Will these Brooklyn-born machines be featured in the coffee shops of the future? - Technical.ly Brooklyn

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Jan. 3, 2017 7:30 am

Will these Brooklyn-born machines be featured in the coffee shops of the future?

Poursteady's coffee-making robot has come a long way since we encountered it almost two years ago.

The Poursteady at NYCEDC's "Next Top Maker" event.

(Photo by Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

Nearly two years ago, we met Poursteady and its coffee-making robot at an event hosted by NYCEDC’s Next Top Makers. 

To recap: The machines from the Gowanus company are programmed through a mobile app to pour coffee according to specific volumes and spiral patterns. The result, according to the company, is a precise, efficient method of pouring that assures each cup a cafe serves meets the same level of quality.

Poursteady is now in more than 20 locations, including in Toronto, Mexico City and even Singapore. Closer to home, you can experience the coffee-pouring robots at work at Supercrown Coffee Roasters in Bushwick and Greenpoint-based chain Cafe Grumpy’s Chelsea and Grand Central Terminal locations. Poursteady has gained some corporate notice as well: it’s currently installed in Amazon‘s Seattle headquarters as well as Whole Foods’ flagship store in Philadelphia. The latter opening came with much fanfare, generating headlines such as “tech wows crowds at Philly’s giant Whole Foods” and “8 reasons why Philly’s new Whole Foods is a dream come true.”

There has been some skepticism amid the hype, however.

Earlier this year, in a story on Poursteady, Eater compared the company’s development with that of Clover, another high-tech machine that promised a precise brew, whose manufacturer was acquired by Starbucks. That machine ended up flopping and scaring off cafes from making hefty equipment purchases for drip coffee. But according to Eater, perhaps now is the right time: “In the eight years since, pour-over has become something of an art form, and it’s looking for technology to catch up.”

As it turns out, coffee is having a moment similar to fresh herbs and greens — at least according to the Wall Street Journal, which has likened cafes such as Supercrown Coffee Roasters to farm-to-table restaurants. As the pour-over method of coffee preparation has gained in popularity, machines such as Poursteady’s have a substantial role to play in this trend. (Indeed, it’s featured in the Journal’s slideshow on “farm-to-table coffee.”)

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Brooklyn, as we’ve noted, is currently playing host to an urban farming movement. Might it be the epicenter for high-end coffee as well?

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April Joyner

April Joyner is a journalist who covers business, tech and finance. As a freelance writer, she has contributed to OZY, NewYorker.com and FastCompany.com. Joyner's writing has also appeared on Business Insider and USAToday.com.

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