It’s kinda nice when baristas draw little things like hearts or leaves in the foam on your cappuccino. There’s a chance, however, that those designs may be going the way of cave paintings. That’s because Israeli startup Steam CC recently introduced its Ripple Maker, a machine that reproduces photos, text or other graphics on coffee foam.
The Ripple Maker was first unveiled last June, when it was revealed that Lufthansa airlines would be using the devices in its First and Business Class departure lounges. Last week at CES, however, broader availability of the system was announced – it can now be purchased by any business that serves coffee.
The machine combines 3D- and inkjet-printing technologies, along with replaceable “Ripple Pods” containing Arabica coffee powder. Users prepare foam-topped beverages as they usually would, and then place the mug in the Ripple Maker. The machine then raises the mug up to its print head, where the selected design (known as a Ripple) is applied to the foam using the powdered coffee. The printing process takes 10 seconds.