In the entry-level class of burr grinders, Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity are among the most popular choices that are often recommended for beginners and casual users. Both of them are quite affordable and budget-friendly, yet they can already deliver decent grind results. So, which coffee grinder is better between the two? Which one should you choose?
The following discussion will show you everything that you need to know about:
– The grind range and number of selectable settings on each model
– The comparison of their grinding speeds and grind quality
– Which coffee grinder that is easier to use and has better control
– The capacity of Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity
– Which coffee grinder that is more durable and easier to maintain
– Whether you should choose Baratza Encore or Capresso Infinity
Let’s start from one of the most important aspects that you need to consider when choosing a burr grinder in this price range: the grind range. It depends on what kinds of grinds that you want to use. If you want to make coffee using an espresso machine or pour-over method, you want a grinder that can produce fine grinds. For French press, you need a grinder that is capable of producing coarse grinds with good consistency. See also: Oxo Brew vs Baratza Encore
Baratza Encore has a better edge here due to having a wider grind range, which goes from 250 microns to 1,200 microns. It is able to make finer grinds than Capresso Infinity, so it is great for the likes of espresso machines, moka pots, and Turkish coffee.
That’s not the only good thing about Baratza Encore. Another advantage that this coffee grinder offers is the huge range of grind settings. It has 40 different grind settings to choose from, so you can adjust the grind with utmost precision for the perfect coffee that you desire. The grinds are extremely accurate across the range.
Capresso Infinity, on the other hand, ‘only’ has a grind range of 300 – 1,200 microns. It is not able to produce grinds as fine as Baratza Encore, but the coarse grinds should be similar. Nevertheless, this coffee grinder is already flexible and versatile enough for a variety of brewing methods, such as espresso machines, moka pots, and pour-over.
There are only 16 grind settings on Capresso Infinity, so it won’t be able to make adjustments as precise as Baratza Encore. However, you still get a decent range, with four categories (coarse, medium, fine, extra fine) and four selectable settings in each category. This is already good enough for beginners and most home users.
Performance and Grind Quality
The next important question that people typically ask when choosing between Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity is, “Which one is the grinder with better consistency and grind quality?” In general, both of these coffee grinders work very well. They can produce very consistent and uniform results at fine and medium settings.
However, entry-level burr grinders typically struggle at the coarser settings. While they can produce coarse grinds with good consistency, they often also produce some coffee dust particles that get mixed in. This is also the case with both Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity. Starting from the medium settings, they produce some fines that get mixed with the grinds.
Still, Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity are already much better than basic blade grinders. Basic blade grinders utterly lack consistency, and aren’t suitable for making coarse grinds for French press. Entry-level burr grinders like Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity can do the job albeit not with perfection.
Both of these coffee grinders run at low speeds. It is very important for a burr grinder to run at a low speed in order to minimize heat build-up. Excessive heat will release the oils in the coffee prematurely and degrade the coffee quality. Hence, heat during the grinding process should be kept at the minimum.
Baratza Encore once again holds a better edge in this match-up. By default, it runs at 450 RPM, which is already low enough to minimize heat properly. However, you can adjust the motor speed between 405 RPM and 495 RPM. So, you may reduce the grinding speed further if you are a perfectionist person, or slightly increase the grinding speed if you don’t want to wait too long.
Capresso Infinity has a grinding speed that is under 450 RPM. This is definitely a good thing, but you can’t adjust the grinding speed to suit your preference. Nevertheless, when tested against Baratza Encore, Capresso Infinity is actually still a little bit faster. The difference won’t translate into a significant amount of heat build-up, unless you run the grinder continuously for several minutes. The company does recommend to avoid grinding continuously for more than three minutes.
Operation and Control
The next difference between Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity is the control. On Baratza Encore, you get a unit that requires fully manual control – which can be good or bad, depending on your preference. On Capresso Infinity, there is a mechanical timer with auto shut-off which is often a hit-or-miss affair.
Baratza Encore features a pulse button for on-demand grinding. It will continue grinding as long as you keep the button pushed down. The advantage is that you can monitor the amount of ground coffee and stop precisely when the desired amount has been achieved.
Alternatively, Baratza Encore also has an on/off knob for continuous grinding. It will continue grinding as long as the knob is at the “on” position. This way, you won’t need to be occupied at the grinder all the time. You can do other things while waiting for the desired amount of ground coffee. However, you need to turn the knob off manually to stop the grinding action.
Capresso Infinity, on the other hand, comes with a mechanical timer. However, it is very difficult to find the correct amount of time for different grind settings. Finer grinds typically require more time than coarser grinds. To complicate things further, the number markings around the timer knob don’t actually correspond to time or coffee dosing; they are simply for reference points.
As the effect, most of the time, you will use the timer on Capresso Infinity like the on/off knob of Baratza Encore. You simply twist the timer knob to let Capresso Infinity grind continuously, and then manually switch it off by twisting the bean hopper to the right over the coarsest grind setting.
Both Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity have bean hoppers to hold the whole beans and feed them into the burrs. The bean hoppers are relatively small, but already more than enough for brewing at home and even for use in a small café.
Baratza Encore has a slightly smaller bean hopper, which has a capacity of 8 oz. However, you can purchase an optional extension accessory which will add 9 oz more capacity on the top of the bean hopper. The grind container has a 5-oz capacity.
Capresso Infinity comes with an 8.8-oz bean hopper, which is slightly larger than the standard bean hopper of Baratza Encore. However, there is no extension accessory to increase the capacity. The grind container has a 4-oz capacity.
In terms of build quality, these two coffee grinders are comparable to each other. Both have plastic construction and high-quality steel burrs. Despite having plastic construction, these grinders are very solid and durable.
Baratza Encore comes with a black exterior. It looks stylish and elegant. The bean hopper and grind container are semi-transparent with a slight black hue.
Capresso Infinity is available in three color options: stainless steel, brushed silver, and black. The bean hopper and grind chamber are completely transparent.
Parts Availability and Warranty
Finally, one crucial consideration when choosing between Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity is the parts availability. The burrs of your grinder will eventually wear off, so the burrs will need to be replaced every once in a while. Unfortunately, most cheap grinders are meant to be thrown away once they are worn off.
This is where Baratza Encore shines. Unlike most other products in the class, Baratza Encore has been designed to be maintained and repairable. You can easily find replacement parts for Baratza Encore, so you won’t need to buy a new unit in the future. The maintenance cost is much lower than buying a new unit. Furthermore, Baratza Encore is backed by a 1-year warranty, and the customer support is really great.
On the other hand, Capresso Infinity has very limited parts availability. Many users say that finding replacement burrs for the Capresso Infinity grinder is very difficult. Though, Capresso Infinity is backed by a 1-year warranty, so you should be able to ask for a repair or replacement if your unit happens to fail while still in the warranty period.
Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity
In the end, Baratza Encore is the better burr grinder. We recommend you to choose Baratza Encore because it is superior in many aspects. It has a wider grind range with more precise grind settings. The grind quality is excellent, and you can fine-tune the motor speed to suit your preference. In addition, Baratza Encore has excellent parts availability and customer support.