TIMEMORE’s Black Mirror 2 is a hyper-optimized coffee scale for conscious consumers.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos by Katrina Yentch
Coffee technology can be quite polarizing. On the one hand, we have coffee makers that handle everything, leaving the user to do nothing except press a button. On the other hand, we have equipment that comes with endless programmable features, Bluetooth connectivity, and app optimization to record every single brewing session.
As a home brewer, I fall somewhere in the middle with my setup. I take the time every morning to make a pourover with a burr grinder, but I’m using a scale that doubles as my baking one. So when Slow Pour Supply sent me TIMEMORE’s Black Mirror 2 scale, it felt like a luxurious upgrade to be weighing coffee to a .1 gram accuracy—but with the same reliable recipe I’ve been using for years.
TIMEMORE is a coffee manufacturing company out of China that’s been around since 2012, but they’ve only begun to enter Western markets over the last five years or so. Their products typically fall into that “in-between“ category for home brewers who don’t need to calculate every parameter but want something more involved than automatic (and prettier) equipment. TIMEMORE sells sleek and brightly colored hand grinders, kettles, and drippers that are minimalist and straightforward in both design and approach. Their coffee scale, the Black Mirror 2, is an upgrade of both the Black Mirror and Black Mirror Basic Plus; these improvements, however, seem to be targeted toward that happily obsessive home brewer who wants to know everything about their coffee.
TIMEMORE Black Mirror Basic Plus
TIMEMORE’s Black Mirror Basic Plus scale has some similar functionality as the Black Mirror 2. Both come equipped with USB-C charging capabilities, ultra-responsiveness, and are fairly water-resistant. They also have the same payload capacity of 2kg, and measure 1/10th of a gram in accuracy. It basically provides the necessities, as well as some minor improvements from the first edition of this scale. Given its affordable U.S. retail price of $65, it probably is the ideal scale for that “in-between” user.
Improvements or Enhancements?
The biggest changes with Black Mirror 2 include minor “improvements” from the Basic Plus. Those improvements include a much longer battery life (24+ hours compared to seven hours on the Basic Plus), along with a larger rubber pad to avoid any kind of water spillage.
Getting Hyper-Optimized With Black Mirror 2
However, the Black Mirror 2 has additional features that will hook the hyper-optimized home brewer. It’s the standard these days for high-tech coffee gear to have app connectivity, so TIMEMORE’s scale comes Bluetooth-equipped in order to access its app features. This app connects users with other communities and records every brewing session you have with it. Unfortunately, I was unable to pair the scale to my phone after downloading the app, so it’s unclear if that’s a problem with my own connectivity or the scale’s sensitivity to connection.
Retailing at $215, Black Mirror 2 also has an auto timer feature, as well as a water flow rate monitor, which will help beginning specialty-coffee consumers understand the importance of the factors involved with an even brew. More experienced home brewer, may geek out at this feature: Black Mirror 2 has dual-sensor technology, which allows it to weigh your brewed coffee output separately from that with your water, which Slow Pour Supply suggests makes it an ideal scale for coffee competitors to utilize. To access this feature, however, you need to use the drip stand that comes with the scale, which may make it limiting for anyone using a flat-bottom brewer. The stand’s holder, while helpfully adjustable in height, can only accommodate more cone-shaped brewers.
Aesthetic, Aesthetic, Aesthetic
For someone like me who has been used to the “elevated essentials,” using this coffee scale felt luxurious, as well as aesthetically attractive. It’s hard to deny how much sexier a drip stand looks holding your coffee as opposed to a cone sitting on a carafe, or how much cooler it feels to be monitoring the flow rate of your water. However, the added feature provided by the dual-sensor seems to be unnecessary, given that I could simply weigh my output of brewed coffee by pouring it into a mug that gets tared on the scale. Nonetheless, it could certainly be helpful then for the competitor who is on a time crunch and needs to see their winning recipe right in front of them.
Who Should Use Black Mirror 2
The features I like the most about the Black Mirror 2 are those I could get with the Basic Plus: strong response time, the manual power button (because not everything needs to be touch-screen these days!), and the .1 accuracy weight. For these reasons, I think the Black Mirror 2 will be a strong contender for specialty-coffee shops who offer rotating pourover options, competitors, and manual brewing nerds who will appreciate the look of its sleek, minimalist design.