Coffee brewed in a PicoBrew Z

There’s been a bunch of news about smart kitchen products lately, so I thought I’d do a quick roundup:

Mellow Updates Software To Address Cooling Concerns

Mellow, a sous vide appliance that utilizes an internal refrigeration unit to cool food until a user is ready to cook, has updated its software to address concerns about the product’s ability to cool food quickly enough. In a January review for Wired, food writer Joe Ray gave the Mellow a brutal 1/10 review because he said the Mellow couldn’t bring the food’s temperature below a USDA recommended 40 degrees Fahrenheit in two hours, meaning the product was a potential food poisoning risk. It appears Mellow was paying attention because the company just released a software update that prompts the user to add ice if it detects if the water in the reservoir is not cool enough. The company will release another update later in March that adds a pre-cool mode to help cooks start cooking the chamber earlier to keep their food out the “danger zone.”

PicoBrew Z Series Adds Cold Brew Coffee To Repertoire

A few weeks ago, PicoBrew announced their latest generation pro-grade brewing appliance, the PicoBrew Z. Not content with just brewing beer, the company announced that their new modular brewing system would also be able to brew cold brew coffee too.

According to the announcement, a standard Z will be able to brew up to two gallons of cold brew coffee or coffee concentrate in two hours, faster than traditional methods (although there seem to be lots of fast-brew methods for cold brew coffee coming to market lately). While I’m not sure it’s the most cost-effective way to make cold brew coffee (commercial systems that make up to 15 gallons cost around $450), it might be a good option for a brewpub looking add another item to the menu.

Spinn Spins Another Update

Like others who’ve backed the Spinn centrifugal coffee machine, I’ve gotten a bit restless as the company has fallen further behind its original ship date. But with the company’s management doing a good job updating backers, I’ve decided to stick it out and wait for my Spinn.

And according to the latest update, it looks like my patience may pay off. For the last few updates, the company has pointed a March ship date for first products, and the latest update indicates they’re sticking to it (but barely).

From the update:

“After Chinese New Year we’ll be assembling the machines and shipping the first units by the end of March. From there on, we’ll be ramping up production throughout the following months. This is a critical step towards bringing our machine into mass production and our teams in the U.S., Europe and China will be working around the clock to guarantee a great coffee machine that we’ll start to ship at a smaller scale at first, increasing the numbers with every batch.

Like I said, barely. For a product that could be described the Tesla of coffeemakers, it’s not all that surprising the company is taking a Tesla-like approach in its slow ramp it getting the product out the door.

Could Suvie Hit a Cool Million?

Suvie, the multizone cooker from the founder of Reviewed.com is trucking along with its Kickstarter. With just over a day and a half to go, the product has raised over $700 thousand.

With most successful Kickstarters going through the same three basic phases –  1) initial burst providing validation 2) a long stretch of yeoman’s work to keep story and interest alive, and 3) a final burst of folks who want in on project – they often look like this:

If Suvie’s campaign holds true to how most successful campaigns go, I would expect a last minute surge in backers and wouldn’t be surprised to see Suvie to see a get close to a million dollars.

Anova Nano On Track For May Ship

Last fall, Anova let customers know that the company’s new smaller (and cheaper) sous vide appliance – the Nano – would not be under tree come Christmas time and would instead ship in May. In an update from mid-February, Anova CEO Steve Svajian has indicated that they are holding to the May shipping window.

No official word from the company on when their Anova precision oven will ship other than a landing page on the Anova website that says “Summer 2018”. The product was unveiled at the Smart Kitchen Summit in October 2016.

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