Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A home espresso machine that provides commercial quality temperature and pressure consistency at an affordable price.
A home espresso machine that provides commercial quality temperature and pressure consistency at an affordable price.
1,546 backers pledged $369,569 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

PID-Controlled Espresso Machine project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$369,569

1,546

PLEASE CHECK OUT UPDATES FOR LATEST PRODUCTION SCHEDULE!

(Shipping to begin Spring/Summer 2012)

What we're doing:

We're making a commercial-quality espresso machine at a consumer-friendly price.

Consistent pressure and temperature through the entire pull is the key to getting a perfect shot of espresso. And that's exactly what our machine gives you, at a price far below any machine currently out there.

There are basically two kinds of home espresso machines on the market today. The affordable models have no good mechanism of temperature or pressure control. These machines can’t pull consistent shots. So if you're serious about espresso, you’ll need one of the higher-end machines - they make great coffee, but they also start around $700.

But we’re engineers, and we knew that we could design a machine that was just as good as the expensive models - for less. And because we’re coffee enthusiasts ourselves, we kept the consumer experience in mind, and included features that we ourselves lusted after in an affordable machine.

Our machine will retail for around $400, but it's available to you guys on Kickstarter for only $200!

No other machine at this price point offers high-end quality, PID-controlled customizable temperature and pressure, pre-infusion, or shot-time settings - we do.

How we did it:

We took the espresso machine back to the drawing board. We looked at all the latest technologies, and we developed a few of our own.

Building a machine from the ground up meant we could include the features we found ourselves breaking our warranties to add. By re-engineering and re-designing the machine inside and out, we have found ways to improve performance while lowering production costs.

Here are our niftiest features and innovations:

  • Redesigned thermoblock. Though models featuring a thermoblock can be found in cheaper machines on the market, their poor design results in inconsistent temperatures and pressures. Our redesigned thermoblock ensures quick and consistent temperature, and allows for rapid switching between brewing and the steam wand.
  • PID Controller. A proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller includes a feedback mechanism that allows our thermoblock to adjust its temperature while a shot is being pulled. This results in much lower temperature and pressure fluctuations during the shot, and ensures that the set temperature and pressure are maintained throughout the shot. Many home baristas find themselves retrofitting their machines with a PID controller. Our PID controller is tuned specifically for our machine, and configured for multiple settings, ensuring fast start-up, consistency over multiple shots, and fast steam-to-brew transitioning.
  • Low-cost manufacturing. We've designed our thermoblock, group head, casing and internal supports to minimize manufacturing costs without sacrificing the feel or quality of our machine. Our machine is made entirely of metal, so it feels sturdier than plastic alternatives, and is heavy enough to not move around. We've minimized the use of proprietary components, which means your machine is maximally serviceable and modifiable by you.
  • Open-source. The code for our machine will be completely open-source, allowing owners to import and share their code and hardware modifications.
  • Espresso pod compatibility: You’ll be able to use our machine with the Easy Serving Espresso Pods, one of the most widely available pre-packaged coffee systems, in addition to loose grounds. Pods are quick, convenient and make for an easy clean-up. They demand a more powerful pump and a unique portafilter, but we thought it was worth it.

Tech Specs:

Portafilter: 58mm; Choice of single-spout, double-spout or naked; Regular or ESE-pod compatible portafilter baskets

Colors: Silver, red, yellow, green, blue, orange, black; matte or glossy

Tank capacity: 2.75L shared tank

Pressure range: 5-15 bar

External dimensions (approximate): 9.5inx12inx9in (width x height x depth); 24cm x 30.5cm x 23cm

Power Specs: 1000 watts

The machine will use an Arduino microcontroller.

What we need:

So we've got the proof of concept down and gone through several prototypes.

We’ve taken some of our prototypes to local coffee shops (shoutout to Land of a Thousand Hills and Octane in Atlanta!) and had their baristas pull a shot on both our machine and theirs. The shots our machine pulled were comparable to theirs in quality, every time.

Now we need to ramp up into the manufacturing stage.With the funds we're asking you guys for, we're going to set up a shop with a foundry to cast the thermoblock and grouphead, and a Tormach CNC mill to machine them into the precision shape that makes our machine so good.

With your help, we'll be able to start shipping machines by Spring/Summer 2012! (Please check updates for the most up-to-date production details available!)

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    And they say you can’t get good coffee for $1 anymore! But your $1 is getting us that much closer to great at-home espresso - we couldn’t do it without you! A hearty thanks, and we’ll put your name on our website. Every dollar counts!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    88 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Shot glasses are more than just cute miniature versions of regular glasses - they’re great for your espresso, for your liquor, for growing tiny plants in...With a $10 pledge you get shot glasses with our logo! Just use responsibly.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    70 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Coffee is great for warming you up on a chilly day, but sometimes you need to take it to the next level and put on some clothes. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered (literally! - you like that?). Enjoy one of our cozy, and stylish, ZPM T-shirts. And the shot glasses are all yours, too.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    33 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Our machines do a lot of the work of making perfect espresso, but you’ve got to help out too. To show our gratitude, we’re making it as easy as possible by giving you the tools you require - namely, a fancy-schmancy tamper for all your tamping needs (probably just espresso, but who knows?). Add that to the t-shirt and shot glasses, and you’ll be sitting pretty.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    There’s no better feeling than unwrapping a box of presents - except maybe the feeling of playing with a bunch of presents. Forgive us for spoiling the surprise, but here’s what you’ll be getting from us: a shot glass, a t-shirt, a tamper, and your very own bag of artisan coffee beans. With our box of gifts, it’ll feel like Christmas in...whatever month you get your box of gifts!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    For a $200 pledge, you’re pre-ordering one of our very first machines, a $400 retail value! It can be hard to be one of the first to brave new frontiers, but don’t worry - there’s no river-crossings or dysentery in store for you, just awesome home-brewed espresso.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 450 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    If you want to boldly brew as you’ve never brewed before, this is your level. For $250, you’ll receive everything you need to craft the perfect espresso - one of our first machines, a bag of artisan coffee beans, shot glasses, and a tamper. And you can savor it while wearing one of our t-shirts. A $470 value!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 450 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    So you didn't manage to snag one of our $200 reward level machines and now you're sitting around all bummed out. Well, buck up, my friend, because we're not going to abandon you. For $300, you can still pre-order a machine. And our later machines will incorporate any user feedback we get from the early birds - so sometimes it pays to wait.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 244 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    We know you were just dying to pledge at our $250 reward level, but, you know, a lot of stuff came up, what with the holidays and TV being so good lately, and you never got around to it...and now it's sold out! Fear not, dear backer. You can still pledge to get our machine and box of goodies that includes shot glasses, t-shirt, espresso tamper, and a bag of artisan roasted coffee beans; a $470 dollar retail value! They'll arrive a little later, but the anticipation is half the fun.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 114 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $675 or more About $675

    So you know you want our espresso machine - great! But you also know you'll have a hard time tamping whole beans. We're in the business of solving problems, so let us help you out. For $675, you get our machine AND a Baratza Vario grinder (a $869 value)! Grind away! (This is a 120V/US-shipping only reward level.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    16 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $725 or more About $725

    You're clearly in it to win it at this point, so you may as well spring for the deluxe edition. Our machine, a Baratza Vario grinder, a t-shirt, a tamper, shot glasses, and a bag of Batdorf & Bronson Dancing Goats coffee (a $939 retail value). That's right, we will meet all your fashion and beverage needs. You never need to leave the house again. (This is a 120V/US shipping-only reward level.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    24 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    If you’ve always dreamed of being a self-sufficient one-man (or -lady) coffee shop, this is where you need to be. For $1000, we’ll custom build a machine to your specifications (!), send you all of our ZPM logo products, shot glasses, a tamper, a bag of artisanal coffee, and your very own grinder. Now all you need is a patch of good bean-growin’ land in Colombia, and you’ll be set for life.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Featured

Funding period

- (40 days)