Oakland, California-based commercial batch brewer maker Ground Control has officially launched sales of its compact new model, the New Ground Control.
Through the end of this year, pre-sales of the New Ground Control machine via the company’s website start at $5,900 for machines slated to begin shipping in early 2024. With the new year, sales will continue at the full price of $6,800.
The New Ground Control is 24 inches tall, which is 18 inches shorter than its forebear, the Cyclops, while producing filter-style hot coffee, cold brew, espresso concentrates and teas through the same innovative method involving immersion, agitation and desiccation.
Liquids brewed by the machine accumulate in a transparent, dual walled Ground Control Smart Dispenser equipped with sensors that collect data about the coffee as it is brewed and dispensed. Orders paid in full prior to Oct. 31 will receive an additional Smart Dispenser, which the company is selling a la carte for $450.
A system of color-changing LED lights embedded in the clear walls of the dispenser add visual flair to the process while shifting in patterns and shades to indicate the machine’s status while brewing. The lighting system is designed to also allow users to determine fullness and freshness from afar.
The machine’s sensors also invisibly transmit data back to the main unit via Bluetooth Low Energy connection from up to 150 feet away.
The battery that powers the dispenser when apart from the machine automatically recharges when the dispenser is docked on the brewer. Information collected by the Smart Dispenser includes the total volume of beverage brewed over time, and the timing and rate at which it is dispensed, which in turn includes the timing and quantity of old coffee poured down the drain.
“By gaining visibility into how much coffee is being poured out and when, café owners can take advantage of the New Ground Control’s ability to brew smaller volumes during key times, meaningfully reducing waste,” the company stated in a press release announcing presales this week.
While plumbing is required, the new model can run on 110-volt power, which is an option aimed at widening the Ground Control audience from cafes and restaurants into more office break rooms, mobile set-ups and potentially large home kitchens.
“We already have customers who have Cyclops in their homes,” Ground Control Co-Founder and CEO Eli Salomon told Daily Coffee News. “We are not targeting the home per se, but we do want to let people know that this could be a good fit for people who are serious about their coffee.”
Salomon added that while R&D is currently underway of an entirely home-focused model, the relatively compact New Ground Control can brew a batch as small as 700 milliliters, or approximately two 12-ounce mugs’ worth, of filter-style coffee faster than conventional home or pro brewers while also using less ground coffee. At commercial volumes, the new machine prepares the same quantity of hot filter-style brew at the same speed as the Cyclops, and is capable of brewing 33% more batch espresso and cold brew concentrate per session.
The new machine’s updated touchscreen interface ships with more preset recipes, and can store up to 50 recipes on the main screen, which is 10 times more than the Cyclops’ system. Data collected by the dispenser, and recipes designed by users, are also stored in the new Ground Control Cloud, allowing users to access data and share recipes over the internet.
“The Cloud system already has a robust recipe sharing system in place,” said Salomon. “Roasters can develop recipes for their coffees on their Ground Control brewers and those recipes are automatically transported to the cloud, where the roaster can share the recipe with their registered customers.”
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