Hello from Weber Workshops (& KEY Grinder details)

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Weber Workshops

#1: Post by Weber Workshops »

While I don't generally come out into the public blogosphere, I wanted to reach out and say hello to the HB community as I know there is a wealth of information here along with a huge community of coffee enthusiasts. Ultimately many of you end up being our customers, and for that we are ever grateful.

I'm peeking my head out today to let you know that we are just launching a new coffee grinder next week on Indiegogo that I think will appeal to many, as well as offer a dedicated link for the HB community that will get you a discount at checkout on the Indiegogo campaign. I'll come back and post that the day it goes live. Right now you can see it and sign up on keycoffeegrinder.com if you like what you see.

The new grinder is called the KEY. We named it this because it has a super thin profile that, when viewed from above or below, looks just like a key. And it turned out to be a very easy name to work with when writing about. Hence the tagline 'Unlock your coffee.'

About the machine. We went with the biggest commercially available high-quality burrs that we use on our HG-2 - 83mm Mazzer conicals, and do the same treatment to them that we do for the HG-2. They are just divine. We condensed this into a remarkably thin 80mm body so it fits into any sliver of countertop space. For reference, a Niche is 122mm wide and a Robur 240mm. It's crazy thin. But also crazy powerful, using a strong and super quiet brushless DC motor, geared down together with a 50-300RPM variable RPM drive. As with the HG-2 the burrs are completely accessible for cleaning from the top and bottom with a brush, and we made our own high quality brush with a retractable brass protector sleeve that lives between the ON/OFF switch and the RPM knob. It is magnetically drawn in, automatically retracts the brush sleeve for immediate use, and has a modular replaceable brush tip (the same as for the HG-2) so you don't have to replace the whole thing in a couple of years.

As we announced with the HG-2, the KEY will also come standard with the patent pending Magic Tumbler, as we strongly believe this is the future of puck prep (or pour-over prep). It is attached directly to the bottom of the burrs for zero overspray, and the super flexible stainless whisk does your WDT for you before you even remove it from the machine. We've tested it, James Hoffmann has tested it, it just works. The benefits of RDT are still as relevant on the KEY as on any grinder, something we always condone as good practice when needed (we don't usually need it where we are and with what we drink). All Magic Tumblers will come with spare stainless whisks that can be replaced easily if ever accidentally damaged or broken (there's a clever way of inserting and trapping it from the backside). It also works with the redesigned standard Tumbler (for 49mm and 58mm PFs), which now has a self-centering magnet that works on the KEY and the HG-2.

KEY Dimensions:
80mm wide main body (110mm under burrs)
247mm depth
350mm height (fits easily under countertops)

83mm TiN coated Mazzer burrs with our own proprietary seasoning (done prior to TiN). They will last a home barista a couple of lifetimes.
Aligned perfectly at the factory, but able to re-align the same as on our HG-1 or HG-2 platform. Please don't do this upon arrival as it's just not needed.
5um stepped adjustment. Absolutely the best in the industry.

Input 90~240v (anywhere in world), 350W peak
Variable 50-300RPM
C13 power connector (same as a computer) so you can localize the cable anywhere in the world for $5
Brushless DC motor with super quiet 1:10 gear down

The KEY Grinder is going live on Indiegogo on June 22nd. Crowdfunding is new territory for us, but we wanted to use it to help get this into the hands of as many people as possible to enable more aggressive pricing. The early adopter pricing at $1500 is a steal, and even at $2000 it easily outperforms grinders over twice its cost. It's a tremendous amount of grinder for the money, and we couldn't be happier with what we've created.

A couple more notes: I saw some people conjecturing about the sound of the grinder on the Youtube video we posted a couple of weeks ago (also at end of post). To start with, it's a prototype being filmed with an oversensitive stereo mic, so try not to draw too many conclusions from just that. The noise that was mentioned is just the miter gears up top - has nothing to do with the burr alignment or the Magic Tumbler mechanism. In normal use, it's a very, very quiet grinder. Running at lower RPMs it will be more quiet than a Niche. The video just there to show how it functions as well as some of the new features it has. Another comment I thought I would make is on burr alignment. I often see people make the assumption that because our burrs are easy to align that they should align them out of the box. I'll put it bluntly: don't bother. We align them at the factory to beyond what any real manufacturer achieves, and they are always usable and enjoyable right out of the box. If one day years down the road you decide you want to fully disassemble and maintain the product, the feature is there for you access then. The main difference between our grinders and most (I won't say all) others out there is that because you can easily see the burrs when you remove a magnetic cover (part of making them accessible for cleaning), whereas that would usually be an invisible area of the design.

I'll be back online to answer questions in a few days, but for the most part will be hands-off as usual. We have manufacturing and product deliveries to focus on =)

- Douglas

Douglas Weber
Founder & CEO, Weber Workshops

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#2: Post by yakster »

Thanks, Douglas, for posting this, it answered my questions.

LMWDP # 272

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#3: Post by rhtrevino »

Yes, likewise. Thanks for posting this. I'm curious to know (when you begin answering questions) if the onyx version of the grinder will also be priced at $1500 for the campaign. And also if there is an estimate on when the early shipments may be fulfilled.


#4: Post by Steveholt »

Thanks for posting this, and especially addressing the video concerns voiced on this forum.


#5: Post by megamixman »

Thanks for posting and hopefully calming some nerves. I'm loving the universal voltage compatibility as I negotiate a move in the coming months across continents. Any idea of what happens if that occurs before the Key is delivered via an Indiegogo order, which is probably likely?


#6: Post by Ad-85 »

Thanks for posting and addressing the alignment concerns. Would consider offering the same price for the onyx? Will the magic tumbler work with 54mm LSM portafilters?
LMWDB #691
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Weber Workshops (original poster)

#7: Post by Weber Workshops (original poster) »

For the campaign, the price will be set the same for both. Long-term is still undecided. Thanks!
Douglas Weber
Founder & CEO, Weber Workshops

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Weber Workshops (original poster)

#8: Post by Weber Workshops (original poster) »

No problem. The magic tumbler is, for now, 58mm only. The standard tumbler can be used for 49mm or 58mm, but having a bigger exit hole results in a smaller "kerf" for the majority of users, so we chose to optimize it for the 58mm platform. I'm sure it could be used with an adapter funnel such as the one from Orphan Espresso, though.
Douglas Weber
Founder & CEO, Weber Workshops

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#9: Post by rhtrevino »

Weber Workshops wrote:For the campaign, the price will be set the same for both. Long-term is still undecided. Thanks!
Thanks for the response! I'm definitely getting very excited about this grinder.


#10: Post by Frenchman »

Weber Workshops wrote:[...] We are just launching a new coffee grinder next week.
It's beautiful and hits many of the things I care about. While it's a detail, is there chance to have the built in brush come in with a silver and not brass collar, matching the rest of the grinder trim/buttons which are all silver? (<person with folded hands emoji>)
LMWDP #712