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SU Student Works to Perfect the Coffee Machine

SU Student Works to Perfect the Coffee Machine

Most college students can’t go a day without coffee. For Syracuse University senior Cameron Hughes, what started as a mild interest has brewed into a full-blown passion for making the perfect cup of coffee.

Hughes has been developing a coffee machine for several years that will save people money and provide them with better tasting, full-flavored coffee.

Now in the production stage, Hughes has taken his background in industrial design and created Invergo, a coffee machine that he hopes will revolutionize at-home, single-serve coffee brewing.

“I’ve always loved coffee,” he said. “I love the smell of it. I could never really get good coffee, so it’s been interesting for me to be able to make good coffee.”

Invergowhich means “pour over” in Latin, is a unique pour over coffee machine that drips water in a particular pattern so that the coffee grounds get wet evenly.

Invergo’s Autospout pours water in a hypotrochoid shape, ensuring that the coffee grounds are evenly wet.

Invergo’s patent pending Autospout pours water in a hypotrochoid shape, ensuring that the coffee grounds are evenly wet.

Hughes said that most coffee machines pour water in the middle of the grounds, which leads to inconsistent wetness. When the coffee grounds aren’t fully doused in water, certain compounds aren’t fully extracted, which can lead to very watery or bitter coffee.

“It’s scientifically proven that they don’t make good coffee,” he said. “The amount of coffee in the pot doesn’t correlate to the amount of water. […] It’s also not fresh.”

To remedy this, Hughes made another invention: the Autospout, a patent pending feature unique to Invergo, which makes it stand out among brand names like Keurig.

The Autospout rotates in a hypotrochoidal pattern, which allows it to evenly pour water on the coffee grounds.

When he was designing the machine, Hughes turned to a childhood design for inspiration.

“I originally just made a circle,” he said, describing his first attempt to design the spout. “But that wasn’t getting the center right, so I went back to my childhood using spirographs.”

Hughes knows that in order to unseat Keurig as the world’s most popular single cup coffee maker, Invergo has to offer consumers a product that is more convenient to make. It uses instant heating so that users don’t have to wait for the water to heat up.

He believes Invergo can be a Keurig alternative for coffee purists looking for a more refined taste. On Invergo’s Kickstarter campaign page, Hughes goes as far as calling Keurig’s coffee “abysmal.”

Hughes also pointed out that Keurig has also lost about 60 percent of its value in the past year. Keurig’s daily losses open up a space that Hughes wants Invergo to fill.


Spirographs are geometric drawing toys which can be used to design hypotrochoids. Photo by Shanmugan Studios, licensed under Creative Commons.

“A lot of people who are interested in technology are also interested in coffee, so I see it meshing well together,” he said.

Coffee houses such as Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Tim Hortons have become major players in the coffee industry in recent years, but Hughes is confident that Invergo’s innovative coffee-making technology will leave consumers thirsty for more.

So far, he has raised $35,851 from 334 backers on Kickstarter since last July. Each of those backers will receive an Invergo coffee maker. The second Invergo prototype is being built, and Hughes hopes to ship by April or March of next year.

“We just finished up the final computer-aided design and in two weeks we’re getting the second prototype. From there, we’re going to do soft molding for the aluminum, and then steel molding,” he said.

Hughes has huge ambitions for the company. He plans to sell Invergo to companies like Williams-Sonoma and Bed, Bath, and Beyond, with the long-term goal being global expansion.

Ultimately, he wants to change the quality of the single cup coffee maker. 

“What Dyson did for vacuum cleaners, I want to do for coffee machines,” Hughes said.

About The Author

Carla Sertin

Journalist from Beirut, Lebanon. Studying Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism at Syracuse University. Interested in social justice, environmental issues, and international politics.

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