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Mod Bar Systems – Additional Espresso Tap AV


What you are currently looking at is one possible installation of the Modbar modular espresso system. Yes, that is really all that sticks out above the counter. The espresso, steam and pour-over are all self-contained “taps” that are paired to separate under-counter modules, installable in any configuration you can imagine. For the last year, Modbar has been operating as an agile startup shrouded in total secrecy, and the time has finally come to show their revolutionary new under-counter modular espresso and pour-over brewing system to the world. I highly suggest you go check it out at Counter Culture Coffee’s booth #892 on the SCAA show floor—I haven’t had the chance to go hands on yet, but if they manage to deliver on what they’re claiming, this machine could open up radical new design and service possibilities for the high-end coffee market.



The four things you need to know about the Modbar system are:

1. Espresso, steam and pour-over modules can be purchased and inter-connected in any number and configuration you want.

2. It takes five minutes for the espresso module to go from turned off to full operating temperature.

3. The slender above-counter tap profile is designed to allow maximum interaction and education between customer and barista.

4. You can set the espresso module to display temperature in Kelvin.

Okay, so it’s not actually that important that you can run the espresso module in Kelvin, unless you are the most awesome of nerds, but this little detail speaks volumes about the story and philosophy behind Modbar. To understand how, here’s a little background. Corey Waldron, Modbar’s founder, started in coffee as a barista and then roaster at Old Crown, which was Fort Wayne, Indiana’s first specialty coffee shop. Trying to introduce this market to specialty coffee, he was frustrated in his education efforts by what he felt like was a massive barrier between him and his customers: the espresso machine. So Mr. Waldron started dreaming of a machine that could “take the casket off the counter”, in his words. Building on his former career as a CAD designer for industrial chemical dispensing systems, he began work on the Jet Steam Ai-1, the first under-counter espresso machine that showed as a prototype at the 2007 Long Beach SCAA. The Ai-1 never made it to market, but it set the ground for the founding of Modbar. Corey worked on Jet Steam with Aric Forbing, a long-time friend and former bandmate, and Aric now helps with the design and manufacturing for Modbar at their assembly plant and CNC mill in Fort Wayne, IN, where 90% of the machine is made. Kelly Traw was brought in by investors at La Marzocco to handle the business and marketing side.


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