface: The Smart Grinder Pro’s user interface can be perceived as convoluted and challenging to navigate, requiring patience and familiarization.
- Limitations in Coarse Grinding: Some users may find the grinder less effective when it comes to grinding very coarse.
- Time-Per-Dose Grinding System: The Smart Grinder Pro employs a time-per-dose grinding system, which can be perceived as confusing and time-consuming to work around.
Overview of the Baratza Encore
The Baratza Encore stands as Baratza’s entry-level home burr grinder, offering a reliable and budget-friendly option while upholding the brand’s renowned commitment to excellent customer service.
With its conical burrs and impressive features, the Encore is highly recommended by baristas to enhance the journey of filter brewing.
Designed as a beginner’s tool, the Baratza Encore serves as a perfect introduction to the world of craft coffee.
Its user-friendly nature ensures a seamless and enjoyable grinding experience, even for those new to the process.
Featuring 40 grind settings that span from fine to coarse, the Encore caters to a wide range of brewing methods, granting versatility to coffee enthusiasts.
One of the standout qualities of the Encore is its exceptional grind consistency.
This consistency translates into superior extraction and a more nuanced flavor profile in the final cup of coffee.
Additionally, the Encore exhibits remarkable durability, capable of grinding coffee beans repeatedly without compromising performance.
Adding to its appeal, the Encore boasts a minimal design and a compact form factor, making it a tasteful and space-saving addition to any kitchen.
Its sleek aesthetics blend seamlessly with various kitchen decors, further enhancing its overall appeal.
It is worth noting that the Baratza Encore is priced slightly higher than most other entry-level grinders.
However, the grinder justifies its cost through its impressive build quality and reliability, ensuring a long-lasting investment for coffee enthusiasts seeking consistent and high-quality grinds.
Overall, the Baratza Encore surpasses expectations as an entry-level grinder, combining affordability, exceptional grind consistency, and durability.
Its seamless operation and versatility make it an excellent choice for those venturing into the world of specialty coffee or seeking to upgrade their filter brewing experience.
- Consistent Grind Size: The Baratza Encore is equipped with a powerful engine and high-quality burrs, ensuring a consistent grind size. This consistency plays a crucial role in producing a well-balanced and flavorful cup of coffee, regardless of the chosen brewing method.
- Versatile Grind Settings: With 40 different grind settings, the Baratza Encore caters to a wide range of brewing methods, including pour-over, drip coffee, and cold brew.
- Ease of Use and Cleaning: The Encore’s user-friendly design makes it effortless to operate and maintain. Its intuitive controls and simple interface enhance the overall user experience, while the easy-to-clean components add convenience to the daily coffee routine.
- Reliable Customer Service and Replacement Parts: Baratza has a reputation for providing fast and reliable customer service. In case of any issues or concerns, assistance is readily available. Moreover, the availability of replacement parts ensures the longevity and continued functionality of the grinder.
- Durable Construction: Crafted with high-quality parts, the Baratza Encore exhibits durability and longevity.
- Sleek and Compact Design: The Encore’s visually appealing aesthetics and compact form factor make it an attractive addition to any kitchen.
- Limited Espresso Grind Settings: Some espresso enthusiasts may find the Baratza Encore’s number of grind settings for espresso to be limited.
- Lack of Advanced Features: The Encore may not possess advanced features that some coffee enthusiasts seek, such as a digital display.
- Noise Level: During operation, the Baratza Encore can produce a noticeable amount of noise. While this may not be a significant concern for everyone, it is worth considering for those who value a quieter coffee grinding experience.
Design and Build Quality: Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs. Baratza Encore
Let’s start with the most obvious difference and that’s the fact that the Breville Smart Grinder Pro has an LCD screen while the Baratza Encore is controlled by analog switches and buttons.
The Breville is by far the more modern-looking grinder with its LCD screen and lighting around the buttons while the Baratza Encore is more dull looking.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro features a sturdy plastic body with a brushed stainless steel finish. Its sleek design is available in brushed steel, black, or red colors, offering a modern and sophisticated look.
The metallic body and larger size of the Smart Grinder Pro give it a striking presence on the kitchen counter.
Breville has taken care to create a premium coffee grinder with a sleek aesthetic, capturing the essence of the “Breville look.” The combination of a metallic body and sleek design enhances its overall appeal.
In contrast, the Baratza Encore boasts a plastic body with a timeless black finish. Despite its plastic construction, the Encore exudes durability and stability during operation.
The tough plastic chassis gives it a robust and almost bulletproof appearance. Baratza has successfully created a home coffee grinder with exceptional durability, proving that plastic construction does not necessarily equate to poorer build quality.
The Encore’s minimalist design and monochrome plastic body prioritize functionality over outward aesthetics, making it blend seamlessly into any kitchen environment.
In terms of size, the Smart Grinder Pro is slightly larger than the Encore, with approximately 3 inches more width and height. This larger size further contributes to its eye-catching presence on the countertop.
Conversely, the Encore’s compact and unobtrusive design allows it to occupy minimal space and maintain a low-profile presence in the kitchen.
Overall, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro stands out with its sleek metallic body, emphasizing a premium and modern aesthetic.
In contrast, the Baratza Encore focuses on durability and functionality, prioritizing internal hardware over external aesthetics.
Burr Quality: Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Encore
At the core of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and Baratza Encore, you’ll find durable stainless steel conical burrs. Both grinders boast high-quality burrs that are built to withstand extended use without significant wear.
The Baratza Encore sets itself apart with its utilization of Baratza’s M3 40mm burr, while the Smart Grinder Pro features stock Breville 40mm burrs.
The M3 burrs found in the Encore offer an advantage with an additional spiral cutting edge that runs the length of the burr.
In terms of grind size distribution, the Encore’s burrs generally deliver a more uniform result compared to the Smart Grinder Pro.
This enhanced consistency contributes to improved extraction and a more balanced flavor profile in the brewed coffee.
Grind retention, the amount of coffee grounds left inside the grinder between uses, can be a concern.
The Smart Grinder Pro occasionally exhibits grind retention of upwards of 2g, which is a higher amount more commonly associated with flat burr grinders rather than conical burrs.
In contrast, the Encore excels with significantly better grind retention, often measuring less than 0.5g. This reduced retention ensures a fresher grind and a more consistent brewing experience.
While the burrs on the Smart Grinder Pro are functional, the Baratza M3 burrs found in the Encore offer a notable step up in terms of grind retention and consistency.
The Encore’s burrs demonstrate a superior ability to retain a consistent grind size, allowing for more precise control over the brewing process.
It is worth mentioning that the Encore provides the option to upgrade its burr set to one of Baratza’s higher-end options.
This flexibility allows users to further enhance the grinder’s performance and tailor it to their specific brewing preferences.
Additionally, Baratza’s extensive inventory of replacement parts simplifies the process of conducting upgrades and repairs on the Encore, making it a more user-friendly option in this regard compared to the Smart Grinder Pro.
Grind Quality: Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs. Baratza Encore
When it comes to grind quality, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and Baratza Encore offer distinct characteristics.
The Smart Grinder Pro boasts an impressive range of 60 grind sizes, providing extensive control through a convenient side dial.
It excels in producing finer grinds, catering to various brewing methods from espresso to French press.
On the other hand, the Baratza Encore offers 40 grind settings that cover a wide range of brewing methods.
However, the numerical values on the Encore serve merely as markers specific to each unit, with the actual grind size estimation falling within the range of 1500 to 2000 microns, which is significantly larger than typically required.
In terms of grind quality, the Baratza Encore showcases exceptional consistency in grind size, particularly excelling in filter coffee preparations.
Its medium and coarse grind settings yield impressive grind consistency, resulting in cleaner and more refined pour-over brews. The Encore brings out the nuanced flavors highlighted on the coffee bag.
In comparison, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro performs exceptionally well in the finer grind adjustments, making it a preferred choice for espresso enthusiasts.
It offers a greater number of settings specifically tailored for espresso, with approximately 10 settings dedicated to this range.
However, it is important to note that the Smart Grinder Pro tends to produce more clumps, necessitating the use of a WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique) tool to achieve consistent shots.
As an entry-level espresso grinder, the Smart Grinder Pro proves to be more capable. Despite its shortcomings in clumping, it provides a solid foundation for espresso brewing.
On the other hand, the base model Encore is better suited for filter and immersion brewing methods such as drip coffee and French press, where its consistent grind size shines.
Ease of Use: Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs. Baratza Encore
With the Baratza Encore, the grind settings can be effortlessly modified by rotating the hopper, providing convenient control over the grind size.
The grinder features an on/off switch or a “Pulse” button for operation. Cleaning the Encore is a breeze, as the top burr can be easily removed without the need for any tools.
Additionally, the removable hopper and grounds bin can be rinsed for quick and simple cleaning.
In contrast, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is designed with beginners in mind, offering an intuitive and user-friendly experience.
It incorporates a digital LCD screen that facilitates selecting and retrieving one of the grinder’s generous 60 grind adjustments.
Many of these adjustments are finely tuned for espresso brewing. The ease of making adjustments, coupled with the clear display screen, enhances the user experience.
Furthermore, the Smart Grinder Pro can be disassembled with ease, simplifying the cleaning process.
While the Baratza Encore provides excellent grind control, it requires more user input to achieve desired results.
The absence of presets necessitates manual dosing, and the adjustment dial lacks clear reference points for the numerical values, often requiring consulting the user manual. The Encore’s operation is not as seamless as the Smart Grinder Pro.
It’s also worth noting that the Encore, like other Baratza grinders, tends to generate notable noise during operation.
Comparatively, the Smart Grinder Pro is relatively quieter, although neither grinder can be considered whisper-quiet.
If noise is a major concern, both models have room for improvement, with the Smart Grinder Pro offering a slightly better noise performance.
If ease of use is the main deciding factor for you, the Smart Grinder Pro is probably the better option here.
Price: Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs. Baratza Encore
When considering the price of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and the Baratza Encore, both models offer reasonable pricing for the quality they deliver, targeting budget-conscious consumers who seek a burr grinder upgrade or a reliable entry-level option.
Typically, the Baratza Encore holds a price advantage, being approximately $50 cheaper than the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
This price difference positions the Encore as a more affordable choice for those with budget constraints.
Despite the lower price, the Encore does not compromise on essential features and functionalities, making it an attractive option for those seeking cost-effectiveness.
While the Smart Grinder Pro offers additional functionality compared to the Encore, such as a digital LCD screen and a wider range of grind adjustments, the price difference may not always justify these added features for all users.
The Encore’s affordability, combined with its reliable performance, makes it an excellent choice for those who prioritize value for money.
Another advantage of the Baratza Encore is its ease of replacing and upgrading internal parts.
Baratza has a reputation for providing readily available replacement parts, allowing users to maintain and enhance the grinder’s performance over time.
This aspect adds further value to the Encore’s cost-effectiveness, as users can extend the grinder’s lifespan and adapt it to their evolving coffee needs without incurring substantial expenses.
The Verdict: Which Should You Choose?
When it comes to selecting between the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and the Baratza Encore, it ultimately depends on individual preferences and specific needs.
Both grinders offer impressive performance and value for their respective price points. However, based on our assessment, we recommend the Baratza Encore for several reasons.
The Baratza Encore is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable and affordable coffee grinder.
Its durable build, consistent grind size distribution, and impressive grind retention make it a standout option for filter and immersion coffee methods like drip and French press.
Moreover, Baratza’s commitment to providing replacement parts and upgrade options ensures that the Encore can adapt and grow with your coffee journey.
If you prioritize a wider range of grind settings, finer adjustments for espresso brewing, and added functionalities like a digital LCD screen, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro may be more suitable for you.
Its sleek design and intuitive interface make it a great entry-level grinder, particularly for those specifically interested in espresso preparation.
Ultimately, those on a tighter budget, looking for a reliable grinder with excellent grind consistency for a variety of brewing methods, will find the Baratza Encore to be an exceptional choice.
Its affordable price, durability, and ease of maintenance make it a go-to option for both beginners and seasoned coffee enthusiasts who value performance and value for their money.