The future of technology is such an exciting, unpredictable frontier. But, at times, it can turn certain experiences monotone.
We tend to feel a sense of excitement when facing the unknown. Questions like — Where will the chance encounter come from? Where will the unexpected field trip take us? What will the random, coffee-laden conversation teach us? — have always instigated our curiosity.
What is least expected is often the most memorable part of an experience, after all.
That’s really what it all boils down to.
Joining in thoughtful experiences with memorable people is kind of how we got into this line of work. That, in a way, has also been one of the best aspects of our little café. You just never know who you’ll be sharing a cup of coffee with (other than our talented baristas, of course).
What if we took that away?
What if we replaced man with machine like the robotic coffee chain Cafè X?
You heard us… what if we went Mr. Roboto on you?
Don’t fret. We aren’t threatening you. Heck, we aren’t even canvassing the possibility of BREW’s rise of the machines.
We would never betray ourselves like that.
But let’s say we did… Would you still treat us like a hidden gem of Fort Lauderdale? We think not!
Unfortunately, this is the consumer priority of the future.
Just look at the new grocery store concept Amazon Go, which touts the no cash register, no wait, no lines ease to shopping, which is really just a mortar and pestle form of e-commerce.
Robotic grocery shopping we can live with, but coffee… well, coffee is not consumerism, it is not supposed to be disconnected from experience and sensation.
The rise of the machines is a very serious reality in the coffee industry.
People have been using machines to make coffee for years. Your parents probably still have the same coffee machine they used when you were in grade school — decade-long stains and all.
The concept for Café X is actually pretty cool and will likely prove successful in dense commercialized spaces like shopping malls and parks.
Still, it’s just so inanimate.
Honestly, we just don’t think coffee is supposed to be a meaningless accessory to your routine. It’s meant to be shared with the people who brewed it and the stranger at the bar next to you.
Regardless, Café X is making headlines.
The startup opened its first kiosk in January 2017 at the Metreon shopping complex in downtown San Francisco. A second kiosk opened later that year at 578 Market Street.
Café X offers a variety of high end specially roasted coffees — Intelligentsia Coffee, Ritual Coffee Roasters, and Equator Coffees — and also stages product specialists at each location to assist with customer service.
“To give the machine’s next generation a modern, welcoming aesthetic, Café X partnered with renown San Francisco-based design studio Ammunition. The goal was to make Café X feel approachable, warm and human despite being such a new and different way of getting coffee.”
Café X is extremely inventive, convenient and most definitely a suitable companion for the digital age of robotics, but in the end, it will not connect you with your coffee drinking experience quite as thoughtfully as a local mom & pop café would.