Coffee nerds love the ceremony of brewing a good cup of coffee, but once you get advanced enough, things get very complicated very quickly. Making high-end pour-over coffee is a fine dance of grind, pour, temperature, and patience, and it turns out that many of us just can’t be bothered to learn enough (or put enough science into the mix) to have great coffee every time. If you have $800, Xbloom is here to help with its one-touch bean-to-cup system.
Every coffee inside the company’s product range needs a slightly different routine; different amounts of water, temperatures and different grind sizes. Each of the pods has a built-in NFC chip, so it can tell the machine what to do to prepare the coffee – or, using the app, you can fine-tune your favorite recipes.
“The machine is able to express the coffee properly as intended by the roaster. In this way, you can think of us as a hardware-enabled marketplace that we buy coffee from,” said Xbloom founder Richard Xu in an interview with australiabusinessblog.com. “We only have 2 million to 5 million people in the United States who buy their own beans and prepare coffee from bean to cup. There are 200 million people who drink coffee every day, so that’s a huge gap.”
The machine itself is a wonderfully overdeveloped marvel. It looks like a modern art sculpture and behind the sleek exterior is a lot of smart technology. For example, the machine uses magnetism to bend the water stream so that it pours small circles over the terrain same principle as you may have seen in science class. It also uses high-precision grinding and has a built-in scale to measure the amount of water poured over the coffee grounds for each part of the cycle.
I’ve been testing a prototype of the Xbloom for a few weeks and there’s little doubt that the machine is capable of brewing exceptionally fine and subtle coffee. The machine is easy to use and it’s great that it configures itself based on the beans you feed it.
The water tank might have been a bit bigger, and when I looked it over, the app wasn’t fully completed yet, but the company is currently working to fulfill its Kickstarter orders before shipping machines to its pre-order customers next month. Xbloom says its app will be fully brewed by the time the machines start shipping to new customers.
In addition to its $800 flagship coffee machine, it’s also working on machines that can work well in restaurant settings.
“People are still pouring really bad coffee in Michelin three-star restaurants,” notes Xu, suggesting that the company is working on versions of its machine that could work well in higher-volume restaurant environments: larger water tanks or the ability to do plumbing. means anyone can make high-end pour-on coffee using beans from specialist roasters, without having to learn any of the actual brewing skills.
The company says it is also working on a more affordable machine with a lower price later this year.
While using it, I liked that the Xbloom made pour over coffee foolproof, but I also found myself wondering if that’s worth $800 – for that amount you buy a lot of coffee making equipment that wouldn’t force you to buy a single one. use supplier for your coffee beans. I also found myself missing the ritual of making myself a cup of pour-on coffee: the five minutes it takes to mindfully prepare a drink is a wonderful break from the workday.
“I don’t think this machine was ever designed to replace the ritual of brewing coffee. We want people to buy this machine and eventually get involved themselves. We always see ourselves as the gateway to specialty coffee,” explains Xu. “We’re not trying to have another machine for the 2 million people who already make bean-to-cup coffee. The problem we are trying to solve is to introduce the rest of the world’s 200 million coffee drinkers.”
The machine is fantastic. It looks great and has one of the best work to coffee quality ratios I’ve ever experienced from a coffee maker. What I’m struggling with though is whether that’s enough.
Personally, I think the price is a big stumbling block for this product – yes, there are a lot of people out there who can afford $800, but I’m having a hard time imagining what the market is like; it’s a very specific Venn diagram of customer needs. Xbloom targets people who care enough about coffee to spend $800, but don’t care enough to spend that same money on an assortment of coffee making equipment so they can make it themselves. I must admit I’m a little impressed that the company managed to find 1,300 backers for its crowdfunding campaign. My business prediction is that until Xbloom launches its more affordable version of the machine, I’m not sure it will be able to find the next 10,000 customers.
But if that’s not true, and if Xbloom can find a way to reach its target audience, I predict that the people who do buy one because they see the value of quality coffee and don’t want to spend time making it. will be very happy with the machine and the coffee it can make at home.