Strange Café in Tokyo employs robot barista

Strange Café

Henn na Café (Strange Café) in Tokyo, Japan, has established a fully automated production line, using a robot named Sawyer to serve freshly-brewed filter coffee and a Melitta Cafina XT4 for espresso-based drinks.

Travel group H.I.S. has opened the café in Shibuya Modi department store. If the test project proves successful, further Henn na Cafés will be opened across Japan. H.I.S. operates nine Henn na Hotels which employ similar technology.

At Henn na Café, guests select and pay for the drink they want at a terminal, then receive a coupon with a QR code. They scan this receipt at the counter, and Sawyer, starts to prepare their coffee.

When customers order drip coffee, Sawyer begins by placing the cup in the automatic pour-over station. It then takes the filter and puts it next to the coffee grinder, starts the grinder, and pours the ground coffee into the filter. The filled filter is placed back into the station, and the brewing process starts.

In the filter station, hot water then runs through the ground coffee and filters into the cup. Finally, Sawyer picks up the filled cup and serves it at the counter. The robot then cleans the filter for its next use.

When an espresso-based beverage is selected, Sawyer places the the cup under the Melitta Cafina XT4’s outlet, presses the button for the chosen drink, and serves the filled cup. The fully automatic Melitta coffee machine handles the grinding, brewing, milk frothing, and mixing processes.

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