Technology Shaping the Future of Coffee
Over the last few years, we’ve seen some exciting new developments in commercial coffee technology! Methods like precision brewing and automated processes are changing how cafes make coffee. They’re helping cafes and baristas brew faster and more consistently, while also improving quality. Here’s a closer look at some of our favourite new items of tech.
1.Uber Milk: A Revolutionary Milk Steaming Technology
Uber milk is a new steaming tech that’s totally changing the milk frothing game. It uses fancy sensors and stuff to give you perfect temperature and texture every time, so you get creamy, frothy milk with just the right microfoam for epic latte art. And get this – it even dispenses the exact amount of milk you need for each jug or drink. Crazy right? With Uber Milk, any barista can foam milk like a pro. No more guesswork or steam wands – just delicious, silky milk at the press of a button. It’s pretty nuts how they’ve managed to automate something that took so much skill before. This tech is a total game-changer for cafes and baristas!
How Uber Milk Works:
The real magic behind Uber Milk is in the fancy sensors and algorithms they use to get the milk just right. These sensors are constantly monitoring the temperature of the milk so it hits that perfect steaming range to make silky, velvety foam. The algorithms take that temperature data and automatically adjust the steaming to account for how much milk you’re using and how hot or cold it starts off. So those sensors and algorithms work together to give you perfect milk texture and temperature every single time.
Saving Time and Resources:
So Uber Milk doesn’t just make better milk foam – it also saves cafes time and money! Since it handles the steaming automatically, baristas can crank out way more drinks when it gets busy. And it only heats up the exact amount needed for each order, so there’s way less wasted milk. That adds up to big savings for coffee shops. Especially the busy ones, think big cafes = big wastage. Plus baristas don’t have to stress about steaming milk perfectly on the fly. The tech does the hard work for them so they can focus on other tasks. It’s a total game changer that improves quality and efficiency behind the bar! It’s a win-win for cafes.
Having your coffee come out perfect every time is so important for customers. And that’s exactly what Uber Milk delivers – the same amazingly silky, velvety milk foam and texture in every drink, no matter when you visit. Getting that consistent quality builds serious customer loyalty since people know they can rely on their favourite cafe for a great experience. Consistency is key, and Uber Milk nails it!
Want one? Well they’re around $13000 not including install, obviously prices vary. So what’s the downside aside from the investment? Well you’ll need a little more space on the counter for one thing, beyond that, maintenance is key. One cafe owner recently told me he spends about 40 mins cleaning it every night.
For more info visit: https://baristagroup.com.au/ubermilk/
2. Electronic Grinders: Consistency in Coffee Grounds
Cafes these days have almost completely switched over to electronic coffee grinders. They’ve replaced the old school manual grinders with the dosing handles and chambers. With an electronic grinder, baristas can grind fresh beans for each order with the press of a button. It’s no wonder they’ve become a must-have piece of equipment for most cafes these days.
Advantages of Not Having a Dosing Chamber
Freshness and Flavor Preservation:
A cool thing about electronic grinders is they don’t have a dosing chamber that holds old grounds. The beans are ground straight into the portafilter or basket instead. So the grounds are fresh, which is key for decent coffee. So no more dosing chambers full to the brim with pre ground coffee, sitting there waiting for the next customer to order coffee.
Elimination of Static Buildup:
Old school dosing grinders can get all static-y when grinding beans. The grounds cling all over the place in the dosing chamber and clog up the spout. Not a good scene. Electronic grinders skip that mess since the grounds go straight into the portafilter. The grounds end up perfectly evenly distributed in the basket. I shouldn’t say static is never a problem with e grinders, but one easily resolvable when it does happen.
Since electronic grinders don’t have a dosing chamber, they don’t hang onto old grounds like other grinders. When grounds sit in the chamber, they can go stale and make the next shots taste funky. With electronic, every portion is ground fresh then sent right to the portafilter. No leftover grounds means less waste and more savings for the cafe.
Consistency in Dosing:
Electronic grinders let baristas dial in the perfect dose for each shot since there’s no dosing chamber in the way. They can program it to grind just the right amount needed for that sweet spot of extraction. That means every shot comes out tasting the same – no weak or strong shots messing things up. It’s all about that consistency when you got the tech to control the grounds down to the gram. No dosing chamber means more control for baristas over the amount and the taste.
Flexibility in Portafilter Size:
Electronic grinders can handle any sized portafilter – single, double, whatever. The required grounds shoot straight into the portafilter, no matter the size. It’s all about that seamless workflow for busy baristas. Grind, tamp, pull – easy peasy. Electronic grinders keep the process fast and efficient when different doses are required with programmable buttons.
Improved Cleaning and Maintenance:
Cleaning electronic grinders is a breeze without that dosing chamber to deal with. Baristas just wipe down the grind chute and holder in seconds. No hassle keeping it looking brand new. The simple design makes maintenance easy. Just a quick wipe and it’s sparkling clean for the next round of beans.
Want one? Almost all coffee grinder brands sell electronic grinders these days and prices vary greatly depending on the size of the grinder and features, here is a list of some of my favourite brands:
3. Auto Tampers: Precision in Tamping Pressure
Tamping is so important for pulling good espresso shots. And now they’ve invented auto tampers to take it to the next level! These cool devices apply the same exact pressure every time you tamp, so there’s no more guessing or variability like with manual tamping. Your shots come out way more consistent and tasty when the grounds are tamped perfectly every time. Auto tampers took out the human error and made tamping a far easier process.
Advantages of Auto Tampers:
Consistency in Tamping Pressure
The big benefit of auto tampers is getting that perfect, consistent tamp every time. Manual tamping can vary a lot in pressure, giving you uneven extraction. But auto tampers compress each puck at the same exact pressure. So you get super consistent, predictable shots without the human inconsistency. They essentially take tamping variability out of the equation
In busy cafes, time is everything. Auto tampers save a bunch of seconds versus manual tamping, so the barista can crank out more drinks fast. It makes the whole process quicker without that manual tamping step. It’s a real time saver that improves workflow and efficiency when drinks are piling up.
Reduced Physical Strain
Let’s be real – manual tamping all day can be killer on your wrists and hands, especially if you a sloppy with your technique. When you’re slamming out hundreds of shots in a busy shift, that’s a ton of repetitive tamping motion. Auto tampers take over that strain so baristas don’t get worn out or injured. They save your body from all that effort. No more sore wrists from tamping all the livelong day. Automated tamping is a no brainer for avoiding injuries and fatigue behind the counter.
Prices for auto tampers vary greatly from $400 up to about $2500. There’s seriously cheap ones on Ali Express and you can also get some more robust ones made right here in Adelaide.
Here are my picks for auto tampers:
- Pullman InfiniTamper: https://www.coffeebeanery.com.au/product/infinitamp-automatic-coffee-tamper/
- Puq Press: https://puqpress.com.au/
4. Shot Clocks
Shot clocks are the key to espresso perfection! They’ve been around for some time but not all machines have them. They help baristas time those shots down to the second for maximum flavour.
Here’s how they work – shot clocks are built into espresso machines to display the extraction time. They show the seconds ticking by from when you hit the button to start the shot to the final drips of espresso.
Shot clocks are clutch for so many reasons:
They let baristas control the extraction to get the sweetness, acidity and bitterness just right in each shot.
They brew each shot for the same time so every drink tastes consistent. Customers kinda like that!
Experienced baristas can geek out and finely tune their espresso recipes using the data.
Most mid range coffee machines these days have shot clocks. Prices for commercial machines with shot clocks range from $4,800 to almost $30,000 for a two group.
5. Pressure Profiling and temperature profiling
Pressure profiling and temperature profiling are the latest tech letting baristas totally customize the coffee extraction. By tweaking pressure and temp during brewing, they can highlight special Flavours and make each coffee one-of-a-kind.
These techniques let baristas personalize the brew for each bean’s characteristics and unlock unique tastes and aromas. It’s next level coffee geekery! Ideal for cafes with a few different blends that need to be treated differently.
With pressure profiling, modern espresso machines can vary the pressure throughout the shot. Baristas can accentuate flavour notes like sweetness or acidity by adjusting the pressure curve. It balances extraction and brings out the beans’ best flavours.
Temperature profiling lets baristas control the water temp during brewing to get different solubles. They can highlight hidden flavours or tame acidity and bitterness. Pressure and temperature profiling let baristas experiment endlessly to create mindblowing custom coffee profiles. They can craft specialty brews that showcase each bean’s unique personality. The future of coffee is totally customizable thanks to crazy new tech.
To find yourself a pressure profiling coffee machine you’re going to have to look towards the top end machines, and even amongst them few will have pressure profiling. I get the feeling that the more bells and whistles a machine has commercially, the more that can go wrong when a barista is ‘experimenting’ so many manufacturers have chosen to omit this functionality, my opinion only.
6. Pre-Infusion Settings: Enhancing Flavour Extraction
Pre-infusion is when you soak the coffee grounds first before full brewing. It lets the grounds bloom and release gas so the water saturates evenly. The result? Way better flavour.
Here’s how it works – instead of hitting the grounds with full pressure right away, a light stream of water lets them degass and expand first. This slower start means the water extracts evenly across the coffee bed. Less channeling or uneven flavour.
Pre-infusion has some major perks:
- It saturates the grounds uniformly for balanced extraction.
- Releases gas slower to prevent over-extraction and bitterness.
- Maintains delicate flavours and aromas that would get lost with sudden high pressure.
- Lets baristas customize duration and flow for each coffee.
- Makes your brewing super consistent once you dial it in.
Pre-infusion is crucial for coaxing the best flavours out gently. It’s a must for any barista looking to take their coffee to the next level of aroma and taste!
Many of the leading commercial brands like La Marzocco, Nuova Simonelli, Slayer, Kees van der Westen and others now integrate adjustable pre-infusion into their high-end commercial espresso machines. It has become an expected feature on models marketed to specialty coffee cafes.
7. Grind-to-Weight Grinders: Streamlining the Grinding Process
Grind-to-weight grinders are a game changer! They simplify the grind by weighing the beans first, so you get perfect doses every time. No more separate weighing or wasted grounds.
These smart grinders have built-in scales that measure out exactly what you need for each shot before grinding. Just program the weight, and it’ll grind precisely that amount right into the portafilter, no fuss.
The benefits are awesome:
- Crazy precision and consistency in each dose. Flavour is always on point.
- Less waste since it grinds just what you need per shot. Savings add up.
- Faster workflow not weighing separately. More drinks pumped out.
- Customizable dosing for different drinks with a button push.
- Dial in the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for balanced flavour.
- Flexible for different beans and brew methods.
Grind-to-weight tech takes the guesswork out of grinding and makes the process quicker and lower waste. They deliver precision and customization with the press of a button! It’s no wonder these smart grinders are so popular in busy coffee shops. Accuracy and efficiency in one machine – what’s not to love?
No adjusting the dose constantly following a grind adjustment. Just adjust your grind, the the grinder will always deliver the dose you request.
If you’re looking for a grind by weight grinder you might want to look into some of the following grinders:
- Mahlkönig E65S GbW – High-end German grinder with grind-by-weight dosing
- Nuova Simonelli Mythos One Clima Pro – Has built-in scales and grind-by-weight dosing
- Mazzer Kony S – Commercial grinder with electronic grind-by-weight system
The future of coffee is looking super high-tech and tasty. All these new gadgets and gizmos are totally changing the game for commercial coffee shops. Now baristas have next-level tools at their fingertips to take the quality way up.
Everything from flawless milk frothing to perfectly timed extraction and customized flavor profiles – the tech makes brewing incredibly precise. No more guesswork, just consistent coffee excellence every time.
These innovations are a win-win. They allow baristas to showcase their skills and dial in each cup to perfection. And we coffee lovers get to enjoy expertly crafted drinks full of nuanced flavors exactly how we like it.
So get ready, because the future of coffee is going to be smarter, more customizable, and packed with tech that pumps out amazing coffee. I can’t wait to see what brilliant brewing tech they come up with next!