VORTEX cyclonic
coffeemaking deconstructed


Here the inner workings are on the outside for all to see. The roaster is slightly redesigned to use rapid moving air from a turbine fan for both heating and cooling, dependent on whether the ceramic heating elements are active. The cyclone airflow also agitates the beans ensuring even roasting, and floats the lighter chaffs to a centrifugal catch tray. Smoke filters are not too effective, so instead a silicone hose will be attached to an exhaust nozzle at the back of the chaff collector. The other end of the hose can be routed to a chimney, window, or under the kitchen vent.

The machine is operated with only one large tactile button, which doubles as a twist knob.  The procedure for making the perfect cup of coffee is as follows:  You waken the machine by pushing the button.  It will flash the lights and an audio cue sounds  The number of LEDs remaining lit indicates the current roast darkness level.  If you want this setting, then press the button to continue.  If you want to change it, twist left for lighter roast or right for darker roast.  When the LEDs indicate your choice, press to continue.  The machine will blink the lights and sound another audio cue.  It is now waiting for you to fill the receptacle with raw coffee beans.  Lift the dark green dust cover, and fill the light green measuring cup with your beans.  Replace the dust cover, and press the button again.  The heat and air will begin, and the grinder grinds the beans from the last time you made coffee.  Meanwhile, the beans you put in today are being preheated by the warm air.  In less than a minute, hot water is streaming over the fresh ground coffee, and coffee begins pouring into the cup.  An audio cue alerts you that your coffee is ready to drink.  From here the machine finishes automatically.  It waits until an optimal temperature, then pauses the fan.  A trap door opens under the light green cup, and the new coffee beans drop into the roasting cup.  The trap door closes again, and the fan resumes at higher speed.  The beans swirl and mix continuously in the hot air and direct contact with the ceramic heating elements.  Meanwhile, an infrared sensor is monitoring the bean color, awaiting the preset darkness level.  When that is reached, the heating elements shut off, and cold air is blown through the system to rapidly cool down the beans.  After about 20 minutes, the fan will shut off, and another trap door will open under the roasting cup.  The roasted beans are now at the grinder hopper awaiting your next visit.  The coffee will taste best if you wait at least 12 hours to let the newly roasted coffee rest and expel excess CO2 gases.  At anytime during the coffee making process, you can pull the same button to override the automatic cycle.  You can pause, skip, or repeat steps when appropriate.  The water tank and filter tray are easily accessed on the left side of the machine.  They are spring latched and released by pressing in lightly.  The chaff collector is a removable ring that can be emptied simply by turning upside down and tapping against a flat surface.  Chaffs settle below the airflow, so emptying intermittently is enough.  Please conserve the chaffs for gardening.

The finish material is primarily anodized aluminum sheet cut and folded precisely to form clean flush edges.  Selected parts that can benefit from insulation are stainless steel.  This makes for more efficient heating and surfaces stay cool to touch safely.  Both  materials are easily obtained and inexpensive.

This product can be intuitively assembled and disassembled by the end user with common tools.  Every component is replaceable with easy access for minimal labor.  Your dependable personal coffee machine will last a lifetime.

As an option, this coffee machine can be operated "off-grid" without plugging in.  By applying heat from an alcohol burner to the boiler unit (shown in red), enough steam is generated for the turbine blower, and sub-boiling water for the brew unit.  The control circuitry, valves, and grind motor are powered by the onboard back up battery.  The battery recharges each time by steam driven dynamo.  Ultimately, the grinder too can be redesigned to turn by steam.

Other entries in this project

genuino 3
genuino 2