Everything We Know About The Innovative 'Molecular Beverage Printer'

Ever imagine what it would be like to own one of those whimsical soda machines you sometimes see in fast food chains that can dispense more than a hundred different drink flavor selections from a range of brands at the push of a button? A new, innovative product from a California tech company called Cana is looking to go one better, with the introduction of the world's first Cana One 'molecular beverage printer.'

If the name sounds a little sterile, it's because it's a nod to the science behind the technology, which entails recreating thousands of drinks at the molecular level, according to Cana's website. The idea that spurred the beverage printer's creation is that all drinks contain mostly water — around 90% to be exact — but are flavored with either sugar, alcohol, or flavor compounds.

Cana's scientists spent three years in labs deciphering how to "rebuild" drinks (both carbonated and non-carbonated) at the molecular level. The flavor compounds they explored along their journey of drink discovery are included in a single ingredients cartridge that comes with the Cana One beverage printer. Food & Wine has compared the invention to a "pod-based drink machine but without the pods."

The beverages of a sustainable future?

Cana touts the Cana One's green design, maintaining that utilizing the cartridge system allows it to make thousands of flavored drinks with "virtually zero waste." Cana has set an ambitious goal to "eliminate the use of plastic and glass containers, water waste, and the CO2 emissions used in global beverage manufacturing and distribution," according to Business Wire.

The tech review site Engadget explained that consumers will operate the Cana One beverage maker through a touchscreen that allows individuals to customize the levels of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar they put into their drink. You pay a set price per beverage ranging from $0.29-$2.99. An equivalent of a parental control involving a PIN can be used to safeguard the alcohol and caffeine functions.

Cana One's beverage printer is about the size of a toaster and can fit on a kitchen countertop. In addition to the ingredients cartridge, there are also sugar and spirits cartridges. Will this futuristic drink replicator concoct the best adult beverages ever known, or ruin the cocktail as we know it?

Only time will tell, but the thirsty masses must wait for now. The molecular beverage printer is currently only available for pre-order reservations (you can reserve one for $99 but the total cost will be between $499-$799 depending on whether you're one of the first 10,000 orders) and is not expected to be shipped until 2023.