Vending Machine Serves Freshly Ground Coffee

February 1, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. grind (v.) 
[grahynd] – to pound or crush into powder
Example: Coffee beans need to be ground first before being used for drinks.

2. mount (v.) [mount] – to attach to something
Example:  The painting was mounted on a wall in the art museum.

3. brew (v.) [broo] – to prepare something by boiling and mixing different ingredients together (in a liquid)
Example: She made tea by brewing water with rose petals and ginger. 

4. aroma (n.) [uh-roh-muh] – a very pleasant smell, usually coming from plants, spices, and wine
Example: The sweet aroma of the flowers in the garden made its way into the house.

5. devoted (adj.) [dih-voh-tid] – having a loyalty to something
Example: The politician’s strength is that he has many devoted supporters.

Read the text below.

A new kind of vending machine in Japan not only serves coffee—it grinds the beans the moment a drink is ordered and lets customers watch the entire drink-making process.

At the push of a button, the “Coffee Grinding Viewing” vending machine makes a drink and shows through a video screen how it’s made. A camera mounted inside the machine allows people to view coffee beans being ground and then drip-brewed, wherein hot water passes through the ground coffee and drips into a cup. After that, the video shows milk and ice being added. The cup is then labeled and sealed right before it comes out of the machine. All the while, an instrumental version of the Coffee Rumba plays as customers wait.

With prices ranging from 150 to 200 yen, the variety of drinks offered by the “Coffee Grinding Viewing” vending machines includes drip coffee, Americano, mocha, caffè latte, and cappuccino. The machines also serve matcha au lait and hot cocoa for non-caffeine drinkers. Customers can also choose if they want their drinks hot, cold or with sugar. 

It does take more than the usual time to buy coffee in these machines, but the reasonable prices and the entertaining experience of watching the entire process are worth the wait. Moreover, the coffee beverages look just like regular drinks bought in cafes with the aroma and taste unique to freshly ground coffee beans.

The vending machines are now being used in several service stations in Japan and have garnered quite a following of devoted customers. With the flavorful drinks and entertainment quality, the machine’s popularity does not come as a surprise.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

     Do you think any product can be sold by a vending machine? Why or why not? What products would you not buy from a vending machine?
     Do you think vending machines offer a better service than human vendors? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

     Just like brewed coffee, do you think things made slower and longer have better quality? Would you choose quality over convenience?
     How do you think technology has affected the way we choose and buy products?


February 1, 2012