Amongst all the TVs, phones, tablets and other gadgets at IFA 2014 in Berlin, it might come as a surprise to learn that one of our favourite products we saw during the show is a coffee maker.
However, the Saeco GranBaristo Avanti is no mere Nespresso or Tassimo style machine. It's not even a normal bean-to-cup brewer. It can make coffee expresso, Americano and cappuccino style, and it works directly with a tablet application.
Designed for the home, the Avanti will be released in Russia and Benelux regions first with a wider rollout expected later (most likely next year). It links with a tablet through Bluetooth and the app, while simple, offers the ability to create the perfect cup of coffee suited to you.
It features a selection screen for each of the types of coffee and different suggested options. You scroll through and choose the one you most fancy. But the clever bit is that it then gives you the option to change multiple parameters: temperature, amount of coffee per cup and taste.
You set these on sliders and once you've found the balance that suits you the most, you can save the settings as a profile. This allows the entire family or your friends to have their own perfect cup of coffee stored for repeat use. And they all appear on the app homepage, ready to be scrolled through.
We had a go at an espresso and a cappuccino and were very pleased with the results. The espresso was just right; smoky and bitter, just as we like it. And with the milk frother available as part of the package, it made the perfect cappuccino too.
The machine has "next generation" thermo-speed technology, so makes the coffee as quick as you like. We do recommend setting the temperature low on the app though as even at its lowest setting, we still had to wait a while to be able to drink the espresso.
Only 500 Saeco GranBaristo Avanti machines have been built to date, and those will be the ones sold initially. From the attention it was getting at IFA, we fully expect the Philips-owned brand to bring it into mass production though.
We're not sure about the price at the moment, but considering the conventional Saeco GranBaristo without the Bluetooth and app connectivity is over £1,000, you can expect there to be a premium on top of that.