An Austin-based coffee company has opened a new coffee kiosk at the University of Texas, but it's missing one surprising ingredient: people. The Briggo Coffee Haus is staffed not by human baristas, but by robots, which it says "emulate the motions of a champion barista to precisely prepare specialty coffee drinks to your specifications," Business Week reports. Customers order and customize their drink through a touch-screen or a smartphone app, then the robot does the rest—no snide remarks, no messed up orders (then accusing you of making the mistake), no getting your name wrong. In the future, Briggo will also offer the ability to pre-order your drink, so it's ready when you arrive.
Unlike coffee vending machines, Briggo says it uses direct-trade beans, fresh milk, and "gourmet" syrups, reports the Washington Post. But at least one human barista is not impressed by its new robot overlord. "I have never come across an automated coffee maker that deals well with fresh roasted coffee," says a coffee shop owner. "A human being can learn to compensate for the eccentricities of the brewing process, but for a machine to apply the skills of a trained barista in a consistent manner, consistency also has to be imposed on the coffee. This is achieved by blending it to homogeneity, roasting it to death, or allowing it to stale, all of which yield a predictably bland cup of coffee." (Read more coffee stories.)