Are you familiar with Ella, the robot barista, and her friends? If it’s your first time hearing about them, then it’s time to understand what is a robot barista.
We’ve all experienced getting our drink messed up and receiving an incorrect order. Not to mention the long lines, rude baristas, and other shenanigans we would rather not repeat. That’s where robot baristas come in. It’s an innovative invention capable of brewing your favorite cup of Joe.
But are they better than human baristas? Are they worth investing in if you plan to start your coffee business? Continue reading below to find out.
The New Technology In Coffee Business
In Italy, the male barista is called “barista” or barmen, while the female barista is called “bariste,” or barmaids. However, in the US, the term barista became limited to employees that serve coffee-based drinks.
Although they make it look easy, a barista’s job isn’t easy. Operating a commercial espresso machine and other coffee shop equipment requires skill and training. The increasing number of inventions simultaneously makes the barista’s job easier and more challenging.
One of today’s modern and best inventions is the robot barista. There are two types of robot baristas: the robotic arm and the humanoid barista.
The First Robotic Barista
Meet Ella, the world’s first fully autonomous robot barista from Singapore. She is a multimillion-dollar brainchild of Keith Tan, a former finance manager who changed his career and launched four coffee shops. He discovered human resources issues within the F&B (Food & Beverage) industry along the way, so he decided to use technology and founded Crown Digital.
His company seeks to address the problems and difficulties in the F&B sector with technology. Ella is their debut product, an autonomous arm that sits in a five-square-meter coffee kiosk. She also works 24/7 and serves up to 200 cups – four times more than a human barista can do per hour.
Adding ingredients is done by delivery drivers who monitor Ella through an app after every 360 servings. Ella can also interact with her customers by being in a photo booth and playing simple games while they wait for their coffee. Tan said this new technology is perfect in places like airports and transport terminals where people just want to grab a coffee and go.
Other Robotic Baristas
If you’re planning to start your own café, there are many intriguing and new coffee business ideas that you can try. Other than Ella, here are the other robotic baristas you need to know about:
Baristabot By Costa Coffee
Its formerly known as Briggo, a vending kiosk where people could order coffee via an app. This easy-to-setup and maintain machine also offers a wide range of good quality coffee drinks, and customers only need to wait at least two minutes to get their coffee. It’s safe, convenient, and perfect for busy locations, but it’s still a vending machine and can only be owned by Costa Coffee.
It’s an excellent robotic arm barista that can make espresso, matcha, cold brews, lemonades, and latte in only forty seconds. This six-axis robot barista offers consistent, high-quality coffee at a better price, but it can’t roast coffee beans. While it launched before Ella, this expensive robot is not fully autonomous and will require at least one employee every time.
A German robot barista was promoted as the premium option to enhance the hospitality experience. This easy-to-set-up robot can make up to 100 various drinks in both porcelain and take-out cups per hour. It can also do latte art.
However, it’s expensive and not yet available for mass sales.
Montycafe is an excellent and budget-friendly robot barista that can interact with customers. This humanoid-looking robot can serve muffins, ice cream, juices, and lemonades with limited coffee options. Its downsides include having no mobile application and poor coffee quality due to mediocre equipment.
Rozum Cafe is another fully autonomous robot barista that can make 400 cups of various coffee drinks, from espresso to latte. Like Café X and Knext, the company also offers customized kiosk designs for your brand and other features. Other than its price and no tea on the menu, Rozum Café is a good choice if you want to start a coffee kiosk with a robot barista.
Advantages Of Robot Barista
Robot baristas in coffee shops are not only a trend. You can expect to see more of them in the future as they continue to improve via technology.
- It provides a contactless service in time with the COVID-19 pandemic, so there are little to no worries of virus transmission.
- They are also much cheaper than building a coffee shop.
- It’s a solution for the F&B workforce shortage.
- Robots will make coffee but still produce higher quality coffee than vending machines because it uses fresh coffee beans and other ingredients.
- Each recipe is programmed in the robot barista, which means it has high repeatability to ensure that customers get the same taste every time they order.
- Most robot baristas can make more than 100 cups in an hour, while human baristas can make at least 60 cups per hour.
- It’s easy to manage.
- A robotic barista also cures every café owner’s two main problems: employee turnover and stable control.
Disadvantages Of Robot Barista
- Customers can’t have small talk and ask for some changes in making their order.
- Robot baristas are more stable but less flexible.
- Programming new drinks will take time and will be an additional cost.
- The robot barista’s popularity has negatively impacted the job market.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Barista Used For?
The barista is the coffee shop’s coffee artist. They can be any gender who are knowledgeable not only in coffee but also in proper preparation, decorating, and serving the drink to the customer.
Can Robots Make Coffee?
Technology has made it possible to have robots make your coffee. There are cafés and coffee kiosks today where a robot barista will take your order, brew, and serve. It’s a trend and the most advanced coffee bar solution today.
How Much Does A Briggo Coffee Robot Cost?
Briggo or BaristaBot by Costa Coffee is just one of the many choices of robot baristas today, but they are all expensive. If you own a café and want to have it, you must invest a good amount of money. The additional features and design will also add more to its total cost.
What Is Barista Work Called?
Barista is the Italian word for bartender, someone who serves all kinds of drinks. But in America, the term barista only describes someone who works at specialty coffee shops. This type of café mainly serves coffee drinks based on espresso.