Pousse Cafe finally came to an end about two weeks ago when Paragini Amin, Fred Truman and I, hashed over it and built the differing components to make what looked like an espresso retro machine that upon command provides the user with a gourmet shot. Initially as mentioned before we had set out to explore a liquid interaction that users could control visually and inform the physical visual output in a dynamic way. Our first initial experimentation’s were spent playing around with various liquids and observing the different reactions or non reactions these liquids had with each other but we were still unclear of what the experience would be like for the user… after a bit we decided to experiment with liquor and came upon the idea of creating a voice controlled gourmet shot dispenser. Due to our earlier experiments we realized liquids had a mind of their own and wanted to exploit this in the output. We wanted in a way to pour a layered drink that was visually appealing and tasty. We googled [yes google is a verb now] “layered drink” and saw a few pretty drinks like the tequila sunrise. However like kids in a candy store our eyes fell upon a drink called pousse-café which was comprised of the following:
1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) crème de cassis
1 oz (2 tablespoons) elderflower liqueur
1 oz (2 tablespoons) pear brandy
When poured correctly these liquors would create a minimal yet elegant and visually appealing drink. We did a few test by hand only to realize that what problems lay-ed ahead were specific to how this drink would be poured. Our design challenge required we pour in a specific way at a specific speed/amount.
The end resulting Pousse-Café was made from an old wine crate we acquired through the wine/liquor shop just across the street form Tisch, three gravity fed solenoid valves ordered from Valves4Projects via Ebay, tubing from Canal Rubber, wiring from Pearl Paint, teflon tape from Home Depot [If you find yourself working with solenoids and tubing do not forget to use teflon tape], an arduino and a voice recognition library called voce for processing.