PicoBrew is known for its crowdfunded devices that make brewing beer or spirits at home a little easier. Now, the company is simplifying its whole product lineup by condensing its home devices into one product: the Pico U. It’s launching today on Kickstarter, starting at $169. This device can brew beer as well as coffee, tea, kombucha, and whatever else you want to brew. There will be two models of the Pico U: the basic and deluxe. They’re more or less the same, except the Deluxe can brew five-liter batches of beer as well as craft beer. Brewing spirits still requires a separate PicoStill accessory.
The actual device is small enough to fit on a counter, which makes it much smaller than previous Pico appliances. It’s about as unwieldy as a Keurig, but at that size, it can only brew coffee. If you want to make any other drink, you’ll have to attach the company’s proprietary PicoPaks to the device, which makes it much larger. The idea is that you can stow away these additional accessories when they’re not in use.
Of course, the new device relies on PicoBrew’s signature PicoPaks to brew different beverages. It could never give up the pods! The company will release a range of new packs that’ll allow users to make specialty drinks, like black rice horchata, Thai iced tea, and saffron turmeric golden milk. These will be “price competitive” and will brew about 1.3 liters per drink.
The process isn’t necessarily fast. The horchata could take between one and two hours to brew; kombucha takes two hours; vodka takes one to two hours to distill; and beer takes two hours. That golden milk only takes 20 minutes, though, and coffee or regular tea should take 90 seconds. You don’t need a PicoPak to brew coffee, either. You can use whatever beans you want. Kombucha and beer still need additional fermentation time, so the drinks won’t be ready immediately. It takes an average of between seven and 10 days to ferment.
Basically, this machine can brew anything if you’re willing to wait for it and actually have the counter space to dedicate. If you’re already using a PicoBrew device, you likely don’t need the Pico U, but new customers will probably be happy to have a smaller build and a cheaper price tag. The price jumps to $250 for the Basic and $299 for the Deluxe when the crowdfunding campaign ends.