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Gear | Guides & Tips

Baratza Encore Grind Settings Explained By An Ex Barista

Grinding your own coffee beans is an easy way to up your at-home sipping experience. Choosing the perfect grinder? Less easy. 

While plenty of people sing praises for the Baratza Encore, you might be feeling overwhelmed by its many grind settings. 

I felt intimidated at first too. But as a longtime owner of a Baratza Encore, I’m here to help!

Whether you’ve made your purchase or are still deciding, read on. I’ll explain everything you need to know about the Baratza Encore grind settings.

The Baratza Encore Has 40 Grind Settings

Yep. You read that right. The Baratza Encore has 40 settings. Perfect for everything from French press to moka pot. 

This range ensures precision and accuracy when grinding your favorite beans.

The Encore grinds 250 to 1200 microns. The amount of microns is directly related to the fineness of the grind.

So what’s a micron?

Source: Peter/Pexels

Micron, short for micrometer, is a metric unit of measurement. It is one-millionth of a meter, which makes it perfect for measuring ground coffee beans.

Listing out microns can get a bit, well, granular. So, instead, the Baratza lists the grind settings in smaller numbers. These run from 1 to 40 left to right, with 40 being the coarsest.

Why are all these grind sizes so important? Different coffee brewing methods require different-sized coffee particles. So the 40 grind settings allow you to make fine-tuned adjustments!

Let’s take a glance at what grind size you should use for your favorite coffee brewing methods.

Grind Summary

  • Finest grind – Turkish Coffee 
  • Fine – Espresso, Moka pot, AeroPress (short brew time)
  • Medium: Auto drip coffee makers, flat bottom drip, refillable K cup, AeroPress (extended brew time)
  • Medium-coarse: V60, Chemex, Kalita Wave
  • Coarse: French press, percolator, cupping 
  • Extra-coarse: Cold brew, cowboy coffee

Before you can determine the correct grind size, you need to select your brew method. 

As a general rule, brew methods with longer extraction times need coarser grounds. Shorter extraction times need finer grounds. (Turkish coffees are a notable exception to this rule.) 

The extraction time refers to the amount of time the water and coffee grounds interact. 

Adjusting the grind size impacts extraction time in a few ways. It changes the amount of bean surface area available for extraction. It also changes the amount of space between coffee particles. This space impacts the speed at which water travels through the grounds. 

I could go on.

But basically, you want to match grind size to extraction time. This step helps prevent your coffee from being under-extracted or over-extracted.

Under-extracted coffee can taste sour and even salty. Over-extracted coffee will taste bitter and burnt

The fineness or coarseness of the coffee grounds can significantly impact the resulting brew.

Of course, coffee is as much an art as it is a science. So there’s some variance to these rules. AeroPress is a perfect example. 

In an AeroPress, adjusting the grind size lets you adjust the sipping experience. Want an espresso-like cup of coffee? Use a medium-fine to fine-grind. But when making a more traditional cup, you might opt for a medium grind setting, like around 20.

If you have access to a variety of coffee brew methods, amazing! Then you can base your grind decision on what’s best for the bean. 

Dark roasts, for example, make indulgent deep espresso. Light roasts, meanwhile, showcase complex flavors in pour-over coffees.

Baratza Encore Grind Settings Explained

Source: Tim Douglas/Pexels

Feeling confused? No worries. Here are my recommendations for Baratza Encore grind settings. All you have to do is figure out your coffee brewing method.

  • Turkish coffee (1-3) – Typically, Turkish coffee uses extra fine coffee powder. We’re talkin’ super fine: 200-100 microns. The Baratza can’t quite reach that level of fineness. But grind settings 1-3 still produce a fantastic cup of delicious Turkish coffee.
  • Espresso coffee (4-9) – Espresso coffee machines also need a fine grind. (Though not quite as powdery as Turkish coffee.) Baratza recommends 8, but I find an even finer grind might work best. An espresso machine works by shooting hot steam through finely ground coffee powder. So you don’t want your grind level to be too coarse or else you might not achieve that classic bold espresso taste.
  • Stovetop Espresso Maker, Moka Pot (4-16) – Stovetop espresso makers need longer brew time than traditional espresso machines. You need to counter this longer brew time with a coarse grind. This adjustment will give you the robust coffee flavors characteristic of Moka pots. 
  • AeroPress (4-23) – AeroPress is a little different from the other brewing methods. It offers versatility, so you can expect to use any setting between 4 to 23 on your coffee grinder. With an AeroPress, you can even produce espresso-like coffee. I prefer a coarser grind so I have a little leeway with extraction time. 
  • V60, pour-overs, siphon (11-29) – With pour-overs, you typically want a medium-fine grind setting. The manual recommends 15 for the Hario V60. But I find 11 or 12 produces the most robust cup when using a Hario v60. With a Siphon, you may want a finer grind setting (11-15). Experiment and find out!
  • Drip Coffee makers, Refillable K Cup (17-23) – You may want to approach these methods as you would a pour-over. They use a longer brew time and less pressure than an espresso machine. So a medium grind size works well. 
  • Chemex (24-29) – A Chemex, while similar to a V60, requires a coarser grind level. I find I brew a better cup with a finer grind on my Chemex (17-19). But I know that this is not always the case. The grind range on the Encore offers flexibility, so adjust until you find what works best for you. 
  • French Press, Cupping, Percolators (31-36) – The changeable extraction time with French press provides some flexibility with grind size. But you might find you need coarse grinds to limit the amount of sediment in the resulting coffee. Using coarse grounds for cupping and percolators helps develop intense yet rounded flavors.
  • Cowboy coffee, Cold brew coffee (37-40) – Generally, with brewing cold brew coffee, the coarser the better. If you like to use a Toddy Cold Brew System to make cold brew, I recommend anywhere from 35 to 40 on your coffee grinder. (Aka: extra coarse.) This results in delicious and bold cold brew coffee.

Keep in mind that this is a rough guide. So many factors influence the final cup. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get the flavors you want right off the bat.

How Do You Adjust the Grind on a Baratza Encore?

To adjust the Baratza Encore grind setting rotate the hopper to the desired number. It’s that easy. 

When adjusting to a finer grind, you must keep the grinder empty or have it running. Otherwise, the grinder’s adjustment system may bind itself to any beans remaining between the grinder’s burrs.

The Baratza manual actually recommends adjusting the grind size while grinding coffee.

This method makes it easier to see how adjustments on the hopper impact the grind size. 

Here’s another tip. Never fill the coffee grinder completely. You want to fill the container bin to about 2/3rds at most. This way you help prevent any unnecessary clogging. Plus, helps keep beans from going stale.

Source:David Bares/Pexels

Wrapping Up: Encore Grinder Settings 

The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder has 40 grind settings. This range lets you grind coffee to complement any brew method. 

If you’re purchasing your first specialty coffee grinder, the Baratza is a good option. It offers both user-friendly settings and versatility. 

In other words? It’s the perfect playground for coffee lovers to experiment with grind settings.