The brand names of Baratza and Capresso are so popular among coffee enthusiasts that they hardly ever need any introduction. As two of the most credible and popular brands in coffee grinders, both of these companies have established an awe-inspiring reputation for themselves. This stature has not come overnight. It has years of marketing, product performance, and reliable service behind it.
But as great as that is for coffee aficionados who want to grind their own coffee beans at home, it also poses a significant problem in choosing between these brands. Since both companies are well known and credible, it gets difficult to select from similar products that are offered by them. This gets especially harder when you are shopping around for entry-level coffee grinders that are virtually the same in everything, but still have nuances that you know might make a world of difference later.
This particular scenario can’t get any truer than when it comes to Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity grinders. As starting level coffee grinders, both of these models are highly sought after by coffee enthusiasts who like brewing their cup of joe at home. But seeing that home user cannot buy their coffee grinders, again and again, even a small investment on this scale has to hold the most value for money.
To a professional coffee connoisseur, spending a large amount on a coffee grinder is an investment well worth their money. But to the average homebody who also happens to like coffee, there’s a certain budgetary limit that they cannot ignore. If you are someone who loves high-quality coffee while needing to maintain your budget consistently, you will appreciate this issue like no one else can.
Understanding this predicament, we have put together a detailed comparison that sheds light on Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity grinders. Through this guide, you will be able to see exactly how these grinders differ from each other in terms of functions, cost, and value for money.
Learning About the Companies
Before you get into the nitty-gritty of comparing Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity, it is prudent to learn about the companies behind these machines. Doing so will help you learn important details about their background, credibility and overall stature, which in turn will come useful while you make your final decision about purchasing one of these entry-level coffee grinders.
Starting from Baratza, the company dates back to 1999. Its operations are based in the U.S., where it has become synonymous with everything about coffee grinders. Its popularity in the consumer coffee grinder sector has reached the point where you cannot go about your day to day activities as a coffee enthusiast without hearing about Baratza at least once every few weeks. Simply put, the company has built such a reputation in the home-use coffee grinder segment that it is difficult to overlook it while buying a grinder. That is why, considering Baratza happens to be the first step towards purchasing a grinder of your own.
When it comes to Capresso, the coffee machine manufacturer has a slightly different history. Launched in 1994, the company has its headquarters based in the U.S., which is also its country of origination. But after 25 years of operation, the company is now owned by Jura AG of Switzerland. Despite this change in ownership, Capresso has continued making the same equipment that it did before, with the aim of bringing coffee machines and related appliances to home consumers. Today, it sells equipment including but not limited to coffee makers, grinders, and electric kettles. Like Baratza, Capresso is also a household name, and remains well known to those who love their coffee.
As the explanation above outlines, Baratza only makes coffee grinders, while Capresso also sells a host of other appliances. With that in mind, both companies excel at manufacturing entry-level coffee grinders for home use, which is your equipment of concern in this case. When you move past this diversity in manufacturing processes, you are also able to see that both companies have more than 20 years on their name. At the same time, they also have the factors of customer satisfaction and brand recognition working for them.
Both Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity are considered entry-level coffee grinders. They are both built using the conical burrs mechanism, and they also come with a 1-year limited warranty from their respective manufacturer.
The finer details start to show when you put specific models head to head, such as making a comparison of Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity. This is where you actually see a difference. From there, it gets easier to make a decision between both coffee grinder models.
Best Price: Capresso Infinity
The first thing that comes to mind while comparing these coffee grinders is the difference in their price.
At the time of writing, you can find a new Baratza Encore for the price of $139. If you go through with the purchase at Amazon, you are also able to enjoy free shipping.
Whereas, a new Capresso Infinity will cost you a little over $85. This price from Amazon comes with a 28% discount, which cuts a major chunk off of the list price of $120. If that wasn’t enough, you also get free shipping by going with this product. Here, it is prudent to keep in mind that this price is for the black plastic model that is on par with the built material of Baratza Encore. If you up the ante with stainless steel built, you come back to essentially the same price point with over $129.
This means that if you go for Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity while choosing similar built material, you are paying more than half of Infinity’s discounted price for Baratza.
But if you pay almost the same amount of $129 for Infinity, you are able to enjoy a more durable zinc die-cast housing for the machine.
If cost was the only factor, then the Capresso Infinity will certainly take the cake. But making this one-time investment requires more than a showdown in price. Keeping that in mind, let’s move on to technical issues that define more than the price tag for these entry-level coffee grinders.
The Built: It’s a Draw
The built and design of each of these machines matter a lot. This is one of those aspects where both Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity hold their own quite well – to the point where it gets difficult to choose a winner.
Both machines sport a modern design while built using sturdy, heavy-duty plastic. Their chassis design is of the type that makes them fit into any modern kitchen with ease.
If you don’t throw the stainless steel version of Capresso Infinity into the mix, the black plastic chassis of both machines stay on par with each other.
Both of the entry-level coffee grinders have a conical bean container while also holding a separate compartment for ground coffee.
None of the machines have a digital display. But both of them have rotating switches to turn each machine on and off, and to set its grinding intensity.
While comparing Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity, you might be interested to know the ground capacity of each of the machines. But there’s not much difference there either.
Baratza Encore’s conical bean hopper has a capacity of 8oz. Whereas, Capresso Infinity’s conical bean holder has a capacity of 8.8oz.
But this slight imbalance gets even in the ground bin.
The ground bin for Baratza Encore can hold up to 5oz of ground coffee. But the Capresso Infinity can only hold 4oz of ground coffee.
That brings you back to square one in terms of choosing a winner in terms of capacity.
When it comes to dimensions, the Baratza Encore stands at 4.7 x 6.3 x 13.8 inches. Whereas, the Capresso Infinity sports the overall dimensions of 7.8 x 9.6 x 14.6 inches.
But here’s the kicker, while the Baratza Encore is shorter, it’s heavier with 7lbs of weight. The Capresso Infinity even with its taller frame only records 4lbs as its total weight.
With that being said, the contrast in these dimensions doesn’t project a very heavy difference in terms of visual or real-world usage. Since these entry-level coffee grinders usually rest on your counter, the slight difference in weight doesn’t say much.
As a result, both machines stay on equal grounds in terms of their built. So far, the lower price label that comes with Capresso Infinity looks good. But your perception might change when you look at the grinding power of each of these machines.
Best Grinding Settings: Baratza Encore
If there’s one aspect that jumps out as a clear difference in comparing Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity, it is the grinding capability of each machine.
One of the most basic checks for grinding is assessing the hardware behind each machine.
For the Capresso Infinity, it is its commercial-grade solid conical steel burrs. To enhance their grinding power, the company has incorporated an enhanced cutting design. It also has a gear-reduction motor that delivers maximum power to its burrs. As a result, you are able to get fine grinding results with minimal noise.
For the Baratza Encore, it all comes down to the machine’s 40mm hardened alloy steel burrs. To give more power to the machine’s grinding capabilities, Baratza has employed a precision design while also supporting it with a gearbox. This gearbox reduces friction between the machine and delivers more power to the rotating cone burr for stronger grinding.
Here, the grinding hardware of the machines pretty much stays on par with each other. There’s no clear winner in this aspect of Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity, mainly because using stainless steel burrs is the standard in terms of the price point of both machines. If you are looking for ceramic burrs, then upgrading to grinders that cost upwards of $500 is the only option.
With that in mind, it’s safe to declare that both machines come with great hardware for entry-level coffee grinders.
When judging the grinding speed control, you need to look for minimal speeds for better grinding action. This is one aspect where the Capresso Infinity takes the cake.
With maximum revolutions per minute (RPM) set at < 450 RPM, Capresso Infinity boasts of the slowest grinding action in its class. In comparison, Baratza Encore has its speed set at a maximum of < 550 RPM.
In practicality, the speed decreases when you are working with a load in the machine. According to some outlets, this reduces the RPM to almost half of the specified value. This means that Capresso Infinity really does have a lower RPM, and in turn, a lower grinding speed.
In terms of real-world usage, lower grinding speed provides you with more accuracy, better consistency, and less static generation. In this round between Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity, the Infinity leaves the Encore behind by a large margin.
But while Infinity does achieve that feat, it leaves a lot to be desired in what is perhaps the most important factor of all: the grinding settings.
Capresso Infinity gives you 4 major categories of grinding intensity, with 4 subcategories in each of these settings. Overall, it has 16 grinding settings that are spread across extra-fine, fine, regular and coarse.
Good enough, you say? Evidently, it really isn’t when it comes to what Baratza Encore brings to the table.
Spread across a wide range of options, the grinding settings in Baratza Encore are meant for usability with brew methods such as espresso, Aeropress, Hario, Chemex, French Press, and automatic brewers.
As a result, the Baratza Encore gives you 40 grinding settings for your coffee beans. That’s 24 more settings than the Capresso Infinity, with each one being distinct from the other. This is quite a significant feat to achieve for what is essentially a machine from the entry-level coffee grinders class.
This is possible through Baratza’s proprietary 40-setting function, which is available in almost all of the machines that come from the company. This is one of the major reasons why the coffee grinder holds its current price tag. When it comes to grinding accuracy, the Capresso Infinity cannot hold a candle to the Baratza Encore.
In other words, in the grinding showdown between Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity, Capresso does hold a better reputation with grinding speed, but Baratza surpasses all expectations with its grinding settings.
Ease of Use: It’s a Draw
Since both Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity offer the same level of basic functions with almost the same kind of design, their ease of use also doesn’t differ much.
You have the same type of bean hopper and grounds bin to work with. You have almost the same rotation dials to operate your grinder. And you have a similar structure to operate and clean your machine. All in all, the lack of additional features translates to a very simple to use device, which is exactly what you can expect in this price point from entry-level coffee grinders.
With that in mind, there’s a very minimal set of additional features that has made its way to both Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity. But in order to understand both grinders’ value proposition and make a well-thought-out decision, it is important to take a look at them as well.
Additional Features – Winner: Baratza Encore
If you forget about the primary purpose of your grinder and the difference of additional 24-grind settings between Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity, then you can look at value-added features as another factor of assessment.
Here, the value-added features in both machines aren’t much to write home about. It’s simply because they are entry-level coffee grinders, and don’t boast of a digital display or a weighing feature.
But what they do hold are basic features that you can consider while comparing the additional capabilities of each machine.
For instance, the Capresso Infinity has a timer option that allows you to grind your coffee beans to a set time limit between 5 to 60 seconds.. This feature is helpful if your mornings are usually very busy with multitasking in the kitchen, and you don’t want your machine to burn through an extensive running time.
On the other hand, the Baratza Encore doesn’t have any such option available.
Capresso Infinity also has a Pulse grinding option, which lets you grind by adjusting the bean container. This feature is usually available in blenders for precision control. You can look at it as a manual workaround on getting a finer grind in the face of limited grinding settings. Of course, this needs you to pay more attention to the grinding process, so keep that requirement in mind.
Baratza Encore offers a similar feature, but it terms it as its easy on/off switch, which requires you to stand by your grinder as you use it. This serves the same purpose that the above explanation defines for your everyday usage.
To put it simply, both entry-level coffee grinders remain quite basic in terms of offering additional features right through their box. They do what they are supposed to do by giving you maximum control over your grind texture. For additional features, you can turn towards upgrades that come at additional pricing.
Here, Baratza Encore does what Capresso Infinity does not. You can make use of Encore upgrade accessories in an easy way – as long as you are willing to spend some extra money on your machine.
In this showdown between Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity, you can add Encore accessories such as a bean hopper extender that gives you 9oz more capacity to grind your coffee beans. At the time of writing, this costs you around $10.
Another accessory is the Baratza Portaholder for espresso machines, which attaches right to your grinder’s dispenser in place of the ground bin. If you are grinding your coffee beans for espresso, this allows you to transfer your ground coffee right where you will use it. It saves you time, and also helps in making cleanup easier. At the time of writing, it costs $12.
On the other hand, Capresso offers all its features right from the start. If you are looking for any other accessories, you can make use of products such as its CleanGrind pellets that keep your grinder running in a clean and hygienic condition. At the time of writing, this product costs $12 against 3 uses. That’s about all you can utilize in terms of additional products for the Capresso Infinity.
Here, it is quite easy to declare that between both entry-level coffee grinders, Baratza Encore does offer more options for additional functionalities, even if they come at a little cost.
User Reviews: It’s a Draw
The final aspect is to take a look at user reviews. But they essentially provide you with almost the same reaction to both Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity.
To get an idea, the Baratza Encore currently holds 3.9 stars against 1,654 ratings on Amazon. On the other hand, the Capresso Infinity has 4.1 stars against 5,304 ratings.
The ratio of both these ratings shows that a lot more people have bought Capresso Infinity as compared to Baratza Encore – at least on Amazon. But with the number of ratings aside, the similar reviews on their product pages once again make it difficult to discern which product is better in real-world usage.
Users sing praises of both products, while leaning very slightly towards the Baratza Encore due to its 40-grind settings. It’s because when it comes to entry-level coffee grinders, consumers don’t expect much out of these machines. When they do find these machines to hold more features than they expected, they are blown away – which is exactly what happens with Baratza Encore users.
But the number of sales and total ratings makes it difficult to rule this aspect in favor of Baratza Encore. With this in mind, this user-review comparison between Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity ends on equal footing as well.
Our Opinion: Go for Baratza Encore
Despite the number of sales and the overall ratio of ratings, we will suggest you to not be shy of spending a little extra money and go with Baratza Encore.
It’s because between both entry-level coffee grinders, Baratza Encore comes with a certain with its 40-grind settings. This capability makes a world of difference when you actually use your ground coffee in your brew.
If you are a fresh coffee enthusiast who has never brewed coffee at home before, starting with Baratza Encore will introduce you to a world of possibilities. On the other hand, if you are an experienced coffee brewer, then the 16-grind settings in Capresso Infinity will simply not be enough for you.
Since the rest of the features of both machines are essentially the same, it’s better that you make this one-time investment in Baratza Encore to enjoy a world of flavor and variety in your brews.