Timemore Black Mirror Scale Review
I’m just going to come out and say it: the new-and-improved Timemore Black Mirror Coffee Scale is one of the best pieces of coffee gear you can buy in 2022, both in terms of functionality and price. It carries just the right features to make it a joy to use without costing an arm and a leg. And it carries them in a beautiful, sleek package that lives up to the Black Mirror name.
This Timemore Black Mirror review covers everything I loved about this updated model, plus an inevitable few flaws that I wouldn’t mind seeing changed in the future. Is it a good coffee scale to add to your brew bar? It holds such a broad appeal that there’s an excellent chance the answer is yes.
- Accurate scale with auto-timing and 0.1 g precision
- Beautiful clean design available in black or white
- Medium size is suitable for pour over and espresso
As a fledgling coffee nerd, this scale exceeded all my expectations. It’s very quick, responsive, and through 4-5 months of daily use, it hasn’t yet needed a charge.– Customer
The Full Timemore Black Mirror Scale Review
First, let’s get some things straight about the name of this Timemore scale. Several versions of the Timemore Black Mirror Scale include the Black Mirror Nano, Black Mirror Dual Sensor, and Black Mirror Basic. This review will look only at the latter of the three, the Black Mirror Basic.
Adding to the chaos, the current model is called the Black Mirror Basic Plus. The Plus refers to the latest edition as of 2022, which includes an auto-timer, a physical power button, and a few aesthetic tweaks from previous versions. You may see it referenced online as the Black Mirror, Black Mirror Plus, Black Mirror Basic+, or Black Mirror Basic Plus. Confusing, right?
With that clarification, let’s review the Timemore Black Mirror Basic Plus Coffee Scale!
The Timemore Black Mirror Scale is precise to 0.1 g, and unlike many cheaper coffee scales that claim the same, independent testing has shown that to be the truth. It has a well-deserved place on our list of some of the most accurate coffee scales. We cannot overstate the importance of precision when it comes to brewing great coffee, according to a resident coffee educator at JavaPress, Garrett Oden (1).
The precision that a scale offers for your daily brew doesn’t just boost flavour and balance one time. It boosts them every time.
The Timemore Black Mirror has a 2000 g capacity, which is more than enough regardless of your preferred brewing methods. Even a large pour over brewer like the full-size Chemex weighs only 615 g, leaving plenty of capacity for ground coffee and brewing water.
The minimum load is a tiny 0.5 g, which is tiny. Unless you are brewing coffee for ants, the Timemore capacity is just right.
American readers should note that this Timemore scale only operates in the metric system. There is no option for switching grams to ounces, which is surprising given how easily you can program that functionality. But most coffee recipes are metric, so it isn’t a deal-breaker.
One selling point of this model versus cheaper scales is that it has almost no latency, and there is only a slight delay between when weight is added and when it is registered on the scale’s screen. And in fact, the Plus model seems to have even less lag than earlier additions of this same coffee scale.
Lag isn’t a big deal when weighing coffee beans, but response speed makes a difference when brewing coffee, which is undoubtedly the intended use of Timemore Black Mirror coffee scales. That said, the slight lag you’ll notice on this scale distinguishes it from the ultra-expensive, even faster scales. As with coffee, how nerdy you want to get will dictate your budget.
The Timemore Black Mirror Scale measures 15.2 cm deep by 13 cm wide by 2.5 cm tall. This middle-of-the-road size is suitable for both espresso and pour over, which adds tremendous value to this model. Many brands – looking at you, Acaia scales – offer a larger scale for pour over and a smaller option for espresso, forcing you to buy two products if you enjoy both brewing styles. The Timemore Black Mirror is larger than the Acaia Lunar and smaller than the Acaia Pearl.
The Black Mirror will fit on most drip trays, but you should still measure your espresso machine before purchase. Small home machines with tiny drip trays might not accommodate its depth. And if you like to pull shots into tall latte cups, you may find there isn’t enough room between the espresso spout and the drip tray to fit both cup and scale. For reference, I have the Sage Bambino Plus, a very compact espresso maker that comfortably fits the Timemore scale. I would expect the same from almost all prosumer espresso machines. On the other hand, it doesn’t fit in the smaller base oval of a Flair espresso maker.
If you’re worried the Timemore Black Mirror Basic won’t fit on your espresso machine, or if you never make pour over brews, Timemore makes a smaller set of coffee scales specifically designed for espresso, the Timemore Black Mirror Nano.
The sleek and spare design of the Timemore Black Mirror is definitely in keeping with current coffee industry trends (2). It will look right at home next to your Fellow Ode grinder and pour over kettles. It is a smooth, jet-black plastic square with a discreet on-off toggle switch on the side.
The physical power button is a much-requested new addition to the Plus model. In older models, the touch power button was easy to hit accidentally, especially when travelling with your scale.
The display is located under the plastic cover, which maintains the minimalist aesthetic and makes this scale water-resistant.
It’s not waterproof – so don’t do anything crazy like toss it in the dishwasher – but there is nowhere on the upper scale surface that water can seep into. Similarly, there are no cracks or crevices to trap bits of ground coffee. The flat surface also makes cleaning a breeze; a quick wipe with a microfibre cloth will do the trick.
There are two capacitive touch buttons on the top surface for accessing all the scale features, like timing and taring. They are very sensitive; some might say overly sensitive. You don’t even need to touch the scale to press a button. It’s enough to hover your finger in the right spot. While this responsiveness is nice, it is frustratingly easy to hit a button by accident, especially when you are still getting used to the scale.
Because the buttons don’t offer a tactile response, Timemore has added an audible beep to let you know when a button has been “pressed.” The beep is pleasant in tone and volume, but you can turn it off if you find it annoying.
There is also a white version of the Black Mirror; no, it’s not called the White Mirror. Both options come with an attractive and colour-matched removable silicone pad that you can drape over the scale for better grip.
Special Features 3.5/5
The most impressive feature of the Timemore Black Mirror Plus is the auto timer. It is simple to use by following these steps:
- Press the timer button five consecutive times to enable the auto-timer mode, and you’ll see a small A displayed on the screen.
- Put your complete pour over set-up on the scale, including carafe or mug, dripper, filter, and ground coffee.
- Press the timer button once. It will do a 3-second count down, then tare the scale and set the timer to zero.
- As soon as you pour water, the built-in timer will start counting up automatically. When you lift the dripper at the end of brewing, it will stop automatically.
The auto timer makes it easy to record the time and weight of your finished brew, vital information to brew great coffee reproducibly (3).
You might worry if you’re the sort who likes to lift and swirl your dripper during the brewing process because this will stop the timer prematurely. Indeed, this can be an issue depending on your recipe, but Timemore has considered this to some degree. The timer won’t stop automatically if you lift the dripper within the first 40 seconds, giving you some time to bloom and swirl (4).
The Timemore Black Mirror includes a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery. This is much more convenient than coffee scales that require you to buy batteries – not to mention cheaper in the long run and better for the environment. It charges via USP-C (cable included), which is faster than Micro-USB (5). It takes about two hours for a full charge. Once charged, expect 7 hours of battery life, which equates to about a month of daily coffee brewing. The rechargeable battery and sleeker design put the Black Mirror ahead of Hario’s coffee scale, in my opinion.
The Black Mirror loses a point in this category because it has no “smart” features. There is no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, no app full of recipes and data, and you can’t operate this Timemore coffee scale with your phone. While this may be a downside for the serious coffee enthusiast, it isn’t entirely bad. The Timemore scale is very straightforward to use, and it is far less expensive than smart coffee scales.
Things we liked:
- Fast and accurate response to 0.1 g precision
- Spill-proof plastic surface and anti-slip silicone mat
- Mid-range size suitable for espresso or pour over
- Convenient auto-timing feature
Things we didn’t like:
- Not a smart scale
- Only uses the metric system
- Capacitive buttons can be too responsive
Don’t Buy The Timemore Black Mirror Scale If…
- You want a smart scale: If you want to get nerdy about brewing coffee, a Bluetooth-enabled smart scale is a valuable tool. It’s not just about operating it with your smartphone or accessing an associated app. Smart coffee scales provide a ton of data about each brew that you can use to optimize extraction and consistently brew great coffee. But be prepared to drop a lot more cash. The most popular option is the iconic Acaia Pearl, found on coffee bars worldwide (6). Timemore also makes a smart coffee scale, the Dual Sensor version of the Black Mirror. Both are about three times the price of the Timemore Mirror scale.
- You only make espresso: If you don’t make pour-over coffee, it makes more sense to go with a coffee scale explicitly designed for espresso. Espresso-focused coffee scales have smaller dimensions designed to fit more comfortably on the drip trays of espresso makers, and they are shorter to compensate for small clearance under a portafilter. The tiny Acaia Lunar is a fantastic option, with excellent functionality, beautiful design, and many features. But it is over four times the cost of the Black Mirror. The Timemore Black Mirror Nano is a much more affordable espresso scale. While not quite as feature-packed as the Lunar, it is still an ideal coffee scale for many espresso machines.
- You’re on a tight budget: If you’re designing a budget coffee set-up and aren’t overly concerned about precision weighing and timing, there are many other coffee scales available on Amazon for £10 to £15. Check out the highly rated Coffee Gator Coffee Scale for a nice entry-level coffee scale from a reliable brand.
The Timemore Black Mirror Basic Plus is an excellent scale that I would recommend for most coffee lovers. It lies in the middle of the road in size, so it’s equally suitable for pour-over brewing and making espresso. Similarly, its mid-range pricing makes it one of the best-value coffee scales. It’s affordable enough not to feel like a luxury item but not so cheap that performance is lacking.
The Black Mirror is a stylish coffee scale with precise measurement capabilities and a fast response time. It is a beautiful choice if you’re not looking for smart features and app connectivity.
- Oden, G. (n.d.). 3 Reasons You Need a Coffee Scale to Brew Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/enjoying-coffee/3-reasons-you-need-coffee-scale
- Roark, J. (2022, February 1). Why Matte Black is So Hot Right Now. Retrieved from https://www.phgmag.com/why-matte-black-is-so-hot-right-now/
- Meister. (2018, August 9). Why You Should Use a Scale to Brew Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.seriouseats.com/why-you-should-use-a-kitchen-scale-to-measure-coffee-coffee-brewing-equipment
- Driftaway Coffee. (2015, September 2). What Is The Bloom And How Does It Affect Taste? Retrieved from https://driftaway.coffee/bloom/
- Dube, R. (2022, January 24). USB-C vs. Micro USB: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from https://www.lifewire.com/usb-c-vs-micro-usb-5206594
- Bryman, H. (2022, January 27). Acaia Introduced Upgrades to Pearl and Lunar Scales. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2022/01/27/acaia-introduces-upgrades-to-pearl-and-lunar-scales/