Spinn, the coffee maker for those who are too lazy to learn about coffee – TechCrunch


Spinn’s journey has begun in 2016 with a crowdfunding campaign. He’s come a long way since those days, raising $40 million in freshly brewed venture capital about a year ago, and most recently announcing that his machine has received a software update that allows it to do cold brew. As a heat wave nestles in the Bay Area, I thought it was worth a closer look.

The machine itself has been on the market for a hot minute, but it recently launched its cold brew mode, and I thought that was reason enough to take a closer look at the machine. Spinn sent me one of the machines to try out. After a particularly delightful unboxing experience (the cardboard unfolds like origami, and I was half-surprised there wasn’t a little speaker playing a marching band) and a setup and install process easy, app-driven, I was ready to brew myself a cold brew.

“We created Spinn to reinvent coffee for the connected age,” said Roderick of Rode, founder and CEO of Spinn in an announcement. “Our revolutionary new Cold Brew feature allows Spinn users to brew delicious, frothy cold brew in a smarter, more convenient and more sustainable way. People no longer need to wait at least 12 hours to enjoy cold brew at home. Now they only need 60 seconds or less.

If you can’t be bothered to learn how to pull a good espresso and money is no object, the Spinn coffee machine is a great choice.

The only problem with that is… you literally can’t make cold brew in 60 seconds. Pulling an espresso and tossing it over ice is not cold brew; it’s called iced coffee. The coffee nerds at Coffee Affection know this, describing the process as “the cold brew method relies on a long, long extraction period, [and] it is able to access the most stubborn aromatic compounds inside the coffee beans. These are – of course – the soft, sweet notes of chocolate. Even the mainstream coffee world has understood the subtle magic of cold brew.

I was willing to give Spinn the benefit of the doubt and used some of my favorite dark roast beans to make a batch of cold brew according to Coffee Sock’s handy guide, trying it alongside iced coffee from Spinn. brew. The difference was striking. Do not mistake yourself; both coffees were tasty and refreshing in the summer heat, but they are two completely separate brews. The cold brew has a subtlety that Spinn’s version can’t replicate.

Screenshot of Spinn’s website. Picture credits: spin (Opens in a new window)

Wikipedia says it best; “Because the ground coffee beans in cold brew coffee never come into contact with heated water, the process of leaching flavor from the beans produces a different chemical profile than conventional brewing methods.” I’ve spoken to a handful of baristas at a slew of cafes across the East Bay over the past few days, and the reaction to the question “can you do cold brew with hot water” has been universally contemptuous. Some looked at me like I was legitimately crazy, which probably says more about the cafes I frequent than the question.

Spinn, the coffee maker for those who are too lazy to learn about coffee – TechCrunch

Of course, it’s beautiful. But cold brew, that’s not the case. Also, no excuse for a good time-lapse. GIF credit: Haje Kamps / TechCrunch

There’s also a second challenge – cold brew is best done with dark roasts, which usually get a little fattier than lighter roasts. The company specifically warned against dark roasts before sending the machine to me for review and repeats the warning on their website: “Darker roasts that have been processed for longer periods of time will secrete [sic] oils due to a chemical reaction the beans have when exposed for prolonged periods to heat. This oily coating can cause several problems in your Spinn coffee maker: beans won’t slide into the grinder as easily (…) and unwanted residue will build up in your grinder and spinner over time, which can lead to a need your machine. maintenance more frequently.

So it’s two strikes; the coffee maker cannot use the beans widely recommended for cold brew, nor does it do cold extraction.

It’s not all bad – iced coffee is nice, sure, but from a coffee brand that claims to “elevate home coffee to new heights”, calling iced coffee a cold brew is a disservice to his customers and an insult to the café- the lovers. I challenged the company by asking, “All I can find in the app is an iced coffee mode. As far as I know, a cold brew is a slow extraction with cold or room temperature water… Can the machine do that too? If so, how can I activate it? »

The company replied:

“This one-of-a-kind feature allows coffee lovers to create a cold brew in less than 60 seconds (traditional cold brew can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours),” a company spokesperson replied. “Spinn achieves this by utilizing its revolutionary multi-patented centrifugal brewing technology, precision grinding and roast recognition.”

I know I’m talking about the cold brew mode; that’s because, as I mentioned, it was the “newness” that made me choose to review the Spinn coffee maker. Let me take a closer look at the rest of the machine as well, because as a piece of engineering and ease of use, it’s an impressive machine.

As a coffee machine, it brews amazing coffees surprisingly quietly. Its app-enabled coffee making with many different recipes and ways is a blessing for those who like to get up for a hot cup of espresso drink. Espresso-esque, because while the cylinder inside the machine spins at 5,000 rpm to create force, it’s noticeably different from using high pressure to push water through the grounds. of coffee.

I like how the machine uses beans rather than pods and is energy efficient. I like that it has a built in water filter. The grinder is amazing, consistently producing beans with a gritty consistency comparable to some of the best professional grinders I’ve used.

The centrifugal extraction method also means that spent beans come out powdery and nearly dry at the end of a brew cycle, meaning grounds are unlikely to mold in the machine as well – another great choice Design. At $1,000, it’s an expensive machine indeed, and with that kind of price tag, it sits in a class of truly amazing espresso machines, including the iconic commercial-grade Gaggia espresso extractor. You would even have enough money left over to buy all the accessories your little heart can imagine.

Spin coffee maker

Spinn’s user interface is easy to use, the buttons are pre-programmable, and there’s an app that makes it even easier to precisely control your coffee-making process. Error LEDs are also intuitive; from left to right: the used grounds container is full, the water is empty, there are no more beans (why there are no more beans!) and the drip tray needs to be emptied. Picture credits: Haje Kamps (Opens in a new window) / Tech Crunch

What I’m saying is you have to be a particularly lazy (and wealthy) coffee lover for this machine to make sense for you – but if you can’t be bothered to learn how to pull off a good espresso , and if money is no object, the Spinn coffee machine is a great choice.

And, come to think of it, if the company’s target audience is “coffee lovers who don’t know much about coffee and have more money than sense,” maybe they can get away with it. draw by calling the iced coffee “cold brew.” Expect nothing but extreme eye rolls from coffee nerds.

Tech

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