Review: Wilfa Uniform Black WSFBS-200B + Scale

Solid grinder does it all by itself

Wilfa makes acclaimed machines for coffee brewing. However, the top-of-the-range Uniform WSFBS-200B easily takes control and leaves little room for user preferences.

Published 2024-05-31 - 8:00 am
Wilfa Uniform Black WSFBS-200B + Scale
Natasja Broström

Norwegian Wilfa emphasises good coffee brewing. The company’s flagship Uniform WSFBS-200B weighs over four kilos. The grinder has 41 grinding levels and was developed in collaboration with coffee expert and master barista Tim Wendelboe.

As one of only three models in Europe, the Uniform is approved by the ECBC (European Coffee Brewing Centre). The centre is an independent organisation that tests for precision, uniform grinding and the amount of coffee residue. The latter in particular is one of Uniform’s ‘aces’ up its sleeve.

The flat plate is a rubber pad for the scale. It protects you if you pour boiled water into a brewer (glass jug) standing on the scale (Photo: Natasja Broström)

Unpacking is easiest when the box is on its side. Otherwise, the Uniform is difficult to lift out of the box and protective wrapping. On the kitchen table, my small, cold Bodum grinder pales next to the almost 30 centimetre tall Wilfa grinder. I immediately pack my own home coffee grinder away in the cupboard.The Uniform WSFBS-200B has a Bluetooth-enabled scale that can be used as a lid. The scale doesn’t take up unnecessary space on the worktop and it absorbs some of the sound when the grinder is working. However, the uniform doesn’t make a lot of noise.

With the ‘Wilfa Svart’ app, you control and fine-tune the scale’s functions. ‘Wilfa Svart’ is available for iOS and Android.

The scale is connected with the USB-C cable and plugged into a power outlet via a USB converter or to a device with a USB port. After two hours, the scale is fully charged and ready to use.

Every time the grinder has been switched off, the scale must be reconnected via Bluetooth inside the app. It’s easy enough, but annoying to repeat. Once the app is connected to the scale, you’re ready for your first brew.

Brewing via app

For decades I’ve been following the hottest trends in coffee brewing without even knowing it. My grandmother taught me the method now known as pour over.

We’re talking about freshly ground beans poured into a filter set in a filter holder. Boiled water is then gently poured over them. Exactly what temperature the water needs to be at, I don’t want to know. Wars have started for less.

I would like to continue this method in this test, but the Uniform WSFBS-200B will only cooperate if I do the process backwards. On a daily basis, I use a metal measure and know how much the total number of beans visibly takes up in my own grinder.

With the Wilfa app you can fine-tune your brewing method and use the included scale to measure your beans. (Screenshot: iOS)

Through years of (flavour) experience, I’ve found the amount of water that suits my needs. Of course, adjusted according to how much coffee I’m making. We’re talking cups here, and then the problem arises.

The Uniform WSFBS-200B measures in a ratio of water to coffee strength. Both are set in the app as ml water and the degrees ‘mild’, ‘nordic’ and ‘intense’ respectively.

When I brew for one person (often myself), I usually use three measures of beans to 770ml of water. Whether that’s a lot or a little depends on taste.

Practical weighing of my bean measure. A filled measure (from the metal spoon) weighs 6 g. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

If I want to be fussy and do things my way, I have to use the Wilfa scale and weigh the three measures beforehand or only pour three measures of beans into the grinder. Using the app’s timer, I find out how long the Uniform WSFBS-200B takes to grind the three measures.

Next time, I fill the bean hopper to a maximum of 200g, switch on the grinder and start the app’s timer. When the time is up, I press the comfortably large stop button in the centre of the grinder.

Backwards and cumbersome? Maybe, but it works, and Uniform and I became good friends.

Grinding galore

The Uniform WSFBS-200B has 41 grinding levels. You choose by rotating the upper part of the round grinder. Watch out for your thumb. The stop and start button is located where your finger will naturally place itself. It’s not a good idea to turn while the grinder is running.

The wide range of degrees makes it possible to grind beans for virtually any type of coffee – from espresso to French press and steeping.

Tare function of the scale for whole and ground beans. The scale can also be used during cooking in a brewer or server. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

How much coffee you grind for which types of coffee, the scale and the app can help. I put the emptied metal bucket on the scale and set the tare in the app. The scale showed ‘0.0’ g even though the can was on it.

I pour three measures of beans into the bucket and the scale reads 18g. That way I know if I want to use the app to select water volume in relation to brew strength or vice versa.

I tested one measure (6g) of beans at three grind levels. From espresso (between 3-7), to pour over (between 14-28) and steap (between 39-41). The degrees mentioned are Wilfa’s suggestions.

Uniform provided a grind for the espresso that was like light powder with no tendency to clumping. The coarser steap was ground evenly and uniformly. The grind for the pour over was particularly successful. The result was airy and worked perfectly.

A clearly successful result of grinding at three different levels: coarse, filter and espresso (Photo: Natasja Broström)

For years I’ve been annoyed that sometimes the water didn’t run through but left a large pool at the bottom of my paper filter. The grind in my own grinder has simply been too uneven with a tendency to stickiness.

I got the following grind times for 6g of whole beans: Fine (1st setting) took 20.8 seconds. Pour over (26th setting) took 17.08 seconds and steap (41st setting) took 14.43 seconds.

Anti-static container and cleaning

Uniform’s ground coffee container doesn’t have the friendliest lid in the world. It often needs to be adjusted before you can slide the lidded container into the compartment on the front.

At first I thought it was sales hype, but it’s legit and it works. The can is anti-static. In practice, ground coffee won’t stick to the bottom and sides of the can, but will come off easily when you tap the can against the edge of the filter, for example.

Debris sprinkled down from the top of the grinder. Annoying, but not as bad as other test participants (Photo: Natasja Broström)

Uniform’s design is not flawless. After use, there’s debris inside the compartment and it spills out onto the kitchen counter when you take out the ground coffee pot. The small brush that comes with the grinder takes some, but crumbs shouldn’t happen with a grinder in this league. Wilfa could learn from the design of the Sage Smart Grinder Pro.

Conclusion

Uniform is for users who want precisely ground beans for specific types of coffee. The app is preset to distribute water and amount of ground beans in relation to each other according to the type of coffee.

The grind in the Wilfa Uniform isn’t perfectly even, but it’s perfectly acceptable (Photo: Natasja Broström)

If you (like me) know in advance how you like your coffee, you can skip the app’s instructions and make your coffee as usual. By doing so, you might end up paying for more than you need.

The grinder parts are impractical, with parts where debris easily gets stuck. However, Wilfa’s brush takes most of it. (Photo: Natasja Broström)

Conversely, the Wilfa Uniform WSFBS-200B delivers impressively uniformly ground beans, whether you grind for espresso or French press. Which you should expect, because the Uniform has 5.8 cm wide, stainless steel blades of Italian origin. You can see it and feel it.

Karakter
Wilfa Uniform Black WSFBS-200B + Scale
High End

Easy and simple app. Grinds evenly. Convenient with automatic stop. Anti-static metal ensures that ground coffee doesn't build up in the container. No option for choosing the coffee strength per cup or being able to grind a certain number of cups at a time.

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