Our friend John Baker and his wife Juli Baker are the proprietors of Mjölk in Toronto, one of the world’s best interiors shop. So when they emailed us a couple of weeks ago to let us know about a new automated coffee kiosk they’ve designed for Toronto-based roasters and shop Dark Horse Espresso, we were curious to learn more.
“It was a really intriguing brief for us, as we’ve never experienced a fully automated contactless coffee system before,” John says. “We started to get a little nostalgic for some of our favorite old coffee shops—places like Cafe Valand in Sweden and Moka Cafe in Iceland. We love these warm and nostalgic places that never close and have a crew of familiar regulars. So we started thinking about how we could play with this nostalgia while also introducing the robotic technology from RC Coffee.
“We designed a sort of cafe diorama to create a playful fictional history for the Dark Horse brand, with its origins as a 1950-60s cafe, that holds a special place in the heart of Yorkville but is widely forgotten by the rest of the city. Our goal was for people to walk by the cafe at night with the lights in the window glowing and stop for a moment to look inside, then realize that this isn’t a real coffee shop but an automated coffee kiosk. I think just having the coffee kiosk by itself as an ATM might just disappear on a busy street in downtown Toronto, so the diorama is really important and full of authentic items that try to capture the spirit and quality of the coffee. We love the Nordic spirit for innovation, and even though this is a cheeky retro aesthetic, it lends itself to the optimism of the technology found at the coffee kiosk.”
Here’s a look:
For more Mjölk, see: