This last weekend brought us to the bright and busy showfloor of SCAA, the coffee world's premiere trade show and tech debut platform—think of it as like coffee's E3. From the high tech to the just plain neat, here is some of the coolest stuff we found on the floor of SCAA. Some of it is available now, but all of it will be out in time for the 2016 holiday shopping season.
Behmor Connect Home Roaster
Home roasting seems to be having a moment right now. No longer does the intrepid experimenter have to throw some green beans in a cast iron pan and hope for a somewhat even roast. Behmor’s Connect Home Roasters pack a lot of tech punch in their li'l metal casings, while simplifying the process.
“It makes it so easy to roast at home, even if you’ve never roasted before,” says Behmor's Todd Larrabee. The app that connects to the roaster takes all the complications of roasting and boils them down to a few questions: what origin is your coffee, and how dark do you like it roasted? All you do is load any amount of green coffee into the drum, which automatically detects the weight by measuring the drag on the motor that turns the drum. According to this weight, the Behmor Connect adjusts the intensity of the roast to achieve the profile that you’ve set on the app. There’s even an option to share profiles on the app, so Behmor hopes that green coffee suppliers and avid home roasters will learn and share with each other.
Behmor Connect Home Roaster, $599. Available Oct/Nov 2016.
Brewista Cold Brew System
When clients are clamoring for a solution to a problem or a better way to do things, it’s good to sit up and take notice. That’s why Christian Krause, the brand manager and product designer for Brewista, invented their cold brew system. “People were saying that cold brew is a mess and hard to make [in large amounts],” he explains. Their modular system aims to solve this, making batch cold brewing easy and more tidy.
The centerpiece is a permanent filter, which is essentially a black bucket with photo-etched stainless steel mesh (with 100-micron dots). Adding a finishing filter (with 5-micron holes) in the tap can get a brew clean enough to put in a nitro tap. The permanent filter can go in a variety of brewing vessels with Brewista’s adapter rings, and each batch can yield 5 gallons of concentrate. Depending on your brew ratio, this can mean up to 20 gallons of cold brew each batch. Not bad for those thirsty, hot summer months.
Brewista Cold Brew kit (permanent filter, adaptor ring, 5.5 gallon bucket, and tap), $169.95. Available June 2016.
Dalla Corte Mina
Eena, meena, mina, moe…our partners at Dalla Corte have joined the personal, 1-group espresso machine field with a stunner of an entry. The Mina, clad in sporty yellow, debuted at Host Milan this year and has been turning heads since. It takes its design cues from race cars, especially the pressure indicator, which mimics the Porsche’s speedometer. The smooth-action handle allows the barista complete control over the pressure of the infusion, from 0 bar to 12 bar—a range made possible by a flow restrictor that can reach the incredibly small size of 1/100th millimeter. The app that comes with the Mina gives the barista the tools to program in the perfect extraction and then use it over and over again, exactly as it was the first time.
Dalla Corte barista Fabrizio Seed says, “It’s about changing the rituals of espresso brewing.” By combining the power of cafe machines, the ease of home machines, and the connectivity of apps, the Mina takes espresso brewing on a screeching wild ride into the modern Internet of Things.
Dalla Corte Mina, $9999. Available now.
NotNeutral x Department of Brewology collaboration
NotNeutral‘s design-led approach to the perfect cup and Department of Brewology‘s old-school, calligraphic approach to graphic coffee design pretty much makes them the perfect pair. They’ve teamed up to create a line of mugs that had coffee nerds swooning at the SCAA event.
“They create beautiful work and are well-known in coffee. We knew they’d do it justice,” said Hannah Block, NotNeutral’s sales director. The first entry in the line-up is a pitch black mug bearing the slogan of some (but not all) coffee snobs the world over: “Death Before Decaf”. With NotNeutral’s iconic, instantly recognizable flat-top handle, these cups are poised to sell like hotcakes.
[Editor's note: Sprudge.com does not endorse the sentiment, “Death Before Decaf”, because decaf is delicious and we'd much, much rather enjoy a cup of it as opposed to, you know, dying.]
NotNeutral x Department of Brewology mug, $23.00. Available June 2016.
Rattleware Cupping Brewer
Working quality control for a roastery meant that Josh Taves was cupping a lot. Every so often, he’d find a coffee that was beyond perfect in the cupping bowl—only to find that it disappointed in non-full-immersion brewing methods. “I wanted to drink that coffee as it really was. I didn’t want that relationship to end on the cupping table,” he says. So he began working on the Rattleware Cupping Brewer, shown at the Espresso Supply booth at SCAA. Not only does this allow for coffee to be brewed like on the cupping table, but in a cafe; it also solves what Taves sees as a problem for consumers who come to cuppings.
Those who are unfamiliar with the weird idiosyncracies of the coffee world can be intimidated or confused by loud slurps and shared vessels at cuppings. With the Cupping Brewer, cafes and roasteries can demo the cupping process, but then share the coffee in a way that is familiar to all—in your own cup.
Rattleware Cupping Brewer, $18.99. Available now.
Kate Beard is a Sprudge.com staff writer based in London. Read more Kate Beard on Sprudge.