Shenzhen-based Auroma Brewing Company makes a connected coffee machine that tailors coffee to each person’s liking by controlling variables such as coffee grind size and temperature through an app. After brewing each cup, the users can tell the machine how they want to control the next coffee.
Born out of Shenzhen-based accelerator HAX, the coffee brewing machine Auroma One’s campaign closed on January 2016, surpassing its Kickstarter goal by tw0 times, with over $231,448 USD pledged of a $100,000 USD goal.
“Coffee is a very exciting growth market, typically emerging middle classes start to acquire the taste for coffee. This can be seen historically and recently with the expansion of coffee shops in China,” Duncan Turner, managing partner at HAX told TechNode.
“This market landscape coupled with the huge gap in technology for helping people to brew a perfect cup means there is a fantastic opportunity area for a company like Auroma.”
“The current coffee brewing tools are designed for baristas, which makes it hard to for most people to master the required precision control,” Pawin Wongtada, president and co-founder of Auroma Brewing Company told TechNode.
Auroma One’s patented technology is in its brewing mechanism and all the sensors under the hood that make it possible to brew a highly customized cup. Using the app, a user can adjust strength and bitterness of coffee, control the water to coffee ratio, and amount of coffee dissolved.
“Through the combination of sensors and an actuator, our coffee machine is a precise control system to make specialty coffee. It also has a higher speed than other coffee machines, which can shorten the brewing time up to the half the time it normally takes,” he says.
The concept of a connected coffee machine is now being discussed among coffee giants. Starbucks and Nespresso last month announced their plans to use connected coffee machines that allow a customized experience by leveraging data and new technology.
Currently, young people from the US are those who have the strongest needs for tailored coffee. According to Mr. Wongtada, 50% of their market share comes from the US, with a focus on youth. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, 35% of people ages from 18 to 24 and 42% of age from 25 to 39 already drink specialty coffee daily.
The main customers of Auroma One comes from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Germany in order, but not many from China yet. For China, not many people brew their own coffee which can be a barrier to the company. Drinking coffee has become a normal daily picture of Chinese cities, but still many people drink tea in their homes. For that reason, the company decided to focus on markets outside of China first.
“With the concept of IoT, the machine can send data to the roaster [about] which coffee the user liked the most,” Mr. Wongtada says.
The machine is available at $450 USD, and the company also sells the coffee beans.
“Specialty coffee is brewed precisely and brings the freshest taste of the coffee beans. By ‘precise’ I mean the right water temperature, right water and coffee ratio, and how much coffee dissolves in each cup, which changes the coffee flavor,” Mr. Wongtada says. “[The] specialty coffee market is not mainstream, but we’re standing on the tipping point.”
Image Credit: Auroma Brewing Company
This article is part of our coverage from Technode’s Asia Hardware Battle and China Bang Awards 2016 event held in Chengdu on March 30th-31st.