As all good coffee connoisseurs know, getting the right grind for your coffee ensures the best intensity of taste, a long-lasting crema on your espresso and is essential for the long-life of your espresso machine.
The right grind will depend on the types of beans, brewing methods and taste you want to achieve, and a little experimentation can be great fun.
But, not all grinders are created equal. To help you traverse the grinder market we’re taking two grinders head to head to help you find the best fit for you.
We’ll be comparing the affordable Bodum Bistro machine with the Baratza Encore grinder.
Bodum’s colour-pop grinder comes in a range of fun colours and could make a great gift for someone you’re hoping will catch the coffee bug. Baratza’s sleeker looking model boasts more functions and comes in at a higher price point.
If you’re looking to choose between grinders, the Baratza Encore has all the features a pedantic coffee lover needs where the Bodum Bistro will be right up your alley if you’re just beginning your journey toward at-home Barista status.
|Name||Baratza Encore||Bodum Bistro|
|8 oz||7.8 oz|
|Conical Burr||Conical Burr|
Both these machines market themselves as entry level options, offering a range of grind settings from coarse to fine. The Bodum Bistro and the Baratza Encore allow you to perform small-batch on demand grinds, making sure that every cup you enjoy will be as fresh as can be.
These options are great for people who like to use a range of brewing methods at home- for example the fine-grind is a must for espresso machines, and the coarse ground coffee needed for the clean taste of aero-pressed coffee. Both these grinders are compact models that won’t take up too much space in your home. Which is ideal if you’re an occasional coffee brewer, or a little short on space.
What is a burr grinder? Burr grinding passes the beans through two revolving abrasive surfaces, as opposed to blade grinders, which passes the beans through a blade, moving like a propeller; basically, a motorised version of the old-fashioned manual coffee grinders.
Burr grinding is commonly considered the most effective way to achieve great tasting coffee, since these grinders achieve more uniform coffee grounds, for a consistent flavour.
When it comes to changing the grind, a burr grinder gives greater control on the consistency of coffee produced by adjusting the distance between the moving plates that break down the beans. Both the Bodum and Baratza are conical burr grinders.
For grinders at the under $150 price point, both these options are easy-on-the-eye with great modern design. But it’s not all form and no function. Each grinder boasts a generously sized freshness sealed hopper so, if you’re as lazy as this coffee lover, you won’t need to constantly reach for your bag of beans.
Although both grinders offer a range from coarse to fine, the Bodum Bistro’s modest 14 setting is dwarfed by the whopping 40 grind settings offered by the Baratza Encore.
Although 40 grind options may far outstrip the number o
f brewing methods and bean types you have at home (or are even aware of), it’s something to consider if you have a range of uses in mind for your machine and want to really fine tune the experience.
If you’re a fan of fun brands like Allessi and like to see an injection of colour in your kitchen, then the Bodum Bistro is probably more up your alley. It may be that you even want to co-ordinate your grinder with the colour finish on your espresso machine.
In this case you’re in luck with the Bodum, this grinder comes in classic black or chrome, copper, punchy lime green, a racy red and cool white.
The Bodum Bistro is significantly lighter than the Baratza Encore. If you’re taking on this kitchen accessory in your permanent home, this isn’t so much of an issue, but if you’re more of a nomad, or planning to get the grinder out for each use, this difference could really start to ‘weigh’ you down.
The Baratza boasts a DC (direct current) motor that will keep the beans cool as they pass through the grinder, as well as reducing the overall noise level – perfect for those morning-after-the-night-before coffees.
The temperature-control of the DC motor can be a big advantage if you’re grinding a large amount of beans, or if you’re putting the machine through a slow grind cycle where heat is most likely to build up.
The Bodum doesn’t offer this feature and while users claim it isn’t especially noisy, it isn’t as quiet as the Baratza.
The Bodum Bistro comes with a borosilicate glass container to catch the grinds, as opposed to the plastic grinds bucket on the Baratza Encore.
Why so great? Coffee and static are not friends. After passing through the grinder into a plastic container, static can build up making the coffee spill everywhere.
The borosilicate glass the Bodum uses reduces the number of static (or ‘jumping’) grounds that the grinder produces, making each transition between grinder and coffee machine run smoothly.
If you’re a bit of a klutz in the kitchen, then the silicone strip on the grind catcher will reduce the chances of it slipping out your grasp- a great feature if you’re a multi-tasker and might be handling the container with wet hands.
The Bodum Bistro also comes with a tight-fitting nylon lid for the coffee catcher, that allows you to keep any excess grind for another use. The Baratza Encore comes with an open-topped drawer. Although coffee is best enjoyed freshly ground, this might be a handy feature to keep any remaining grinds fresh for your next cup.
Aside from its 40 grind settings, the Baratza Encore can be extended even further with a few add-on products.
Adding an Esatto will change this grinder from a conventional grinder to a grind-by-weight grinder- a great tool for precision coffee making. A carefully controlled coffee weight, particularly in espresso machines can improve consistency and crema.
The Encore is also compatible with a hopper extender that increases the capacity of the 8 ounce hopper by a further 9 ounces. Although this isn’t so much of an issue or you’re brewing for one or two only, if you’re grinding larger batches of beans this could be a big plus.
Both the Bodum and the Baratza offer a versatile selection of grind settings for an at-home user, no matter what style of brew you prefer. Each machine offers a coarse grind for currently popular brew methods like Aeropress, Chemex and Siphon. They also come with finer options that are idea for espresso machines, where a compact grind is a must.
Both grinders are also toe-to-toe on a number of features, but the Bodum definitely has the edge when it comes to price. With a simpler selection of grind settings, fun colours and ease of use this is a great option for someone getting into brewing coffee for the first time, or for your student pad.
The weightier Baratza (heavier on price, functions, and, well, weight) has functions that only a more experienced home coffee brewer would need. And, although the chance to add accessories the machine to increase its functions with the Esatto and hopper extender are a plus, this added functionality is meant more for the advanced brewer.
Chatting about coffee is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better.
I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!