ion beam 2

Static cling, the sworn enemy of grinders everywhere. When it comes to looking at new grinders, there are two main performance factors people want to know: what is the particle consistency and what’s the grind retention like? But Acaia, bless them, may have just ion blasted into oblivion the latter question, for the entirety of the grinder market. Their Ion Beam is “designed to solve the problem of static electricity generated during the coffee grinding process.”

Looking a little bit like a small telescope—especially when mounted on a tripod—or maybe a really expensive mic you’d see at a recording studio, the Ion Beam offers a third-party solution to static cling, no matter the grinder. The tube-shaped accessory comes equipped with an “industrial-grade ion generator” that, when pointed at the grinder chute when functioning, releases a continuous flow of charged ions that minimize static due to the grinding process, resulting in “reduced retention, less flying chaff, and less clumping.”

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ion beam 1

The Ion Beam has two modes, releasing negatively-charged ions out of one end and positively-charged ions out of the other, to tackle all manner of static buildup. It can be used as either a handheld device or mounted on a tripod (or mounted directly onto the Orbit, Acaia’s already space-age looking grinder).

If I’m being honest, the Ion Beam has me itchy with coffee-nerd-wiggling excitement. Grind retention has been a real sticking point (get it) that has doomed otherwise great grinders for years now. Folks have tried everything to solve it. Puffin’ air, spritzin’ water. The results have been… varied. But Acaia may have finally cracked that nut, and done so in a way that doesn’t require everyone to buy a brand-new grinding machine. It makes your favorite grinder even better. (Except the EK43. Acaia says to hold off a bit until a more powerful version is released.) And at $150, which is a non-trivial amount of money, it nonetheless feels like an almost necessary add-on.

For more information, visit Acaia’s official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.