Professor Jones's Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption

In the world of steampunk, there are many ways that machinery and costume wear are customised, and some are more or less true to the style. Lots of steampunk gear is simply decorative, but the real genius lies in creating steampunk machinery which not only looks great but has a very real function. In the search to bring you amazing content, I had the privilege of meeting a genuine steampunk creator recently. His name is Chris Jones, and he’s the creator of ‘Professor Jones’s Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption’, the truly mind-blowing coffee hopper found at Truth Coffee’s entirely impressive and very steampunk HQ on Buitenkant here in Cape Town. Read on for the full lowdown on Chris and how he brings steampunk machinery to life.   Professor Jones's Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption   I started off asking Chris how he got into this line of work – after all, creating highly complex machines that replicate an updated 19th century industrial design ethic and work well is no mean feat. It turns out that Chris and a friend used to have a store/cafe in Simonstown named Cafe Mig 21, where he used to display some of his reworked machines, made from assorted mechanical parts. Down the line, a series of fortuitous meetings saw Kenneth from the Olympia Cafe pop in and admire Chris’s work, which led to Chris being introduced to David Donde, main man and chief steampunk fanatic at Truth Coffee. (for more on Truth, check out this article, where we covered Truth’s new HQ).   Professor Jones's Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption   One thing led to another, and soon enough, Chris had been commissioned to create the spectacular hopper that’s now resident alongside Truth’s massive in-house Probat roaster. Which brings us to the hopper itself, which is a piece of work unlike any other you’ve ever likely to see. This isn’t just a fully-functioning coffee bean dispenser that pumps out measured portions to be bagged – it’s also a show all on its own. Here’s a collection of cogs, wheels, lights and chains that performs while it works.   Professor Jones's Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption   Chris sources his parts from “…tips, dumps and metal scrap yards, which were a revelation – and a place I could use my parkour skills, because it’s a rough environment”. So there you have it folks – if you’re in Cape Town, and you’re in need of a world-class cup of premium coffee – and would like to check out this amazing machine – pop into Truth on Buitenkant. To the right of the grand counter that surrounds the behemoth roaster, you’ll see a fantastic assembly of pipes, lights and cogs. That’s Professor Jones’s Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption, right there. If you’re in luck, and you ask nicely, one of the crew will set it in motion and the magic will unfold. Like to know more about Chris Jones? Step right this way.   – Travis  

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