Your morning cup of coffee may be the most important ritual of your day. And startup Craft Coffee wants to use that influential cup to help inform all your coffee decisions. Over the summer the company began developing the Coffee DNA Project, which founder Michael Horn describes as the Pandora for coffee drinkers, exposing customers to new roasts and blends that they will love.
“Most people can’t describe tasting notes or different roasting styles, but they do know what coffee they drink every morning,” Horn says.
So Horn and his crew stripped out the terms usually used to describe preferences and looked to science. Craft got a machine that analyzes the structural integrity of beans and how they change during the roasting process. What happens next sounds like caffeine-fueled science fiction: the machine takes that data and spits out a single number. Match your favorite coffee to its number and you can find similar styles to try, whether you're in a new coffee shop or buying beans for home use.
Craft expects to analyze about 800 different coffees each year, so their database of beans and recommendations will continue to grow. Horn hopes the data will get so deep that you'll be able to go into a café anywhere in America and know which coffee you’re going to enjoy.
If you'd rather try out the technology now, Craft offers a monthly subscription service featuring beans from small roasters that matched to your magic number.
The company is also testing a coffee concierge program, set to launch next year. Website users will be able to ask questions about grinding, brewing and beyond in real time. “They’ll be able to chat, call us, do a Google Hangout, whatever they want.” It’s like having a personal barista on call, except this one is probably more likely to spell your name right.
You can check out a list of featured roasters, holiday specials and more at craftcoffee.com.