If you’re looking for an espresso grinder that won’t break the bank, Baratza and Eureka are two brands you should pay close attention to. Either one likely has options that work within your budget.
As an example, we’ll be focusing on two of their popular models in this guide: the Baratza Forte vs Eureka Atom. This is what you’ll learn by the end of this post:
- What these grinders have in common.
- The differences between the Forte and Atom.
- Information regarding their prices.
- Our guidance on deciding which one is better for you.
Flexibility is one quality the Baratza Forte has in spades. It lets you grind into a portafilter or larger grounds bin, it has a uniquely versatile macro/micro grind adjustment system, and you can program doses into three buttons. With all this versatility, it would be a solid grinder in a small coffee shop or a barista’s home kitchen.
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If you’re worried that an espresso grinder would be far too loud for your home, you’ll love the Eureka Atom. This grinder’s sound insulation dampens the volume of its powerful motor, so you can grind with the assurance that you won’t be disturbing everyone around you. Like the Baratza Forte, it would work well in small coffee shops and homes.
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A grinder’s whole purpose is to turn the grinding burrs inside it to crush coffee beans. It’s not surprising, then, that the grinding burrs are at the top of the list when it comes to important grinder components.
Flat and conical are the two types of grinding burrs. There is much debate over which one is better, but the Baratza and Eureka in this comparison use flat burrs, so we’ll focus on those.
Flat burrs are famous for their ability to grind coffee beans into evenly sized particles. Because of this, the resulting drink is often full-bodied and decadent.
There are some weaknesses to flat burrs that are worth mentioning. For example, many feel that they can be louder than conical burrs, and they are also reputed to be prone to overheating.
Read Also: Compak E5 vs Eureka Atom
Portafilter or Grounds Bin Grinding
Many grinders are designed to grind directly into a portafilter basket. This is fine if all you’re planning to grind is shots of espresso, but some homes and businesses don’t need only shots.
You’ll have a bit more versatility with the Forte and Atom. Although both can grind into portafilters, each one also comes with a bin that you can grind into. The bins can hold more coffee grounds in them, which makes them perfect for preparing drip coffee.
Whether you’re grinding into a portafilter or a grounds bin, the Forte and Atom are hands-free grinders. They will hold your container in place the entire time for you.
Because they support your portafilter or bin, your hands are free to attend to other tasks while you use the grinder. In a business setting, the ability to multitask is crucial, so having free hands like this could be a game changer. It could also be useful in a home kitchen, as well.
After their basic shape, the size of grinding burrs is probably their next most important feature. This is because bigger burrs are capable of faster grinding.
Although the burr size of the Forte and Atom isn’t exactly the same, we felt it was more similar than it was different. That is why we included this quality in our list of similarities.
The Baratza Forte’s burrs are 54mm while the Eureka Atom’s are 60mm. These are moderately sized burrs that can still have a shot of espresso ready for you within a few seconds.
Further Reading: Mahlkonig vs Baratza
Ceramic vs Steel Burrs
The materials from which grinding burrs are made can also be vital to their performance. These days, burrs are made from either metal (commonly steel) or ceramic.
Ceramic is the material of choice for the Baratza Forte. If you think this means its burrs are weaker, you can think again – ceramic burrs are actually well-known for their ability to stay sharp longer. Additionally, they won’t heat up as much as steel ones will, which helps mitigate the tendency of flat burrs to transfer heat to your coffee beans at high temperatures.
On the other hand, the Eureka Atom has steel burrs. Steel is beloved for its increased sharpness and durability. Steel burrs are not as likely to crack or chip if you were to accidentally drop them. Their greatest drawback is that they’re more prone to transferring heat than ceramic burrs.
Stepless vs Stepped Grind Adjustment
The Baratza Forte has a stepped grind adjustment system while the Eureka Atom has a stepless one. What exactly does this mean?
In a nutshell, a stepped adjustment system means less versatility. You’ll turn a dial that will click into place at a variety of preset options. The number of options varies by the grinder, though, and the fewer options there are, the less precise you can be with your grind adjustment.
A stepless system, like that of the Eureka Atom, does away with these notched preset fineness levels. Rather than clicking into place, the dial you turn can go to any point, allowing you to make even more accurate tweaks to the fineness of your grind.
You can’t tell from pictures alone, but the overall size of the Baratza and Eureka is another point of differentiation.
The measurements of the Baratza Forte are 5.25 inches wide, 7 inches deep, and 14.25 inches tall. Compare it to the Eureka Atom, which is 7.12 inches wide, 10.39 inches deep, and 17.25 inches tall.
As you can see, the Forte is slightly smaller than the Atom. You may prefer a smaller grinder if you have less counter or table space to work with.
Increased height on the Eureka Atom is due to the fact it has a larger hopper than the Forte. To be specific, its hopper can hold up to 1.3 pounds of coffee beans while the Forte’s can hold just over half a pound.
Since it’s twice the size of the Forte’s hopper, the Atom’s hopper can grind for longer periods of time. This means less pauses to dump in more coffee beans, which can be crucial in busy coffee shop rush hours.
Related Article: Baratza Forte vs EK43
Eureka Atom Color Options
Appearances matter in both home and business settings. You’ve decorated your home or business in a particular way, and your espresso grinder can potentially contribute to your space’s style.
That’s why the color of the grinder can be important. In this comparison, the Eureka Atom is the only one of the two grinders with more than one color option. You can purchase it in either black or a gleaming chrome.
Baratza Forte Touchscreen Interface
There’s no denying how refined a touchscreen looks when compared with buttons. This refinement is something the Baratza Forte can offer to you with its LCD touchscreen panel.
Instead of buttons like the Eureka Atom, you’ll tap the screen on the Forte to make adjustments to the settings. In addition to cleaning up the overall appearance of the grinder, a touchscreen may be less intimidating for beginners.
Eureka Atom Sound Insulation
If you’ve spent a lot of time in a coffee shop, then you’re familiar with the sound of an espresso grinder. They typically have a loud roar that pierces the atmosphere, interrupting conversations.
Understandably, this makes some people reluctant to purchase one for their homes. You don’t exactly want an appliance that makes your ears ring after each use.
The Eureka Atom has a solution to this potentially painful problem: sound insulation. It has been insulated to dampen its noise output, so using it at home or in a small, intimate coffee shop won’t give you a headache.
Read Also: Baratza Forte vs Sette
Baratza Forte Macro/Micro Grind Adjustment
We mentioned earlier that the Baratza Forte has a stepped grind adjustment system, which is typically much more limited than a stepless one. It’s worth noting that the Baratza makes some improvements to the stepped adjustment design that increases its flexibility.
It has a macro/micro adjustment system. On one side, you’ll rotate the dial to choose from a few basic fineness levels. After choosing your initial setting, though, you can rotate the dial on the other side to make further adjustments within that particular setting.
In some ways, it bridges the gap between stepped and stepless adjustment systems.
Looking for the best prices online? Then you’re in the right place by looking at Majesty Coffee.
We have the Baratza Forte for $899 and the Eureka Atom for $899 in black and $999 in chrome.
So, Which is Better?
If you’re still uncertain about which grinder to choose, we’ll give you our advice on factors to consider before making your choice. Price obviously won’t be a consideration here, since the price is the same depending on which color you look at for the Eureka Atom.
Do you prepare many specialty coffee drinks in your home or business? Then you’ll appreciate the increased flexibility of the Atom’s stepless grind adjustment system. However, the Forte’s macro/micro system isn’t far behind when it comes to versatility.
Those looking for a home grinder will want to consider anyone else they live with. Unless you live alone, a loud grinder can be fairly disruptive. This is one aspect where the Eureka Atom really shines, thanks to its sound insulation that will keep it nice and quiet.
Consider the space you have available, too. The Baratza Forte’s more compact size makes it the better pick for those looking for a grinder that won’t need too much space.
Want a grinder that will match your stainless steel appliances? You’ll want to spring for the Eureka Atom, then, since it’s available in a gleaming chrome color.
Here’s our recommendation:
Get the Baratza Forte if you need the most user-friendly and compact grinder possible. It’s smaller and therefore won’t need much space. Furthermore, its touchscreen may be easier for beginners to learn to use.
We’d recommend the Eureka Atom for anyone who needs the utmost precision for specialty coffee drinks, whether at home or in a business. Due to its stepless grind adjustment system, it can make more precise adjustments. It’s also the only option here if you want a grinder that can match the silver color of stainless steel.
Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team
Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.