The Airmill electric coffee grinder features a built-in “air-sifting” system that blows fresh air through the grounds as they travel from the grind chamber towards the receptacle. The purpose of this is to separate fines and flakes of chaff away from the more desirable particles, resulting in a more consistent output for brewing, according to Coffee Chaps. The airflow system, which users can choose to turn off if they want, also keeps both the coffee and the machine cooler in operation.
At the time of this writing, a Kickstarter campaign to support production of the Airmill has raised more than $26,000 with more than three weeks remaining.
The single-dose grinder has a whole-bean capacity of roughly 30 grams, and its 23-step adjustment system is designed to accommodate brew methods from moka pot to cold brew, the company said. Inside the Airmill’s polycarbonate case is a grind mechanism centered around 48-millimeter steel conical burrs. The round-bodied machine weighs about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) and stands roughly 6.9 inches wide and 11.2 inches tall.
Coffee Chaps is the coffee-focused arm of BSEC Electronics, a Korean company focused mostly on the design and manufacture of touchscreen equipment and interface technology.
The previous product by Coffee Chaps to be introduced to the United States was the Brewvie 2 counter-mounted hot water delivery system for pourover brewing, rolled out by the brand in 2019. Prototypes of the Airmill have been appearing among its trade show displays since late 2018.
With the consumer-oriented Airmill design now mature, the company is also developing commercial grinder that will incorporate some of the same technology.
“One of the reasons we have tested Airmill [for] over three years is to gather many and accurate data and experience for our professional grinder,” K.B. Park, international business manager for Coffee Chaps, told Daily Coffee News. “We have tested various blowers to find the most suitable one for Airmill, but also for the professional grinder we will make in the future. We know there will be unexpected difficulties with mass production, so we have produced several times of small quantity preproduction and have modified our molding and parts to developed quality.”
Separating or sieving coffee grinds for peak consistency has found some footing in the high-end home coffee category in recent years. An early example was the handheld coffee sifter launched by Kruve in 2016. Two years later there came the JIA Coffee Grinder with a sieve built into its catch cup, followed by last year’s Fellow Shimmy coffee sieve. More recently, I’m Not A Barista included a built-in sieve in its Momentem grinder.
Coffee Chaps said the Airmill grinder will begin shipping to pre-order customers around the world in April 2022, with retail sales following at a price of roughly $400 USD.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.