The Quest for the Ultimate Cup of Coffee: Part I

Seva Coffee
3 min readMar 15, 2017

A short story of our journey to understand the most complex of seeds.

It starts with a seed

We started this journey three years ago to create the ultimate cup of coffee. From that initial exploration, we ended up creating new understandings, new processes, and a new machine that changes the entire ecosystem of coffee. We want to share that journey with you.

Coffee is a beautiful beverage beyond the ordinary drink you may have at chain coffee shops or the tins of coffee grounds of your parents era. With every bit the richness and sophistication of the finest wines, coffee may be the most under appreciated beverage we know even though 400 million cups are served every day in the US alone.

All coffee starts as a fruit known as a cherry growing on a tree. The seed of this fruit is what we know as coffee. The fruits are hand picked and laboriously processed by skilled farmers and undergo months of work before they become recognizable as a coffee bean. But it’s probably not like any coffee bean you’ve seen before. These are green coffee beans. They are raw, fresh, and filled with potential. It is up to those who come next to uphold and unlock that potential — the roaster, the barista, the end consumer. Traditionally the roaster cooks these green beans to create the flavor of coffee. And like any other food, as soon as the beans are cooked, that flavor starts to disappear but months can pass between roasting and when you get the bean.

The preparation of coffee is a complex engineering and chemistry problem worthy of precision laboratory equipment which results in art. We believed we could take that precision to make coffee personal — to accomodate the mood and preference of each individual however subtle. After many thousands of cups, it clicked. We had something that tasted richer and more nuanced than we could get anywhere else. The result: a small countertop machine that makes coffee tuned to your exact taste starting with the freshness of green coffee beans. A machine that combines ultimate quality with ultimate convenience with nothing to clean and no waste.

This short series presents our principles and why we care so much about coffee. Our first principle is simple: freshest is best. This should be obvious for all food, but take a walk to many coffee shops and look at the fresh by date on bags of beans and you’ll see dates six plus months into the future. Would you want a cookie just out of the oven or one made 6 months ago?

Coffee has been constrained by a logistics supply chain where fresh wasn’t in the financial interest of the company, so an industry of marketing arose to convince the consumer that stale was good. Our passion for coffee led us to rethink the entire supply chain and create a new method to bring you the freshest cup with no waste, nothing to clean, and overturns conventional coffee wisdom.

The name Seva Coffee came to us during our journey as it embodies our ideals and the greater purpose for where we want to go. The word ‘Seva’ is from Sanskrit and means ‘to serve’. At this level it made perfect sense since our purpose is to serve coffee. The deeper meaning of ‘Seva’ is ‘to serve selflessly’ and it is this we strive for every day. To us, this means serving our customers, the farmers who grow coffee, the environment, and society as a whole. We practice these principles in all that we do and hope to inspire you in a small way with a beautiful cup of coffee. We hope you join us in this continuing journey to understand the wonder of a tiny seed.