What’s Brewing?  Your glimpse behind the scenes at xBloom

What’s Brewing? Your glimpse behind the scenes at xBloom

We sat down with TT, our supply chain manager, to discover where her coffee journey began and how she got involved with xBloom. 

What was your first coffee experience?

The first time I had coffee was back in high school. Let’s just say I’m not a morning person, and my only motivation for drinking it was to avoid getting in trouble! I had to get some caffeine into my body so I wouldn’t get called back by my teachers for falling asleep during class (it might have happened once or twice, I’ll admit!) 

What got you hooked?

I could only afford to drink instant coffee back then, and apart from keeping me awake, it did nothing for me. I didn’t particularly enjoy the bitter flavor, which I assumed was how all coffee would taste like. Then this one time, a friend treated me to a specialty coffee at a cafe, and there was no going back. Wow! 🤯 That was a totally different experience. 

Tell us more!

It was like nothing I had ever tasted before. The flatness and bitterness I was used to were replaced by a smooth and subtle flavor. But at $5 a cup, replacing my instant coffee with this barista-level perfection just wasn’t going to be an option on the daily. So I reluctantly went back to my instant, treating myself to specialty coffee once in a while.

Now you work at xBloom I hope that’s changed!

For sure! And honestly, that’s one of the reasons that I jumped at this opportunity. Since my experience as a teenager, I have appreciated the art of barista-quality coffee and, of course, the superior flavor. But I didn’t like that it was so exclusive. The mission to make specialty coffee more accessible and affordable for more people resonates so strongly with me. I think back to my high school years and the litres of instant coffee that fueled me as a teenager, and I can’t help but wish someone had created this product back then!

What’s the impact of your role?

By optimizing the supply chain, I can help connect the wonderful producers of the best beans in the world with the coffee drinkers that appreciate their efforts. And I’m also helping to bring our revolutionary coffee machine to life✨! Ensuring we have the right materials to make it a reality and that they are eco-friendly, sustainable, and affordable means that more people will be able to make barista-quality coffee seamlessly in the comfort of their homes!

As TT said, optimizing our supply chain is critical to our mission! So we’ll keep you in the loop with exciting updates as we work to connect coffee lovers to the best beans out there. And don’t forget, we’ll be launching our crowdfunding initiative soon. Keep your eyes peeled👀!

We crashed the engineers’ coffee break to discover where Kim’s coffee journey began and what it’s like to be designing the beautiful xBloom coffee machine. 

What was your first coffee experience?

I probably shouldn’t admit this while working for a coffee company! But before joining xBloom, I seldom drank coffee. I can’t remember where I first tried it, but it can’t have been good because, in my mind, it's either bitter and acidic or bland. 

Has xBloom changed your mind?!

Honestly, yes! Alongside my colleagues, as an engineer at xBloom, I’m responsible for designing a specific part of our coffee machine. And naturally, my curiosity kicked in. I wanted to give the coffee a try and see if our hard work was going to make a difference. At 3 pm every day, all of us engineers get together to put the pieces we’ve been working on together and do a test run.

I had never tried pour-over before and I was amazed by how it tasted nothing like the instant coffee of my past or even coffee made by regular capsule machines. 

Tell us more!

Well, as I said, I used to associate coffee with an acrid and unpleasant taste. Pour over unleashes a whole new world of flavors in every cup, and they are really subtle. I used to laugh when I heard people describing the fruits or spices they noted - I could never pick up on anything. But now I really get it!

As an engineer, I also love the experimental element of the pour-over technique. You can play around with so many elements of the process as well as different beans. It becomes quite addictive! And I really love the idea of bringing this joy to households with our xBloom machine. 

My 3 pm coffee run has quickly become my favorite part of the day and I can’t wait for you all to try it!

Any insider tips for the perfect coffee?

I guess I’m biased! But it has to be made with our machine. As I said, pour over coffee blows my mind in terms of aroma and flavor compared to the mediocre mugs I’d tried before. But traditional pour-over requires so much equipment, patience, and time. xBloom delivers the same quality consistently, without requiring the years of practice the best baristas have, so it’s much more accessible.

Excited to discover what’s got our engineers hooked? Soon you’ll be able to try out the machine for yourself. If you’re interested, keep an eye out for our crowdfunding initiative, which will be launching soon! For now, stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes stories as we continue on this journey together!

We sat down with Bob, our in-house coffee Q Grader, to discover where his coffee journey began and what it’s like being a genuine guru in the world of coffee. 

First things first, what is a coffee Q Grader?

Great question! You probably know what a sommelier is in the world of wine, so let’s just say a Q-grader is something similar in the realm of coffee. The Q-Grader certification is an advanced-level course that puts you through your paces (19 rigorous tests, to be precise) to measure your sensory abilities. If you pass, you are recognized as a licensed professional capable of scoring the quality of roasted coffees.

Wow! That sounds intense!

It is! A lot of people ask me, “was it worth taking the 19 tests to become a Q-grader?” Yes, there was a lot of stress and preparation for the exams, but I know it was all worth it. It helps you understand coffees in more depth than probably any other training could. As well as learning from experienced instructors is an enriching experience that you share with fellow classmates who also teach you so much. 

Did it teach you anything unexpected?

Honestly, yes. Becoming a Q-grader gives you a golden ticket to join an exclusive club made up of the best baristas in the world. But during the process, I realized that so many of the recipes developed by these incredible artists are limited within certain circles. Sure, it takes an awful lot of work to get there, but it seems a shame that the fruits of their labor aren’t more accessible to a wider audience. 

I kept thinking, how could we bring these exceptional techniques of a barista to someone across the country or even across the globe? 

Cue xBloom. How did you get involved?

Richard and Ray reached out to me to talk about their idea of making this coffee machine that can really replicate the different pour patterns and styles of a barista. It caught my attention immediately! Their timing was impeccable and their mission to bring barista-quality coffee to homes aligned exactly with what I had been thinking about.

Tell us a bit about your role.

I’m in charge of cupping the coffees we source and quality controlling everything that goes onto our marketplace. Cupping is the official tasting process that is used by Q Graders to make sure the beans are as great as they should be. And given our mission to connect coffee lovers with the best coffee in the world, it’s an important step in the process!

I’m also working with our hardware team to help "tune” the taste of coffee while they are building and experimenting with the machine. We’re going to offer barista recommendations that xBloom drinkers can follow so I’m working hard to make them the best they can be!

With a Q Grader onboard, you know we’re serious about our mission! You can join us on this journey via our crowdfunding initiative, launching soon. Your support will help bring a product to life that will allow all coffee lovers to enjoy a barista-quality coffee at home. 

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