In April of 2024, over 16,000 people and 600+ exhibitors gathered to attend the SCA Expo, North America’s largest specialty coffee trade show. Taking place in Chicago this year in the massive McCormick Center, we saw many products debut for everyone to see and demo. We’ve narrowed that list to a small handful worthy of your attention.

expo2024 squeaky alsa jenn chen 3

Alsa Espresso Shot Cooler by Squeaky

The Squeaky ALSA-The Coffee Cooler takes an existing product—the reusable whiskey cooling “ice cubes”—and incorporates it for espresso, potentially improving signature drink creation. Thailand-based Squeaky designed a 58mm portafilter attachment that holds a frozen stainless steel ball in its center, efficiently and quickly cooling your espresso shot from 70-80ºC to 30ºC. The $60 product comes with two balls, which take about three hours to reach the freezing temperature. The ALSA won the People’s Choice category in this weekend’s Best New Product awards and is available online.

Sprudge’s coverage of the 2024 SCA Expo in Chicago is presented by Bellwether Coffee. Coverage is sponsored by Created Co. and Proper Syrup.


Bellwether electric ventless automatic shop roaster reserve now for $500

expo2024 squeaky alsa jenn chen 4

Squeaky also drew considerable buzz at SCA Expo for their HOM (FLOWER) “aroma coffee display”, which allows you to smell ground coffee from inside a sealed canister.

The New Ground Control by Ground Control

expo2024 the new ground control jenn chen 1

Ground Control, known for its commercial batch brewers, announced The New Ground Control, an updated spin on its flagship Cyclops model. Improved from the Cyclops are a 40% bigger brew basket, triple-walled transparent dispenser, half the height, higher volume, visual cues, and a cloud-based recipe manager that’s currently in beta. “With The New Ground Control, you could take any barista who’s on their first day of training and train them for two minutes—and they can produce the same exceptional cup,” explains co-founder and CEO Eli Salomon.

expo2024 the new ground control jenn chen 8

Countering the critique that it’ll be disempowering to baristas, he says, “We’re bringing artistry back to where the focus should be, which is in the recipe creation.” Recipes can be inputted and programmed from a roastery or training center and sent out to a fleet of brewers in your shops, making recipe sharing and execution much more effortless. The new machine won the Commercial Coffee Preparation & Serving Equipment category in the Best New Product awards.

advert but first coffee cookbook now available


RediUV by Redi

expo2024 rediuv jenn chen 3

The RediUV is a simple but powerful countertop product that uses UVC LEDs to sanitize the exterior of reusable cups. Customers place their tumblers in the center, and the RediUV closes to sanitize. A quick moment later, the door opens on the barista’s side, thoroughly sanitized and ready to use. The company says it eliminates over 99% of the most common germs, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, E. Coli, and bacteria.

expo2024 rediuv jenn chen 1

It also has a gamification feature where customers may be randomly selected for rewards set up by the cafe. The RediUV is now available for pre-order and has a $2.50 per-day subscription model that the company says 10 cups a day will break even on disposable cup costs.

Z1 v2 Grinder by Zerno

expo2024 zerno z1v2 jenn chen 1

The Zerno Z1 grinder is the refreshed second version of the company’s flagship model, which was a Best New Product finalist at the 15th Annual Sprudgie Awards. According to Zerno, it features the industry’s first magnetically attached 64mm blind burrs with stepless adjustment. Catering to the discerning home barista market, the Z1 grinder offers several customizable options, including the burrs, front wood accent piece, prebreaker, and optional hard-case upgrade. The grinders are all built to order in Chicago, where the company is based.

expo2024 zerno z1v2 jenn chen 3

For ease of use and to appeal to those who love to tinker, the grinder is easy to take apart so that you can swap out burrs and the prebreaker. Reassembling it will return it to the dial point it was before opening. The Z1 v2 begins at $1299 and is waitlist only (through January 2025) and won the Consumer Coffee Preparation & Serving Equipment category in the Best New Product awards.

Minipresso GR2 by Wacaco

expo2024 wacaco minipressogr2 jenn chen 1

Another product version on this list is Wacaco’s Minipresso GR2, a manual and portable brewer. Compared to the original version, the GR2 is 30% shorter, has an optimized user experience, and features an adjustable basket capacity (goes from 8 to 12 g, which Wacaco says is the only one on the market for similarly sized brewers).

expo2024 wacaco minipressogr2 jenn chen 4

To use, you add grounds and hot water, then push the handle in to dispense espresso into a cup (it comes in the kit). Optional add-on accessories include a travel case that doubles as a tray and additional filter baskets to make multiple cups on the go. The company says it’ll be available on the market next month.

Ceado LifeX Grinder

expo2024 lifexceado grinder jenn chen 1

Ceado’s ascendant coffee grinder technology is now available in a convenient home coffee making practice for use with your home espresso machine or pour-over routine. The Ceado “Hoop Brewer” was a 15th Annual Sprudgie Award finalist, and the brand showed out well at Expo with home and pro grinder demonstrations.

expo2024 lifexceado grinder jenn chen 3

expo2024 lifexceado grinder jenn chen 2

Ceado’s 2024 plans are ambitious, including collaborations with Fabiano Carvalho (@thecoffeesensorium) and Andrea Allen (Onyx Coffee Lab, US Barista Champion). The LifeX comes complete with “a hopper for precise automatic dosing by time, and a single dose kit (comprised of a funnel, air pump, and cup) for artisanal manual brewing,” per Ceado. At the core of their tech are what is known as “X Burrs,” whose unique geometry and design has been patented by Ceado’s team of engineers.

Jenn Chen (@thejennchen) is an Editor At Large at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Jenn Chen on Sprudge.

banner advertising the book new rules of coffee