We walked the show floor to check out the high-tech brewers, espresso machines, grinders, and other new products offered at Global Specialty Coffee Expo 2018 in Seattle. Here are some of the cool things we saw.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Brewers you can modify with the touch of a button. Grinders built to provide never-before-seen temperature stability. Green-minded roasters giving off zero emissions. These were just a few descriptors of the new products featured at the 2018 Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle. Check out our recaps of new products at Expo in the first and second installments of this series, and enjoy our final look at some of the cool new things this year’s Expo had to offer.
About: The new brewer from California-based brewing manufacturer Curtis features the company’s IntelliFresh and FreshTrac technologies to ensure coffee temperature and streamline labor, with an LED color system indicating coffee freshness. Its digital controls—driven by an intuitive touch screen—allow for programming flexibility.
From the maker: Brant Curtis, director of communication and innovation for Curtis, says the GemX—which begins shipping this month—is a sleek-looking machine built for the future. “It has clean lines and beautiful aesthetics, but it also has foundational technology,” Brant says. “Users will see the full scope of it as they continue to use it.”
Product: PKR grinder
About: Compak released its PKR grinder, outfitted with 100ml burrs and designed for high-extraction espresso grinding. The machine is currently in production and is expected to be available in the U.S. in the next four to six weeks.
From the maker: Josh Fields, managing director of Compak America, says the PKR is equipped with an agitator that breaks up clumps as the machine grinds. “This improves distribution in the portafilter, leading to greater temperature stability,” he says.
Company: Brew Bomb Cold Brew Equipment
Product: Brew Bomb
About: This multipurpose cold-brew system brews commercial quantities of cold brew to precise standards, with brew cycles ranging from two to five hours. While the Brew Bomb debuted at the 2017 Expo, it was refined for this year’s show, undergoing several minor improvements to improve the experience for the user, as well as getting an improved surface finish.
From the maker: Raymond Buerger, founder and CEO of Brew Bomb Cold Brew Equipment, elaborated further on the new product: “Inspired by the Japanese drip method for the superior cup quality and clarity, the brewer’s innovative design provides complete control over the brewing variables, thus delivering the ability to craft unique brews as well as control batch consistency,” he said
About: Poursteady’s booth at Expo showcased its automated pourover coffee machines, which are built to be reliable, precise, and programmable. The Poursteady comes in PS1 and PS1-3c models, and each system is outfitted with a Marco under-counter boiler. Expo crowds watched the magic of automated pourover, with the metal arm dispensing coffee at the programmed iterations for consistent brews.
From the maker: Ben Cohen, who works in operations for the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company, said that Poursteady is currently beta-testing its new app that will have many new features, including allowing Poursteady machines to interface with one another and share recipes.
Company: Nuova Simonelli
Product: Aurelia Wave; Mythos II grinder
About: Nuova Simonelli introduced two products at Expo—the Aurelia Wave espresso machine and the Mythos II grinder—both of which will be released in June. The Aurelia Wave incorporates several innovations, including Smart Water Technology that detects water quality in real time, and an auto-purge system that automatically cleanses sprayheads when the filter holder is unplugged. The Mythos II, Nuova Simonelli’s latest grinder, is built for high-production and high-volume shops, and features Clima Pro 2.0 technology that improves temperature stability.
From the maker: Maurizio Giuli, Nuova Simonelli’s director of marketing and communications, mentions another innovation of the Aurelia Wave is its “pulse jet” that optimizes the flowrate and water pressure during the dispensing phase. “This allows the barista to modulate the water flow during the brewing phase to get the desired flavors contained in your coffee,” Maurizio said. About the Mythos Grinder, Maurizio shared another innovative aspect of it: “The variable speed motor offers greater flexibility on its use and it cuts the energy consumption by 40 percent.”
Product: Bellwether roaster
About: Bellwether showcased its one-of-a-kind roaster at Expo—a zero-emissions, ventless roaster. The machine roasts two to seven pounds of coffee in each batch and runs off of an app built by Bellwether’s in-house software team.
From the maker: Marissa Parker, a roaster at Bellwether, said that the company also offers a green coffee marketplace so that users can purchase transparently sourced beans with traceability back to the farmer. She also added that the roaster, which runs off of electricity, has power usage comparable to an espresso machine.