This app is like Untappd for Coffee

This app is like Untappd for Coffee

We’ve all seen this post on Reddit for the past 4 years. Lots of options of apps that tried to do it and went another direction or reasons why an app like Untappd for coffee or like Vivino for coffee couldn’t be done.

We’re here to say that while those commenters are right…

Yes, some apps have tried and moved on to solving other problems in the coffee space. And yes, making an app like this for coffee is hard because coffee is something you brew at home and there are a lot of ways to brew it. Beer is just simpler but of course has its own challenges as well.

Yes, there is an app, that is like Untappd for Coffee. An app that rewards your progress with badges, helps you learn about coffee, connects you with fellow coffee lovers, helps you learn about your tastes, keeps a running log of all the amazing styles and techniques of coffee you have enjoyed (including where you have enjoyed them), and even has a world class brew recipe editor for finding and fine-tuning brew recipes.

That app is called Good Fika, and you can download it today.

Still don’t believe us? Let’s review all the reasons why they said it couldn’t be done, and you can see why we think we did.

The amount of ways to prepare coffee is too great.

With coffee you can make it in an automatic drip maker, an aeropress, an espresso machine, a french press, make it into cold press, and on and on and on and you’ll get flavors out of it you won’t out of another. It would be a great idea but I think it would just be too much user work.

Plug in the coffee. Plug in how you brewed it. Plug in your rating. Hell, even your location too because maybe the Starbucks by the mall has a slightly better cold brew than the Starbucks next to your favorite diner.

Yes, there are seemingly countless ways to prepare a great cup of coffee, and they all influence how a coffee will taste, and ultimately that will affect the rating that someone will give it, making it hard to find a good roast that is rated accurately.

Let’s address user work first, Good Fika does in fact let you track all of these data points. When you check in you can add the location you got the coffee from, the technique it was brewed with, the style of coffee that brew became (e.g. coffee, cappuccino, espresso, etc), and even the exact brew recipe that you used to make this cup of coffee.

Tracking data points on an untappd for coffee checkin We’ve had users on Good Fika for months, and almost every check in includes a location, a style and technique. We put a lot of work into making sure the user experience was smooth and painless (partnering with designers at some of the top tech companies in the world) and after working through a few initial bugs and always refining the experience we have not seen “user work” as an issue.

Now that we have these data points, we can work on refining our ratings to account for these points. In the future, we want to use these data points to let you filter a roast’s ratings based upon these data points. Maybe you only want to see how this roast is rated when made into an espresso or when brewed with a popular recipe? Maybe you want to get very specific and want to see how this roast tastes when brewed in your area (after all water quality has a big impact on the way a coffee tasttes.)

Further, in the future you will be able to add what equipment you used to brew your cup. With enough coffee lovers in Good Fika we believe you will be able to search for a highly rated cup of coffee by plugging in the equipment you have, and you will be confident that the rating is accurate.

After that it’s just up to you to enjoy your cup! :)

The variety of coffee beans is too great.

I wrote a more detailed explanation of why it’s not really out there in a previous similar thread, if you’re interested. The responses to that, and the other responses in that thread, mainly do come around to generally agreeing with your

Or is the variety of coffee beans way too great. ?

Yes, there are a LOT of coffee beans and roasts out there. In fact, in Good Fika we have over 30,000 unique roasts in our library and this number grows everyday. In fact, we think we’ve only scratched the surface, and if we were to get to completeness (which we aim to do) we would have over 100k roasts from more than 3000 specialty and commodity roasters (and that’s just in the United States).

Now our library of course is bigger than just the United States, but we’ll admit it, it’s not yet complete.

That said, we think it’s probably the most complete, of the available libraries. And that’s because we track a lot of different data points for each of these roasts, specifically:

  • Roast Origins (exact geographic locations)
  • Tasting notes
  • Description
  • Link to purchase
  • Arabica v Robusta percentage
  • Caffeination level
  • Organic
  • Fair Trade or Direct Trade
  • Altitude (high and low)
  • Roast profile (light, medium, or dark)
  • Single origin or blend

And tracking these data points allows us to provide a very rich experience. Specifically, after a few check ins, we can start to build something we call the “Origin Map”. This map is specific to you, and it is like a heat map, the bigger the heat, the more highly you rate coffees from that origin on average.

See below for an example of the Origin Map for yours truly.

A map of coffee origins around the world

We do the same with tasting notes, giving you an idea of what tasting notes you tend to favor (great when you’re in a pinch and you’ve got a lot of new roasts to try and weed through before purchasing and you’re next in line). For me? I like nectarine, toffee, dark chocolate, and walnut flavors the best, so when in doubt, I go with that and I tend to have a better cup.

A map of coffee origins around the world

Marcus Aurelius said, “the obstacle is the way” (in so many words) and that’s the way we at Good Fika look at the “variety of beans problem”. Yes it exists, but we can use that variety to our advantage to really understand our own tastes to a finer level of detail than we could on an app like Vivino or Untappd.

Taking the journal approach.

There was one comment on the reddit thread that we really liked and agreed with portions of (bolded):

Seems like most of the comments here are saying because of the complexity and variables that go into a cup of coffee, this wouldn’t translate well to a ratings app. I agree.

If the app was aimed more at being a journal of coffees you’ve tried and your observations, I think that has a little more potential for success. This would also allow you to pick out trends in the coffees, methods, etc that you prefer

This is the method we took with Good Fika. We said to ourselves, let’s start as a coffee journal and a way to meet fellow coffee lovers, and if there is potential to be more, we’ll find it. As we built our our roaster and roast library, we became more confident that there was potential for more, but we haven’t strayed from our roots as a social coffee journal… like Untappd but for coffee.

Good Fika is like Vivino / Untappd for Coffee

If we’ve convinced you, come join us on Good Fika here (available on iOS and Android).

If we haven’t, come give us a try before you write the next reddit thread. If you still have reasons it won’t work after that, we’d love to chat!

Be well.