Baratza Encore User Friendly Grinder Espresso Machine
Last updated date: December 27, 2021
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We looked at the top Espresso Machines and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Espresso Machine you should buy.
Update as January 7, 2022:
Checkout The Best Espresso Machine for a detailed review of all the top espresso machines.
In our analysis of 60 expert reviews, the Baratza Encore User Friendly Grinder Espresso Machine placed 19th when we looked at the top 22 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
The Baratza Vario is a professional grade coffee grinder suitable for use at home, at the office or in your café. The Vario has a small footprint with impressive features including 230 distinct and repeatable grind settings from fine grind for espresso to course grind for press pot. One touch dosing is made easy using three user programmable buttons. The 54mm ceramic burr set is manufactured in Germany by Mahlkönig and provides accurate, fast grinding performance, remaining sharp for up to twice the lifetime of the finest steel burrs. The high torque DC motor and belt drive transmission insure smooth operation with minimal heat generation. All controls are mounted on the front of the Vario for easy accessibility. It also includes both a ground coffee collection bin and also Baratza’s exclusive PortaHolder for hands free grinding into an espresso machine portafilter.
Expert Summarized Score
User Summarized Score
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Our Expert Consultant
Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Espresso Machines
A good cup of coffee goes beyond merely helping you wake up in the morning. For many, it’s an indulgence. Whether you rush through the Starbucks drive-thru on the way to work or meet up with friends once a week at your favorite indie coffee shop, few things can compare to the taste of a freshly-brewed gourmet cup of coffee.
But high-end coffee doesn’t have to come from a café. There are now espresso machines on the market that will brew up that perfect cup of coffee in your very own kitchen.
“A high-quality espresso machine is going to be an investment, but if you are using it once or twice a day, the savings really add up,” notes our resident kitchen expert Julie Chernoff, member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, dining editor of Better magazine and food journalist. “Think about how much money you’ve shelled out to Starbucks over the years!”
But espresso machines vary just as much in features as they do in price. It can feel overwhelming as you read up on these seemingly complicated machines, but they’re generally built to be easy to use.
One thing to think about as you consider espresso machines is whether you want the beautiful latte art you see at your favorite coffee shop. The key to creating hearts and other random shapes is in the steam wand, which you can buy separately. However, some espresso makers include an attached wand, which will keep it all in one place. You’ll still need to practice to keep up with professionals, but at least you’ll have the tools necessary to get started.
Price is also a consideration. You can find a bare-bones espresso machine that’s very affordable or splurge on a top-of-the-line model. The goal should be to find the espresso maker that fits your own preferences and decide if the extras are worth spending more.
“The most important question is, will you use it consistently?” Chernoff says. “If this is your first espresso machine, I might recommend starting with a smaller unit to get the hang of it and see what kind of usage it gets before committing to one of the more professional machines.”
Among the features that are most important to coffee lovers is the ability to control the beverage that comes out. Some machines will allow you to adjust the strength of the shot in each cup, while others build in temperature control to give you precisely the warmth you need. If you want to make specialized drinks like cappuccinos and macchiatos, you’ll need to look for a machine that offers that feature as well. Additionally, note whether the machine in question offers the capacity you want, so it doesn’t feel like you’re always having to refill the water.
Once you’ve squared away the functionality of an appliance, you’ll need to think about how it fits with your own home décor. In general, espresso makers can be fairly large, so make sure you measure the counter space and choose one that fits. You should also consider the color and style of the espresso machine and select a model that matches your existing design aesthetic. After you’ve taken all these factors into consideration, you’ll be able to narrow it down to the perfect espresso maker to fit your own needs.
The Espresso Machine Buying Guide
- Espresso machines can require a bit of a learning curve, especially if you’re used to one-cup coffeemakers. But there are some machines that are better for novices.
- Some espresso machines are a bit tougher to use, so you may need to keep the user manual close by while you get the hang of things.
- The feature that makes the biggest difference is one you likely won’t see. Behind the scenes, your espresso maker will use a unique setup to provide delicious coffee. The Breville Barista Espresso Machine has a purge function to automatically adjust the water temperature. This ensures that when the espresso is extracted, it’s at the perfect temperature.
- Unlike a basic coffee maker, you’ll need a few accessories to make delicious-tasting espresso. Some products offer the accessories and save you the effort of finding them on your own, which also adds to the value of those machines.
- One important element in making beautiful café-style beverages is the steam wand. The Breville Barista Espresso Machine has a steam wand built-in. You can start practicing your latte art right away.
- It’s important to note that the velvety texture you find at cafés doesn’t come easily. The Breville Barista Espresso Machine builds special technology into its steam wand to draw in air, creating bubbles. This is essential to helping you create latte art fit for your Instagram feed.
- If your espresso machine of choice doesn’t come with a steam wand, never fear. You can buy one separately for an affordable price.
- If you own a coffeepot already, you know the convenience of auto shut-off. Look for a machine that offers this feature if you think you’ll need it.
- Chances are, you don’t want to waste valuable time cleaning your machine every morning. For those deeper periodic cleanings, you can remove the brewing chamber and run it directly under a faucet.
- Sometimes you need a stronger shot than others. The Breville Barista Espresso Machine lets you program the shot volume and choose between one or two cups at the touch of a button. It features five different settings that include allowing you to adjust the temperature of your beverage.
- Although the delicious concoctions you’ll make are the most important thing, this is an appliance that will become an important part of your kitchen aesthetic. Some units come in multiple colors like stainless steel with black, stainless steel with cranberry red or full stainless steel. The Breville Barista Espresso Machine is stainless steel.
- Counter space is probably a concern, especially since any espresso machine you buy will take up more space than a traditional coffeepot. Make sure you measure the space before you buy and find the appliance that works best for your own kitchen.
- Cost can vary dramatically from one espresso machine to another. Either way, you’re sure to find an espresso maker that fits your budget.
- The key to truly delicious coffee is the freshness of the beans. You can purchase a separate coffee grinder, but that takes up additional counter space and costs extra. The Breville Barista Espresso Machine’s built-in coffee grinder delivers the perfect amount of grounds to the portafilter to make sure you have a fresh cup each time.
- You don’t have to be a master chef to make delicious coffee. The Breville Barista Espresso Machine uses temperature control technology to make sure every brew is just right.
- Think beyond espressos and lattes. With some models, you can make cappuccinos, macchiatos and more.
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