AI Robot Baristas Cafe in Seoul

“Did you say a robot can make coffee ?”

Yes ! Indiway members went to some Cafes where robots are working in order to find an answer to the question

‘What does a robot’s coffee taste like?’

We thought the robots would be inferior to humans, but it was just our misunderstanding. The robot baristas drop coffee with a perfect handshake. Some robots grind tea leaves even faster than humans do.  

Coffeed Method

“Beep Beep Boop” robots are serving coffee_

Facing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, robots are appearing in the dining industry. A few years ago, Smart restaurants featuring robots have opened in Silicon Valley in the U.S. In line with that, there is now a cafe where robots are working. Sooner or later, more cafes and restaurants are working with robots in Korea. Most of the time, they are repeating human-programmed movements, but they evolves to the point where they can identify individual tastes if they combine machine learning, which is one of artificial intelligence.

 “Should we add more shots as we did last time?”  the robot asked.

Can you imagine the robots working as baristas? The dining industry predicts that store operations will be more efficient, labor costs will be lower and future-oriented services can be improved. This is a prediction except that the price of robots is formidable. Robots boast physical strength that they never be exhausted, even working 24 hours a day, and they replace simple labor that people get bored with. It’s a unique attraction for shopkeepers, too. Customers enjoy taking pictures of robots working hard.

The robot barista is dripping coffee 

Billy, a Robot working at Namsan Cafe in Seoul

The robot barista, Billy is working front of the espresso machine. Billy’s arm, which is modeled after a man’s arm, begins to move quickly and accurately when the coffee order comes in. It makes a cup of Americano in about 1 minute and 7 seconds. They can do it by themselves, from grinding beans to squeezing coffee powder into a tamping, extracting espresso, cleaning and drying shot glass, and throwing away coffee grounds. Visit Billy working on the fourth floor of the Seoul Tower Plaza in Namsan Seoul Tower.

 Billy is learning the behavior of a human barista for making coffee

The Cafe, Coffeed Method in Namsan Seoul Tower

The way Billy works is very simple. A human barista manufactures Espresso or Americano according to the programming set up by just pressing a button on a tablet PC connected to Billy. Billy learns how barista makes coffee and drops it. Unlike people who have deviations depending on their condition, it is also an advantage to maintain a consistent taste.

Billy is exclusively responsible for the extraction of espresso and, the human barista is responsible for other tasks, such as handling orders and serving guests, and adding milk or whipped cream. It is a clear division of roles.

Billy saves a lot of time by making Americano when there are many orders, such as weekday evenings and weekends.

So what about the taste of Billy’s coffee?

Guests who have been given coffee to Billy, generally say the coffee tastes so good and soft
Billy’s cafe was opened in late May 2019. The white-ton interior is decorated with green plants, and the atmosphere is sophisticated since it is located at the Namsan Seoul Tower. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Seoul, various age groups visit the site and many foreign visitors are coming everyday. Considering this, several seats are arranged there. For your information, Namsan Seoul Tower is divided into two places, Seoul Tower Plaza at the bottom and the N Seoul Tower at the top.

After meeting Billy, visit Ryan’s Cheese Ball Adventure Park. It is an indoor VR adventure park where visitors can experience Kakao IX’s snack brand “Sunday’s Ball.” It is divided into four theme spaces, with the “Attraction Zone” where you can enjoy the birth process of the Sunday Cheese Bowl with VR and rides !

Ryan’s Cheese Ball Adventure Park

Open Hours:
Everyday 11:00~21:30 (Last order 20:30)
N Seoul Tower 4th Floor

Lounge X

LOUNGE X, where exists the romance of hand drip coffee

It takes a lot of work to make a cup of hand drip coffee. After grinding the beans into suitable particles, pour the coffee powder into the drapery, drip the water before boiling slowly and pour it into a circle. Barris, the robot of Lounge X, which opened in June 2019, is a hand drip coffee expert who claims to be suffering. If a customer chooses a “robot drip” menu, the staff only shreds the beans, and then it’s all up to Barris. It takes about five minutes from the green beans to the coffee is complete. Barris’s exclusive marking of time-consuming hand drip coffee allows employees to focus on other tasks.

The appeal of hand drip coffee lies in the excitement and romance that gives it a little wait for the coffee to be extracted. Barris understands the heart of the person who ordered hand drip coffee. This means that robots do not use speed to make coffee. Barris extracts coffee for more than three minutes, same as humans do.

Barris is extracting coffee

It is pouring water in different ways depends on the thickness of coffee beans

Barris’s main focus is on how to pour water, the thickness of the water stream, and the amount and temperature of the water depending on the type of coffee beans. This is because the human barista has entered the best drip method for each that he found after many attempts. For example, ‘Indonesia Goliath Longberrybeans start from the middle and pour slowly into a spiral to preserve the heavy, smoky taste unique to the beans. “Panama Elida Geisha Washed”, which is also the signature menu of Lounge X, will show a movement that looks like a flower. Dips coffee powder evenly, like flowers in a stream, and draw out the complex taste of the beans. The Indonesia Goliath Longberry coffee has a sweet scent resembling dark chocolate over its strong taste. Panama Elida Geisha Washed coffee gives a flower-like fragrance, leaving a sweet glow in the mouth.

The “Waitress.Bread,” a serving robot that works with Barris. When an employee enters the seat number on the tablet PC, it serves the dessert above the head to the appropriate seat. The automatic driving system is built in and stops if there are people around it and then moves again. With the Barris and the Waitress.B, Lounge X seems more sophisticated.

Open Hours:
Weekdays 08:00 – 22:00

Weekends 11:00 – 20:00

Address: 129, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Super Matcha

A healthy tea served by a robot

The robot’s name is ‘Mallo.’  The “whisking” is the act of folding Matcha into water to give them a detailed and rich bubble. While the human barista does the latte art or pour water, Mallo is in charge of manufacturing Matcha manufacturing. Mallo has a small broom-like tool at its fingertips. It is a “tea whisk,” a tool for whisking. Mallo dips the lane into the tea bowl containing tea and a small amount of hot water. Slowly draw a large circle in the lane. Matcha will be done in about 20 seconds. This means that it takes more than 40 percent less time than it takes an average of 30 to 40 seconds for a person to spend. While Mallo is doing its job, a person can make a beverage base, which saves more than 30 percent of the time than when a person makes a drink alone. What’s more, he or she even has to wash the lanes after whisking.

Mallo is whisking the Matcha

Mallo is whisking at a steady and rapid rate

Mallo’s hard work deserves praise. People have to move the lanes fast and at constant speed, with shoulders relaxed and wrist tightened. Long-term whisking makes it difficult to maintain the same strength and might easily change the taste of Matcha. Cafe Super Matcha  is a green-pointed store which has been opened only for three months, yet it has emerged as a hot spot among people who are in 20s and 30s, breaking the prejudice that “Match” is a  drink that only the older like. People often prefer healthy drinks to coffee.

Matcha Tea & Match Latte

Open Hours:
Sinsa-dong : 11:00-20:00
Seongsu-dong: 11:00-21:00
Address: 19, Seoulsup 6-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul