Samsung teams with Illy, but says no plans to make an espresso machine

Samsung says it has no plans to launch an espresso machine, even though it has just forged a partnership with coffee company Illy.

"We have never thought about it," Younghee Lee, Samsung vice-president, told Pocket-lint when we asked her whether the new partnership would result in a Samsung espresso machine. "We have no intention of making an espresso machine, this partnership is about sharing a communality between two brands." 

The two companies have announced a new partnership that will see Samsung products go into Illy cafes, and Illy coffee go into some Samsung flagship stores.

Although starting small - the adventure will start on London's Regent Street - by the end of 2014 Samsung hopes to be in two Illy boutique cafes and Illy in two Samsung flagship stores.

In the Regent Street cafe we visited, customers will be able to venture upstairs and play with a number of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) devices and a new dedicated Illy app that informs and entertains customers if they want to live the experience, rather than just use the free internet-connected device.

"When my grandfather founded the company 80 years ago he wanted to serve the best coffee in the world. But it is not just about the best coffee, but also the social experience to deliver," explained Andrea Illy, chairman and CEO of the business, to the crowd gathered for the announcement.

The app is fairly basic, providing details of the coffee machines Illy makes, the prices for the coffee in store, and a design-your-own coffee cup section that Illy hopes to turn into a competition once the app hits Google Play.

But Samsung says it already has bigger plans, including the ability to order your coffee instead of waiting for service.

Elsewhere Samsung's TecTiles can be found in the retail section of the cafe, allowing you to tap your Galaxy smartphone (or any other NFC-enabled device) to get further information.

With a limited rollout this isn't going to change the world overnight, but as Lee said in an informal Q&A: "We will be learning from this experience ... at the moment is it a very initial stage."



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