In 2016, I plopped down $300 bucks in hopes I’d soon be in possession of a coffee machine that both grinds whole coffee beans and brews a nice cup of espresso.
Almost three years later, I’ve yet to see my Spinn.
So not surprisingly last week when I tried a new do-everything coffee machine called the TK-01 -- a machine that started shipping in May -- it made me wish I’d waited and ordered it instead.
I sat down with Sahand Dilmaghani, the CEO of New York City based Terra Kaffe, to discuss his company’s first product as he made me a couple different espresso drinks.
So what does the TK-01 do? In short, pretty much everything. In fact, with its ability to not only make almost any espresso-based drink under the sun as well as inject frothy milk from an accompanying carafe, it’s not too far off to call the TK-01 a little barista-in-a-box.
What I liked the most about the TK-01 was the fairly straightforward touch screen interface that not only allowed you to easily pick your favorite drink and start a brew, but also let you to go one level deeper to optimize your specific drink. As you can see in the video below, when brewing an espresso you can choose coffee amount, set a specific temperature, opt between a single or double shot and even set the amount of crema you want (crema being the “Guinness” froth you get at the top of your drink).
Automating milk drinks and frothing is straightforward with the machine’s accompanying carafe that injects milk or milk substitutes into the drink. Dilmaghani told me the company also sells extra carafes (the machine comes with one standard) so users can switch between, say, 2% cow milk and soy milk.
The machine’s whole bean repository takes up to a 12 ounce bag of coffee, which are then ground using a conical burr grinder. The TK-01 also comes with a grinder bypass in case the user wants to brew pre-ground coffee.
Interestingly, unlike so many of the new coffee machines coming to market, the TK-01 doesn’t have connectivity. According to Dilmaghani, that was a conscious design decision. “We decided to focus on one thing with our first product. Let’s get to market with this, and then let’s think about all those secondary features we want to build in.”
The TK-01 isn’t cheap for a home coffee machine at $745, but my guess is the primary customer is going to be coffee aficionados who wouldn’t mind paying more for what is essentially a barista robot. That said, I also think the product would make sense in small offices, though Dilmaghani said the product was designed for the home user (even while he told me about 20% of their orders so far have been small offices).
Bottom line: for those who want a grind & brew coffee machine that automates the brewing of espresso drinks in pretty much any configuration you want, the TK-01 could be the option for you. And, unlike the Spinn, the TK-01 is actually available today.
You can see a video walk-through of the device over on our Spoon Instagram story.