There is one thing other than coffee that my family is passionate about…technology. It is fair to say that we are a family of early adopters. Whether it was the first personal digital calculator or Apple’s first personal computer, we were there, ready to buy. Given this, it will be no surprise that the highlight of the year in the Black family was the ultimate in Mother’s Day gifts to Mom from my brother Tom of a shiny new iPad. Of course this was a shameless, and failed, attempt for my much older sibling to gain ‘favorite’ status with our dear mother. I will have to admit though, the iPad is by far one of the coolest pieces of technology I have ever seen. Of course, one of my first thoughts was, “What can the iPad do for the coffee world?”
Big Corporate Apps
Of course the big corporate giants stepped up to the plate first with their “where to find the nearest” apps because, after all, America is running on them, and how could people possibly get by without “my Starbucks” for a day. These apps have a full menu of the coffee shop’s drinks and allow coffee gophers the ability to create a checklist so that they don’t forget anyone’s order.
Where Is Coffee?
So, if corporate coffee houses are not your thing, then this is the app for you. Where Is Coffee? helps you find all of the unique, privately owned coffee shops in your area. The app even has a brief review of cafés, any special events they have going on, as well as their hours.
Ever have anxiety over embarrassing yourself in front of a barista? Worry no more! Coffee Talk is a complete dictionary of coffee house lingo. So the next time you order a grande double-mocha caramel soy latte with extra foam and whip, you can do it with confidence.
The whole aim of Coffee Buzz is to bring the “coffee social” to the iPad and the iPhone. This app uses Google Maps to help you find local cafes and locate other users on the network having coffee nearby.
If you are trying to fine-tune your espresso and latte making skills at home, you should download Barista. It provides you with tutorials and videos to help teach you espresso-machine basics and also has two latte art demonstrations.
If you encounter one of those people who happen to see the glass half empty and want to tell you what your iPad can not do, you can open this fun little app and point out to them that your iPad can even make coffee! Make Coffee is a virtual espresso maker that is very easy to use with graphics that are extremely realistic.
Star Trek Tech for the Strada
La Marzocco is known for being at the leading edge for quality and workmanship within the coffee industry. In collaboration with Stanford University and Apple, La Marzocco has developed the ultimate in iPad applications for their forthcoming Strada commercial espresso machine. This app will interface with the Strada and control functions and parameters such as time, temperature, pressure and cup profile. This amazing program even has analytical tools, using sensors in the grouphead, that will measure the body of a shot in viscosity measurements, spot TDS, and determine coffee origin. It even utilizes a pre-configured scoring of 0 to 10, termed the God Shot scale, that grades the quality of the shots produced from the Strada. With new generations of the iPad being released with built in cameras, the app is already configured to adapt facial recognition to recognize a barista and brew his or her favorite shot profile. When it becomes possible to connect an external camera to the iPad that faces out towards the café, it will be possible to do the same for regular patrons.
There is no telling what we can look forward to in the future of technology for the coffee world or for the iPad, but for now, we can enjoy all of the great programs that are out there. Developers are coming out with new apps on a constant basis, so make sure to keep watching for them as they come out.
Are there any other coffee-related apps for the iPad that you would like to share?
What kinds of coffee related apps would you like to see developed for the iPad?