The Brothers Vastardis of our partners at BKON Craft Brewer are at the 27th SCAA Event in Seattle, Washington, to showcase their space-aged brewing technology brewing what it was destined to brew since its inception: coffee. When we profiled the brewer last year at SCAA, the machine was dutifully brewing Rishi Tea. Now, with the help of a custom BKON Mahlkönig grinder and a thoughtful filter system, the BKON is capable of brewing a delightful cup of coffee and so much more.


So much more? Well, yes. Apart from the teas and the coffees and the Hugh Acheson hot toddy beverages, the Vastardis are introducing inventive recipes that take a culinary approach to flavored coffee experiences. Think sea salt flakes, single origin cacao, and a pinch of raw sugar added to twenty-five grams of ground coffee, brewed together to create a signature coffee beverage. 

Flavored coffee is going to be the next big thing. No, seriously.


We stood by as the Vastardis brewed Heart Roasters coffee with organic dehydrated raspberries and Madagascar cacao. It smelled like Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Puffs. COFFEE NERDS DON’T FREAK OUT. Heart’s coffee is a delight, but with the inclusion of those simple and organic ingredients? The drink suddenly has potential to reach an audience that maaaaybe thinks chocolate and raspberry flavors are a perfectly normal and delicious thing to put in coffee, in the form of artificial sweeteners and syrups. Think of the mass-market potential to win over the coffee milkshake crowd with simple ingredients. THINK OF IT!


Maybe you’re thinking the following: “But Sprudge, why do I need to buy a machine to brew coffee with ingredients added? I’ll just take raspberry bits and throw them in my AeroPress!” FAIR POINT, friend. But the BKON Brothers and their partners at Franke are leaning on the technology they’ve developed to show that ingredients with different cellular structures brew best in a vacuum. Specifically, a vacuum that also involves their proprietary “RAIN technology“. It also helps that the tech assists a novice user (or a disinterested server at a busy restaurant).

Also, it’s as much theater as a VacPot, with the “robot technology of the future” wow-factor we fell over for back when the Clover came out.


More about that grinder: The Mahlkönig Flux grinder is a BKON custom grinder using the classic Mahlkönig Kenia body. It’s designed to simplify setting the grind, with steps that go from -10 to +10. Recipes on the BKON include the grind setting (like +5 or -3) and it’s designed so that anyone can easily set the grind for any coffee on the bar. It even has a step that squeeks to let you know the grinder is calibrated. It’s pretty darn impressive.

The grinder will be available, according to the Brothers Vastardii, in a month, and will cost around the same price as a Mahlkönig Kenia.
BKON was named “Product Of The Year” at last year’s SCAA Event, back when they were still only just brewing tea. But the device was always intended to brew coffee, and not just that, but to elevate coffee with innovative new beverage possibilities. What’s exciting is not some demo at a trade show; what’s exciting is what happens from here, when the machine gets out into the wild and into the hands of baristas and chefs, two groups for whom it seems there is an ever-shrinking gap. We love coffee tech that makes us ponder what’s next for the industry, and this is that.

Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and senior editor at Sprudge. 

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