Hacking a Coffee Machine for a Better Brew

Coffee Machine

Senseo coffee makers are automated brewers that use coffee pods. [Ronald] had one, but wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the coffee it produced. His solution was to hack it apart and build his own automatic coffee machine with the innards.

The coffee brewing part of the system is controlled by an ATmega8. This reads the temperature using the NTC sensor from the original machine and actuates the various parts of the Senseo machine, and the added grinder. The timing was all done by trial and error, optimizing for the best cup of coffee.

Keeping with the trend of adding Raspberry Pis to everything, [Ronald] connected one to this build for remote control. He runs a very hacked version of LCD2USB which deals with communicating with the RPi. An Apache web server hosts a PHP script to provide a user interface, which runs a C program to tell the system to start brewing.

Unfortunately, [Ronald] didn’t give us a link to his web interface, so we can’t remotely brew him coffee. However he did provide all of the source for the project in his write up.

Making pure caffeine at home

If you’ve ever thought about extracting caffeine from coffee beans, [Ben] is the guy for you. The last time we ran into him, he had already produced a few aerogel monoliths with a few chemicals, pipe fittings, and some CO2. We’re guessing he needed another use for his supercritical drying chamber, so after looking over a few patents, he decided to make pure caffeine in his garage.

The extraction began with green coffee beans inside the drying chamber. Liquid CO2 is pumped in and heated to the supercritical point. After a few hours, the caffeine will have been extracted from the beans and can be drained from the chamber. Right now, the process results in an inky goo that contains caffeine. [Ben] refined this a little further with Methylene Chloride, a process he’ll document in a future video.

Of course it goes without saying that this build is a little bit on the dangerous side. We’re confident in [Ben]‘s abilities to know what he’s doing, but we’re not going to endorse this for every joker on the Internet. Also, two spoonfuls of caffeine will kill you, so try not to screw around with that either.

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