XBloom all-in-one coffee brewer (Kickstarter)

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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#1: Post by jbviau »

Has anyone been following the early stages of this xBloom launch?

Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/xb ... ee-machine
Site: https://xbloom.com/

Personally, I was already over it before it launched, but I'm almost certainly not in their target market. I suppose if it gets some people still without grinders to appreciate the merits of grinding their own beans, that might be a net positive. However, I'm not sure the coffee celebrity endorsements (Rao, Hedrick, Quan) and big-name roaster involvement will save this project in the end. Thoughts?
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

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#2: Post by Chrikelnel »

I had the chance to try it recently and it tastes surprisingly good, I am also not in the target market but I know a lot of people who are and would love something as easy as a pod machine but tastes better.


#3: Post by bonjing »

But how do the beans stay fresh? It doesn't look like the pods are sealed.

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#4: Post by another_jim »

bonjing wrote:But how do the beans stay fresh? It doesn't look like the pods are sealed.
Keurig pods have a seal that is semi-permeable, so that it acts like a mini valve bag. These look like they may have the same sealing material. Filling a pod with whole beans is also a whole lot easier than filling it with ground coffee, and well within the capabilities of small roasters. Given the popularity of pods of all kinds, this may actually work out.
Jim Schulman


#5: Post by Coffiend »

bonjing wrote:But how do the beans stay fresh? It doesn't look like the pods are sealed.
I had the same thought. The pod acts as the brewing device, so it has holes in the base. The pods only appear to be packaged with a peel off lid, meaning that the coffee beans are sitting in the paper filter, sealed at the top, but exposed via the holes in the base. I wouldn't like to store beans in a paper bag with the same porosity as a coffee filter, so the shelf-life of these pods is a little suspect. But hey, SURELY they've considered that!?


#6: Post by bonjing replying to Coffiend »

I was watching the video presented by Brian Quann. After he pealed off the lid, poured the beans in the grinder, he showed the pod has a filter in it and the pod has holes. When he showed the pod you could see light coming through the bottom.


#7: Post by Jonk »

It looks like it could be a nice brewer. Don't care for the pod system though - if they're truly about sustainability they should offer some kind of filter holder or reusable filter as well, otherwise it's just a Nespresso in disguise.

The other unknown is the grinder. As long as it can be bypassed..

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

Jonk wrote:...if they're truly about sustainability they should offer some kind of filter holder or reusable filter as well, otherwise it's just a Nespresso in disguise...
On KS under FAQ there's some talk about backers being able to opt in to a testing program that will include a reusable dripper, so that's a start.

Re: the seal on the pods, I'd like to know more as well. With third-party k-cups that are not fully enclosed in plastic, I know some come individually wrapped to address the whole freshness issue--TBD if that's the case here.
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

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#9: Post by Jeff »

We're not the target market for this. You may know someone who is or even have them in your own household.

I think that this is a very interesting idea, end-to-end. I think it has the potential to benefit coffee as a whole by raising the bar as to what a reasonable cup tastes like to the greater market.

I got to see an XBloom today and enjoy its coffee (Onyx Southern Weather) which held up surprisingly well when bookended by a selection of high-end beans from the likes of Sey, Glitch, Flower Child, Coffee Collective, and La Cabra.

The fit and finish of the machine was very good, much better than what I associate with a lot of mid-range coffee gear. The foot print is small, maybe around 8" square, with most of it able to tuck under kitchen cabinets. Noise level from the grinder was around Lagom Mini level and not annoying in its tone.

The overall experience is straightforward and easy. Scan the container. Pull open the top of the whole-bean container (real beans), dump the beans into the grinder, and put the container into the holder. Start the day's Wordle. Enjoy fresh coffee. There's a bit of amusement in how the brew head manages uniformity and agitation, but you'll have to wait for someone else's videos on that.

Here's the concept, as I understand it.

People are more and more going into cafes and enjoying pour-over coffee instead of a 20-oz "latte". They'd like to be able to enjoy that at home, or at least something close. There's a big show by the barista at the cafe with lots of flash as one dissuading factor. If you make it past that you find out that you need a grinder that's better than the Cuisinart you have, a scale, a dripper, filter paper that your local grocery store doesn't carry, and, oh yea, some fancy 7:4-shut-the-door pouring technique that requires study with a great master to truly understand ("grasshopper").

Roasters would like to reach a wider audience. They'd like to not have to deal with "Roaster X's coffee is crap" when the reality is that the brewer's technique was the failing.

The "scan the container" part is the key to things. The roaster can determine their preferred profile for the coffee including grind, temperature, pouring technique, and all that. Conceivably, they can even do it by roast batch, or at least make changes as a blend changes seasonally. When that coffee gets to the consumer, they get effectively the same grind and brewing as the roaster did. They end up with a very good or excellent cup of coffee. (How to manage water consistency is being discussed.)

From what I understand, roasters will be not only be the better, well-known names ("openers" listed on the XBloom site), but also high-end roasters and small, specialty roasters. There will be what I consider reasonably priced options for everyday. This also opens up a market for premium specialty coffees from smaller roasters, who don't have to worry about explaining how to extract it properly. Many here, including myself, are afraid of buying a premium coffee for fear of failing to have the skills to get a good cup out of it. Now imagine that you could buy a six-pack of some awesome Colombian gesha and know that you're going to get six good cups out of it.


#10: Post by 5ONEohhh »

My wife would love this brewer when I'm away from home. However, like others, I had the same question about the seal on the xpods. I emailed them, just waiting for a response. And will follow up.