The staggering sum puts the Timemore grinder project among the top 50 earners in Kickstarter’s history, which has included funding for just under 240,000 projects since it launch in 2009. It is also the highest-earning coffee Kickstarter to date, despite the company’s relatively modest initial goal of $14,800.
“We were really surprised, and we are very happy to be recognized by so many people around the world,” Timemore Co-Founder and Design Director design director Yu Yue told Daily Coffee News through a translation. “Initially, we didn’t expect such huge numbers for designing a professional electric grinder with an aesthetic that meets home coffee needs. This reassures us that good design and professional belief [sic] can cross national cultures and resonate with people who like coffee.”
With production already underway, four models of Sculptor grinders are now slated to begin shipping next month.
The smaller, home-oriented Sculptor 064 and 064S are centered around 64-millimeter burrs and will carry a retail price of $449. The larger prosumer or light commercial Sculptor 078 and 078S models feature 78-millimeter burrs and will carry a retail price of $649.
All of the burrs for Timemore Sculptor grinders are patented by the company with a custom design. The “S” model machines feature a standard flat burr and stepless adjustment, while the others are equipped with Timemore “Turbo” burrs and have stepped adjustment mechanisms.
The Turbo burrs take a hybrid approach to their cutting geometry by partially incorporating a nubby tooth shape akin to what is found on “ghost” burrs, which are designed to reduce fines for better non-espresso brews. The more conventional flat burr designs, meanwhile, are made to accommodate the finer grinds necessary for espresso, while also offering high uniformity for pourover and other methods of brewing.
The burrs in all of the new machines are spun at user-variable RPM speeds by brushless PID-controlled motors. All exit chutes feature rotary knockers that users twist to click free any retained grinds. Sculptor grinders are all housed within metal unibody cases and include magnetically centered receptacles.
Timemore was co-founded in 2012 by current president James Zhan, Yu Yue and R&D director JiuShu Chen. The company has since released a number of manual-brewing-related products, including manual grinders, pourover equipment and digital scales.
“We are all product-oriented people. We started up the company on our own from the ground up,” Yu Yue told DCN. “We rely on products one after another to make it through. We did not expect our products to receive the support of so many people. It is those people who made us what we are today.”
Following a small portable cordless battery-powered conical burr grinder released in 2021 called the 123GO, the Sculptor series constitutes Timemore’s first foray into a heavier-duty countertop electrical appliance. The company debuted its Sculptor machines to the North American public at the SCA Expo in Portland last month.
Yu Yue said that while the company is consistently pursuing new ideas internally, it also listened keenly to feedback from its audience online and in reviews, incorporating some new features into the machine along the way as a result.
“We never stop working on updating and innovating products, even without this campaign,” said Yue. “We will bring you a few surprises in the coming months. Meanwhile, we think with the success of this crowdfunding, we are more confident in the development of new products that are more complicated yet more sophisticated.”
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.