by Paul Szoldra*
The coffee brewer of the future may be controlled by your smartphone, and it will automatically tell local coffee shops when you are running low on beans.
That’s the idea behind the Spinn Coffee Brewer, a WiFi-connected device that can make a cup of coffee, espresso, or Americano with minimal effort from a user, except for pouring in whole coffee beans and water. Think of it like a Keurig, but without the pods.
“We’re on the path to make a better cup of coffee,” Roderick de Rode, Spinn’s cofounder and CEO, says of the device, which he claims can make all different styles of coffee with “one push of a button.”
Though a commercial version is not yet ready, Spinn demonstrated a working prototype on Wednesday for attendees of an event put on by Make in LA, an accelerator program for hardware-based startup companies.
Spinn Coffee demoPaul Szoldra/Tech Insider
Spinn Coffee founders Roderick De Rode (left) and Roland Verbeek demo their Spinn Coffee brewer.
The verdict: The sleek-looking machine works, and the coffee tastes pretty good.
The machine brews coffee using patented centrifugal force technology, which spins up the beans fast or slow depending on the style of coffee you’re looking for. The machine spins up to around 8,000 RPMs to make a “strong” espresso, for instance.
Besides using a centrifuge to generate brewing pressure, the machine also figures out the amount of water to use, automatically grinds the beans, and tells pre-selected roasters when you are running low. If a certain threshold is reached, fresh beans are ordered for delivery. Spinn already has coffee roasters signed up in San Francisco, but de Rode declined to offer specifics.
The current device doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the final version. Though it looks similar to company mock ups, the prototype version uses a plugged-in remote control attached to a bulky computer to start brewing. The final version will have everything encased in one device, the founders told TI.
The eight person team has already raised $1.7 million in funding, which de Rode says is being used for engineering, design for manufacture, and preparing for a pre-order campaign happening in the next three to four months.