A new tool designed for temperature precision in coffee tastings and service called the Compass has emerged from Australia.
Developed by Nucleus Coffee Tools, the coffee accessories brand launched by 2015 World Barista Champion and Ona Coffee Founder Sasa Sestic, the Compass has been spotted at numerous recent professional coffee competitions.
With a rechargeable battery, an adjustable height stand and a digital display of degrees in either Celsius or Fahrenheit, the Compass provides a contact-free and precise indication of the temperature of any brew or beverage, courtesy of an infrared sensor.
As perceptions of different volatile aromatics, flavors and textures are known to change with the temperature coffee, baristas guiding a customer’s tasting experience at a high-end specialty coffee bar — or presenting to judges in competition — can recommend sipping at precise moments in order to capture specific flavors or aromas. Servers can also use the tool to withhold a beverage until an ideal temperature is reached.
Martin Shabaya, who won fifth place representing Kenya in the World Barista Championship in Milan last year, used the Compass to help guide judges. Baristas also used the device in competition at the U.S. Coffee Championships at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston last month, where the Compass was displayed for the first time in North America by its exclusive U.S. distributor Rhino Coffee Gear.
“The Compass is a service tool,” David Wherett, general manager of Rhino Coffee Gear, told Daily Coffee News. “For anyone serving a customer a pourover coffee, they might also provide them with tasting notes that the customer would experience at different temperatures as the beverage cools. And those notes the customer can track by looking at the temperature on the gauge.”
The Compass joins a short list of tools thus far developed by Canberra-based Nucleus Coffee Tools. The company also offers the NCD coffee distribution tool for espresso and the Stem adjustable platform for holding cups in variable proximity to an espresso machine group head.
U.S. sales of the Nucleus Compass Beverage Thermometer launched last month through Rhino Coffee Gear for a retail price of $119.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.