A robot named Mozart made me a latte yesterday at Yummy Future, and it was wild. From the kiosk inside the cafe, I ordered a pumpkin pie latte ($4.55), and as soon as I paid, the droid got to work, grabbing a branded cup and filling it with espresso and milk from a dispenser.
This robot barista project began back in 2019 on the University of Illinois campus by engineering graduate student Guangzhe Cui. In March 2022, Yummy Future coffee shop opened in Campustown as the first robotic cafe in Illinois. Everyday, the robot Mozart makes (both hot and iced) drinks inside the little cafe on Green Street beside Golden Wheat restaurant. Check out the coffee shop’s website and the robotic cafe on Instagram for more information.
People work at Yummy Future, too. They directed me to the kiosk and suggested the pumpkin latte. The latte was good with a subtle pumpkin flavor, and the novelty of the experience was fun. I will say that the coffee lacked latte art — a robot can only do so much. Missing pretty swirls in the foam didn’t change the taste I suppose, but next time, I’m going for a simple drip coffee here.
If you want a barista that’s not like all those humans making lattes in Champaign-Urbana, Mozart is the droid you’re looking for. What do you think about robots making coffee? Go off in the comments on our socials or send us some mail.
609 E Green
8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily