Deciding on your first coffee scale can be a daunting experience for any coffee enthusiast, especially when you’re faced with the vast multitude of options readily available online.
Depending on your budget, it will be a simple, budget digital scale with a built-in timer, or you’ll be emptying your wallet and going all-in on a top-tier smart scale, like the Acaia. Unfortunately, there has been no scale that comfortably fills that middle price range for a long time in terms of features and usability.
That all changes today. The Timemore black mirror has found its place and sits comfortably in the middle between both the budget and pricier fully featured coffee scales. It comes with an attractive price, and it also doesn’t disappoint in the feature department – This could be the scale you’re looking for?
Design And Aesthetics
They say that Imitation is flattery, and there’s no mistaking that the Timemore Black Mirror has styled its appearance on the iconic Acaia Pearl.
I think that the Acaia scales have a slight edge in terms of design and a few other minor details, but the Black Mirror isn’t too far behind, and at its current price point, it stands up well.
The simplistic design of the Timemore scale represents a lifeless black square, nothing awe-inspiring until you hit the power button. The drab, lifeless black cube of plastic jumps to life, illuminating its sharp, bright white LED backlight display screen.
The lit screen highlights all the essential information, such as battery level, power button, timer, and of course the all-important weight display; everything you need at a push of a button.
Compared to other coffee scales at this price point, I must admit, I’m impressed.
The Timemore scale in this review comes in jet black with a matt surface with just enough texture to allow for a firm grip, and with the subtle rounded corners, the Timemore just feels nice in the hand.
As much as I love the jet-black design, it does make orientating the scale correctly a challenge – but it’s something you’ll get used to.
The plastic chassis sits snuggly over the base, like a square shell sitting on a tortoise, protecting the delicate electronics from accidental spills.
Talking about spills, it’s worth noting that the Timemore Mirror scale is not waterproof. However, due to its shell-like design, it is more water-resistant than many other coffee scales.
You won’t be able to submerge to scale in water (but why would you want to?), but accidental splashes of coffee or boiling water won’t be an issue.
Like the pricier Acaia coffee scale, the Timemore also comes with a removable silicone pad that drapes over the scale’s matt-black surface.
As ascetically pleasing as the rubber looks, it serves a purpose and aids in both grip and preventing scalding damage from hot beakers placed directly on the Timemore surface.
Features And Functions
Like many of the best coffee scales, the Timemore comes equipped with both a timer and a weighing scale – so nothing out of the ordinary here.
In my testing using the Hario V60 and the Chemex, I found the Timemore to be accurate with readouts to 0.01 of a gram.
However, I noticed a slight latency of about half a second when weighing coffee and pouring water onto the bed of coffee.
To be fair, this is a trait that also plagues other coffee scales, and it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker by any means.
The Timemore Mirror is still highly responsive, and with a steady pour, the scale keeps up with accurate measurements. I found that the scale is more responsive if you place objects directly in the center.
Thankfully, the Black Mirror scale features a small black logo in the center of the scale to help center your brewing vessel.
Even with its non-descriptive design powering on the Timemore is child’s play. Simply touch the black matt surface in the lower right-hand corner, and you’ll be greeted with a bright screen display.
The white power button will also illuminate, and pressing the button for an extended period will power the scale down and, if pressed briefly, will act as a tare button.
On the opposite side of the lit screen, you’ll notice the timer button. A quick press will start and stop the timer, and a long press will reset it to zero.
Each press of the button gives off a relatively loud beep sound. This might be annoying for some, so luckily, you can turn the beep off by holding down the tare button.
The touch screen display is very responsive – so much so, I often found myself turning on the display by accident when picking up the coffee scale or carrying it around.
The built-in rechargeable lithium battery is one of the features I like. No more fumbling around trying to find a set of working disposable batteries at 6 am.
The included USB-C charging cable (which has faster-charging capabilities than a Micro-USB) with the Timemore black mirror lets you completely charge your coffee scale in about 2 hours via the charging port.
A full charge typically lasts me for about a month of daily coffee brewing.
The display screen on the Timemore also indicates your current battery level, giving you an opportunity to fully charge your scale so that you won’t get any nasty surprises when you power on your Timemore Black Mirror.
Does The Timemore Black Mirror Have Any Smart Features?
If you’re looking for a smart coffee scale, you’ll be disappointed with the Timemore coffee scale. The Black Mirror Basic is not a smart scale that connects via Bluetooth to coffee apps on your phone.
Depending on your use-case, that’s either going to be a pro or a con.
However, with that said, the next model up of the Timemore Black Mirror scale does come with a Dual Sensor (rather than the single sensor in this model) and an accompanying smart app.
Maybe that would be a better option for you?
How To Calibrate The Timemore Scale?
For most of you reading this review, calibrating your Timemore won’t be necessary. It already comes from the factory pre-calibrated and ready to use.
However, in some instances, your scale can be slightly off. This can be caused during your scale shipping, or it’s just one that “slipped through” quality control checks.
If you have to calibrate your Timemore Black Mirror, you need to hold the timing button located on the display screen’s left side.
While holding the timing button down, you need to press repeatedly the power button located on the right side.
When the screen starts to act “weirdly,” you can release the timing button and then finish with a single click on the power button.
This frantic button pressing, as crazy as it sounds, puts the Timemore into calibration mode. The screen will then prompt you to place 1kg and 2kg weights onto the scale surface.
Timemore Scale Versus Acaia
The comparison between the Acaia Pearl and Timemore Black Mirror is obvious. They both share the same looks, and at the primary, fundamental level, they both operate in the same way.
As far as I’m concerned, the question as to which is the better choice will depend on your budget and how much you’re willing to spend.
The Timemore is extremely capable, and if you’re buying your first coffee kitchen scale, it’s definitely worth buying.
There is no similar product in the market in terms of functionality, and even if the Timemore has some flaws, it’s still unbeatable at this price point.
On the flip side, the Acaia Pearl has a few more features and comes bundled with a coffee app. The app enables you to log your brewing data, browse and upload recipes, and syncs with your scale and other coffee scales so brewing variables can be shared with a crew of baristas on each of their scales.
The Acaia Pearl scale does have a slightly faster response time, and on the first impression, it seems to be more durable. However, with a price tag of almost double that of the Timemore, is the Acaia worth it?
About The Timemore Brand
If you’ve got this far, you might be interested in knowing a bit more about the Timemore brand.
Timemore’s roots can be traced back to 2012 when, according to the company’s website, the company was founded by a group of coffee lovers in China.
It’s only in the past couple of years that Timemore, along with its modest range of coffee gear, has found a footing in the western part of the world.
Today, Timemore produces durable and well-made manual coffee grinders, pour-over kettles, coffee scales, brewing cones, and other coffee brewing paraphyllia.
Should I Get The Timemore Black Mirror Scale?
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly coffee scale that can stand next to the likes of Acaia and Hario and perform just as well, look no further than the Timemore Black Mirror – you won’t be disappointed.
It provides all of the “needed” features that anyone could need when brewing and weighing coffee. The scale’s size is just right if you ask me, and it works for all kinds of manual brewing, and you can also fit it onto most drip trays and espresso machines.
In my opinion, its sensitivity is perfect, albeit with a very slight delay. Plus, it comes in at a fraction of the price of Acaia-tier options.
Overall, for an entry-level coffee scale, I think Black Mirror represents the best value on the market at the moment.
What We Love
- Awesome features and budget price.
- Rechargeable lithium battery.
- Reliable and generally responsive.
- Metric system – No ounces, only grams.
- Slight lag when pressing the tare button.
- Hard to calibrate.
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Since the creation of the Bean Ground coffee blog in 2014, Mark and a small circle of coffee hobbyists have rigorously tested, reviewed, and researched coffee gear. In most cases, they have purchased the items themselves with the sole intention of rating and evaluating.
In that time, they have built up a list of quality points to look for and what makes specific equipment better than others. They cut through the noise and marketing hype that often surrounds products to give you their unbiased opinions so you can make clear decisions on your next purchase.