Robots Are Baristas At This Coffee Shop in San Francisco

credit: Cafe X

Cafe X is a new coffee shop in San Francisco that isn't hiring baristas—humans baristas, that is. The cafe is located at the Metreon shopping center in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco, and the owner has figured out a way to employ robots to make your daily cup of coffee (which begs the question: Will these robots need to pay taxes?).

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The first location in the U.S. (there's already another one in Hong Kong) uses robotic arms to make beverages at the rate of one to four drinks per minute, depending on the order.

But do they make them with love? Probably not

Don't expect to chat with anyone behind the counter or to take a picture of your drink when the barista spells your name ridiculously wrong, because there are literally only robots working (aside from the person who comes by at occasionally to refill ingredients and clean).

Cafe X at the Metreon
credit: Cafe X

What's the point of a robot-run cafe, you might be wondering?

"Cafe X is solving for the time and quality compromises that consumers are forced to make with daily coffee rituals," according to the company. "Working closely with local coffee roaster partners, Cafe X can consistently serve its customers in seconds with a focus on delivering beverages that taste exactly how the coffee roaster intended."

Yeah, maybe. But we suspect most people will shop here so they can have their coffee made by a robot.

Check out the pretty rad process in this video by TechCrunch:

Founder and CEO Henry Hu is the brains behind the cafe. He came up with the idea after realizing that many people want instant coffee with gourmet taste. And if you know anything about coffee, that's not an easy task for a human.

"I've long been a big coffee consumer and there's never a guaranteed seamless experience," Hu explained. "In today's world, you have two options for getting a cup of coffee: you're either in and out with something subpar or you're waiting in a 15-minute line for a great cappuccino. I started Cafe X to eliminate that inherent compromise and give people access to a tasty cup of coffee consistently and conveniently."

Drinks start at $2.25 for an eight ounce cup, but that varies depending on which beans users choose. Options include: Americanos, cortados, cappuccinos, lattes, espresso, and flat whites. Customers can either order from the app or by using the kiosk at the cafe.

The future is officially now, at least at the Metreon.

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