Related - another Kickstarter project I’m delighted I decided against.
The original Kickstarter promised a machine that would let people customize the way they roasted raw beans. The Bonaverde team never outright stated that the machine would be compatible with any coffee bean, but there was no mention of a plan to limit the kind of beans that would work with the machine. They even demoed a prototype of a machine where you pour in the raw beans of your choosing, press a button, and roast.
But then in July, the company updated its backers with a development that hey, actually, in order to use the machine people would have to buy Bonaverde beans through a marketplace it developed with farmers. The coffee maker would use RFID tags to process pre-prepared servings of coffee. Proprietary beans! Basically, you were locked in for the life of the machine. Many backers who had pledged $300 expecting a machine they could use with any bean were apoplectic.
Bonaverde framed this surprise feature as a way to help people not fuck up their coffee: “In the past, we’ve often experienced people misusing the machine in the most adventurous ways, filling beans into the water tank and vice-versa filling water into the roasting chamber etc. So one of our main goals is to make the machine as easy to use as possible,”