Ready for a jolt of innovation with your morning caffeine fix? Good thing, because 2017 looks like it could serve up a double shot of disruptive coffee technology.
Due to a combination of emerging taste trends, technologies, and good timing, 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year in the world of coffee. Here are the products that I’m most intrigued about:
(Update: Read my November 2017 update on the status of Spinn here). Spinn Coffee is a San Francisco startup that is expected to ship its centrifugal brewing system this summer to early backers. The Spinn coffee maker uses the same centrifugal technology that Nespresso uses in its Vertuoline coffee and espresso maker line (Nespresso licenses the technology from Spinn), only instead of creating a centrifuge within the pod, the Spinn uses its patented technology within an internal centrifuge system.
The new machine will grind whole beans for each cup and brew the consumer’s choice of espresso or drip coffee. The centrifuge spins the brewing coffee spins at a high rate within the chamber to extract flavors from the ground coffee beans.
As would be expected from a modern coffee maker, the Spinn is connected and app-controllable. The company is also working to develop a coffee marketplace that delivers beans from local roasters. While the first batch of Spinns is sold out, the company has made a second batch available for preorder that is expected to ship in the second half of this year.
(Update: You can see our November 2017 video review of the Bonaverde Berlin here). Bonaverde is one of the connected kitchen’s longest running crowdfunding sagas, having raised funding for its roast-grind-brew coffee machine back in 2013. While over two years late, the company finally started to ship to beta testers (aka Kickstarter backers) and are fine-tuning the product for a broader release.
The Bonaverde Berlin is a unique idea and will test just how far coffee lovers will go for a unique cup of coffee. While the home coffee roasting movement has picked up steam in recent years, the typical method for home roasting is to use a dedicated home roaster. By combining roast-grind-brew into one single device, the Berlin will certainly provide extra convenience and space savings for those interested in home roasting, but it’s too soon to tell how many average consumers are willing to go this far for a unique and fresh cup of coffee.
The Berlin, which will be available to non-Kickstarter backers at the end of this year, will run for $800 or more at retail. The device requires its own special filters to mask the roasting smell as well as -- at least initially -- that you purchase the coffee pouches from the company that can cost between $1 and $5. Consumers will eventually be able to insert their own beans to roast, but for now users of the Bonaverde will need to buy their green coffee through the Bonaverde curated marketplace.
You can watch a CNET video review of the product below.
In many ways, Seva is a similar concept to the Bonaverde Berlin in that it has created a roast-grind-brew machine that starts with green coffee beans and delivers a full cup of coffee, but the main difference being that Seva uses a proprietary capsule system. The capsules, which are compostable (unlike traditional Keurig based pod system), will allow the user to create a single cup of coffee, unlike the Bonaverde system which brews between 5 and 8 cups with a pouch of their coffee.
Pricing and availability for the Seva Coffee machine are currently not available.
Dash Cold Brew Coffee Machine
While companies like Toddy have enabled consumers to make cold brew coffee at home for decades, a recent surge in interest in the low-acidity coffee brewing method has some wondering if there’s a faster way to make coffee than the usual 8 to 12 hours required for a cup of cold brew.
Enter Storebound, the company behind the PancakeBot and the SoBro connected coffee table. The company showed off a prototype of its Dash Rapid Cold Brew Coffee Maker at the Housewares Show, a device that is expected to short cut the process of cold brew coffee to 10 minutes. According to Digital Trends Jenny McGrath, the Dash Cold Brew machine uses something called ““cold boil” and lots of filtration.”
Storebound isn’t the first company to take a swing at a quick cold brew machine. First Build, the incubation group for GE that created the Paragon precision cooker, had a fast cold brew prototype called the Prisma that it came about $3 thousand short of funding on Indiegogo last fall, which caused them to put the brakes on development.
Ok, so admittedly I’m cheating here by including a chai maker, but hey, who doesn’t like chai tea? The Chime connected tea maker, which is expected to start shipping later this year, uses a pod-based system that allows you to brew a highly optimized cup of chai.
Since so many us like our beer to taste like coffee, it’s only natural that we’d eventually have coffee that tastes like beer. Or, at the very least, coffee that has a Guinness-like head in the form of nitrogen-injected coffee.
While nitro-injected coffee has been gaining in popularity in recent years, it’s still hard to find unless you live near an adventurous coffee bar. But don’t worry, you can always make nitro-coffee at home if you’re willing to try some of the early nitrogen coffee makers such as the Jacked-Up Nitro. The system, which is available online through a home brew specialty retailer, is available today for $230 and looks fairly straightforward to operate.
However, being the tech nerd that I am, I’m still on the hunt for a home nitro system that is connected and doesn’t require me to go to a home brew specialty shop. Who knows, maybe there’s an innovative startup (hint hint) that will create one that I include in my top coffee tech list of 2018.
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