Review: Xbloom does a perfect job of draining so you don’t have to

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Coffee nerds love the ritual of making a good cup of coffee, but once you get old enough, things get complicated very quickly. Making high-quality coffee is a fine dance of grinding, pouring, temperature, and patience, and most of us can’t be bothered to learn enough (or bring enough science into the mix) to drink good coffee. all the time. If you have $800, Xbloom is here to help with the one-touch bean-to-cup system.

Each of the coffees in the company requires a slightly different process; Different water levels, temperatures and different sizes. Each pod has an NFC chip inside, so it tells the machine what to do to prepare the coffee – or you can use the app to adjust the recipes of your choice.

“The machine can make the coffee as well defined as the roaster wants it to be. You can think of it as a hardware-enabled marketplace where we can buy coffee this way,” XBloom founder Richard Xu said in an interview with TechCrunch. “We only have 2 million to 5 million people in the United States who buy beans and make their own coffee from bean to cup. There are 200 million people who drink coffee every day, so that’s a huge gap.”

The machine itself is an incredibly overproduced marvel. It looks like a modern art sculpture, and the external beauty hides a lot of smart technology. For example, the machine uses magnetism to bend the current of water so that it casts small circles on the grounds, a principle similar to what you’ve seen in science class. It also uses ultra-precise grinding and has a built-in scale to measure the amount of water flowing over the compound in each part of the cycle.

I’ve been testing the Xbloom prototype for a couple of weeks, and there’s no doubt that the machine is capable of producing excellent, subtle coffees. The machine is easy to use, and it’s great at configuring itself based on the beans you’re feeding.

Xbloom works with multiple roasters to make its coffee beans. The capsules contain beans and beans as the filter; The machine does all the grinding for you. Image Credits: TechCrunch / Haje Kamps

The tank may be a little big, and when I reviewed it, the app is not yet finished, but the company is working to fulfill the Kickstarter orders before ordering the machines to the customers next month. Xbloom says the app will be fully deployed when the machines start shipping to new customers.

In addition to the $800 coffee machine, he’s also making machines that work well in restaurant settings.

“In Michelin three-star restaurants, people are still serving very bad coffee,” Xu notes, and points out that the company is working on versions of the machine that can work well in a high-volume restaurant: with large water tanks or a faucet option. This means that anyone can make high-quality coffee with specialty roast beans without having to learn any actual coffee-making skills.

The company also said it is working on an affordable low-cost machine later this year.

While in use, I enjoyed the fact that the Xbloom made pour-over coffee foolproof, but I found myself wondering if that $800 was worth it — that amount of money buys you a lot of coffee brewing equipment that doesn’t require you to use a single one. Your coffee beans supplier. I found myself missing the ritual of making a cup of pour-over coffee: the five minutes it takes to carefully prepare a drink is a pleasant respite from the workday.

“I don’t think this machine is designed to replace the coffee brewing system. We want people to buy this machine and ultimately get involved. We’ve always seen ourselves as the gateway to specialty coffee,” Xu explained. We’re not trying to have yet another machine for 2 million people who make coffee from bean to cup. What we are trying to do is introduce the remaining 200 million coffee drinkers to this world.

The machine is wonderful. It looks great, and has one of the best performance-to-coffee-quality ratios I’ve seen from a coffee machine. What I am struggling with is whether this is enough.

Personally, I think the price point is a huge stumbling block for this product – yes, there are plenty of people who can afford $800, but I’m struggling to imagine what the market will look like. It is a unique Venn diagram of customer needs. Xbloom is targeting people who care enough about coffee to spend $800, but those who don’t care enough to spend that same money on coffee-making equipment to make it themselves. I have to admit that I’m a little surprised that the company got 1,300 backers for its fundraising campaign. My business forecast is that I’m not sure Xbloom will get the next 10,000 customers until it launches a more affordable version of the machine.

But if that goes wrong and Xbloom finds a way to reach its target audience, I predict that people will end up buying quality coffee because they see the value in it and don’t want to spend their time making it. He will be very happy with the machine and the coffee he makes at home.

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