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SCA Boston: 5 things to watch in coffee tech

Five Senses CoffeeChris Jackson 9 May 2019

Each year the coffee world descends upon one unsuspecting city, bags full of new products, coffee, and a slew of ideas ready for trade. This year, Boston MA, USA was the unsuspecting location. Five Senses Coffee has made a point of travelling to the SCA Trade show for a number of years now, as we’ve always found the exercise to be incredibly valuable; seeing new products up close with their developers, and conversing one-on-one has helped us immensely in selecting manufacturers to partner with. The two biggest success stories would undoubtedly be our existing relationships with Synesso and Marco Beverage Systems – product manufacturers that we may not have engaged with otherwise.

Today we’re running through the top 5 “things to watch” in the coffee tech landscape. These are the products that take everything we know and love, and add a touch of ingenuity for an even better result.

Image credit: @poursteady

1. The Poursteady

Utilising an undercounter boiler from our ever-reliable friends at Marco, the Poursteady is a fully automated single-cup brewer, with a jet that moves along a conveyor belt, at lightening fast speed to pour 1, 3, or 5 cups of filter coffee at a time! Through a tablet interface, you can choose pour patterns, yield, and time with the ability to load different recipes to each “station”. This unit was first previewed at SCA 2017, however they’re now ready for distribution in Australia – our first unit is on the water as we speak! Follow our Instagram, @5sensescoffee, to catch all the updates.


Image credit: @peak_water

2. The Peak Water Jug

Manual brewers rejoice! The molds are made, the injection is happening, and units are shipping in a couple of months! Our first order is in, and you can register your interest here: Peak Water Jug. We spent a solid chunk of time with Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood for the low-down. The Peak is gravity fed and has a slew of different filters and membranes to give you delicious, consistent brewing water. The filter cartridge units are fully replaceable and extremely user friendly. A comprehensive run-through with the mastermind behind this can be found here – (link). Maxwell was super generous with his time in explaining in detail how and why this unit is so great, and we’re extremely happy to be able to share that with you!

Peak Water at SCA 2019 from Five Senses Coffee on Vimeo.


Image credit: acaia.co

3. The Acaia Pearl S

Our San Franciscan partners at Acaia back at it again! They originally shot to coffee-fame after a successful Kickstarter campaign for the Pearl scale back in 2013. Since then, the Pearl has received some firmware love, they’ve released the compact Lunar scales that now sit on espresso drip trays around the country, and they’ve teamed up with another one of our key partners, Baratza, to create the ultimate grind-by-weight domestic grinder.

Since then, Acaia have re-imagined the original Pearl scale – now called the Acaia Pearl S. They’ve beefed up the build quality with metal framing, upgraded the smarts inside, and built a new “Brewguide” app to accompany it. This will allow roasters (such as yours, truly!) to upload a brewing recipe to the cloud for home-users to access, upload to their scale, and follow along. The scale will prompt you with instructions as you go along to ensure your coffee is tasting tip-top every time. Our first delivery of these scales are en route with a mid-June/July ETA. Sign up to the wait-list to be notified first when stock arrives: Acaia Pearl S Scale.


Image credit: @cometeer

4. The Cometeer

The “Delivered to your door” style of food supply is about to service the coffee industry. Using a secret brew method, this company will purchase beans and brew it to a roasters’ specifications before reducing to a syrup and snap-freezing it. Paired with a foam box and dry-ice, this bundle is ready to be delivered to your door.

Made to fit into Keurig cup machines (similar to Nespresso), they’re a little different to the pods we’ve seen so far. The coffee pod is left clean, ready for recycling, and the cup quality is far superior to any pod machine I’ve ever tasted. The machine doesn’t actually have to do any brewing – it simply heats up the frozen syrup, ready for serving. They’re not looking at Australia just yet – the debate is out as to whether there is an environmentally and commercially efficient way to deliver such a product within Australia. The price for convenience may be too much to stomach for consumers as we move toward a more environmentally conscious society, but time will tell!


Duvall Machine at SCA 2019

5. The Duvall

Espresso brewing has just been thrown a curveball! The Duvall machine uses a belt-driven, syringe-style pump which allows the machine to control flowrate through pressure exertion. This means brew pressure is truly variable and dependent on your grind setting. Imagine a pretty standard recipe of 44g out over 27 seconds at a standard 9 bar; if your grind setting is too fine, your extraction will still take 27 seconds, but will be exerted to 9+ bar pressure. If your grind setting is drastically too course, you may just brew that shot at as low as 3 bar. This opens the door to all sorts of recipe development options. Availability in Australia remains an unknown at this stage, but until further updates are available, Daily Coffee News did a fantastic write-up on the machine here: Duvall Espresso’s Revolutionary FC-1 Machine Goes With the Flow.


L: Marco FRIIA | R: Ratio 8 Brewer

That’s the wrap! There’s a good dozen honorable mentions, and I could go on for hours about what I saw and loved at the show, but my word-count is long-gone. If you’re looking for more things to get inspired about, consider looking at the Marco Friia Range – dispensing hot, cold and sparking water out of one tap! The Ratio Eight is making batch brewing sexy again, and the new S range from Mazzer is adding some really great user-friendly additions, as well as reducing their grind retention – all with the same Mazzer reliability.

Seeing a world trade show that size and scope, along with the crowds that the World Barista & Brewers Championships brings was certainly a spectacle! It really brings the “who’s who” of coffee out and about, and it was exciting to be given the opportunity to rub shoulders with industry leaders. For those who feel like Boston is a bridge too far, WBC is on home turf next year at the Melbourne International Coffee Exhibition in May 2020. I hope to see you there!

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