Nucleus Coffee Tools has been working hard developing their latest tool ‘Compass’. A contactless temperature reader designed to enhance the drinking experience of a coffee. Created by Angus Mackie, Compass’s primary function is allows the barista to more easily share their favourite tastes of a coffee to the customer.

The world Championships in Milan 2021 was a special time for Angus as the Compass was used across both the Barista and Brewers stages in the hands of two amazing baristas; Nicole Battefeld-Montgomery from Germany and Martin Shabaya from Kenya.

Martin’s Barista performance was all about building the best Kenyan espresso he could. Working closely with a fellow Kenyan producer David from Maguta Estate, they found the ultimate espresso and milk coffee expression by carefully blending two varietals Ruiru and Batian.

Martin chose to serve his espresso as the last course as he wanted this to be a celebration of all the teamwork developing this coffee.

As each varietal had moments when they tasted their absolute best, Martin created a ‘temperature guided drinking experience’. Serving his espressos with the Compass and different temperatures for each sip, allowing the judges to find the best moments to enjoy this special Kenyan espresso.

Not only did Martin make it through to semi-finals, we also witnessed an emotional moment when Martin’s name was called out in announcements for finals. The first time a competitor from Africa has ever made it to the top 6 in the World Barista Championships!

There were tears and goosebumps in the crowd and around the world as this meant Martin was able to share this experience, his beautiful smile and love for Kenyan Coffee over 3 rounds.
This moment will go down in the history books. You can feel Martin’s love for the coffee’s from his home country. A celebration of Kenyan coffee, Martin finished 5th in the world!

Nicole is considered Germany’s most successful barista, a 4-time national champion across Brewers, Barista and Coffee in Good Spirits we spoke to Nicole afterwards to hear her perspective on the Compass and the future of coffee service.

Nucleus: “How did Compass help you on stage?”

Nicole: “The scoresheet for the world brewers cup says that they have to drink the coffee at 3 very specific temperature ranges. The problem is that they never know when they are actually in this range without using a thermometer. So they have to guess. That is a wildly inconsistent perception of how flavour changes at certain temperatures.
By using the Compass I could give them a aid to drink exactly when the flavour changes, I could help them not just make a more precise judgement but maybe, just maybe I could also trigger this little aha- moment when people say “ahhhhh…. So that’s actually how hot 40 degrees is”.

The compass isn’t just a great tool to guide, it is also a great tool to learn, to become better and to understand certain drinks more accurately.”

Nucleus: “Would you recommend this tool to someone else? Who do you think would find the most use for it?”

Nicole: “We used it for the preparation of Vlad’s drinks for the world CigS championships to understand drinking temperature better and how our cups behave over time, if they lose a lot of heat or retain it well.
I have also used it for Whisky tastings, and I think it will be a great tool to serve wine at a new level, understanding chilling temperatures for different wines better.

Coming from my chef’s background I can also really see this device being used in the patisserie for serving desserts at the perfect temperature.”

Nucleus: “How do you see the future of specialty coffee with tools like compass? “

Nicole: “Tools like the compass are allowing us to break down the wall between barista and customer. We can create easy to understand coffee experiences without talking about it for hours. It makes the experience valid without the staff having to invest too much time on just waiting. Customers can have very effective learning experiences and understand flavour and flavour changes better. That leads to a memorable coffee visit, as the visit wasn’t just great coffee but also learning how this great coffee works and changes.

I would love to go to a Cafe and learn more about coffee, without having to talk overly much with the barista, because I always feel as if I am stopping them from their actual work.”

Nucleus: “And lastly, how do you think compass adds value to the coffee industry?”

Nicole: “The Compass will make it easier for both staff and customers to understand the behaviour of coffee. It will be the extra step in service that we want to provide. It is a great training tool for Baristas and competitors and can create an unforgettable coffee experience in a shop.”

Nucleus loves connecting with coffee professionals around the world. Working with Martin and Nicole, two baristas from different backgrounds with different ideas, selecting two different styles of coffees showed the world diversity of Compass for coffee-service. And how this tool’s application allows personalised expressions to showcase different coffees.

Angus’s goal of the Compass was not for the device to be the centre of attention itself, but rather, the Compass to be a companion, allowing the coffee to shine even more. Both Martin and Nicole showed this beautifully. Milan 2021 was a special moment for Angus and Nucleus Coffee Tools.

We’d like to thank Nicole and Martin for their hard work and relentless passion towards our industry. We highly recommend you check-out both these performances.

Links to both below.