XBloom all-in-one coffee brewer (Kickstarter) - Page 13

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
Milligan
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#121: Post by Milligan »

A great video. I appreciate that he didn't massage over his misgivings. The idea is sound but it seems to need another iteration before it is ready for the wider audience such as larger water tank, reconfiguration to better fit under cabinetry, more informational front display, possible better grinder alignment from factory, and his compost argument to some. It will be interesting to see if the grinder needs to be tweaked on a large number of them or if it is indeed an electrical supply issue.

Personally, my mornings aren't so hectic that I need automation. My coffee routine is soothing and a relaxing way to start my day. Off loading that joy to a machine doesn't make sense in my specific situation but I can certainly see the need. As I stated toward the beginning of the thread, the audience that splits the line between needing pour over quality coffee but not caring enough to learn or do the 3min pour over is likely pretty small. Add in the additional expense of $1+ pods and a (now) $800 machine and it gets to be a harder sell. He makes a good point about the universal basket likely not appealing to the core audience since it reintroduces the exact detriments (dial in, recipes, faffing about) that led someone to purchase the product in the first place.

For coffee geeks (people on this thread) it is a fun gadget to play with. If it gets accepted into a wider market in a sustainable way will be interesting to see. Very much looking forward to more people's impressions and if it was dialed in correctly from the factory for them.

dwarfboy1717
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#122: Post by dwarfboy1717 »

I appreciate his review. I think he is overthinking the whole "this is for people who don't want to dial in" angle. It's just time and convenience for those of us who no longer WFH.

That said, I honestly don't quite get it. An automated pourover (e.g. Moccamaster, Breville Precision, etc) works perfectly fine paired with a good grinder. I get the idea of not dialing in, but I have a lot of skepticism around the cup having the "right" grind size out of the box anyways.

I like the idea of a use case where you want to try different coffee daily without opening 10 different 12-oz coffee bags at a time.

I could see this being fantastic for, say, a hotel room (get rid of those nespresso things, you're not as fancy as you think Marriott!).

What do y'all think?

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pizzaman383
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#123: Post by pizzaman383 »

I think the hotel room, office coffee, bed and breakfast, and is likely a target. In addition, consumers that want to experience different coffee but know themselves well enough to not want to take on the pourover hassle.
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jbviau (original poster)
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#124: Post by jbviau (original poster) »

^^^ IMO this machine is way too $$$/high-end for the vast majority of hotels or offices that I've seen given much cheaper alternatives from Keurig, etc.

edit: To be clear, I'd love to find this at, for example, my car dealership instead of the terrible super-auto that's there currently, but I just don't see it happening. Retail on the machine is $799 USD currently, no?
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

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Jeff
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#125: Post by Jeff »

In my opinion, the XBloom hits the mark of its target audience quite well. If every morning I want a cup of coffee that I can enjoy drinking, without needing to learn technique or how to dial in, it is very successful. Ours gets used every day, replacing high-end instant. I haven't had a bad cup from it. There are coffee selections that aren't ones that I enjoy as much as others, but they are well extracted.

I don't see H-B members or most of the initial owners as the target market for these. I do see this as a system that can prepare a wide range of coffees, including well-roasted single-origin selections from varied origins and processing, without requiring expertise. People spend thousands in bean-to-cup machines to try to improve on the leading pod systems that don't come close to cafe-quality coffee for their tastes.

On a cost-per-cup basis, it seems to be competitive with the high-end instant coffees on the market. At $800, it is significantly less expensive than a bean-to-cup machine like a Jura.

Milligan
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#126: Post by Milligan »

I would say that with high end instant you don't need the $800 initial investment. I will enjoy seeing where it gets its footing. The audience that needs better quality than a higher end batch brewer like the Moccamaster/Ratio 6/etc but doesn't want it enough to manually do a pour over but also wants that quality enough to afford $800 + pods is perhaps a market that I'm blind to. Or perhaps it is big enough to sustain XBloom as a successful business but not a breakout hit like Keurig.

I'm not sure if I see it working as-is in a dealership/office setting due to its tiny water tank and non-traditional operation (having to scan a pod, pushing down on the pod holder to start, where does one put their cup, where do I pop this pod in like a Keurig, etc.). Even though it is very easy to use, it isn't quite self explanatory to a completely ignorant person.

tv79
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#127: Post by tv79 »

I held off backing xBloom initially, assuming it was not targeted at me, but decided to take a chance on it (after selling my Gevi 4-in-1) when the reusable dripper was added.

I'll caveat this by saying I've only had my unit a few days, but so far I've been rather impressed. The cups I've brewed so far have exceeded my expectations, to the point I almost find it unfair to lump it together with other "pod" machines. I haven't experimented with the reusable dripper yet, but I see no reason it wouldn't perform as well or better than xBloom's curated pods.

Here's the thing..yes, it's a novelty. Yes, it abstracts some finer details of the pour over process. Yes, you probably lose style points compared to a good hand pour. But I actually don't think these are necessarily bad. Like many here, I've spent years trying to perfect my pour overs, taken more refractometer readings than I can count, and spent more time learning about coffee/brewing than I care to admit. And it's certainly paid off, as I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of the process. But lately I've been less interested in all the fuss and just want a good cup of coffee in the morning.

Being able to get my kids ready for school and go about the hectic morning routine while the xBloom brews has been a much needed change. If it can brew something 85% as good as I can, I consider it a worthy trade off.

Of course, I realize many enjoy the pour over ritual, in which case something like the xBloom might not be a good fit. And I'm sure the manual brew itch will eventually return. But for me, at this time, the xBloom has been a welcome addition.

jbviau (original poster)
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#128: Post by jbviau (original poster) »

jbviau wrote:^^^ I was thinking about that the other day. Maybe the buy-in from roasters and extra marketing behind xBloom? I'm feeling cynical about this project at the moment, so I expect about the same number of people talking about Gevi today (to wit: few) will be talking about the xBloom at this time next year once the influencers become distracted by whatever has come out in the meantime.
So, how did this prediction from a year ago fare? Not much discussion here recently, but iirc at least one moderator was a fan. What prompted me to post was one of xBloom's social media updates on an improved reusable dripper. Happy Thanksgiving!
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

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Jeff
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#129: Post by Jeff »

With the caveat that I know two of the XBloom employees well through a local coffee group, I think it makes very good coffee. A recent report said that the best filter coffee served at the San Francisco Coffee Fest was at the XBloom booth. The US distribution of pods seems to have smoothed out a bit and the range of roast levels has increased from the early days. I let my wife do her own ordering and she makes her own cup every day. She still enjoys it. The two used XBlooms that came on the market this past week were quickly swooped up by locals.

I haven't followed the "improved" dripper at all myself. I can dig into opinions on it among the locals if someone PMs me with interest.

Shakespeare
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#130: Post by Shakespeare »

I have owned the XBloom from the start. The pre-packed pods have some limitations. It best to purchase them in small amounts to keep them fresh. I keep mine sealed in the freezer with my bulk coffee.
My opinion has been positive compared to pre ground coffee pods that sometimes are stale.

I frequently use the additional coffee Dripper that affords me the opportunity to use coffees of my choice.

The options available for the XBloom: Set the exact temperature of water for 'each' individual pour- the number of pours, the water pouring options, (circular, straight etc), the wait/pause time between pours, the vibrating option and choice of individual grind size.

Has provided me a method to brew coffee without the time I had to spend previously.
I have now created my own specific recipe for each individual type of coffee bean I have.

I understand that there are many here that enjoys your own personal and scientific method of brewing your coffee each time.
And like you, had enjoyed it myself for many years. I just don't have the time now with my busy schedule and the XBloom has become my personal barista for the foreseeable future.

There is an excellent video review by James Hoffman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM1cP555xt4
The only disagreement I have with his review is his opinion of the Dripper that affords the user to brew their own coffee beans.
I find it extremely convenient and simple to use. And it takes me only 45 seconds to prepare with my pre-measured coffee beans for my morning brew with the XBloom.
I wish he had spent the time to understand how easy it is to use.