People who love their coffee know that it’s important to have their own grinder. By grinding their coffee as close as possible to the time of consumption, they avoid the problem of the coffee grounds becoming stale and less flavorful. That said, it can be difficult to find a grinder that offers a good mix of capability, capacity and value. Many people swear by either the Baratza or Breville for their coffee grinding needs. While both of these machines grind using conical burrs, they do have their fair share of differences.
One of the big differences is price. While the Baratza Encore can be purchased for around $140, you’ll be looking to shell out around $60 more for the Breville Smart Grinder.
Now, the Breville does offer some additional features and benefits for the higher price, but the Baratza is still a solid choice. So for those people who are still starting out, and who aren’t yet willing to spend more on a coffee grinder, the Baratza is already a good option.
Another difference between the two is the degree of control provided regarding how fine or coarse the grind is. While the Breville offers up to 25 grind settings for the user to choose from, the Baratza ups this by offering 40 grind choices. This means that the Baratza will, at least on paper, allow the user to better customize the grind fineness or coarseness.
One thing the Breville has that the Baratza doesn’t is an LCD screen for providing more information to the user. For some people, this screen will be a superfluous feature, one that they don’t really need to achieve the proper grind, and one that they would rather not pay for. For those people, the Baratza may be the better choice. But there will also be people who will appreciate all the information the screen can offer. For instance, the specific grind setting chosen will appear on that screen, as well as the chosen amount of ground coffee to be produced and the number of espresso shots or coffee cups.
That LCD screen also comes in handy for one feature the Breville has, which is automatic dosing. The basic idea here is that the grinder is smart enough to figure out how long to grind at a particular setting, in order to come up with a certain kind or strength of dose. This may be appreciated by people who want to make sure they’re getting the same dose each time they brew. But people who prefer to set things manually anyway may not need or want this kind of automation.
One other difference to consider is bean hopper capacity. The Breville has the edge here. While the Baratza has a capacity of 227 grams, the Breville can contain around double that. It is, however, a double-edged sword. Breville states that its bean hopper has an airtight lid to help maintain freshness. But the system is not completely airtight, so users should consider the effect on the coffee beans of prolonged storage in a non-airtight container.
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