A few years ago, while reviewing modern coffee gear, I fell in love with a one-touch espresso maker. It wasn’t some little Nespresso concentrate thing, but a serious machine that actually ground the beans, formed them into a puck, and pulled rich, creama-topped shots for me on demand.
It was artisan and automatic at the same time. And in that regard, it reminds me a lot of the $130 Otto by Banana Bros.–a one-touch herb grinder/joint roller for people who prefer to smoke real flowers rather than use vape products like the Pax.
The Otto is like a Cuisinart hand blender crossed with an Amazon Echo. Its design blends right in with modern kitchens, with the aesthetic that many contemporary cannabis companies are embracing over the stoner look. The main body breaks into two pieces, revealing the grinder that you fill with buds. Once loaded, it uses an algorithm and sensors to attenuate its grinding on the fly, ensuring even processing that accommodates for stickiness or seediness. Then the grind trickles down into a paper cone that sits below. When it’s done, you can just twist the top of this cone, and your joint is ready to smoke.
Of course, vape pens with THC concentrates and pre-made edibles will be the easier ways for people to get high in the future–and in fact, those two categories now combine to generate more revenue in the Colorado marijuana industry than herbs do.
But in an industry that talks about varietals, microclimates, and flavor, with a product that can be prepped for consumption so many different ways, it’s easy to see parallels between marijuana and coffee. I imagine there is plenty of room for products like Otto in the market. I will always miss that one-touch espresso maker, even if it was, perhaps, a bit too enabling of this coffee snob’s growing habit.