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The 72 Years History of Coffee Vending Machine3 min read

12 June, 2019

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The 72 Years History of Coffee Vending Machine3 min read

Although the vending machine has historical roots in Ancient Greece, which was about around 215 BC, it was not until 1947 that the Rudd-Melikian company in Philadelphia invented the first coffee vending machine – the Kwik Kafe. Using instant coffee and hot water, the machine would drop a paper cup through a chute onto a platform and fill the cup with coffee in five seconds. This process is somewhat similar to modern coffee vending machines today.

The Begining Of Coffee Vending Machine

Other companies, including Manning & Lewis company, Knapway Devices, and the Bert Mills Corporation, joined the game by introducing their own coffee vending machines in 1947. Some of these machines used a liquid coffee concentrate that needs mixing with boiling water. And one charged a nickel for a cup of coffee and dispensed a wooden spoon to mix the cream and sugar.

Thanks to this invention, work became less stressful. Workers around America found themselves flocking to coffee vending machines for their daily caffeine fix. And as a result, at a 1948 convention in Philadelphia, Lloyd K. Rudd, president of the Rudd-Melikian company, stated that Kwik Kafe machines purveyed 250,000 cups of coffee on a daily basis. He also claimed that overs 60.000 coffee vending machines existed in the United States by the year 1955.

Cyrus Melikian (on the right)

The famous single-cup coffee vending machine came to the market in 1960, by Cyrus Melikian. Considered as a solution for the problem of palatable coffee, single-cup coffee machines relied on “pods” of ground, roasted coffee beans.

In 1988, bean-grinders were firstly obtainable in coffee vending machines. Then, in 1991, the first cups of espresso and cappuccino were provided by this type of coffee vending machines. This improvement marked a great development for coffee lovers.  

Coffee cup from a vending machine. Source: Pexels.

The Modern Coffee Vending Machine Today

Soon, touch screen coffee machines, such as those introduced by Bella, Bravilor Bonamat and La Marquise are becoming increasingly popular as they allow closer engagement with the customers. However, in 2009, a multi-functional and conceptual coffee vending machine was introduced. This brand new machine had touch screen with features to select ingredients and access news, weather information and stock prices. Named Bemoved, this machine also has a camera that can take an image of the user and remember the user’s coffee preferences via personal profile settings.

And what do we have today? Fully-automatic bean-to-cup coffee vending machines that provide whatever type of coffee you might need, paired with cutting edge design. This Azkoyen Zen coffee vending machine has a standout crystal glass face, provides numerous options of coffee and ingredients. This vending machine might look modest, but it can serve about 300 cups of coffee per day. And there are even more fantastic coffee machine, like those coffee makers we had introduced in this post!

Azkoyen Zen Coffee Vending Machine

This post is a part of our review category, in which we describe and give opinions about every coffee product. If you are a coffee lover, let’s take a look at our category to have deeper knowledge in the coffee industry, like the post about the trendies cold brew coffee brand, for example!

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