Benchtop sample roaster maker Ikawa has expanded the functionality of its Ikawa Pro App to include Ikawa Cup, a digital cupping form and record-keeping system designed to simplify evaluation and purchasing for professional roasters.
The Ikawa Cup cupping form aims primarily for ease of use during coffee cupping, while a variety of features exist to coordinate cuppings, communicate results and reference past cupping scores.
Group cuppings are accessible by members either in the same room, or from anywhere in the world using a 5-digit code. Blind cuppings can be arranged through the system’s automatic assignment of three-digit codes to each roasted coffee.
Geoff Woodley, product manager at Ikawa, told Daily Coffee News that when developing Ikawa Cup, the company closely shadowed coffee professionals as they ordered, roasted and evaluated samples in order to pinpoint the data they valued and cater to their existing habits.
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“We observed over and over again that people were spending 30-40 minutes evaluating coffees, writing notes and scores on paper, and then most often just tossing that paper away after they decided on which coffee they wanted to purchase,” Woodley told DCN. “The advantages of digital cupping forms are quite obvious.”
Woodley said that while professionals expressed interest in cupping with a digital form, they often preferred the experience of manually writing notes.
“So when we set out to design a form, we decided our competition was paper and pen,” said Woodley. “If the form wasn’t as easy to use as paper and pen, people wouldn’t use it. I’m really proud of how easy and user-friendly the form is, and it unlocks the benefits of using a digital form.”
For Ikawa owners, the data integrates automatically into their records of each coffee. The app is also free for anyone to use, including people that do not own or use Ikawa roasters.
The last major update to Ikawa’s Pro App for roasting came with the launch of version 3.0 in April 2020, featuring enhancements to the roast profile storage library, backup/sync features and additional roast data. Last year the London, England-based company introduced the Ikawa Pro100, a roaster with the same footprint but twice the roasting capacity as its original 50-gram-capacity models.
At the SCA Expo in Boston in April of this year the company launched a beta version of Ikawa Cup. The official form for iOS launched this month in conjunction with Ikawa’s presence at the World of Coffee event in Milan. An Android version of Ikawa Cup is expected to launch later this year.
“We believe that by making tools to make sample evaluation easier, we can make great strides towards improving coffee,” said Woodley. “Making a digital form that is used was Step 1. After that, there are lots of exciting features we can add on.”
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