About Orenda Coffee

By Tyler Cooper
HighYa Staff
Published on: Jul 13, 2017

By integrating smart, app-connected features, the Orenda coffee maker represents a shift that we’ve been observing in consumer electronics for several years now.

In today’s tech-fueled world, the devices that live alongside us are becoming increasingly tailored to our individual preferences. More than ever, we’re connected to them via our smartphones and tablets in ways that even a few short years ago would have been firmly in the realm of science fiction luxury.

Now, the latest wave of innovation is coming to the humble coffee brewer. With Orenda, the Auroma Brewing Company is looking to shake up the way your daily brew is made and enjoyed.

How Orenda Works

Put simply, Orenda is a coffee brewing system that learns your preferences and tailors itself to them.

The device measures 5.5”W x 12.2”L x 15.6”H, weighs about 6.5 pounds, will brew roughly 4-5 cups of coffee per use, and features a slick industrial design, with the main structure (the part that comes in contact with the coffee) made up of stainless steel and borosilicate glass. It utilizes a built-in metal filter, but the company claims that it is also fully compatible with most paper filters as well, if that is your preference.

The way it is described on the product's website, the first time you add beans to the 1.2L glass reservoir, which features a stainless steel burr that allows for a more consistent grind size, Orenda’s built-in sensors will automatically select the ideal settings.

During the brewing process, these sensors will also measure the total coffee dissolved, temperature, grind size, and time, all the while comparing this information to the official SCAA Brewing Control Chart.

After the process is finished, you can then connect to the companion smartphone app (available for Android and iOS operating systems upon launch) via Wi-Fi to rate the brew, weighing in on preferences such as bitterness, texture, caffeine concentration and overall strength. Once this is complete, Orenda will update the next brew to reflect your taste, reportedly leading to a more personalized experience.

Through the app, it looks as though you can even share your favorite recipes, or use popular ones from other users, though official details from the manufacturer are scarce on how this will work in practice at this point. Don’t worry, though; should find yourself without your phone, brewing is as simple as pressing a button on the device itself.

The explainer video shows us that you can make many different types of coffee with the Orenda, from French press, to pour over, iced coffee, and cold brew. The device can even be set up to work with popular automation services, allowing you to sync its functionality with your daily alarm, as well as with the popular Amazon Alexa and Echo devices.

It also works with IFTTT, which is a free web-based service that allows you to connect devices together to work via automation.

Now, if you’ve been following this brewing system’s development over the past couple years, the top question on your mind at this point might be: Are there any meaningful differences between the original Auroma and this re-branded Orenda?

How Does Orenda Compare To Auroma?

The original Auroma brewing system got its start on the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter in November of 2015, going on to raise over $231,448 from more than 600 backers over the course of its campaign.

We’ve previously covered Auroma here at HighYa, but the co-founder of the company behind the brewing machine let us know via email that the name was changed in order to navigate various trademarking issues.

Compared to the original, there appear to be two main differences with the Auroma: First, the company states that there is no plastic whatsoever that comes into contact with the coffee itself. On the previous product’s Kickstarter page, they note that it features BPA-free plastic as well as glass in its design.

Second, the original design was only compatible with Kalita Wave paper filters, while the updated version reportedly features a built-in metal filter that’s also compatible with most paper filters.

Are there any price differences between the original and Orenda?

Orenda Pricing & Warranty Info

Orenda is currently available for pre-order, with the listed ship date being August 2017 as of the time of this writing. The device’s current price is $399.00 (the same as the earlier Auroma), though it is shown to be $499.00 when it officially releases.

It is stated that each device includes a one-year international warranty, though no additional information is provided as to what exactly is covered under this plan. We’ve reached out to both the co-founder and customer support for clarification, and once we get a reply back, we’ll update this information here.

The company also lists that they will ship worldwide, for a flat rate of $35. The makers of Orenda say they will ship you the correct voltage for your country by referencing your delivery address.

Orenda vs. Alternative Brewing Options

As more and more products are released with smart capabilities, you can expect that competition will start to sprout up in all sorts of different niches, and smart coffee brewers are no exception.

Based on our research, there are a number of smart coffee systems that are either releasing this year or are already out on the market, such as the Behmor Connected system and the Smart Coffee Machine. What we found, however, was that none of these various systems promise to deliver the same level of exacting control over the brewing process that the Orenda claims to offer.

Another important note: the Orenda looks like one of the only machines on the market that actually grinds the coffee as well as brews it, allowing for that extra bit of convenience and control. Many of the alternatives require pre-ground coffee beans, with some (like the Mr. Coffee Smart Coffeemaker) even using coffee pods like Keurig's K-Cups instead.

That being said, the Orenda also appears to be the most expensive offering by a fairly wide margin, with many other “smart” brewing systems ranging from $200 all the way down to $80 or so. Many of these devices let you control settings, such as the brewing temperature and number of cups to brew, but none of them show the level of personalization that the Orenda offers.

Of course, without using the device ourselves, only time will tell if these settings truly add an appreciable difference to your daily cup. Ultimately, if you’re in the market for a more highly customizable experience and you have a larger budget, the Orenda might be ideal.

If you’re searching for something on the less-expensive end, though, or you don’t need large amounts of personalization, there are multiple different models that feature automation integration, temperature control, and a basic smartphone app for around half the asking price of the Orenda.

Our Final Thoughts On Orenda

As our devices become more connected to us, we'll be presented with deeper and deeper levels of customization. The Orenda represents this ambition clearly with an intriguing design and a full list of smart customization features that might appeal to coffee lovers who are looking for that sort of thing.

However, while the product is currently available for pre-order, it has not yet started to ship--nor has the previous iteration, the Auroma, which was first announced back in 2015. However, the product’s creators have been fairly communicative with backers via bi-monthly or so updates, discussing the problems that have held production up, including having to switch glass factories late in the game due to a quality standards issue.

As we’ve reported in the past, products that get their start on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter sometimes have a rocky road to completion, due to the many hurdles companies must face bringing their ideas to fruition.

Other than the manufacturing delays detailed on the Auroma’s crowdfunding page (which the company has addressed in various updates), there doesn’t appear to be anything else standing in the way of bringing the product to market, based on the company’s communication with their customers. With these sorts of projects, however, there's always a degree of risk involved.

So, at the end of the day, can the Orenda truly deliver an unparalleled coffee experience? We’ll have to wait and see when the device officially releases sometime in the near future.

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Read 83 Orenda Coffee Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 2 3 star: 1 2 star: 5 1 star:  74
Bottom Line: 6% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 83
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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Love it but the app isn't fully there

    • California,
    • Jul 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Only have had this amazing machine for a short amount of time but it's changed the game for me. Cold brew, pour over or french press with the ability to customize! It's amazing. The app is having trouble allowing me to make my own custom cup but I'm able to customize the preset brewing styles slightly. Doesn't matter much because the presets are already great. I've noticed all the bad reviews and want people to give it a shot once they've got themselves in order (app, customer service, and previous orders). It is a start-up company...people invested in a startup, expect errors. Don't know why everyone's acting like they're scamming people. It's a great product and I hope they have a long-lasting company. I've already told all my friends to buy one.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Finally arrived and it works well (not a scam!)

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Mar 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Like many, I have been concerned about the extended delivery time for this product. The lack of communication from the company as the months past was also a problem for me.

    That all being said, my Orenda Coffee maker arrived today. It doesn’t appear that the iOS app is available yet, or at least I couldn’t find it in the App Store or from the website. So, I made a cup of coffee without the app, which was as simple as pressing a single button. I have to say that it made a great cup of coffee, with very little effort on my part. I have been a coffee aficionado for many years and have prepared coffee in pretty much any way you can do it, and I was pleased with the cup the Orenda produced. I look forward to the app being released to see what else the Orenda can do, and the reason I give the product four stars is because the iOS app is not yet available.

    Personally, I can put aside the slow delivery and poor communication since I now have the product and it seems to be of very high-quality; the materials are metal and glass, and the aesthetics are appealing to me. Having participated in a number of crowdfunded product launches in recent years, I can say I have experienced worse and I have experienced better with regards to delivery and being kept up-to-date on progress and challenges.

    The bottom line is, I think the Orenda product is great, and if they can get the customer service part of the equation dialed-in, then I think they will do well.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 10 people found this review helpful

    They kept their word

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Mar 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Truthfully, I thought it was a scam like many others here, however, without a lack of communication they say it would ship, and it did!

    I got mine last night and can’t wait to make my first brew. Will it work? I will most likely come back here with my verdict. The machine is beautiful by the way.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Not a scam

    • New York,
    • Oct 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got my coffee maker today. The device works well, and the coffee exceeds my expectation. The app has a long way to go, but I’m optimistic they will fix it. Kickstarters are always rough in the beginning, like a new restaurant on opening day. I’ve got high hopes. It took me almost a year longer than promised to get mine but I have renewed faith.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Orenda Coffee maker

    • North Carolina,
    • Aug 30, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    HighYa staff wrote about this high-end coffee maker. We ordered it in May 2017, and they promptly charged our credit card. We have asked for shipment updates, and a response always came back as they were working on it. The ship date was suggested to be August.

    So here we are in August, and their current update (https://www.orendacoffee.com/pages/august-update) while extensive and detailed, doesn't indicate when they will work thru their supplier issues in China, at least in my eyes (they end the update with the phrase "until next time" which the might infer another "oh darn" update is likely). In fact, due to the detail of their situation update, it provides me with very little confidence that the entire project/product is legit, as the title of this review suggests, too.

    We have asked for our order to be canceled and our money refunded. I will update this review as to the company's action. I expect them to promptly refund our payment as they claim the first round was sold out, so they can give my space in line to someone else!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 12 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Egregious!

    Disclaimer: This is the problem, rant, and review of a lucky and privileged person, able to afford a $400 coffee maker.

    That said, this business is ridiculous. I believe another person said they are in over their heads, but the problem is they are trying to go from zero to a billion. As a startup, they need to focus on proving out a business concept and machine, not learn how to engineer and get it built in one of the lowest quality, highest scam, slowest manufacturing environments in the world: China. Only India may be worse.

    At $400 a machine, get it built in the US. How much money and time have you lost trying to get this built in China? How many customers have you pissed off? Absolutely, margins will be lower at the start but prove the business, build a quality product, establish a place in the market, then look for an opportunity to increase margin and grow the business.

    I give two stars instead of one because they care enough not to ship a total piece of garbage, it at least needs to work, which I'm assuming is the cause of the delays. But I take away the rest of the stars for the overzealous communications, poor business strategy in manufacturing, inevitable delays (as a consumer, we really don't care why), and them having my $400 about a year without so much as an update without me having to pull one out of them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    First cups - not bad - not great either.

    Update. After using this for a few weeks, I have gone back to my Mr. Coffee coffee maker. The grinder spews out grounds onto the counter with every cup, no matter how I position things. The coffee grounds pile up on one side of the brew chamber, and you have to jiggle the chamber to get the grounds distributed, which disturbs the sensors that regulate how the machine brews. The coffee amount dispensed varies from 6 ounces to 10 ounces. I have had coffee brewing, which overflowed the brew chamber and never dispensed. I had to unplug the machine to stop it adding even more water. If I run a cleaning cycle after every cup, I don't run into that problem anymore, but what a waste of water. None of the filters I tried really fit the machine well, as I am always finding coffee grounds outside of the filter.

    I really wanted to love this machine, and it is physically beautiful with it's brushed steel and gleaming glass. But it just doesn't function well for its intended purpose - making coffee.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Previous review
    • Mar 28, 2018

    First cups - not bad

    Considering the difficulties getting the glass manufactured to specifications, I can understand the shipping delays. However, the lack of communication caused concern that this was indeed a scam.

    Inspect your glass before assembling the coffee maker - if your glass is chipped, don't use it. I have seen a couple of reviews indicating that the water tank was leaking due to chipped glass.

    My Orenda arrived during the week and I put it together today. It was packed very nicely. The manual is not as useful as it could be; there is nothing that lists all of the parts, the instructions are not precise or detailed enough. I have a piece left that I can't for the life of me figure out where it goes. And a cleaning brush.

    There are no instructions on what the icons on the control screen mean. There are three; the Wi-Fi symbol, a water droplet, and a coffee cup. Press the water droplet to run a cleaning cycle, press the coffee cup to brew a cup (it took me too long to figure out that the droplet was for the cleaning cycle). Wi-Fi right now is meaningless as the app is not yet available.

    It took me a long time to figure out that I had to remove the water funnel to get the water tank in. The print instruction for that is very small, but it is there. I can't figure out what the deal is with getting the line on the water tank aligned with the brewer. I put it in so that they lined up after the tank was in, the video I saw later lines them up first and then seats the tank. Makes no difference that I can see.

    Brewing a cup of coffee without the app is easy. Add coffee beans, add water, put a cup on the tray, and press the coffee cup icon until it vibrates.

    Without the app, you can't make any alterations to how the coffee brews. The first cups were decent but had a bit of sediment. For future cups, I will use a paper filter in addition to the metal filter.

    So far, so good.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Broken after 2 cups

    • New Jersey,
    • Aug 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered this 2 years ago like everyone else. It finally came in. The app is useless, you can't adjust the coffee setting like I want. The alarm feature had me waiting and waiting for my coffee and never worked. I had to manually brew it (not that its hard to do, but would be nice to have the coffee ready to go once you wake up).

    After the second cup I made (and to my surprise, the coffee was good and strong), the machine stopped working. There’s no tech or customer support number, which is frustrating. Not even a troubleshooting section in the manual, which is also a joke. I've sent 3 emails without a response (not including the auto-response you get for sending the email). I can’t recommend this product at this time. I wish I could, I wish it worked, but there are too many issues that need to be fixed before I can do so. I think they rushed this product out once they received the units in and never put the effort into the manual for troubleshooting issues along with a stable app.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    A messy waste of time and money

    • Tampa, FL,
    • Dec 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered this in January of 2017 and received it in July of 2018. When I finally received it, I was able to get the app working right away, and brew coffee. The included French Press and Pour Over recipes both used a TON of coffee and resulted in very small and weak cups of coffee. Easy, the whole point of this thing is to be able to control the whole process precisely from the app, and even see other people’s recipes.

    Well, you can kind of customize things. You can create a recipe, using metric temperatures (even though F is shown), and select the amount of grounds (though I don’t think the scale is accurate, and time, up to three minutes, or total dissolved solids, depending on mode). There is no sharing, and the only way to edit the recipes is by selecting make stronger or more caffeine kick, not by altering the temp or time...there is no community sharing either.

    The end results after a bunch of trial and effort is a decent cup of coffee. I still think it uses tons of coffee, but you can get a decent cup of coffee out of the machine.

    The drawbacks are:

    1. It periodically loses the WiFi connection, and requires you to create another account with another email address, and you lose your recipes.

    2. It is messy. It kind of spews grounds and splashes coffee everywhere.

    3. About once a month it becomes hopelessly clogged and you have to take the bottom cover off the grinder (two screws) and chisel out the ground mess. The process isn’t that bad, but should be easier if this is a regular occurrence (which it is). It is only a couple of Torx screws, and requires you to empty the water (takes forever since it only seems to clog with a full water chamber). I use a bamboo skewer, the included brush, and a small shop vac to clean the "chute" and make sure the grinder can spin freely again.

    Note: Sometimes it is just a bean feed issue from the hopper and you can use a small zip tie to jostle the beans in the feeder.

    4. The coffee alarm or timed brewing does not work.

    Conclusion: Would I buy it again? No. Do I use it? Yes. But it is an over $400 reminder of why the saying "if something seems to good to be true, it probably is."

    If you are somewhat handy and have money to waste, this will result in a decent cup of coffee and an almost constant source of aggravation.

    Enjoy!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 14 out 16 people found this review helpful

    How can you rate a product when there is no product?

    • Illinois,
    • Sep 8, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    You read that correctly! How can you rate a product when there is no finished product!? They should be rated at zero stars. Stars are for product ratings. Currently, this is just a concept with a company trying to figure out how to navigate the manufacturing process in China which is very difficult. Oh, and at their customers' expense. (They don't tell you this when you make the purchase).

    Ok, so they started out on Kickstarter under another name. If you purchased this way, you know what you were getting into. However, we purchased in July of 2017 with a ship date of August 2017, believing there was a product. It wasn't a Kickstarter environment that we purchased on/in. When asked for a shipping date we received this update link:

    https://www.orendacoffee.com/pages/august-update

    Update, is that what they are selling it as? To me, it reads, "We don't know how to go from prototype to an actually working acceptable unit ready for consumers." We are told it will ship in October. My question is that if it is shipping in October is it being manufactured today? It would have to be drop shipped to meet that date! Yet they are selling another batch slated for December shipping when their August order hasn't even shipped and isn't until October. Did the ORIGINAL version on Kickstarter ever ship? So this is the third sale of this product? I am confused. Does anyone have one? Then they send us is this stupid update. It's stupid because they sell it as an update. They sell it as if they won't accept poor craftsmanship. As if they will only accept the highest standards. Wait Orenda, you mean you are taking orders yet haven't figured out how to make the actual product and did not disclose this to the consumer up front in your “beautiful” advertising? Is this even legal? Had their web page said this I would have never placed the order.

    No matter what good intentions Orenda has, they are R&Ding off the backs of actual customers and not telling them this up front. Their own "updates" clearly show they aren't ready to ship. Companies usually invest their own money into R&D. They get investors to take the chance and give them a percentage for the risk. It appears we have a "beautiful concept" with plenty of money spent on "beautiful advertisement" for a product that has yet to be manufactured and tested successfully.

    Don't believe me? Their August update states, "40 machines ready by the end of August/start of September shipped to early unit testers.” Ready to ship early units to testers! Did you catch that?

    I was hesitant to place my original ad because all the reviews of this product are reviews of the concept! Not the finished product. My scam radar was up, but I took a chance and put it on a card with protection. I ended up getting a refund. It took them several days to issue it. They responded with in hours when I asked about a shipping update.

    Even if the product is phenomenal, this isn’t the way to do business!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 17 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Orenda has failed to deliver, literally

    • California,
    • Oct 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Promising a delivery date in August, it is currently October 25th, and my coffee maker has not yet arrived. It is looking more and more like Orenda is another fraudulent or incompetent start-up since they are unable to even complete a business transaction. They took my money, and after several months have not delivered their product. Please, don't let them take your money too.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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