A startup company in Auckland, New Zealand, has created a modification kit called Flow Coffee Telemetry that transforms older volumetric espresso machines into smart systems.
The three-part hardware and software kit taps into any traditional volumetric machine’s flow sensors, measuring the speed and volume of every shot pulled.
Through wifi connectivity and a connected app, the data is displayed in real time in easy-to-read digital gauges, with a flashing red signal for when baristas may be off target, and green for when shots are within the target flow range.
Barista gauges also display a shot clock as well as an alert for when it may be time to adjust grind settings. A cloud-based analytics dashboard then lets coffee shop owners and managers review the performance results in a variety of graphical displays.
“You can see the performance of your entire network and dive into any particular site to further understand store performance,” Flow Coffee COO and Head of Innovation Scott Nightingale told Daily Coffee News. “This enables the viewer to assess and take action for sites that need their help the most, giving you the ability to diagnose remotely.”
A software developer who was also the owner of a coffee shop called Little & Local in Snells Beach, Auckland, Nightingale originally created the Flow system for his own use.
Now, five years later, the system has been tried by multiple multi-store coffee companies around Australia, while availability came to the United States and Canada earlier this year through Baristaequip.
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Nightingale said conversations are currently underway with some coffee equipment manufacturers regarding expanding the Flow platform to grinders and scales.
“We have been working on a virtual gravimetric feature,” said Nightingale. “Early indications are really positive, and we hope to be able to show not only the yield in the cup, but also the dry dose.”