Epicure

The Morning Machine

The Morning Machine is for all coffee nerds and home baristas out there. With a choice of recipes, customisab­le settings and a mobile app, this coffee capsule machine will make the daily grind more exciting.

- BY NIDA SEAH

There are many ways to make a cup of coffee. You can reach for the instant freeze dried variety, pop in a kopi-o bag or simply pour hot water over coffee grounds in a paper filter. For those who have a little more time to spare, there’s the French press (where ground coffee is soaked, steeped and strained in hot water), siphon, moka pot, percolator and a host of other methods and equipment dedicated to making the perfect cup of joe. There’s also the espresso machine that allows you to create barista-quality coffee at home.

Coffee capsule machines are the newer kids on the block. These little pods of coffee have made it even easier to load up on caffeine – just drop one into the machine, press a button and let it do its thing.

But that’s the problem for coffee connoisseu­rs – it’s just too easy. For this group, it’s all about getting the best brew from the best beans, be it one that’s assertive and full-bodied, or a drink that’s more mellow and smooth. That means getting the water temperatur­e right and adjusting the brew ratio and grind size, among other things. The one-size-fits-all approach won’t do.

The Morning Machine fills this gap. Specialty coffee pioneers Leon Foo of PPP Coffee and Andre Chanco of Yardstick Coffee believe that “convenienc­e can be delicious” and want your morning coffee to be the best version of what it can be. So they created a machine where you have full control on how you want your coffee to taste by creating your own recipes.

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

At first glance, it’s a sleek minimalist contraptio­n that will easily find a place in any (cluttered) kitchen. Going by its looks, it’s already a winner, having clinched the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2021. If you are familiar with capsule machines, you’ll find that the basic parts of the Morning Machine are not too different, with the capsule slot on top, water tank at the back, and used capsule container, drip base and tray at the front.

What’s different is the OLED screen and the dial control. Turn the dial either way to choose your recipe. There are 10 default settings, ranging from the Morning Machine’s flagship recipe Bloom & Brew, to Short, Long and even Kyoto-style Drip. You’ll also see recipe details such as temperatur­e, coffee output and pressure profiles.

Temperatur­e affects the different compounds in coffee – higher temperatur­es tend to produce a cup with higher body, bitterness and sweetness. The Morning Machine uses the temperatur­e setting to alter the taste balance and aroma of the coffee.

Each recipe also comes with different pressure profiles (a first for coffee capsule brewing) which, like temperatur­e, can affect the flavour. The machine features traditiona­l espresso pressure profiles, but you can adjust it through the accompanyi­ng Morning mobile app. Plus, you can control the output for each coffee thanks to the built-in scale. Choose a shorter cup for a more intense taste or a longer cup (with higher weight output) for a milder flavour.

TASTE THE DIFFERENCE

Setup was easy; it was literally plug-and-play. All I needed to do was to fill the water tank, “wake” it up and start brewing by pressing the button on the screen. The most difficult part was actually choosing the capsules and recipe (it works with Nespresso OriginalLi­ne capsules and thirdparty compatible capsules).

I decided to stick to Morning’s Tried & True capsules to test how different recipes affect the flavour. This medium-roast coffee from Peru is described to have a “smooth body” that is “perfectly designed for the espresso drinker”. Here’s the verdict for selected recipes.

Bloom & Brew, 25g – This includes a stage where the machine pre-infuses or “bloom” the coffee inside the capsule. Coffee was stronger with more distinctiv­e toffee and cereal notes.

Classic, 40g – This is said to be the most versatile recipe, especially if you can’t make up your mind. Coffee was smooth with balanced acidity and sweetness.

Short (Dark Roast), 25g – This produced a traditiona­l Italian espresso shot with a syrupy mouthfeel.

Kyoto-style Drip, 100g – Temperatur­e was lower at 75°C which made the brew more refined and smoother. The slow brew recipe required a longer wait but it was worth it. Best enjoyed over ice.

Ultimately, we’re trying to make delicious coffee more accessible.

LEON FOO, CO- FOUNDER OF MORNING, AND CHAIRMAN OF PPP COFFEE

THE RIGHT CONNECTION

If the default selection doesn’t satisfy your taste buds, the Morning mobile app offers a database of partner roasters. Get personally developed recipes that replicate cafequalit­y coffees, which means you get a brew exactly as the roaster intended. Alternativ­ely, create your own to suit your preference­s and save it to the My Recipes page or on the machine itself.

It was fun experiment­ing with various settings and roasters’ signature recipes. The feature-packed Morning Machine has allowed coffee lovers like me to get the best out of specialty roasters and unleash my inner barista for the perfect brew. Now that’s worth waking up for in the morning.

 ??  ?? The Morning Machine
The Morning Machine
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Coffee capsules from independen­t roasters
 ??  ?? Morning coffee capsules
Morning coffee capsules
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 ??  ?? The Morning mobile app
The Morning mobile app
 ??  ?? Leon Foo
Andre Chanco
Leon Foo Andre Chanco

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