The Geekiest Coffee Things Ever Said About the Modbar

The coffee community is frothing at the mouth with praise for the espresso machine.

There’s a four-month waiting list of would-be customers lined up to spend $17,000 on a Modbar, a commercial espresso machine from a Fort Wayne company. Aric Forbing, a lifelong Fort Wayne native who cofounded the business in 2012 with former colleague Corey Waldron, says the idea was born 15 years ago, when he and Waldron were playing in a band together. Waldron was a barista who loved premium coffee; Forbing was a Folger’s guy with an engineering background. Today, Modbars are in cafes from New York to Austin to Singapore—and have bloggers frothing at the mouth.

“Modbar is a striking, modular series of espresso groups, pour-over taps, and steam arms … with the promise of greater temperature control, a cut in prep time, and even geek-friendly features like touchscreen operation and support for temperature monitoring in Kelvin.” –

“Finding the balance in the roast profile, water temperature, and pressure variables is key to minimizing the loss [of bean quality]. The Modbar is an excellent asset in that fight.” –

“Each brewing head is controlled independently from the others. Why is this important? Well, it means that our espresso machine, Lord willing, should never be out of order.” –

“The ex-CAD designer [Corey Waldron] from Fort Wayne, Indiana, is behind Modbar, the high-tech modular espresso machine that camouflages its mechanical complexity underneath a cafe counter, leaving only a sexy minimalist spout between a barista and customer. Waldron managed to lure espresso machines’ high priestess, La Marzocco, to help with sales and distribution, as well as invest.” –

“Modbar is essentially the Ferrari of coffee brewing systems. What’s new is that the once-manual barista job now pairs with slick electronic components under the counter that can be endlessly programmed to control details like pressure, temperature, cleaning, and more.” –

“In New York City alone, top drinks hubs like Little Collins, Budin, Gotan, City of Saints, MatchaBar, and the Counter Culture’s Training Center have all adopted the technology.” –