While in Baratza’s booth, I had a chance to chat with Bill Crossland, a former La Marzocco engineer who has designed and built what promises to be a really nifty automated pourover machine designed for home or light commercial use. Bill’s pourover machine offers precise digital controls for water temperature, water flow, and pour time. With a targeted water temperature variance of less than 0.5C, this machine should take much of the guesswork out of formerly manual brewing techniques. It also features programmable head movement, an adjustable rack system for Hario-type pourover cones, and a two-liter reservoir. Unfortunately, Bill only had non-working prototypes working at SCAA this year, but he’s hoping to enter production within the next few months.
I also managed to hook up with the Bill and Andrew from Luminaire for a demo of their latest LB-1 prototype. Like the Uber Boiler, which I saw yesterday, the LB-1 is designed for baristas to use in busy cafes to assist with manual brewing—everything from pourovers to press pots. What makes the LB-1 special is its boiler-less design. Instead of working around the problems that come with a boiler, the LB-1 uses a custom in-line heater designed by Luminaire. Paired with a flow meter, timer, digital controller, and solenoid flow valve, the LB-1 gives the barista control over every single variable related to water. The device can literally produce water at the proper temperature as quickly as a barista can put fresh coffee under its spout.
Speaking of the spout, the long, flexible tubing is wrapped in an adjustable insulator and dangles a few inches below the top of the device. For manual techniques that require the barista agitate the coffee slurry, he or she can grab the insulator and move the tubing using the same motion he would using a kettle. The LB-1 controls the water’s temperature and flow rate while the barista manually directs water flow to achieve the desired turbulence and agitation. This is another device I can’t wait to see in action at my local coffee shop. Luminaire expects the LB-1 to ship by the end of summer and cost around $2500.
Here's Tested's show report for all these manual pourover water machines, including an interview with Paul Stack of Marco, makers of the Uber Boiler.
Will Smith is one of the guys you see all the time at Tested. In addition to loving technology, Smith is a die hard coffee and espresso fanatic. Videos are reposted with permission from Tested.
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