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The Nucleus Compass Beverage Thermometer Heads North

Compass coffee temperature thermometer 3

The Compass infrared beverage thermometer from Australia’s Nucleus Coffee Tools. Photo by Howard Bryman / Daily Coffee News

A new tool designed for temperature precision in coffee tastings and service called the Compass has emerged from Australia.

Developed by Nucleus Coffee Tools, the coffee accessories brand launched by 2015 World Barista Champion and Ona Coffee Founder Sasa Sestic, the Compass has been spotted at numerous recent professional coffee competitions.

With a rechargeable battery, an adjustable height stand and a digital display of degrees in either Celsius or Fahrenheit, the Compass provides a contact-free and precise indication of the temperature of any brew or beverage, courtesy of an infrared sensor.

As perceptions of different volatile aromatics, flavors and textures are known to change with the temperature of coffee, baristas guiding a customer’s tasting experience at a high-end specialty coffee bar — or presenting to judges in competition — can recommend sipping at precise moments in order to capture specific flavors or aromas. Servers can also use the tool to withhold a beverage until an ideal temperature is reached.

Compass coffee temperature thermometer 4

Photo by Howard Bryman / Daily Coffee News

Martin Shabaya, who won fifth place representing Kenya in the World Barista Championship in Milan last year, used the Compass to help guide judges. Baristas also used the device in competition at the U.S. Coffee Championships at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston last month, where the Compass was displayed for the first time in North America by its exclusive U.S. distributor Rhino Coffee Gear.

(See DCN’s complete 2022 SCA Expo coverage here.)

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“The Compass is a service tool,” David Wherett, general manager of Rhino Coffee Gear, told Daily Coffee News. “For anyone serving a customer a pourover coffee, they might also provide them with tasting notes that the customer would experience at different temperatures as the beverage cools. And those notes the customer can track by looking at the temperature on the gauge.”

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Photo by Howard Bryman / Daily Coffee News

The Compass joins a short list of tools thus far developed by Canberra-based Nucleus Coffee Tools. The company also offers the NCD coffee distribution tool for espresso and the Stem adjustable platform for holding cups in variable proximity to an espresso machine group head.

U.S. sales of the Nucleus Compass Beverage Thermometer launched last month through Rhino Coffee Gear for a retail price of $119.

Compass coffee temperature thermometer 1

Photo by Howard Bryman / Daily Coffee News

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1 Comment


Looks like they are using infrared measurement, which is not appropriate for this type of measurement, I mean liquids and transparent mediums/surfaces.
This is a very well known issue in the industrial automatics and measurements, where I graduated 50 years ago.
As a result, they display only single digit temperatures, no decimals, and even so is too challenging. I am pretty sure that on a milk foam surfaces will read 2-3 degrees differences between dark and blonde areas, and both temperatures of foam not having anything to do with the liquid itself.
In the case of the glass water picture they actually measure the black bottom plate temperature, not the liquid.

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