A coffee roastery in Finland has launched an AI-generated blend. The results were surprising

Category : Business

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. artisan / ˈɑr tə zən / (adj.) – relating to the traditional way of making something by hand and using high-quality materials

    The artisan pottery shop sells expensive pots that have unique and carefully-made designs.

  2. blend / blɛnd / (n.) – a mix or combination of different things or styles

    She likes to drink a blend of fruit juices in the morning.

  3. akin / əˈkɪn / (adj.) – similar or related

    The company’s latest phone model is akin to its competitor.

  4. aficionado / əˌfɪʃ yəˈnɑ doʊ / (n.) – a person who likes something so much and knows a lot about it

    He asked a car aficionado for help before buying a new one.

  5. seasoned / ˈsi zənd / (adj.) – having a lot of experience in a particular area or field

    Joe is a seasoned traveler who knows all the best places to eat in every city he visits.


Read the text below.

An artisan roastery based in the Finnish capital has introduced a coffee blend that has been developed by artificial intelligence in a trial in which it’s hoped that technology can ease the workload in a sector that traditionally prides itself on manual work.

It is only apt that the Helsinki-based Kaffa Roastery’s “AI-conic” blend was launched in Finland, a Nordic nation of 5.6 million that consumes the most coffee in the world at 12 kilograms per capita annually, according to the International Coffee Organization.

The blend—an AI-picked mixture with four types of beans dominated by Brazil’s velvety Fazenda Pinhal—is the end result of a joint project by Kaffa, Finland’s third-biggest coffee roastery, and local AI consultancy Elev.

“Leveraging models akin to ChatGPT and Copilot, the AI was tasked with crafting a blend that would ideally suit coffee enthusiasts’ tastes, pushing the boundaries of conventional flavor combinations,” Elev said.

Kaffa Roastery’s managing director and founder Svante Hampf told The Associated Press that the two partners wanted to trial how AI and its different tools could be of help in coffee roasting, a traditional artisan profession highly valued in Finland.

“We basically gave descriptions of all our coffee types and their flavors to AI and instructed it to create a new exciting blend,” said Hampf, while showcasing “AI-conic” at the Helsinki Coffee Festival that annually brings together roasteries and coffee aficionados.

In addition to coming up with its chosen mixture of beans from Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala, AI created the coffee package label and a detailed taste description saying “AI-conic” is “a well-balanced blend of sweetness and ripe fruit.”

Hampf acknowledged he was surprised that AI “somewhat weirdly” chose to make the blend out of four different types of coffee beans, rather than the usual two or three which allows distinction in taste between flavors from different origins.

After the first test roasting and blind testing, Kaffa’s coffee experts agreed, however, that the tech-assisted blend was perfect, and there was no need for human adjustments.

According to Elev’s spokesman Antti Merilehto, “AI-conic is a tangible example of how AI can introduce new perspectives to seasoned professionals” while offering coffee lovers new taste experiences.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • How do you feel about the idea of AI developing a coffee blend particularly designed to meet the tastes of coffee enthusiasts? Would you be willing to try a coffee blend created by AI? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think AI can successfully copy the skill of humans in producing delicious new recipes for food and drinks? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Coffee roasting is a traditional artisan profession highly valued in Finland. What are the sectors or industries in your country that traditionally pride themselves on manual work (ex. pottery, shodo)? Do you think these industries should also try to use technology to ease the workload? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • How would you feel if technology was completely used in these industries that highly valued manual work? Discuss.
Category : Business