by Pierce Jens & Alex Choppin
At SCA Expo 2016, Baratza introduced the revolutionary Sette 270W. We brought our innovative mechanical engineering of coffee grinders to the table in partnership with Acaia’s long history of load-cell (scale) expertise. Together, we produced a coffee grinder capable of grinding by weight directly into a portafilter – a first for home coffee grinders! We have certainly learned a lot in the last two years. The new 270Wi is a further development of Baratza and Acaia’s relationship.
The Sette 270W has two circuit boards, one that links to the load cell (scale part) housed inside the body of the grinder, and a second ‘brain’ board in the front display. The 270W uses Acaia’s technology to handle weight readings at the load cell, translating that information so the Baratza-made display board could process it. That translation resulted in a slight delay between pressing start and actually grinding.
In the Wi, Acaia technology handles both the processor and load cell circuit functions. With translation no longer necessary, the response to user interaction is notably quicker.
The benefits don’t stop there. Acaia brings their experience in creating processing software – gained over years of manufacturing excellent precision scales – to the Wi. The key processing upgrades on the Wi relative to the W are as follows:
- The Wi processor contains a smoothing algorithm that helps the grinder focus on the important information: ground coffee falling into your portafilter. This smoothing algorithm allows the grinder to better ignore irrelevant spikes in load cell information. For example, bumping into the countertop can create vibration which the Wi ignores.
- The Wi is intelligent. If, for example, the grinder’s target weight is 20g but only 19.6g are produced, the Wi will self-adjust. On the next grind, it will stop the motor just a little later. This might result in a slight overdose, but not to worry; the Wi keeps learning and within a few grinds will self-adjust so that it repeatedly doses within a few tenths of a gram!
- Improved user interface
- Burst Mode: A common frustrating experience on the 270W is under-dosing. If a 270W stops short of its target dose, the user is unable to “top off” the grind without zeroing out weight readings. If the Wi stops early, but within 5g of the target, it will enter Burst Mode. When in this mode, each press of the START button runs the motor for 0.1 second. This function can be used indefinitely until the portafilter is removed or the STOP button is pressed. Burst Mode allows the home barista to grind more coffee incrementally, ‘topping off’ from 16-19.8g up to 20g.
- Under-dosing: If the Wi stops early and is more than 5g from the target, it will switch to Pause Mode. From here, simply pressing START again will continue grinding towards the target weight.
Have questions about upgrading your 270W to the Wi? Check back for another blog update tomorrow!