This is our comparison of Baratza Encore vs. Virtuoso Plus coffee grinders.
Since I started my journey in Specialty Coffee in 2016, home grinders have evolved considerably.
Currently, we have higher quality products available and they’re more affordable than ever.
One of the companies that have made this possible is Baratza. This company manufactures both Encore and Virtuoso.
Since Baratza manufactures both, the brand isn’t enough to pick the best between them.
Let’s analyze the key features and the main differences so that you can decide which is better for you.
Remember, if there is anything that seems obscure or hard to understand, drop a question in the comments section. I am happy to help!
Overview: Baratza Encore vs. Virtuoso Plus comparison
|Baratza Virtuoso Plus||Check on AmazonCheck on French press coffee|
|Baratza Encore||Check on AmazonCheck on French press coffee|
Baratza is one of the best coffee grinder manufacturers in the world. One of its top strengths is the home market, and the Baratza Encore and the Baratza Virtuoso Plus are good examples of its superb product line for home baristas.
The price difference suggests that the Baratza Virtuoso Plus is better than the Encore. And, considering the features, it’s a superior grinder.
The Baratza Virtuoso Plus is the best grinder compared to the Encore because:
- More powerful DC motor: 240 watts vs. 160 watts
- 40-second digital timer for reliable and repeatable dosing
- Nickel-plated satin finish metal top and base for a more premium look and feel
- Higher quality M2 burr set for a more consistent grind size distribution, for a cleaner and tastier cup of coffee.
If you’re looking for a detailed analysis, you can read our Baratza Virtuoso+ review.
Overall, the superior features of the Baratza Virtuoso+ make better coffee. It’s easier to appreciate all the nuances of premium quality coffee using this great grinder. It’s excellent for drip, pour-over, and French press coffee. Moreover, it grinds fine enough for Aeropress and Moka pot too.
Still, the difference between the Encore and the Virtuoso Plus isn’t a dramatic one. There are plenty of similar features between them, and if you’re on a budget, you might prefer to learn more about every detail.
Keep reading to find out what are the differences between the Baratza Encore and the Virtuoso Plus, and if they matter to you.
Baratza Encore vs. Virtuoso Plus Comparison
Let’s drill down the main differences between these two Baratza grinders.
Accuracy: Baratza Virtuoso M2 burrs are sharper and more precise
The Baratza Virtuoso Plus M2 burrs are sharper than the Encore M3 burrs. Combined with a more powerful motor, a more solid body, and a superior calibration system, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus delivers more consistent coffee grounds.
As a result, the coffee grounds from a Baratza Virtuoso Plus have fewer microfines and boulders. For this reason, a cup of coffee prepared with Baratza Virtuoso Plus coffee grounds has lower bitterness and fewer off-flavors than other grinders in its price range.
Additionally, the M2 burrs sharper design provides more versatility to the Baratza Virtuoso Plus, which can produce finer grounds than the Encore.
It may sound confusing since both grinders have the same 40-grind size settings. However, numbers can be deceiving here. The results from the finer ends of the Baratza Virtuoso Plus are finer and more consistent.
In this regard, according to Baratza data, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus has available a wider grind size range than the Baratza Encore across the same 40 settings.
Grind size range in microns: Baratza Encore vs. Virtuoso+
|Baratza Encore||Baratza Virtuoso+|
|250 – 1200 microns||200 – 1400 microns|
However, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus isn’t designed for espresso. It’s an all-purpose grinder for home use. For this reason, I recommend using it with other home brewing devices like Moka pot, Aeropress, drippers, and the French press.
All in all, it’s quite versatile. Thanks to its amazing performance for medium and coarse grind sizes it’s among the best grinders for French press, as well as for pour-over coffee.
Recently, it has become popular to upgrade the Baratza Encore burr set. The M2 burrs are compatible with the Baratza Encore, and the change is pretty straightforward. As demand for these burrs has peaked in the past few months, it has become harder to find M2 burrs to buy separately.
The Baratza M2 burrs are available online at different retailers. You can check the price of the M2 burrs at French press coffee.
If you’re curious about the differences, you can learn more about them in the video below from our friends of French press coffee.
Winner: Baratza Virtuoso Plus.
Grind speed and noise: Baratza Virtuoso Plus is faster
Like most things with engines, a more powerful motor brings more speed to the table with the Baratza Virtuoso Plus.
Additionally, the M2 burrs are faster on themselves, and some Baratza Encore owners claim that it’s twice faster after upgrading the burrs.
On balance, a faster coffee grinder for home use isn’t absolutely necessary. In my experience with the Baratza Encore, having a relatively slow grinder isn’t a problem. You can advance in your workflow without too much trouble.
However, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus has an outstanding combination of build quality, burr set, and motor power that makes it faster and less noisy than the Baratza Encore.
Winner: Baratza Virtuoso Plus.
Build quality: Baratza Virtuoso Plus has better construction
At a glance, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus looks sturdier and more advanced than the Baratza Encore. The metallic encasing of the Virtuoso Plus makes it look sleeker and of more premium quality than the Encore.
Considering its sturdier construction, better burrs, and motor, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus has an overall superior construction.
In this regard, both have the same dimensions, but the Baratza Virtuoso Plus is one pound heavier than the Baratza Encore.
Still, the difference has more of an impact on the noise levels and the appearance than on durability.
Most customers praise the durability of both grinders, so although the Baratza Virtuoso Plus construction is better, it doesn’t make a huge difference.
Winner: Baratza Virtuoso Plus.
Affordable: The Baratza Encore has a lower price
The Baratza Encore makes a few compromises in build quality and versatility to be pretty affordable.
Still, it’s a solid grinder, with top-quality steel burrs, and a decent motor for home use. Additionally, Baratza backs it up with plenty of spare parts and stellar customer service and technical support.
Considering the overall quality of the Baratza Encore, it has an impressively low price, in comparison with similar quality grinders.
The Baratza Virtuoso Plus is more expensive, and it isn’t only because it looks slightly better, or because it has a digital timer for dosing. To be more precise, there are other reasons why the Virtuoso Plus is pricier. It has a more powerful motor, a superior burr set, and a wider grind size range, with overall superior performance.
Still, for many home baristas, the Baratza Encore is a good choice.
Winner: Baratza Encore.
Baratza Encore vs Virtuoso Plus: The Winner
The Baratza Virtuoso Plus is the winner: it has a wider grind size range, superior speed, and consistency. Additionally, it’s less noisy and has a cool feature to grind over time for people who resist implementing single-dosing at home.
Comparing the Baratza Encore vs. Virtuoso Plus takes a bit more effort than checking their prices. The price difference between Baratza Encore and Virtuoso Plus isn’t that much. Still, home baristas may prefer the Baratza Encore since it’s still a pretty good grinder for the price. Arguably, the Baratza Encore is the best entry-level coffee grinder. To learn more about it, read our Baratza Encore review.
On the other hand, pour-over enthusiasts and French press coffee lovers will love the Baratza Virtuoso Plus. It’s incredibly consistent and provides all the technical features you need to get the best out of premium-quality coffee beans.
For other options with superior features at a similar price, or even more affordable, you can check our review of the best coffee hand grinders. They may be not that convenient, but they offer great value.