Monday, January 11, 2016

Qualia Coffee has a crazy new automatic pour-over machine: "Robopour"

If you've been to Qualia Coffee at Georgia and Randolph lately, you may have noticed a new employee behind the counter: Robopour the robot.

The staff gave the joking name to a machine that automatically makes pour over coffee -- the type of coffee where you pour hot water into coffee in a paper or cloth cone, and it seeps through into a cup below. Coffee purists say pour over coffee has a better, richer flavor than regular coffee machines with less bitterness. The poured-over water reaches more of the coffee grounds than a traditional drip machine, and it doesn't sit there for a long period of time, which is one thing that causes bitter coffee.

However, it can be a little time consuming, especially multiple people are queued up to order. Enter the Poursteady machine, created by a Brookyln startup.

The idea is that the barista sets up multiple filters with different coffee, pushes a button and the machine automatically drips water into each, which filter down into mugs below. The machine's water spout even moves around in patterns the baristas can choose, assuring an even brewing.

It doesn't replace a barista -- they still need to grind and measure the coffee and set up the machine, but frees time for them to do other things -- ring people up, make espresso drinks, prepare bagels and such.

This is the first such machine in DC, and one of the first in the country, and it's pretty cool. The store is also offering a Robopour happy hour -- $1 off Robopour coffee after 2 pm.

And I tried it: the coffee is really good.


  1. I stopped going to Qualia awhile ago. Th space is too small and service is too slow. Seems the space could be much better designed as there is never any place to sit. In addition they have very limited food options. Id be willing to suffer for a truly good cup of coffee, but the coffee isn't THAT great. I'm hoping Petworth gets another coffee shop/bakery in the near future.

  2. They aren't the speediest, but I think they're getting faster (especially with this machine) and they've always been super nice. But it's not a Starbucks, speed isn't the goal. There's also an upstairs area with more seating.

    Then again I think we could always use another coffee shop. Someone should open one around 14th and Spring or a few blocks north!

  3. Qualia, qualia, qualia. I wish you were a bigger coffee shop with some seating. Yes, there's the upstairs, but it feels awkward, like I'm in a church rec center or something. In the meantime, I'll walk the extra 5 minutes from my place to Coupe


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