Coffee made by a robot seems all at odds with the whole idea of a skilled barista creating that one perfect cup for each New Yorker desperate for their caffeine fix?
And lets not forget that New Yorkers aren’t just the biggest coffee drinkers in the nation but also it’s pickiest, obsessing over the beans, the roast, the grind not to mention the way in which their coffee is brewed.
Which brings us to exactly what method a robot would use to make coffee. Would it make an espresso, a pour-over, a french press or a cold brew? The pitfalls in each seems big.
Strangely the robot in question is using the pour-over method, arguably the form of coffee making which requires the most skill, the ability to judge most precisely the water volume, temperature and exact timing and pattern in which water is added.
But the skill required which takes time, too much time, is at odds with the pressure from customers to get their coffee NOW, NOW NOW, as they’re dying for a coffee fix.
So it seems logical when you think about it that this most stately and precise method of coffee making would be the one where you would choose to automate the process if you can and speed things up.
The robot concerned is made by Poursteady, who having had their robot in development for a few years in Gowanus Brooklyn and are now pushing it out on the market and getting a good response.
The thing is the robot concentrates on the part of the process that is the most time consuming, the adding of the water at the right temperature, volume and pattern.
Their machine brews 5 cups at once and gives the barista an app which fine tunes control over all those essential element of good pour-over coffee making, supporting their skill while ensuring the perfect cup of coffee.
The Poursteady company did a clever thing, trialing it one of New York’s premier cafes, Cafe Grumpy, and both the staff and the customers were very happy. Grub Street
Which coffee drinker is going to complain about getting their favorite perfect cup of joe really, really quickly?
Of course, this is the thin edge of the wedge…. hello robots creating all coffee right down to the patterns in the foam on a latte? We knew it was going to happen with cars but coffee?
Surely the relationship with the barista, that experience where the customer feels totally valued and looked after cannot vanish? Well we hope not.