For some people, morning doesn't start until after that first sip of piping-hot coffee. Depending on how adamant you are about the ideal cup, this could involve getting up, getting dressed, and driving to a local coffee shop first. But those who are interested in having the convenience of a professional barista right at home may find it with Auroma Brewing Company. Its Auroma One is a smart coffee maker that's designed to learn taste preferences and craft perfect cups of coffee.
Automatic coffee makers have been around for years, and only recently have companies attempted to make these machines smarter by introducing Wi-Fi connectivity and companion apps. Such devices, like the Belkin Mr. Coffee or the Smarter Coffee, offer scheduling, alerts, and options to adjust how you'd like your coffee to be made. However, the Auroma One looks to go beyond the basics by offering more brewing parameters and eliciting user feedback.
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The Auroma One is designed with an accessible water reservoir, brewing chamber, and (optional) removable bean grinder. In addition to the built-in Wi-Fi, the machine features a temperature sensor, dissolved coffee sensor, and an embedded scale. Through the mobile app (available now for iOS, with Android in the works), users will have the option to more precisely control/experiment how coffee is made.
Time of brew, water temperature, coffee-to-water ratio, total dissolved solids, and grind size (optional) can all be adjusted to affect the strength and extraction. And if you're not really sure where to start, the Auroma One can set up tasting flights of three coffee types in separate shots, or one type with three different settings.
After sampling the coffee, users can choose to rate each cup based on strength, bitterness, caffeine kick, and texture. By telling the Auroma app what aspect(s) could be better the next time around, it learns how to adjust parameters to create coffee that highlights an individual's taste preferences. Individual profiles can be created so that multiple people can have full control over each brewing process. The Auroma app is also designed to optimize settings for different types of beans, as well as to recommend new bean types based on one's flavor profile.
Although the Auroma One doesn't roast beans like the Ikawa bean roaster, it has a roaster platform that offers users the options of ordering freshly-roasted coffee beans from partners and browsing through a variety of brewing recipes. Bean grind sizes aren't indicated either, but since the Auroma One's grinder is optional, one could add a step with the Handground coffee grinder for range and precision.
The Bruvelo coffee maker was unable to meet last year's (launch) and last month's (re-launch) funding goals. And the Arist coffee brewer, which blasted past its goal in 2014, has been under heavy fire from backers due to delays and no known release date. Given the open and (arguably) easy-maintenance design, and that working prototypes have been publicly demoed to coffee enthusiasts, the Auroma One shows promise and seems to have a reasonably good chance at becoming a real thing.
The Auroma One is currently funding on Kickstarter, having raised 28 percent of its US$100,000 goal in seven days, with another 53 days left to go. A pledge of $249 sets you up for one Auroma One, saving $100 off the planned retail price.
If tooling, testing, and production go according to the schedule, backers can expect shipments of the Auroma One to start sometime October, 2016.
Check out the video below to see how the Auroma One is designed to work.
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