A Colombian-Israeli startup named Demetria is reported to have created an artificial intelligence data platform that supposedly can determine the quality of beans. We’ve seen that viral video of a robot making a latte, complete with latte art, but this takes it to another level – this is automating something only experienced professionals with impeccable senses are able (and licensed) to do.
According to this press release, Demetria reportedly has “pioneered the digitization of coffee aroma and taste, the most important quality variables of the coffee bean”. It utilizes “state-of-the-art, portable near infra-red (NIR) sensors” to “analyze and fingerprint green coffee beans for biochemical markers”. Further to that, “Demetria has created an AI-based data intelligence platform that accurately matches each bean profile according to the industry standard coffee flavor wheel” and that it is “launching a suite of SaaS-based solutions to replace age-old, manual production processes used to ascertain bean quality alongside cupping, delivering taste assessment and profiling as well as swift, accurate quality measurement and traceability throughout the supply chain.” Pardon the paragraph full of quotes.
It has had a good start, getting Millions of US Dollars in funding including a recent $3 Million from a group of investors and getting a coffee veteran in Oswaldo Aranha Neto to join them as their International Business Development & Commercial Advisor. It completed a project with Carcafe, the Colombian coffee division of Volcafe/ED&F Man (read more here). There is still some limitation to it, particularly that a human will need to input quality parameters at the beginning, but after that it is supposed to be good to go on its own. Reportedly, it could even grade coffee before it’s roasted.
Now, there are some big advantages in automating things. It lowers the risk of errors, it could ensure the work is done continuously barring major work stoppages (like disasters, major breakdowns, or hacking), and it also ensures things are done consistently. In the area of coffee grading, although I do not know much about it myself so this is just my opinion, grading can be done according to exact parameters with little reliance to human opinion (which can change per person) and especially during this time of a pandemic, it ensures the process continues to be done without putting people at a health risk.
Will it be a standard accepted by the industry as a whole? I don’t know now, but I have an inkling that in time it may be. I have seen the effects of automation where processes that we didn’t think can be automated have been, and to some extent has already been standards in their respective industries. I do find it interesting that coffee has such a following that these are even considered for it.
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Categories: serious Kape