In that regard, it helps to remember that new technology, at its best, exists in the name of quality, consistency, and convenience, all of which supports selling more coffee to more people for better prices. When it comes to coffee grown and transacted responsibly, the ripple effect of every new unseen sensor or ergonomic contour means progress for farmers, the environment and the industry overall.
Another thing that’s interesting to note is that while new developments in coffee gear don’t always outwardly appear to have much to do with the rapid evolution of electronics and computing, with every new leap in digital technology there come strides in the fields of engineering, mechanics and product design, which in turn foster progress in everything from Nuova Simonelli’s latest high-tech marvel to the grip on the hammer you use to hang pictures on the wall in your cafe.
In 2015 we saw progress across the board — in grinders, brewers, espresso machines and roasters, for the home market as well as the pros. Parameter geeks, spec hounds and well-funded trend-hoppers alike have had plenty to mull over in the past twelve months. Here’s a look back at what’s new.
The fledgling company Lyn Weber Workshops got the last word on grinding in 2015, revealing to the world an innovative and refined bit of kit at the end of November. Freshly engineered from the bottom up for the specific task of single-dosing in a café environment, the EG-1 seems like the bean-biter to watch for on discerning shop counters in 2016.
There were a good few eyebrow-raising entrants to the field of manual coffee brewing gadgets this year, most notably including the French press-Aeropress hybrid innovation called the American Press, and Fellow’s debut product, the immersion-style Duo Coffee Steeper. Meanwhile the battle for pourover supremacy raged on in 2015, with at least five new brewers vying for coveted over-mug real estate. Time will tell which, if any, becomes the official cup-top dog as immersion drippers by Brew Global and Wilfa stack up against the high-end filter-dangling Iikone, Constellation Supply’s earnest Little Dripper, or Long Beach Dripper‘s earthy Ximeno.
The Linea Mini — a scaled-down version of La Marzocco’s classic commercial workhorse with a few important distinctions under the hood — was clearly the biggest little headline-grabber of the year. Dalla Corte also waded back into prosumer waters with the snazzy-looking digital lever Mina. And on the far opposite end of the spectrum, from a one-man start-up in Texas came a fully manual and very portable pressure-profiling device called the Espresso Forge, at a tiny fraction of the price of any other machine capable of equivalent control and, presumably, cup quality.
To be continue…