There are a lot of coffee devices on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and while some are gimmicky, others, like the Niche Zero have gone on to be huge successes. The Maro Model 1 is one of the more thoughtful concept espresso machines.
Eschewing the trend on startup platforms for lever machines, the Maro Model 1, currently at a discount on Kickstarter is a modern home machine designed to make great espresso using a technology-led approach. It promises to accomplish what Sage/Breville failed to do with their Barista Touch, but also accommodate the coffee nerds who want data-driven feedback through an ‘expert mode’
Let’s start with the design. It’s minimalist and clean that will fit nicely into a modern kitchen. It’s not a radical divergence from espresso machine design, but like the interior of a Tesla Model 3, all the buttons you’d normally expect to see, have gone. The founders at Maro have made the decision to move all controls to a digital interface, freeing up the external design to have smooth, unbroken lines.
Interestingly, the founders also chose some relatively unique materials for some parts of the construction. The cup tray, for example, uses Aluminium, presumably because of its thermal conductivity performance. Other parts of the machine use a material called HIMACS, which I hadn’t heard of, but which appears to be a durable moldable acrylic material. Materials are sourced as close to manufacturing as possible, keeping their environmental impact low.
HIMACS is an outstanding solid surface material. A delicate composition of acrylic, minerals and natural pigments that combine to create a smooth, non-porous, thermoformable and visually seamless surface. The material meets the highest standards for quality in all aspects: material performance, fabrication, functionality and hygiene.HIMACS Official Website – The outstanding solid surface material
While the Decent espresso machine looks as though an Android tablet has been stuck on a highly functional but jinky-looking box, the Maro looks different. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but there’s no arguing that it has style.
It’s not just the design where the Maro diverges from the Decent, however. The software has been built for a different audience, it seems, with a mode aimed at helping a beginner on the journey toward understanding how to make great drinks with enough technology to satisfy most nerds, especially when put into expert mode, where shot analysis can take place and recipes can then be saved.
As we go to press, the Model 1 is not far from its funding target. This is an espresso machine that deserves to be built, and I’m very excited to see how it’s received by the market and where Max and the founders take it next.