CafeX opens robotic cafes in SF

Curious people overflow a coffee shop. Dubbed Gordon, the barista pumps out orders in less than a minute. Comments like “OMG, he’s so cute” and “What’s going on here?” are whispered as phones snap pictures and videos to be posted on social media.

That’s right, Gordon is a robot.

In the United States, coffee was first introduced by the British in 1607, but didn’t become popular until the Boston Tea Party in 1773. (where 342 chests of tea were dumped into the Boston Harbor. )

Hundreds of years later, thousands of coffee shops are founded all around the world. Just in San Francisco, there are 2,613 coffee shops in the market, the highest in density of coffee shops in the US. In such a competitive marketplace, Cafe X has an innovative technique (to be replaced). Using the combination of San Francisco’s two favorite obsessions, hi-tech robots and hipster coffee, Cafe X explores the intersection of food and technology.  

Nowadays, people, busy millennials in San Francisco in particular, hate waiting in line. In our era, change must happen quickly. Cafe X is exactly the solution for that. First, it’s incredibly efficient. When there were no other customers, Cafe X brewed my drinks in less than a minute. Enclosed in plexiglass, the futuristic kiosk contains two coffee machines which brew many options such as americanos, espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes.


Oatly Matcha Latte

It’s vibrant green, balances the bitter and sweet of green tea, and only 3 dollars.

I’ve ordered this drink 4 times and it tastes just perfectly the same every single time.

Oatly Caffe Latte

I’m not a huge coffee fan, but this caffe latte was incredible.

I did prefer the Matcha Latte, but I’m sure that coffee aficionados will love this drink.


IMG_1162Using Cafe X might be intimidating at first, but the steps are fairly simple. The customer orders a drink from an app or tablets on site. A PIN is then sent to the customer’s phone, then entered on a keypad attached to the machine to confirm the order. Then, after the customer grabs their order, the robot dances for 3 seconds and moves onto the next order.

Cafe X is an obvious example of how automation is slowly creeping into our lives. With just one kiosk, it easily wipes out the jobs of 4 human full-time baristas. As of May 2015, the third largest overall occupation in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were food preparation and service workers with a whopping number of 3.2 million people. Automation will take over jobs that can be done by robots, making tasks more precise and efficient, but what will happen to the 3.2 million people left jobless?

In the future, Cafe X hopes to expand towards places such as airports and gas stations, where efficiency is necessary. Though currently in business at the Metreon and on Market St, Cafe X is opening a “2.0” version on Bush Street, which hopes to have more “personality” and a new “nitro” cold brew flavor.

Super quick, super precise, super quality. That’s Cafe X.IMG_1178

What will the Silicon Valley make next?

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