Good stuff: maker hardware for the barista

The taste of coffee depends largely on the degree of roasting, a field in which a lot of experience is required. In order to determine the degree of roasting quickly and reproducibly, Zach Halvorson, founder of the one-man company Espresso Vision, developed a small device that determines and displays the degree of roasting. Devices for this purpose can easily cost 1000 euros. By combining 3D printing and using maker hardware and prototyping boards for microcontrollers, sensors and displays, he developed a device that is listed at $ 299.

That Roast Vision consists of a housing with a USB-C connection for power supply. On the top there is a small OLED display and a measuring window. If you fill a measuring spoon of coffee into the small measuring gauge, the device shows the degree of roasting of the coffee in a few seconds. The information is given in a number (0–35, dark to light) and in words. Why not go straight to the more usual one here Agtron-GourmetScale is converted is not known to us, there is a diagram on the website that provides this conversion.

Ready to measure

(Image: Espresso Vision)

The core of the measuring device is SparkFun Photodetector, the one with the MAX30101-Sensor measures the light scattered back from the coffee by the LED built into the sensor. This type of sensor is used, among other things, for particle measurement (smoke, dust, mist), distance measurement and also for measurement of blood oxygen saturation in tissue. Further components of the Espresso Vision will be in one Sparkfun Blog Article not known.

SparkFun Photodetector mit MAX30101-Sensor

(Image: Sparkfun)

Above all, makers assume based on the dimensions that, for example, a SparkFun Qwiic Pro Micro is built into the Espresso Vision. However, if you take a closer look at the Espresso Vision page, you will see that a SparkFun Thing Plus – Artemis is installed as a board. This is a bit surprising, as it is quite expensive, but in return it calculates quite quickly, contains Bluetooth LE and a microphone. An expansion of the functions to an IoT device may be considered here.

Of course, SparkFun also offers OLED Displays on and so you could go over the ones present on all boards Qwiic connector (I2C-Bus) build the prototype of such a device in a flash, without having to make a single solder connection. Now you “only” have to program and that is certainly the crux of such a device in order to achieve reliable measurements. Maker hardware, such as boards from the Arduino universe or from SparkFun, can enable developers with little hardware experience to build prototypes and play with new ideas.

Example of a Qwiic chain

(Image: Sparkfun)

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