For anyone who has spent a considerable time on shift weighing out doses of beans into tins this piece of kit probably seems like a dream come true.
. The way it works is extremely simple, it takes a preset volume of coffee beans from the hopper and moves them forward to be ground. You can control the volume with spacers that increase or decrease the volume, simple.
The big problem is that it relies on volume of coffee beans rather than weight. On Five Elephants website they claim an accuracy of 0.2 variance for evenly screened coffees. This is very much best case scenario, I have only seen it perform this well with a very small number of coffees.
More often when you have a coffee with mixed varieties, or god help you a blend or co-operative grown coffee, then the dose is wildly inconsistent. I.e. I was using a Rwandan recently that had 4 varietals and was from a co-op of 1100 farmers, my variance was around 1.5g up and own for every shot. I actually ended up reverting back to pre-weighed pod as it was faster and easier for this coffee.
So is it worth buying?
Maybe… but don’t rush into it like I did.
I wouldn’t say it’s definitely not worth buying but I would not recommend it to people given the price. It can be a useful piece of kit but only if you buy your coffee selectively and choose coffee with an even screen size. For me this is a big drawback as I want to focus on taste notes and the story of a farm and also do not want to stop using co-operative grown coffee.
P.S. Sincere apologies to those of you I recommended this to if you’re now having issues, I hadn’t tested it long enough to see the downsides.