For the biggest coffee weekend of the year—the 2019 Speciality Coffee Association Expo in Boston—we sent intrepid journalist and Chocolate Barista founder Michelle Johnson onto the showfloor to put her finger on the pulse of what’s new and exciting in the coffee industry today. Last week she told us what was lit; today she's reporting on the show's hottest new tech.
Wootz 7 Grinder
From South Korean company, Global CMS, the Wootz 7 Grinder (named after wootz steel) is the new kid on the block officially making its US debut. Ambassador Nick Cho of Wrecking Ball Coffee demoed the grinder, highlighting the simplicity of the plug-and-play machinery inside (a technician’s dream), the digital auto-calibration feature of the burrs to its previous setting, and the rotating wire that evenly distributed the coffee as it entered the portafilter. I’ve been a part of a distribution tool debate and had the opportunity to mess around with this manually. It’s cool to see it automated so seamlessly—especially with a portafilter lock that lets the barista go hands-free. The Wootz 7 Grinder is currently available in Korea and will hopefully begin distributing in the US by the end of the year pending UL and NSF certifications. It will be listed at $2,000 USD.
The sleek, slim profile of the Mahlkönig E65S debuted this weekend in Boston, and we’re sure it’ll be an attractive addition to the bar tops of our favorite coffee shops soon. The E65S boasts several new features that promote cleaner and more efficient espresso grinding. One of those features is the digital display with a turn and push selection knob allowing for swift dial-in—six recipes can be programmed as well as any on-the-fly adjustments for those midday rushes. Say goodbye to espresso waste as the adjustable spout is designed to chute four to seven grams of espresso per second (on average) directly into the portafilter. The bean hopper is more durable than Mahlkönig grinders of the past and the whole thing grinds quieter too. The Mahlkönig E65S is listed at $2,200 USD and will begin shipping in May.
Transparency is increasingly a watchword for the coffee industry, up and down the value chain. With increased access to information comes an informed consumer base, better, sustainable pricing for farmers, and increased traceability. Coffunity aims to push this mission further through their app made for consumers, roasters, and producers. Consumers can take a photo of a coffee label and the app will identify and display ratings, reviews, and tasting notes from the coffee community. They can learn more about the coffee’s origin from who produced it to how it was processed (and what that means). Roasters are able to see what others are saying about the coffee. Soon, coffee producers will also be able to see what others are saying about their coffee and how much it sells for, opening up access to information that’s been closed to many for too long. This 2018 SCA Best New Product winning app is available to download on the App Store and Google Play now.
Acaia Pearl Model S
Acaia is back at it again with cutting edge technology to help coffee professionals and home brewers alike up their coffee game. As the Acaia Pearl Model S turns on, it welcomes you with a personalized message you can customize on the accompanying app. This app itself is extremely interactive, allowing for brewers to share their recorded brew recipes to anyone and download them from their friends or the database of recipes uploaded by coffee companies themselves. What’s even more fascinating is that when a recipe is downloaded, it won’t only display on your phone or table but the scale will display each step of the brew process in real-time for brewers to follow along.
The cherry on top is possibly the flow-rate meter that can display by itself or alongside the timer and water weight to indicate the consistency of the pour. On top of all of that, the Pearl Model S still looks so damn good. I don’t know about you but I think I just received the key to being the next World Brewers Cup Champion. The Acaia Pearl Model S is available now online for $185 USD.
MAVAM Mach 2
A disruptor in the undercounter espresso machine game since 2015, Seattle-based MAVAM has officially launched its oncounter espresso machine, the Mach 2. It has the same inner components and temperature stability of its undercounter sibling, and still has a low profile on bar (12.5 in./32 cm. tall) in true MAVAM fashion. The nicest feature of the Mach 2 is the tap button—both on the side for the cool touch steam wand power and on the grouphead. Seeing the machine in action, the tap feature really does promote efficiency for any barista running it, and shows how the espressso machine industry is taking ergonomics and workflow concerns seriously for the next generation of baristas. MAVAM’s Mach 2 is available to order now at $16,000 USD (two-group) and $19,000 USD (three-group).