Baratza Encore ESP vs Baratza Vario W+

Backhertz

New member
Nov 4, 2023
2
0
New Jersey- Exit 5
Visit site
Rather than rely totally on recommendations, prefer doing my own comparison testing whenever possible. Have new Encore ESP & Vario W+ grinders.

Ground 30 grams in each this morning. Encore ground in 18 seconds vs 39 seconds for the Vario. The Vario is nice with LEDs & a scale. Initial thought is one can save $400 by getting an espresso scale/timer from Amazon for $13. Then simply measure beans prior to grinding in the Encore.

The quick start guides in each recommend settings for the Aeropress. Encore ESP: 22. Vario W+: 3M. Expected to see similar size grounds. The Encore ESP grounds were double the size as the Vario W+. Didn't expect that being the settings were recommended by Baratza. Hmmm?

The Vario brew was much stronger than the Encore. Imagine that. <smile>

Will just have to find out the same way it took me to perfect a NYC-style pizza dough. Hopefully it won't take 30 years.

Wondering though if the issue is me- aka operator error. Won't be the first time I made a mistake which is the reason I'm reaching out.

The next test will be for espresso. Will be testing in a Baby Gaggia. This will be the proof of the pudding.
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2023-11-04 at 10.46.48 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2023-11-04 at 10.46.48 AM.png
    123.2 KB · Views: 75
  • Screen Shot 2023-11-04 at 10.47.01 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2023-11-04 at 10.47.01 AM.png
    181.4 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_0133.jpg
    IMG_0133.jpg
    265.2 KB · Views: 55
Last edited:
Looking fwd to reading how much adjustment you make to the Encore ESP settings to equate to the Vario W+ grind size and taste test. I am looking at this Encore ESP for our drip machine.
 
I think the biggest difference between the Encore and the Vario is the burrs. Vario is ceramic flat burrs and the Encore is conical steel burrs. (If I am wrong please let me know.) There are endless discussions about what burrs to use and I am not informed enough to discuss, but of all the differences between the two, I am thinking the burrs are the most significant difference.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gdh
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Never bothered to try dialing it in. That to me is Baratza’s job. Don’t believe you will regret using the Encore ESP for any grind.

Reached out to Baratza & waited a week for a response . No response didn’t seem right, but it is what it is. That Friday I returned the Vario to Amazon not knowing why recommended quick start guide settings for the Aeropress & especially French press produced grounds that were not a little different, but significantly different. Thought maybe the guide had a misprint.

Friday evening finally received a response from Baratza.

Kept the Encore ESP. Use it mostly on setting 22 for the Aeropress. Last week took the Encore over to my daughter’s place. She has a Gaggia espresso machine. Set the Encore to the recommended espresso grind.
Bottom line: we each enjoyed a shot of espresso.

Reached out again to Baratza & received this reply:
“Conical burr grinders tend to produce a more bimodal particle distribution, while flat burr grinders tend to produce a more unimodal particle distribution - there are exceptions to this, as burr geometries within the fields of flat vs conical burrs are hugely determinant, but broadly speaking this is the trend.”

Not sure how that explains the difference in the recommended grinds in Baratza’s quick start guides for Aeropress or French press settings.

But you know what? Doesn’t matter to me. The Encore does a better job than my previous grinder. No problems with static or fines.

The Vario W+ has many good features. LEDs, scale, 3 preset settings: 15, 30, & 60 grams. Push a button & walk away. With the Encore, I have to do a little work.

With the Encore ESP, I weigh the beans & grind & save a lot of money. Being over 65, I don’t mind spending money, but don’t waste it on bells, whistles ,or LEDs.

I still don’t understand the reason for the difference in the size of the recommended settings for Aeropress & French press grinds.
I’ll leave it to others to figure it out. Good luck.
 
Fantastic reply, thank-you so very much. Being in Canada these are all significantly more expensive (much more than simple exchange rate differential).
 
Never bothered to try dialing it in. That to me is Baratza’s job. Don’t believe you will regret using the Encore ESP for any grind.

Reached out to Baratza & waited a week for a response . No response didn’t seem right, but it is what it is. That Friday I returned the Vario to Amazon not knowing why recommended quick start guide settings for the Aeropress & especially French press produced grounds that were not a little different, but significantly different. Thought maybe the guide had a misprint.

Friday evening finally received a response from Baratza.

Kept the Encore ESP. Use it mostly on setting 22 for the Aeropress. Last week took the Encore over to my daughter’s place. She has a Gaggia espresso machine. Set the Encore to the recommended espresso grind.
Bottom line: we each enjoyed a shot of espresso.

Reached out again to Baratza & received this reply:
“Conical burr grinders tend to produce a more bimodal particle distribution, while flat burr grinders tend to produce a more unimodal particle distribution - there are exceptions to this, as burr geometries within the fields of flat vs conical burrs are hugely determinant, but broadly speaking this is the trend.”

Not sure how that explains the difference in the recommended grinds in Baratza’s quick start guides for Aeropress or French press settings.

But you know what? Doesn’t matter to me. The Encore does a better job than my previous grinder. No problems with static or fines.

The Vario W+ has many good features. LEDs, scale, 3 preset settings: 15, 30, & 60 grams. Push a button & walk away. With the Encore, I have to do a little work.

With the Encore ESP, I weigh the beans & grind & save a lot of money. Being over 65, I don’t mind spending money, but don’t waste it on bells, whistles ,or LEDs.

I still don’t understand the reason for the difference in the size of the recommended settings for Aeropress & French press grinds.
I’ll leave it to others to figure it out. Good luck.
To be brutally honest, any grinder's 'recommended' settings are just a ballpark figure as you can have 10 of the same exact grinder and each will vary a tiny bit. Numbers on any grinder are a point of reference and not much else. For example, going from typical espresso range to drip, then back... those numbers will get you close to the previous suitable range. Technically if you're serious about grind quality it's YOUR job to experiment to find what works best for your setup, taste, etc. Also keep in mind that settings will vary based on coffee used (process method, roast level, age post roast), humidity, etc. Then over time you will have burr wear to account for, that sort of thing.
 
Back
Top