The evolution of home-brewed coffee looks like this for many Americans: In the ‘80s and earlier, Folgers was fine. Then buying fresh-ground coffee from a local shop (or Starbucks) became chic. Soon, grinders became a staple in many coffee-lovers homes, turning former instant-joe swillers into snobs who insisted the best part of waking up was whole-bean java in their cups.
What’s next? The Bonaverde actually turns raw beans into coffee by roasting, grinding and brewing them in the same machine.
“This is the freshest coffee you’ll ever taste,” inventor Hans Stier tells Reuters. The user pours raw, green beans into the machine; using RFID technology, the Bonaverde reads a tag included with the beans to roast the beans for a precise time and at the right temperature. Once the roasting process is done, a door opens, depositing the beans into the grinder. The final brewing step takes place in the filter, and the coffee drips into the waiting carafe.
There are a few reasons raw beans are preferable to roasted. For one, they stay fresher longer. From the farmers’ fields to your cup, it takes months for beans to become coffee, according to the National Coffee Association USA. Bonaverde hopes to help empower farmers by eventually letting them sell their beans directly to consumers. In fact, the machines will only work with beans from the company’s farmers, to prevent “established coffee retailers” from selling raw beans that may exploit farmers.
The Bonaverde launched on Kickstarter and Indiegogo in 2013, raising over $800,000. The machines were supposed to ship in October 2014, but there have been a few sticky issues; now the expected ship date is spring 2015. The delay and some design changes (including the RFID, which wasn’t mentioned in the original pitch) have angered some backers, according to Crowdfund Insider. In fact, many have demanded a refund, which the company promises to honor once the machine is profitable.
The machine is expected to retail for about $500, but Bonaverde has a special going on right now. For €299 ($368), you can buy a “Christmas Set,” which includes a voucher for the machine, a mug, some raw beans, a jute bag, and some chocolate, to sweeten the IOU-status of your Christmas gift.