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Coffee, Technology and Café Experience

James Huang | 2021.08.05

Coffee and technology have gone hand in hand ever since the invention of the coffee drink. The reason is simple: you can’t make coffee without technology. Technology, in this case, is essentially what turns coffee into the warm, comforting beverage that we all know and love.

From harvesting the coffee beans to cleaning and roasting them to finally brewing—technology is involved in every step of the way. So naturally, as technology evolves so do different ways of making coffee.

Technology doesn’t just benefit coffee professionals; coffee enthusiasts can also enjoy the coffee tech perks and features from their homes. As home brewing becomes more popular, there is an increasing number of quality espresso machines for your home that are connected to your phone or even other appliances. With it, you could control brewing and extract settings, coffee orders and purchases, as well as other properties.

All these technological advancements essentially aim to make the coffee-making experience more effortless, comfortable and therefore more democratic.

Human Touch

As a tech geek, I understands why roasters, shop owners and customers would embrace new gadgets: Machines can often offer consistency and perfection—or at least the promise of it.  However, I enjoy unpredictable moment in my daily life.  My daily coffee moment in enjoyable, from selecting "bean of the day", roasting, brewing, and drinking. I love making coffee, the whole long, painstaking ritual of preparing a pourover by hand.

As we know, the artisan process of making coffee today depends on many variables: coffee origin, quality of the roast, humidity, temperature and etc.   Coffee pourover by hand, to me, is similar to film photography and vinyl playback, they are my perfect imperfection.

My Cafe Experience

When I was young, I stay in Indonesia and the taste of "coffee" is different to what we drink now in Hong Kong.  "Kopi" is the type of coffee which is a highly caffeinated black coffee served with (lots of) milk and sugar.  Kopi used Robusta beans which you’ll find that your cup of kopitiam coffee will taste a lot harsher and stronger than your normal serving of espresso that is smoother and more complex.

The experience in Japan coffee is entirely different, but I shall leave it to next article.

Coffee, Technology and Café Experience
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Digital Transformation is not about Technology