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How Ting does coffee

Here at Tucows and Ting, we take our coffee pretty seriously. Not only when we have a promotion offering up a $5 gourmet coffee gift card just for running a quick savings calculation, but all year round.

More than a year ago, we upgraded our coffee setup. It was a momentous occasion when the office decided it was time we stopped pushing water through pre-packaged ground coffee into suboptimal commercial coffee pots.

We had a taste-testing session. Each of the coffee options from each of the coffee shops in the area were offered up. Being a democracy, the final choice of which coffees came into the Tucows office was made by popular vote.

The winner was Balzac’s. Balzac’s is awesome coffee that’s fair trade, organic, natural, artisanal, local and a lot of other words that end in ‘al.’ We get several kilos of the stuff delivered each week.

Tucows Coffee Machine

Our coffee making kit was upgraded at the same time we stepped up our collective coffee game: Two burr grinders with two hoppers, each containing a different roast. Double insulated urns and a top-end coffee shop style brewing machine.

Still, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Even with all this great new gear, we still suffered the standard scourges of the office coffee pot: The person that takes a cup before the brew is finished. The one that leaves a half cup in the bottom of the pot and doesn’t start a new brew cycle. The person that says the coffee is too strong and so cuts down on the amount of grounds when doing a brew. The guy that doubles up on the amount of coffee in the brew funnel to make poor man’s espresso (guilty).

At the time we upgraded our coffee kit, there was much talk of setting up a system that lets the team know when there’s a fresh pot brewing.

Recently, someone on the Tucows team made it a reality.

Principal Engineer Rick Yazwinski took it upon himself to grant the long standing wish of a coffee system that gives us insight into what it’s up to. He put together the ultimate coffee machine using a Raspberry Pi and some surplus gear we had kicking around the office.

Now, not only do we get a sweet pie chart of the office’s coffee preferences and a log of empirical data around when the most coffee is brewed and consumed, we get a tweet whenever a new pot is on.

You always know if the coffee is fresh. In addition, the lines of people waiting for the brew cycle to finish so they can grab a cup and get back to work have been cut significantly. Now, instead of lineups, we get a mad rush to the kitchen when a fresh pot has finished brewing and the coffee pot tweets out.

If you want to live vicariously through the coffee lovers at Tucows and find out when there’s a fresh pot brewing, this is the Twitter account to follow.

If all this talk of gourmet coffee has you thinking maybe it’s time you grabbed a cup, run your Ting savings calculation and get your $5 gourmet coffee digital gift card!

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