A coffee a day keeps the grumpy away. For those who can’t skip their morning coffee, many find themselves ordering pick up at Starbucks or going through the drive through before work. But that $6+ coffee is $120 a month (not counting weekends), roughly $1,500 a year (ouch), give or take.
Keep that in mind as we get into the perks and the pricing of the Spinn Smart Espresso and Coffee Machine.
Your Own Robo-Barista—Capabilities
The Spinn Smart Espresso and Coffee Machine is a robo-barista in your home. It knows the precise amount of coffee beans to use for each type of drink you input, and there are about 30 unique drinks it can make.
It has a super smooth app allowing you to start your drink while in bed or in the shower, so it can be perfectly timed to your routine, and has automatic ordering. You can even use your smart home assistant to make the order for a true barista/coffee shop experience. It works with both Alexa and Google Assistant. The app has automatic software updates and you can upload roaster recipes.
There is an option to purchase with a matching milk frother if you want that frothy froth to your coffee, but that costs more—interestingly enough, about as much as the difference between Silver and White versions of the product ($50), sans milk frother (prices are below).
It has zero-waste since it uses whole coffee beans rather than filters or pods, which is fantastic for those of us who are conscious about our carbon footprint. It has a centrifugal brewing core (up to 5,000 RPM), 1.6” diameter stainless steel burrs, doesn’t take up too much counter space at just 13.5” x 8.5” x 14”, and weighs 18.3 lbs with a cup clearance of up to 6” and 20 oz max serving size. Its bean container is 18oz, the water container is 40 oz, and the finest grind is 0.01”.
The Spinn also connects via Wi-Fi, no Bluetooth. Assume it’s on a 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi connection rather than 5 Ghz, as many smart home products are, and there is no mention of which connection you’ll need so we are left to make the assumption.
For those of you who love your cold brew, yes, it does nitro cold brew! If you’re a purist, no, it’s not the type that takes hours to brew, but it is a nitro cold brew drink and it is said to taste good by people who have purchased and drunk their fill. If you’re also a tea drinker, the Spinn dispenses hot water, so you can have easy afternoon tea.
There’s a special cleaning solution to clean out the Spinn, and you’ll likely have to clean it once every month or month and a half with heavy use. It will tell you when it needs a cleaning. You’re not left to guess. It does have water filters that will need to be replaced every 2-3 months or so unless you connect the machine directly to a waterline.
The initial investment of the Spinn Smart Espresso and Coffee Machine via Amazon is $799 for the silver with no milk frother, and $849 for the black with no milk frother. To get the milk frother for each, it’s an additional $50, so $849 for the silver with a milk frother and $899 for the black with a milk frother. The cleaning maintenance kit is a 6-month supply for $32, and the water filter is $26. You can get that, as well as other accessories and spare parts on the Spinn website.
Keep in mind that a daily Starbucks habit adds up to around $1,500 a year, so while the initial investment is steep, if you’re a heavy coffee drinker, over time, the machine pays for itself in well less than one year. Now if there are two of you drinking coffee…
A Barista in Your Home
The Spinn Smart Espresso and Coffee Machine is like having a personal barista in your home, especially when you connect to your favorite voice assistant (Alexa or Google Assistant).
By using the app or your voice assistant, you can time your drink to be ready when you are, so you can grab and go without making that extra stop in the morning at Starbucks, Coffee Bean, or wherever you snatch your morning coffee from.
By making the coffee in your home, you may even find you can have a pick-me-up while you’re getting ready, then have your Spinn craft one for you to take on the go—and, you can choose from around 30 different drinks, so you can mix it up when it comes to your morning brew.
Bottom Line—the Spinn is about producing a wide variety of quality drinks at a far more affordable price than ordering out. The unit is noticeably larger than a single cup Keurig and far more expensive, but a Kuerig allows for bunch of flavors and not much else. Here, you have the option of…
- Doppios (double shots)
- Drips (Like café-au-lait included)
- Bold filter coffees
- Cold brew
Are you someone who mixes up their flavors, or sticks to one type of bean? Well, take that into consideration when loading up the beans. It’s impractical to have Kona Blend on Monday, Arabica on Tuesday, and Columbian on Wednesday. If you’re planning on mixing it up, deposit small amounts of beans into the hopper at a time, because there’s no way to remove it and dump them out—you’ll have to dig and manually take them out, which can take a while (especially if you’ve filled it up all the way).
The Value Proposition: Money vs Quality
We know that single person drinking one coffee drink at Starbucks every weekday will spend far more in one year than it would cost to buy a Spinn, all the coffee, and filters, for a year’s worth of premium drink. But many of us own Keurig one cup machines at home (using ground coffee in pods). The Spinn can cost almost ten times a base Keurig, so the really big savings with a Spinn is vs going out to buy a coffee. The value proposition vs Keurig is very different. It’s more of a quality thing, but even the long-term cost…
First, of course, you are getting coffee ground freshly from whole beans, in real time. Still,
I did some math on Keurig vs Spinn long term costs. Consider: One pound of fresh beans makes about 30-35 cups of coffee. Starbucks standard Arabica coffee is about $16/1 lbs. for a cost of about $0.50/cup. Many Starbucks cost a bit more, like their French Roast dark Keurig cups tend to be about $0.60-$0.65/cup and some other types are even more expensive. And that’s for ground, not fresh beans!
It probably would take 6-8 years for a couple, drinking a cup a day each, to hit breakeven with a Spinn vs a Keurig if using Starbuck brand coffee, and if you were to buy Starbucks whole bean French Roast Dark… but, that’s not fair. Starbucks charges a fortune for their whole bean. Still, that couple (you?) will be spending all those years enjoying a fresher/better cup of coffee in the comfort of your home. “A superior cup of coffee” sure sounds good to me. Is it time?
I then priced things out using the average cost in 5 lb bags of whole bean from Olde Brooklyn Coffee, Fara, and Paramount Coffee. All respectable brands of whole bean. They are all right about $40 for 5 lbs. Or, less than half of Starbucks whole bean, per cup. Those brands of French Roast dark coffee work out to about $8/pound and therefore only about $.25 a cup. That brings a couple back down to a breakeven vs Keurig of about 3-4 years. That seems to be a reasonable payback.
I’ll concede it certainly has a far more expensive price tag to get started, vs Keurig, but should deliver a superior drink (not to mention varieties like expresso and the beloved cold brew). And, in less than a decade, you’ll probably be saving money even compared to Keurig cups, also while having a zero-waste experience. Better for you, better for the planet.
One of my editor’s best friends is a wine and food expert. Many years ago in his last house, he put in a $6,000 expresso machine in his kitchen (he loved that machine). I’ll bet he’d really like the Spinn, especially for ⅛ the price! And a great cup of expresso!
Take a Spinn, If You’re a Serious Coffee Drinker
This Spinn machine is for those of you who take your coffee seriously, those who demand a rich fresh coffee, rather than a pod type coffee which is still pretty good. Of course, for many coffee drinkers using Keurigs, it’s about flavored coffees. I suspect that most truly serious coffee lovers don’t really care about lots of odd flavors, and some hardcore probably don’t even like the idea of flavored coffees. Are you someone who craves the flavor of a great, rich cup of coffee, expresso, using beans like Kona Gold, etc.?
You just can’t fake a truly great cup of coffee! If you are serious about your java, I wager you will love the Spinn Smart Expresso and Coffee!