While I was at the Baratza Booth interviewing Kyle Anderson, Bill Crossland of Crossland Project came into the booth.
As an engineer (and tinkerer) myself, I really appreciate Bill professionally. He's very sharp and he has a trait that only the very best designers have: he grasps mechanical relationships in a very natural way. His innate understanding of mechanics allows him to quickly visualize solutions to problems. In short, he's an engineer's engineer.
I did an impromptu interview with Bill about the two new products he was showcasing at the SCAA: a new espresso machine called the CC1 (which features programmable preinfusion, a PID controlled boiler and a thermoblock for steam) and a new manual pourover water tower.
CG: How's the response been from the show so far?
BC: Very positive so far. Very happy!
CG: Out of your two products, which do you think has generated the most interest at the show?
BC: It seems that the new manual pourover water tower for coffee is getting more attention than the espresso machine, but maybe that's because we have it sitting out front in the booth, and also it has a very different look to it.
CG: Can you give me more detailed specs about the water tower for manual drip coffee makers?
BC: This is basically a new type of pourover brewing system. After watching so many people using the Chemex and V60 type brewers as well as French presses, I decided to make something that automates the pouring process. The system has 3 preset brewing profiles, and it can also be user-programmed to create additional profiles.
It has a variable flow rate pump, so water can be dispensed fast or slow. The water dispensing head rotates on two axis, so it can swirl in a circular motion or a spiral motion or any combination of those two.
For example, there is a preset for French Press that pre-wets the grounds and then pauses for a few seconds and then uses a high flow in a small circular motion to fill the presspot while mixing the grounds.
The preset for V60 brewing also pre-wets the grounds and pauses, and then uses a gentle flow in a spiral motion to dispense some more of the water, then pauses again, then dispenses again in a soft spiral motion. You get the idea: it mimics a barista using a pourover.
CG: When will the CC1 espresso machine be on market?
BC: I have 60 units ready right now, waiting on the final ETL certification. We expect to get the certification within the next couple of months, but you never know exactly how long they will take to complete the process and issue our cert. number.
CG: How's feedback so far on the CC1 at the show? Learn anything?
BC: A number of distributors seem very interested, and we believe we have a good price point for this machine. (it is planned to be less than $750 when it hits the market).
CG: Given it is the CC1, will there be a CC2 or other machines?
BC: Of course, but I'm not sure what the CC2 will be yet. I have the temperature and pressure profiling machine prototype but it's hard to say if there is a viable market yet.
CG: I'm sure more than a few people like me would love to see pressure and temperature profile capability in one machine! Does that constitute a market?
BC: I know a few folks who would like it, but I'm just sure there would be enough volume to justify going to production.
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| Bill Crossland |
At the show in the morning, getting ready for the second day!
| Crossland Project Water Towers |
These are serious looking machines that could really change how we do press pot, manual pourover and other manual brewing methods.
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| Crossland CC1 |
The Crossland CC1 Machines are designed to directly compete with the Silvia and kind of slay it.
| Control Panel |
A very digitized espresso machine with a standard portafilter, PID, preinfusion and automated controls. Steam is still manual!