There's a new coffee subscription about to be let loose on Los Angeles that just might take your home brewing experience to the next level. Unlike other coffee subscriptions, BeanGenius is promising beans delivered to your front door tailored to your taste buds. Sounds too good to be true, right? I had a chat with the folks Behind BeanGenius to find out a little more about their ambitious project and their pending launch into the city of Angeles.
tLBCC: BeanGenius is a pretty bold name. What makes you different and... er... smarter than the average coffee subscription?
BeanGenius: Take Microsoft. What is Microsoft doing these days? Cloud computing, gaming, tablets, etc. Their product vision defines the company. For us, the name 'BeanGenius' makes us flexible and durable, and we're small enough to have it define us more than the other way around.
BeanGenius will always deliver great tasting specialty coffee. But every specialty coffee subscription service promises this. What makes us different? The assurance of an elevated experience, not just a promise, but a new kind of coffee-curiosity you can plug into.
Competitors have databases; we have data moving freely, getting visualized, becoming open and available via USB "dead drops" around LA. Others don't picture the future of smart coffee data talking much with other devices. We're already predicting that the Internet of Things will be caffeinated.
tLBCC: You had mentioned a 'taste engine' before, what is it and how does it work?
BeanGenius: The taste engine refers to our algorithm that matches the myriad of flavors in coffee to consumer tastes. It sounds complicated, and removed from the human experience, but it's painfully scrutinized by humans and for humans.
It starts with a baseline of food preferences, we send you the coffee that corresponds to this baseline, you respond with a simple binary Y/N, and we customize the next shipment based on this new data.
The process itself looks mechanized, and from a certain angle, it is. The taste engine is really about education, not making precise coffee decisions for you. Our model of growth is not based on how the drink matures and develops, but how the coffee drinker learns, and what subtle notes they can recognize.
tLBCC: How is BeanGenius Changing the consumer side of things? And the roaster side of things?
BeanGenius: We want to construct the architecture of a new coffee future. This isn't just symbolic, or poetic. We mean architecture literally; 3 dimensional taste wheels, data architecture, smart mods brewing our coffees and connected to larger infrastructures, etc.
A better platform for roasters, and a more responsive and transparent experience for consumers.
tLBCC: What most excites you about launching in LA?
BeanGenius: The new version of our website right now is a sandbox, but LA is also one. We like to say that specialty coffee drinkers can be divided into two types: Disruptors and Voyeurs. Los Angeles has no shortage of both.
Disruptors flourish in environments where things are messy and where experimentation happens, and where we're based, things are hospitable for the disruptor. The voyeur is ambivalent to the coffee climate, they might be aware of smaller shops, but they don't speak up, and definitely feel uneasy around emerging markets.
BeanGenius is right where the Fourth Wave starts. The Fourth Wave is said to be the next stage of specialty coffee. It's a number of things colliding: education, better processed beans, more refined brewing methods, increased automation, and a superior coffee curation.
The coffee universe is always expanding.