Roasts, Grinds then Brews? New Bonaverde Coffee Maker Raises Questions

Coffee BeansMuch is being made of the new Bonaverde coffee maker which is currently raising funds through Kickstarter – currently at $508,951 out of a goal of $135,000. The machine is being touted around the web because it takes green coffee beans, roasts them, grinds and then brews your coffee automatically. I get the romance of this device. There is something very cool about the smell of roasting coffee and all the machinations the machine goes through to brew your cup. However, most good baristas well tell you that freshly roasted beans just aren’t that great. They need a few days to settle down before being ground.

The Bonaverde people address that question on their website:

A coffee roaster I know has said that roasted beans should be allowed to air for ~2 days before grinding/making coffee to allow them to outgas. Have you considered that?

We have heard that too. Degassing is a big topic.

We have talked to a lot of coffee experts, roasters, coffee lovers and baristas throughout the last two years. Opinions differ. Of course, taste changes over time, but does it necessarily get better? We always compare our coffee to other preparation methods like standard filter coffee. We would not take all the effort without being confident to be capable of competing. In 20 months of field-testing various different home-roasting machines and coffees, both from all over the world we had over 15,000 people who (blind-)tasted our coffee on trade-fairs etc during our closed-beta phase. Their overwhelming feedback gave us the confidence to go viral.

We’ll do our best to have you try our coffee. Many of the backers have already and they seem to be convinced.

Perhaps this is true for the average guy on the street, but I can tell there is something not quite right when I taste a cup of coffee made from just-roasted beans. The beans leave a little time to allow the oils to settle in, out-gas and smooth out the flavors, as well as get rid of the roasted grain odor.

One factor seems to be how dark the beans have been roasted – from my experience, lighter roasts need to rest more than dark roasts.

As I said, this is a cool machine, but if you are serious about coffee, you might want to give it a pass until you’ve sampled the brew. Now if there could be some sort of delay before they are roasted, I might give it a try.

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. hsawtelle says

    I thought about buying one during the kickstarter campaign but this looks complicated enough that I’d rather wait and see how it actually works (or doesn’t work) in mass production for a while…

  2. adam says

    this is something quantifiable by experts. why are we talking about CO2 degassing like it ‘might or might not’ be necessary. can’t the relevant research or expert opinion be consulted? is there really any controversy about this?

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