If you’re lucky enough to visit one of our New York City stores, the first thing you’ll notice—- after the intense aroma of freshly roasted coffee—- is Javabot. Some people say that its crystal-clear tube system, which stores beans and delivers them to the roaster and brewers, looks like a space-age church organ or something straight out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. We say it looks like a dream come true for coffee lovers in search of the perfect cup.

A patented Roasting Plant invention, Javabot first holds “green” beans in a series of clear storage columns. When it’s time for roasting, the beans are automatically measured out by weight and then “whooshed” into the roaster via bursts of air through clear pneumatic tubes. It’s exciting to watch, but the process isn’t just for show: Those curved tubes are specifically designed to keep the freshly roasted beans from breaking in transit. (Like grinding, breakage releases coffee’s flavor, which should ideally happen only moments before brewing.) Once roasted, the beans are blown back into the columns where they rest for no longer than 48 hours, allowing their flavors to mature without decaying. Then they’re dispensed in first-in-first-out order into our brewer or retail bags at the peak of their freshness.

At this point, the beans are ready to be ground and brewed into a rich cup of Roasting Plant coffee. To see how this final step takes place, click on The Perfect Cup.