The biggest leap forward in home coffee roasting is here and the new IKAWA Home App for iOS is now available for update. This is the largest upgrade any app at IKAWA has ever had and is the result of years of customer feedback, user interviews, and many long nights designing and developing the new features.
IKAWA Home is on a mission to have a positive impact in developing countries by changing the way that coffee drinkers buy and engage with coffee with the introduction of an easy to use and enjoyable coffee roasting experience for the home. Whilst we recognise we have a long way to go, the introduction of these upgrades to our app represents what we believe is our largest step towards our vision since the very launch of the product back in 2017.
The experience of using our app is an integral part of our roasting system - alongside the IKAWA Home Roaster and our curated range of green coffees - and is something that we will continue to invest in. Though we think you will love the upgrades, we hope you will also help us on that journey through continued feedback.
Without further ado, let’s see what’s changed.
YOUR UNIQUE COLLECTION OF COFFEES WITH 'MY LIBRARY'
The new way to organise your IKAWA Home App has changed from a simple list of roast recipes to a more dynamic and coffee-focused roaster library.
‘My Library’ starts by asking you to add your coffee; something you can do in three ways:
- Use the in-app QR code scanner with IKAWA green coffee packs
- Choose from our database of IKAWA green coffees
- Add coffees from elsewhere with a name and selection of processing method (washed or natural)
From here you can learn about IKAWA green coffees, add to your library, and explore our recommended recipes for either filter or espresso (recipes you will be able to edit, more on this later).
My Library can be organised into a library of coffees or a more traditional list of recipes. For those already using IKAWA Home before the release, this is where your recipes from the old app will appear.
We wanted this new feature to allow better exploration of coffees and recipes, whilst also being convenient for those more experienced users who simply want to start a roasting session. To that end, we added a particular favourite feature of mine to quickly send recipes to the roaster directly from the recipe library by swiping right.
RECIPE DASHBOARDS THAT INFORM AND EMPOWER
Developed to make roast recipes much more informative and actionable, the new roast screen moves away from a standalone, data-driven graph and becomes a roast dashboard aimed at helping you understand your roasts in a whole new way.
Most importantly to us, the dashboard aims to bridge the gap between how complex roast inputs result in particular roast outputs: your freshly roasted batch of coffee and, of course, how it tastes in the cup.
To do this we designed the dashboard with four key elements:
Flavour expectations: providing levels of flavour in the three essential flavour components; Acidity, Bitterness, and Body.
- Roast graph: freshly designed to make it more approachable, it shows how the temperature of the air coming into the roasting chamber changes over time and across the different stages of roasting.
- Roast stage expectations: providing timings for the four key events that happen in roasting: Drying, Yellowing, First Crack, and Development Time.
- Recipe summary: from our roast experts, a description of how the recipe uses temperature across time across the key roasting stages, to result in the expected flavours.
To me personally, this level of information is a game-changer in terms of gaining a deeper understanding of how and why I like different roast recipes. Knowledge is power!
NEW ROAST DEGREES AND DEVELOPMENT TIME RECIPE CONTROLS
After overwhelming demand, we have simplified the process of creating your own recipes by introducing pre-set controls in roast degree and development time.
Designed to allow users to confidently and enjoyably customise their roasts, we’ve developed recipes to match each combination of roast controls selected for IKAWA green coffees, as well as a generalised version for Washed and Natural coffees. Alongside the enhanced recipe content, it is now more possible than ever to explore and decide how you want their coffee to be roasted.
As changes are made to the roast selections the recipe changes automatically as you explore different levels of roast degree from light to dark, and development time from low to high.
CONTINUITY OF GRAPH EDITOR
We’ve designed the new controls to become the core way to edit recipes, effectively replacing editing made directly to roast recipe graphs.
For new users that want to explore roasting with a bit more freedom, we offer a paid-for subscription to Graph Editor which allows you to edit recipes with freestyle control over temperature and airflow points directly on the recipe graph.
The direction of our app is heading much more towards accessibility over complexity. But whilst this is the case, we have made this available in order to offer something more for those inclined to want it. This is especially the case for pre-November 2021 users who originally purchased a roasting system with this functionality as the core editing mode. To that end, this feature has been automatically added to all pre-November 2021 users at no charge.
CONTINUITY OF LEGACY RECIPES
It is still possible to view and edit recipes made with the old version of the app. We call these legacy recipes and you will find them in your recipe library.
When using the Graph Editor, the roasting screen will look the same as a legacy recipe with the exception that it will be linked to a coffee and be navigable through each coffee in your library.
NAMING CONVENTIONS: COFFEE + ROAST = RECIPE
By default, we’ve set up new recipes to follow a naming convention that we feel best describes the roast:
[Brew Method] [Roast Degree] [Development Time (signalled with a +)]
We like this method because it follows the key decisions we’ve made about how to set up our roasts. However, you can change the name of your recipe easily from the three dots at the top of the recipe dashboard screen.
With the exception of editing Legacy Recipes, all changes to recipes will now live under a specific coffee (whether an IKAWA green coffee or one you’ve added yourself). In this way, we’ve created a two-tiered naming convention where each named Recipe lives under a specific Coffee and Coffee Origin.
IMPROVED APP INTERFACE WITH COLLAPSIBLE ROAST STATUS BAR
An improved user interface of the app removes the footer menu and replaces it with a collapsible bar showing whether it is connected to the Roaster and, if so, the status of what’s happening on it.
The status bar quickly clarifies what recipe is currently on the Roaster and allows for exploration of coffees and recipes in My Library without losing sight of roasts.
THERE'S MORE TO COME ON THE IKAWA HOME APP
We are genuinely really excited to release these new features to you and hope you’ll enjoy exploring them. We aimed to take on the highest potential challenges with this release but we have more we would like to work on and release in the future. Users can directly contribute to this by providing valuable feedback (positive or negative) through the app menu. We really value and rely on this direct communication with our users.
Finally, with a heavy heart, we were unable to develop these new features for the android users out there! This is something we look to address in the near future and particularly as we receive early feedback from iOS users. The Android app will continue to function as before for all IKAWA Home customers pre-November 2021.
From myself and all of us at IKAWA, thank you for your continued support. We hope you found this summary helpful and enjoy using the new Home app!
Please check out the FAQs below or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
WHAT ARE THE KEY NEW FEATURES?
We’ve made major changes to the experience of using the Home app. Key upgrades include:
- Creation of ‘My Library’ puts coffee at the forefront of how you organise your recipes, allowing you to add coffees, explore content about each coffee, and store recipes within the coffee ‘folder’.
- The roasting screen is now improved and expanded for IKAWA-made recipes with a new recipe temperature graph design, roast stage timestamps, expected flavour characteristics, and an introduction to each recipe from our roast experts.
- The way to customise recipes has fundamentally changed and is now based on selecting from a range of levels in two key roast elements: Roast Degree and Development Time. We’ve developed these recipes for each IKAWA green coffee, each brew method (Filter or Espresso), and for each combination of your selections (30 in total for each coffee!)
- We’ve moved away from the core app experience being editing directly on a roast graph with temperature points, but for those who still want this functionality we’ve made it available as a paid-for monthly subscription. Note that customers of IKAWA Home pre-November 2021 will have this feature added to their app account automatically at no charge.
- Alongside the key upgrades, we’ve taken this opportunity to elevate the app as much as possible. Some notable changes include a collapsible roast screen allowing users to always see what is happening on the Roaster, educational screens throughout the app, functionality to send recipes to the roaster directly from the library in recipe-view, and the creation of recommended recipes and customisation controls for non-IKAWA green beans (for Washed and Natural coffees).
AS AN EXISTING USER, WILL MY RECIPES PULL THROUGH TO THE NEW APP?
Absolutely, this was very important to us as you can imagine. All your recipes will be added to your Library when in recipe-view. We call these recipes ‘Legacy Recipes” and you can still use them, share them, and edit them.
DO THE NEW APP FEATURES ONLY WORK WITH IKAWA GREEN COFFEES?
The IKAWA Home Roasting System (and the new Home app) work best with our curated range of green coffees. But you can use coffees from elsewhere with our new features.
IKAWA Home’s vision is to make a positive impact in developing countries by changing the way coffee is bought by coffee drinkers. To that end, unapologetically, we have always made our curated range of green coffee’s a very important part of our Roasting System. This continues to be the case with the new app upgrades.
However, we do recognise that some users value the flexibility to use green coffees from other sources and we do our best to facilitate this. You can, as always, roast non-IKAWA green coffees with our Roaster and we have also introduced a way to add your own coffees so that you can make use of our recommended recipes and the new way to customise your roasts.
WHAT IS THE GRAPH EDITOR?
Graph Editor is a paid-for monthly subscription to a feature that allows you to make edits to recipes directly onto the recipe temperature graph. Using this feature you can edit up to 6 temperature points and 3 airflow points across 12 minutes. It is great for those who really want to get to the finer details of roasting, but in our experience, it is not appropriate for most users and, to get great results, relies on a much greater understanding and experience level of roasting than we are currently available to provide.
WHY IS THE GRAPH EDITOR NOW A PAID-FOR FEATURE?
This was a difficult decision and ultimately one that followed the insights we received from users. The direction IKAWA Home is taking, based on these insights and our vision for the future of coffee at home, lies heavily with the accessibility of roasting over the nuance of its complexities. To that end, we have not included it as a core function of the Home App but decided to keep its availability, and our investment in it, by making it available for a monthly fee.
For those in the know, the level of precision and control this feature offers is unrivalled when compared to other home roasting technology. With this in mind, we feel the monthly subscription offers fair value.
Note that: users of our product before November 2021 have had their app account automatically updated with the feature at no charge in order to maintain continuity and fairness.
WHEN WILL THERE BE AN UPDATE TO THE APP ON ANDROID?
An overwhelming majority of IKAWA Home users are on iOS so, with limited resources, this was a natural starting point for our app development. We do intend to upgrade the IKAWA Home App for Android in the near future. It is likely that this will begin once we fully understand how users respond to the new features on iOS.
In the meantime, the Android app continues to function for all customers pre-November 2021 in the way that it has previously. Thank you for your patience and hopefully, we will have some news soon on this front!
HOW DO I PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON THE NEW FEATURES?
The feedback we have received from users since we launched IKAWA Home has played a significant role in our product development and will continue to do so. These new upgrades represent what we hope to be the beginning of a journey to make the IKAWA Home app of your (and our) dreams! We truly believe it represents the biggest potential for IKAWA Home to overcome the barriers of roasting at home whilst amplifying how enjoyable it can be.
If you have ideas on how we can improve the app, or want to report a problem, please follow the steps within the app’s menu to report back to us - or email email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued support in helping us elevate the experience of using our products.