Charles Studor was fascinated by the women he saw in Honduras and their ability to create smooth, creamy coffee that couldn’t seem to be replicated in the U.S. Now, years later, replication will be possible with his unique coffee kiosk.
“It took three or four tries, but I built a little machine that replicated what the little women in Honduras were doing,” said Studor, founder and chief technology officer of Briggo. “I think if you can follow the coffee down from the beans to the cup, you can truly be precise and have a good cup of coffee.”
The Briggo team, composed of Studor, president and CEO Kevin Nater, chief information officer John Craparo and director of coffee and kiosk operations Patrick Pierce, created an intelligent kiosk to replicate precision with every cup while still having the same quality of flavor that any other local coffee shop could offer. Drinks can be customized to the customers’ preference all by a computer screen, by saved preferences on your cell phone and through the automated kiosk, the first of its kind.
Briggo will open on Nov. 15 in the lobby of the Flawn Academic Center, offering students a variety of espresso drinks, lattes and fresh-brewed coffee with possibilty of more drinks to come, including hot chocolate, iced drinks and energy drinks.
To use the kiosk and initiate the robotic commands, the user must swipe a credit or debit card, select their beverage, make any modifications and wait for assistance from one of the attendants.
The attendants then set up the cup under a silver door on the side panel that leads into the robotic framework that creates each cup of coffee in minutes.
“Precision is everything,” Nater said. “You get a command from a cloud and a sequence is called up. After that, everything is measured to the 10th of a gram, and your coffee comes out through this silver door.”
Even with the unorthodox appearance, the team of coffee experts still anticipates a smooth transition into a technological coffee drinking experience with the assistance of the two attendants. In addition to setting up the coffee cup, these attendants will be in charge of pressing the green start button and answering questions new users may have.
“One of the reasons we have attendants is to guide them through the process so they don’t mess with too many of the settings,” Nater said. “With high quality ingredients, you don’t have to add as much sugar, and it’s very precise.”
Briggo currently uses Cafe Femenino Peruvian organic and fair trade coffee beans, hormone-free milk and an emulation of the best baristas. The Briggo kiosk will also allow coffee drinkers to choose the type and quantity of syrups, sweeteners and non-dairy options to ensure it suits their taste.
“With a bad barista, great beans and overall high-quality ingredients go to waste,” Studor said. “We use this precise process with high temperatures and pressures so you get that great shot of espresso every time.”
Briggo plans to remain competitive with other local coffee businesses through the use of social media. Their goal is to have their customers take their coffee and share it with family and friends, making the drinking experience a social one.
“You can save your coffee online, name it and then retrieve it later,” Nater said. “You can even post it on your Facebook account.”
The Briggo team believes this is just the beginning when it comes to smart beverages, and they have been discussing plans for putting four to five more kiosks around the Austin area over the next few years. They believe once students and faculty try just one cup of coffee, they’ll be hooked on the intelligent kiosk.
“It’s a robot, not a machine,” Studor said. “You’re not tearing packets; it’s all prepared for you. We basically built a robot to replicate what a champion barista can do.”
Published on Thursday, November 10 as: 'Robot' kiosk to personalize coffee orders on campus