Want a coffee? Reach for your iPhone

A coffee machine that can be controlled with your iPhone has launched across the UAE, brewing espressos and cappuccino at the touch of a button.

The Top Brewer by Scanomat was one of the attractions at the Gulfood conference. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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Banging around the kitchen bleary-eyed and caffeine hungry as you make the morning pot of coffee is set to become a ritual of the past for some.

A coffee machine that can be controlled with your iPhone is coming to the UAE, brewing espressos and cappuccino at the touch of a button.

The TopBrewer by Scanomat is being showcased at the Gulfood conference in Dubai and has already caught the attention of hotels and coffee shops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, its distributor says.

"We are looking at selling to offices, hotels and restaurants," said Rashid Bahar, the business development manager at Technical Supplies & Services Company (TSSC), the local distributor. "But saying that, there's been an overwhelming number of people that have asked about it for their homes."

The machine comes in two sizes, retailing for Dh50,000 (US$13,610) and Dh70,000. It is controllable by Apple iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth over a distance of up to 50 metres.

Users will be able to download an application next month and will have to press just one button on their phone to order the machine to make a coffee. Once the brew is ordered via an iPad or iPhone, users are told what stage the operation has reached, from grinding right through to when the milk is being heated and frothed.

The TopBrewer consists of one tap, which can pour five layers of a macchiato, and a cylinder for coffee beans, with the rest of the machine built under a worktop.

"There are people that will buy it for their home because it's a nice feature and a gadget," said Mr Bahar, who expects to sell between 30 and 40 of the machines this year.

Scanomat has invented a pouring system for the machine and developed the software to be powered by an iPad or iPhone. The company said it was also developing the product for Android and BlackBerry operating systems.

"We are in the development phase of making a cheaper model that has the same format, but a cheaper grinder and less volume," said Frederik Vibe-Petersen, the export and product development director at Scanomat. "There's a lot of interest here, especially in Dubai. Mostly high-end people with nice houses that want to build it into their kitchens."

TSSC is a kitchen-services company based in the UAE that supplies coffee machines and other appliances. It has fitted out kitchens in a number of restaurants including Gaucho, La Petite Maison and Zuma, all in the Dubai International Financial Centre, Mr Bahar said. Scanomat is based in Denmark and has been making coffee machines for more than 30 years.