Much as I'd like to fancy myself a proto-Marie Kondo, decluttering myself into a negative existence, I admittedly have a weakness for stuff I don’t need. I haven’t taken the plunge with an Apple Watch, but the desire to sport a hideous device that better allows me to ignore my text messages is real. I once owned a Shake Weight. While it didn’t turn me into a swole beast as promised, it was a great way to welcome visitors into my apartment. (“Sit down, relax, have some water, shake this weight.”) So when I found Acaia’s booth on the SCA floor this year and spotted the brand new global debut of their Orion Bean Counter, I got that same familiar itch. I probably don’t need this, but I want it.
Yes, the Orion is a bean counter, but who knew there could be such elegance in the counting of beans! The Orion is designed for pre-portioning—Acaia describes it as “a minimalistic and compact dosing system”—and sports a sleek paintball gun chic design that just makes you want to touch it. The Bean Counter is designed for weighing out retail coffee bag portions, as well as portioning out whole bean coffee in a cafe setting, and it offers remarkable accuracy within .5 grams. The scale’s weight capacity is 3 kilograms, and every time there’s a new target weight, it records the amount of time it takes to dispense the coffee.
Additionally, one can use a “time mode” to dispense coffee. While the time mode is less accurate, Acaia founder Rex Tseng notes that it is a part of future development for a larger model, which will increase efficiency in coffee packing for roasters. Finally, a manual mode allows the user to totally empty the chamber—the whole thing adds up to an adjustable dose-by-weight coffee portioning system with the modern design touch Acaia is known for (the brand is a two-time Sprudgie Award winner for Best New Product).
Who is the Orion for if not just for me to sit around for hours in my living room watching it dispense beans? The product is geared toward roasters and single cup serve cafes and Acaia wants it on display. “We designed this to hopefully fit on a beautiful café’s countertop,” Tseng says. The Orion, which won Best New Product in the Coffee Accessories category at Expo, starts shipping in July 2017. If the $800 price tag freaks you out, just remember that it costs $500 less than a stainless steel Series 2 Hermes Apple Watch, and will actually make your life and work much easier.
Photos and .gifs by Lanny Huang for Sprudge Media Network.