Connected Coffee—The Best of #CES2016

By David Strahl

On the surface, the idea of a brewing a cup of coffee may seem unimaginative; archaic, even. In fact, true innovation with respect to brewing methodology is so uncommon that a new technique often takes the industry by storm with quite disruptive results (think cold brew or nitro brew). It would not be a stretch to say the majority of consumers are most likely familiar with the drip filtration system, the French Press and the espresso machine—three wildly popular, highly effective and historically-renowned concepts.

Assuming these traditional methods have stood the test of time as a direct result of their ease of use and production quality, how can we create added value without reinventing the wheel? At H.C. Valentine, we embrace innovation in all its forms and celebrate the continued integration of coffee in new generations’ lives. Given the technological advances and increasingly connected world we’ve witnessed in the past decade, it only makes sense that innovation in our industry must bring us closer to that which we love: a freshly-brewed, quality cup of coffee. Say hello to connected coffee.

CES 2016 provided a glimpse into our future with a bevy of technological advances, including the introduction of the Smarter Wi-Fi Coffee Machine—a connected brewer that could revolutionize the role coffee plays in our lives. Through an Android or iOS app, you can control how and when your coffee is brewed from your phone; a significant improvement from previous “connected brewers.” 

Smarter can integrate coffee into your life in fascinating new ways, most notably waking you up with a notification that your coffee is ready or by asking if you’d like it to pour a fresh cup when you walk in the door. Boasting a built-in grinder, you can start brewing from anywhere in the house with the push of a button—freeing up time you’d otherwise spend manually preparing it. While we do wish the Smarter brewer was a bit… smarter, this innovation undoubtedly brings us closer to our beverage of choice.

Another exciting invention that better connects us to coffee is the Ember mug, which has been touted as the most advanced coffee mug in the world. This high-tech upgrade from the traditional thermos allows you to adjust the temperature of your brew on demand—heating or cooling it to your exact specifications. That means if you like it piping hot at 140 degrees, the Ember mug will keep it there until the last sip. Glorious.

2015 clearly brought a renewed sense of inventiveness to the world of coffee, leaving no doubt in our minds that 2016 will even more exciting. I think I speak for all of us at H.C. Valentine when I say we cannot wait to see what comes next!