Austin, Texas-based LeverCraft Coffee — an espresso gear junkie’s paradise from the beginning — has begun rolling out a machine of its own over which to obsess.
The company has just revealed the LeverCraft Ultra grinder, LeverCraft’s opening salvo in the ultra-premium single-dose grinder segment, slated for release later this summer.
The machine cuts a minimalist footprint around a precision servo motor that spins 98-mm flat SSP burrs in a user-adjustable range from 100 to 1,500 RPM. Machine parts are made from 6061 T6 aluminum alloy, within which a SUS304 hardened stainless steel lower burr carrier rides with less than .01-mm runout, according to the company, suggesting an exceptionally even and consistent grind with proper alignment.
“It is a high-end precision servo motor,” LeverCraft Founder Eric Mann told Daily Coffee News. “The entire grinder is built around this platform and it works incredibly well.”
Assembled in the United States and aligned upon shipping, the grinder also includes a system of shims to help users re-align the burrs without any additional tools.
“The shims are one of the most clever parts of the design,” said Mann. “The grinder is near perfect out of the box, and the tolerance is well within the limits that the burr manufacturers suggest, but if you can get a perfect alignment, why wouldn’t you want that extra step of precision? If you ever have any wear in the grinder, it is as simple as adding or removing shims from the carrier posts to get it back into perfect alignment.”
The power supply for the grinder is almost as big as the grinder itself, and it’s also where users can modulate the speed of the burrs. A remote control button is included for turning the grind on and off remotely, so that owners can stow the power supply under a counter or elsewhere out of the way.
The company claims the Ultra operates at a quiet 20 decibels, while retention is kept down to no more than 0.15 grams per dose, or less than 0.1 gram if the beans are lightly misted with water before grinding to squelch any potential static electricity. A small spray bottle will be included with each grinder along with a 58-mm portafilter dosing funnel, a tool for stirring and redistributing the grounds, brush for cleaning the burrs and a two-year non-commercial warranty.
The machine was designed entirely by a Chinese high-end automotive engineer known only as Mr. Zhang, with whom Mann connected through an internet coffee forum.
“It is essentially our product, designed by our supplier,” said Mann. “I realized [Zhang] had an incredible product that was not available to the U.S. market. After a lot of conversations and consideration, Zhang agreed to partner with LeverCraft Coffee mostly because of our reputation, and he could see how passionate we are about bringing the best products we can to the U.S. market.”
LeverCraft, which opened its doors last year inside a converted 1955 Spartan Imperial Mansion travel trailer, has been attempting to weather the pandemic. The retail coffee operation has shifted its focus more towards internet sales of whole-bean roasted coffee, along with its development of the Ultra grinder.
Said Mann, “I have every intention of chasing after the world roasting championships when all of this is over.”
Buyers can pre-order the LeverCraft Ultra now for a down payment amounting to half of the total retail price of $2,200. Machines are slated to begin shipping in August.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.