The last straw of traditional coffee roasting
Bellwether is a venture-backed startup from California that aims to change the coffee industry. They produce zero-emissions electric coffee roasters that can roast small batches of coffee beans onsite at cafes, with fully customizable roasting profiles. They also run a marketplace that sources high-quality, sustainable coffee beans.
The company’s green coffee buying principles ensure maintaining relationships with coffee growers and cooperatives. Their sustainable coffee buying principles are quality, traceability, and sustainability. They believe that sustainability for coffee starts at the beginning of the supply chain: the coffee farmers.
The client needed to update the quality of their apps; most of them were on their first version and needed to be remade or improved. They use a suite of custom-built apps to manage their system, which includes an iPad app for roasters and marketplaces, and an app to manage system administration. We provided this service as an on-demand extension of their team.
The goal for Bellwether is to make coffee roasting accessible to all, by mixing tradition & modern tech and redefining thermal stability in roasters.
“The world is turning towards renewable energy. Electric-powered coffee roasting is the future.”
Bellwether founders noticed that traditional coffee roasters featured a single-pass system. It intakes cool air from outside the roaster, flash-heates it to roast the coffee and releases it as exhaust through ventilation stacks. This incoming air is susceptible to environmental factors, like humidity and temperature, while also can cause unpredictable changes on the process. Without precise thermal monitoring, it’s difficult to measure how environmental variables impact the temperature inside the roaster.
The Bellwether Roaster was designed to be the most sustainable coffee roaster worldwide. It was made to minimize environmental impact of businesses both in air quality and energy use. The machine is well-insulated with multiple thermal probes, and also has pressure sensors to offer a high degree of precision for each roast. This allows users to be completely aware of what’s happening on the inside. These design advances eliminate a variety of external variables that have historically made it difficult to replicate roast profiles.
The mail challenge was updating the quality of their apps. This included enabling the most advances technologies for the improvement of its functionalities, and it also required a special focus in the environmental area.
This update included a variety of improvements., from UX/UI design to front & back-end development, including documentation and quality assurance.
In summary, the dare was to make coffee roasting sustainable and accessible to all.
Our projects with Bellwether have been varied. We have contributed to the design, development, documentation and quality control teams. We’ve been working closely with Bellwether’s team from across the organization, which allowed us to get excellent feedback from them. We built and matured all their systems right after their MVP.
Technologies: We worked with React framework for the frontend application and with Node.js for the backend. This was combined with the Amazon Web Service’s cloud computing platform, Mongodb’s database, and RedUX’s state management. Also, we worked with Atlaskit’s UI library and designed an onboarding experience for the customer-facing applications using Appcues.
Our team designed version two of the administrative app, creating a seamless user experience. In order to do this, we had to understand in depth about user needs and the system’s functionality.
We developed several applications. These apps had to communicate with the other apps in the Bellwether suite, the backend database and the roasting machines. Our design team created iterative design cycles to deliver results that satisfied all app users.
In addition, Capicua assisted and continues to assist the QA team with tests of code quality control by testing batches of code throughout the development process. We also work on facilitating communication between developers and QA professionals. Our team fully documented the app in order to ensure they met end user goals and to assist the QA team.
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