For those in the know, it may come as no surprise that coffee has always been made by Makers. It could be due to the recent growth in facial hair, or simply the reduction of cost in Flannel(courtesy of hipster culture) that Maker culture has finally made it's way into mainstream culture. One could even go so far as to say that Balconi Coffee is a “maker's” space. After all, the interior of Balconi was imagined and created by Maker and owner, Ray Sato.
What does this have to do with great Coffee? Well, the name of this blog is called “The Grind” and we’ve recently ordered a tool that’s going to help us /really/ get our “grind” on: The Origin by Shaper Tools.
The origin is a special tool. I won’t go into detail about it here, as I’ve already done so with tons of photographs here, but I first learned about the origin from Ray. I don’t know if it was the spraying of steam into milk or the smell of freshly ground beans from behind the espresso machine that did it, but at that very moment, I decided to make the trek to San Francisco and see what this machine was all about.
Ray and I had discussed the idea of making “all kinds of cool things” with the new Shaper Origin. I still remember when I thought this machine was used to hold the secret bean of the day. I was then reminded that not only the chair I was sitting on, but the very machine that had crafted my espresso, were both fabricated and refurbished by the same man, who was now introducing me to this fascinating machine.
The idea behind it is quite simple: it’s an incredibly compact CNC machine that works in tandem with a human body, to cut pretty much anything you throw at it, with an amazing degree of accuracy-- in part, due to a special type of tape placed on the surface of your choice, that assists the machine in tracing and cutting perfect lines or curves, previously loaded into it’s software from a CAD drafting program, of course.
The result is the empowerment of a brand new culture of DIY individuals, known as “Makers,” who will bring craftsmanship and quality back to America (or at least West Los Angeles).