By Josh Feuerstein, CEO
Good coffee used to be a rarity, but that’s no longer the case. It can be found in specialty cafes around the world, and thanks to the abundance of great home brewing equipment, you can even make a cafe-quality coffee right from your kitchen. But there are still places where it’s not so easy to get a great cup — a building lobby, an office, a hospital waiting room, a university library — places where you end up settling for less, or worse, not getting a coffee at all. Then there are those times when going out to a cafe just isn’t an option — the walk is too far, the line is out the door, or the cafe isn’t open.
Here’s where Truebird comes in. We’re on a mission to bring incredible coffee to as many people and places as possible, because you shouldn’t have to choose between convenience and quality when it comes to getting a delicious cup. Determined to satisfy this need, we created the Truebird Micro-Cafe: a fully-automated, small-scale kiosk that fits through a standard doorway and, at only 20 square feet, can go just about anywhere. Yes, we know it sounds like a vending machine (and if we’re being honest, it is), but consider it a total re-imagining of what a vending machine can be.
In 2018, we set up shop at Newlab, a product innovation hub in the heart of the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. Our challenge was to find a way to deliver exceptional coffee in spaces where a full-scale cafe just isn’t possible, without removing the joy of the ritual. Like the best coffee shops, we wanted to provide a brief, but uplifting moment in your day to pause and reward yourself. From the choreography of the magnets that transport our cups to the warm facade and glass windows that let you watch the magic, we designed every aspect of the Micro-Cafe to be engaging, approachable, and fun. And with ordering available on our mobile app (coming soon!) the experience is fully contactless.
When we officially opened our working prototype at Newlab in November 2018, we discovered that people weren’t just amazed by the quality of the coffee, they were captivated by the overall experience. An unexpected benefit was that our prototype served as a gathering place for Newlab’s members, facilitating conversation and connection over coffee. While social interactions like these may seem a long way off right now, we can’t wait for the day when they can happen again at our Micro-Cafe. In the meantime, we’re thrilled to be able to offer guests delicious coffee in the safest way possible.
We finished our first commercially available Truebird Micro-Cafe earlier this year. Take a look.
As an automated cafe with a considerably smaller footprint, we’re able to save on the most significant expenses of running a traditional coffee shop. This isn’t just a win for us — it also means our customers can get the highest quality ingredients at a fraction of the cost.
We offer a choice of ethically-sourced beans from two of the best roasters in New York: Stumptown’s Hair Bender blend (roasted in Red Hook, Brooklyn), and Regalia’s Yuki Minami, a single origin from Brazil (roasted in Long Island City, Queens). We tailored our drink recipes to highlight their rich, chocolatey flavor, which tastes great on its own and equally delicious with our fresh (not powdered!) milks. The beans are ground to order, and to ensure unparalleled consistency, our Micro-Cafe adjusts the grind throughout the day, so every cup is just as tasty as the one that came before it.
Trust us, the coffee’s that good.
We’re launching a limited number of Micro-Cafes this year, but expect to see us soon in a building near you.
Until then, we’ll be here in Brooklyn, working to make the daily coffee break more delicious, convenient, and fun.