Whether you make espresso at home or in a café, dosing can give you multiple headaches. The Espresso Corp’s ‘Coffee Catcha’ is designed to help with that. It delivers an improved consistency when dosing up the basket, a reduction of coffee wastage and mess, and a saving of the money you would normally lose due to that coffee wastage.
Spanish Version: La Solución del Barista Dosificar y Desperdiciar Menos Café
What Is a Coffee Catcha?
The developer of the Coffee Catcha, Steve Guinness, wanted to make the first device on the market capable of solving both dosing problems and coffee wastage—which is exactly what he did. It comes in a simple, durable, and presentable stainless steel dosing funnel which sits on your 57-58mm portafilter. It already has distributors in over 6 countries and is carving a path into new markets all over the world.
Steve Guinness and his Coffee Catcha at SCAA2015. Credit: @espressocorp
The Catcha does exactly what its name suggests. This little device catches the coffee that would otherwise spill onto the bench. Say goodbye to the crazy barista thwacking away on a doser and spraying grinds all over the place like bullets in an 80s action film.
So why not just use a doserless grinder? Well, while doserless grinders are supposed to limit the amount of mess, a lot of baristas overdose the basket and so it still ends up being messy. In contrast, the Catcha allows a more consistent dose by preventing the wastage that you normally can’t accurately account for. If you overdose your baskets, the Coffee Catcha can also serve to evenly scrape off the excess coffee back into a doser rather than using your finger (not the most hygienic practice, after all).
One ring to rule them all—the Catcha’s diverse functionality suits any setup. Credit: Alonso Guerra
178 coffees and only this much wastage. Credit: @espressocorp
How to Save Both Your Money and Your Precious Coffee
The Coffee Catcha is about much more than just preventing mess, though. We’re talking $$$s saved by waste prevention. At approximately $80, the Coffee Catcha could seem overpriced. Yet consider that a café that goes through as little as 1kg in a day will see a return on their investment in just a few weeks’ time. For very successful cafes, the coffee waste reduction could pay for the Coffee Catcha in just a number of days.
Let’s be honest, though—this is about more than just money. There are many café owners, conscientious baristi, and home baristas who hate to waste precious coffee. This device neatly puts an end to those worries.
How to Waste Less Coffee at Home
So for home users like me who doesn’t go through 1kg of coffee a day, is there still a benefit? Well, yes. Cleaning up the mess from my grinders might be something we’re used to, but eliminating that mess while dosing just makes the daily routine that much easier. For some users, that’s more than enough of a reason. Yet there are more reasons. Without the Coffee Catcha, using a Mazzer Mini E (doserless), I might waste 80-100g per kilo of beans if I am overdosing the basket. The Coffee Catcha easily reduces that wastage by more than 95%. It’s not necessarily the money that worries me; after all, that’s 4 or 5 double shots of coffee I wouldn’t have been able to drink otherwise. And that would be a tragedy.
Look at all that precious coffee that didn’t go to waste. Credit: Alonso Guerra
What Else Does It Do?
The Coffee Catcha offers more than just these two benefits. Clumping issues, anyone? For those of you who can’t ignore the effects of clumping on extraction, particularly VST basket users, you’re probably familiar with the Weiss Distribution Technique (WDT). It’s useful, but it either makes a mess or requires that extra little bit of effort. And yes, some people might be fine with using a cut-out plastic yoghurt container—but does that really look good in a commercial setting, or even at home? The Coffee Catcha replaces the unsophisticated looking yoghurt container with something that actually looks like it belongs with your shiny espresso machine.
On top of that, because the Coffee Catcha sits on your portafilter rather than in it, removing it doesn’t disturb the coffee in the portafilter. If you prefer, you can even tamp with the Catcha on.
WDT with Catcha on. Bring out the needle; it’s time to unleash yourself on those clumps. Credit: Alonso Guerra
I’m aware that there is a common scepticism towards this device by those who know the product and have never used it. In fact, I felt exactly the same before I tried it. Yet this scepticism is primarily due to the price tag rather than because it’s not useful. After spending just a few weeks with the Coffee Catcha, I must admit that I’m a convert. In fact, I believe the price is justified. Here’s why:
- Without it, I waste approx. 100g per kg of coffee. If I had a doser on my grinder, I might waste more than that. At $38 per kg of coffee, this works out at $3.80 of wastage. That begins to add up pretty quickly (especially if you drink coffee as much as I do).
- You’ll never have to replace it. It’s a sturdy tool made of high quality stainless steel.
- It really does keep everything much cleaner. In a café setting, this is one thing less a barista has to worry about.
- Since it doesn’t sit inside the basket, you can use whatever distribution technique you like with the Coffee Catcha and still tamp with it on.
A good dosing routine requires speed, consistency, and cleanliness. The so simple, yet so effective, Coffee Catcha has nailed these principles.
Tamping with the Catcha on is a breeze. Credit: Alonso Guerra
Edited by T. Newton.
Feature Photo Credit: A. Guerra
Perfect Daily Grind.