WO2012036635A1 - A drink dispensing machine - Google Patents

A drink dispensing machine Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2012036635A1
WO2012036635A1 PCT/SG2011/000313 SG2011000313W WO2012036635A1 WO 2012036635 A1 WO2012036635 A1 WO 2012036635A1 SG 2011000313 W SG2011000313 W SG 2011000313W WO 2012036635 A1 WO2012036635 A1 WO 2012036635A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
cooling
drink
machine
hot
chamber
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/SG2011/000313
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Sem Yam Gan
Chye Peng Shu
Original Assignee
V.S. Marketing & Engineering Pte Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to MY2010004308 priority Critical
Priority to MYPI2010004308 priority
Application filed by V.S. Marketing & Engineering Pte Ltd filed Critical V.S. Marketing & Engineering Pte Ltd
Publication of WO2012036635A1 publication Critical patent/WO2012036635A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J31/00Apparatus for making beverages
    • A47J31/44Parts or details or accessories of beverage-making apparatus
    • A47J31/54Water boiling vessels in beverage making machines
    • A47J31/56Water boiling vessels in beverage making machines having water-level controls; having temperature controls
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J31/00Apparatus for making beverages
    • A47J31/002Apparatus for making beverages following a specific operational sequence, e.g. for improving the taste of the extraction product
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J31/00Apparatus for making beverages
    • A47J31/44Parts or details or accessories of beverage-making apparatus
    • A47J31/52Alarm-clock-controlled mechanisms for coffee- or tea-making apparatus ; Timers for coffee- or tea-making apparatus; Electronic control devices for coffee- or tea-making apparatus
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J31/00Apparatus for making beverages
    • A47J31/44Parts or details or accessories of beverage-making apparatus
    • A47J31/52Alarm-clock-controlled mechanisms for coffee- or tea-making apparatus ; Timers for coffee- or tea-making apparatus; Electronic control devices for coffee- or tea-making apparatus
    • A47J31/525Alarm-clock-controlled mechanisms for coffee- or tea-making apparatus ; Timers for coffee- or tea-making apparatus; Electronic control devices for coffee- or tea-making apparatus the electronic control being based on monitoring of specific process parameters
    • A47J31/5253Alarm-clock-controlled mechanisms for coffee- or tea-making apparatus ; Timers for coffee- or tea-making apparatus; Electronic control devices for coffee- or tea-making apparatus the electronic control being based on monitoring of specific process parameters of temperature

Abstract

A drink dispensing machine comprising means for making a hot drink; and means for cooling the hot drink prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine.

Description

A DRINK DISPENSING MACHINE

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention broadly relates to a drink dispensing machine, a method for cooling a hot drink in a drink dispensing machine, and a method for manufacturing a drink dispensing machine. BACKGROUND

There are numerous coffee machines, ranging from a simple coffee maker that brews and dispenses espresso-style coffee, to elaborate systems with multiple features, e.g. settings for different coffee styles, amounts and strengths, milk frothing function, etc. Similarly, there are many apparatuses for making tea. Usually, such machines and apparatuses dispense coffee or tea that is substantially hot.

However, it will be appreciated that some people prefer having a chilled, or at least cooled, drink. This may be prepared by adding ice to the hot drink, but such iced drink is understandably more diluted and thus may not taste as good. Alternatively, one can put the hot drink into a refrigerator, e.g. a compressor-type chiller, for cooling, but this takes time. Also, refrigerator compressors are typically bulky, making it very difficult to integrate them into e.g. existing coffee machines, which strive to be as compact as possible to fit modern homes and offices.

A need therefore exist to provide a drink dispensing machine that seeks to address at least one of the above problems.

SUMMARY

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a drink dispensing machine comprising:

means for making a hot drink; and means for cooling the hot drink prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine.

The means for cooling may comprise:

a chamber for containing the hot drink; and

at least one thermoelectric cooling element thermally coupled to the chamber.

The chamber may be adapted to receive a plurality of cooling fins of the at least one thermoelectric cooling element.

The cooling fins may be disposed horizontally in the chamber.

The machine may comprise two thermoelectric cooling elements coupled to opposite sides of chamber.

Cooling fins of the two thermoelectric cooling elements may be alternately disposed within the chamber. An inlet of the chamber may be coupled to the means for making the hot drink in a manner such as to selectively channel the hot drink to the chamber for cooling.

An outlet of the chamber may be coupled to an auxiliary pump in a manner such as to dispense the drink after a cooling duration.

The machine may further comprise means for automatically adjusting the cooling duration. The machine may further comprise a display for showing a remaining time of the cooling duration.

The means for making the hot drink may comprise a heating element for heating water for making the hot drink. The machine may further comprise a steam outlet configured to selectively dispense steam produced at the heating element. The drink may comprise one of a group consisting of coffee, tea and chocolate.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for cooling a hot drink in a drink dispensing machine, the method comprising the steps of:

coupling a means for making the hot drink to a means for cooling the hot drink; and

cooling the hot drink prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine. in accordance with a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided method for manufacturing a drink dispensing machine, the method comprising the steps of:

providing means for making a hot drink; and

providing means for cooling the hot drink prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Embodiments of the invention will be better understood and readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art from the following written description, by way of example only, and in conjunction with the drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a block diagram illustrating main components of a drink dispensing machine, in the form of a coffee maker, according to an example embodiment.

Figure 2(a) shows a perspective view of a coffee maker embodying the block diagram of Figure 1. Figure 2(b) shows a side view of the coffee maker of Figure 2(a). Figure 2(c) shows a plan view of the coffee maker of Figure 2(a).

Figure 2(d) shows a sectional view of the coffee maker about a line A-A in Figure 2(c).

Figure 2(e) shows an exploded perspective view of the coffee maker of Figure 2(a).

Figure 3(a) shows a perspective view of the cooling compartment of Figure 2(e) according to an example embodiment. Figure 3(b) shows a sectional view of the cooling compartment about a line

B-B in Figure 3(a).

Figure 3(c) shows an exploded perspective view of the cooling compartment of Figure 3(a).

Figure 4(a) shows a block diagram illustrating an electronic control system of the coffee maker of the example embodiment.

Figure 4(b) shows a schematic circuit diagram of the electronic control system of Figure 4(a).

Figure 5 shows a flow chart illustrating an implementation of the hot coffee function according to an example embodiment. Figure 6 shows a flow chart illustrating an implementation of the cold coffee function according to an example embodiment.

Figure 7 shows a flow chart illustrating an implementation of the steam making function according to an example embodiment. Figure 8 shows a flow chart illustrating an implementation of a first cleaning function according to an example embodiment. Figure 9 shows a flow chart illustrating an implementation of a second cleaning function according to an example embodiment.

Figure 10 shows a flow chart illustrating a method for cooling a hot drink in a drink dispensing machine according to an example embodiment.

Figure 11 shows a flow chart illustrating a method for manufacturing a drink dispensing machine according to an example embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following example embodiments describe a drink dispensing machine in the form of a coffee maker. However, it will be appreciated that such machine can be adapted/modified for dispensing other suitable drinks e.g. tea, chocolate. Figure 1 shows a block diagram illustrating main components of a coffee maker 100 according to an example embodiment. The coffee machine 100 in the example embodiment comprises at least 3 user interface buttons 102, 104 and 106 corresponding to steam making, hot coffee dispensing and cold (or substantially cooled) coffee dispensing functions respectively. Further functions may be activated by pressing and holding one of buttons 102, 104 and 106, as will be described in detail below.

Once a function has been selected by a user, e.g. by pressing an appropriate button, water is pumped from a water tank 108 by a main pump 110 through a safety valve 112 and a first 3-way valve 114 to a heating element, shown as a thermo block 116 in Figure 1. The main pump 110 typically comprises a pump capable of providing a pressure of about 21 bars in the example embodiment. Other pumps with different pressure ratings may be used in alternate embodiments, as will be appreciated in the art. The safety valve 112 is configured in the example embodiment to direct some of the water back into the water tank 108, e.g. to achieve a desirable pressure. The first 3-way valve 114 comprises an outlet 115 for releasing any trapped air, e.g. for maintaining the desired pressure. At the heating element (i.e. thermo block 116), water is heated to a desired preset temperature, depending on the selected function. Heated water, which may also be in the form of steam, is then channeled under pressure to a second 3-way valve 124. In the example embodiment, if the steam making function is selected, steam is dispensed via a steam outlet 122 coupled to an outlet 125 of the second 3- way valve 124. On the other hand, if one of the two coffee dispensing functions is selected, the heated water or steam is injected, under pressure, to a coffee inlet 120 for making a hot coffee drink. The hot coffee drink is channeled to a third 3-way valve 134 such that if the hot coffee function is selected, the hot coffee drink is dispensed directly via a coffee outlet 128 coupled to an outlet 135 of the third 3-way valve 134. On the other hand, if the cold coffee function is selected, the hot coffee drink is directed from the third 3-way valve 134 to a cooling compartment 118 for cooling. The cooled coffee drink is then pumped from the cooling compartment 118 by a secondary pump 126, which is typically capable of providing a pressure of about 3 bars, for dispensing via the coffee outlet 128.

Figure 2(a) shows a perspective view of a coffee maker 200 embodying the block diagram of Figure 1. Figure 2(b) shows a side view of the coffee maker 200 of Figure 2(a). Figure 2(c) shows a plan view of the coffee maker 200 of Figure 2(a). Figure 2(d) shows a sectional view of the coffee maker 200 about a line A-A in Figure 2(c). Figure 2(e) shows an exploded perspective view of the coffee maker 200 of Figure 2(a).

As can be seen from Figures 2(a)-(e), the coffee maker 200 comprises features as described above with respect to Figure 1 , including a steam making button 202, a hot coffee button 204, a cold coffee button 206, a water tank 208, a main pump 210, a safety valve 212, a first 3-way valve 214, a thermo block 216, a cooling compartment 218, a coffee inlet 220, a steam outlet 222, a second 3-way valve 224, a secondary pump 226, a coffee outlet 228 and a third 3-way valve 234. In addition, the coffee maker 200 comprises a casing 201 , a safety switch 232, a power supply 236, a power switch 238 and a main controller 240, as will be understood in the art.

In the example embodiment, coffee is provided to the coffee inlet 220 in the form of a compatible pre-packed coffee capsule (not shown), as will be appreciated by a person skilled in the art. As can be seen in Figures 2(d)-(e), a removable container 242 is provided below the coffee inlet 220 to collect used capsules for disposal. It will be appreciated that the coffee inlet may be adapted to accept coffee capsules of different dimensions. Also, other forms of coffee supply, e.g. a bulk compartment for ground coffee powder or coffee beans, in conjunction with a grinder unit, may be used in alternate embodiments, and the container 242 may be modified accordingly.

Additionally, as shown in Figures 2(a) and 2(e), the coffee maker of the example embodiment comprises a light emitting diode 244 for displaying a status of the coffee maker, e.g. whether any function is currently on, and a display 246 for showing, e.g. a remaining time before a cold (or substantially cooled) coffee is dispensed. The display 246 comprises a 7-segment display in the example embodiment. However, other types of displays, e.g. a liquid crystal display (LCD), may be used in other embodiments.

Figure 3(a) shows a perspective view of the cooling compartment 218 of Figure 2(e) according to an example embodiment. Figure 3(b) shows a sectional view of the cooling compartment 218 about a line B-B in Figure 3(a). Figure 3(c) shows an exploded perspective view of the cooling compartment 218 of Figure 3(a).

The cooling compartment 218 in the example embodiment comprises a liquid chamber 310 thermally coupled to at least one, here preferably two cooling elements 320a, 320b. As can be seen from Figure 3(a) and 3(c), the liquid chamber 310 in the example embodiment comprises a substantially rectangular box comprising a top face 312, a bottom face 314 and two opposite side faces 316a, 316b. A hot liquid inlet 302 and an air vent 304 are disposed on the top face 312, while a cold liquid outlet 306 is disposed on the bottom face 314. A temperature sensor 307 is mounted to the liquid chamber 310, e.g. adjacent the top face 312 as shown in Figures 3(a)-(c), for detecting a temperature of the liquid inside the chamber 310 for automatically adjusting a cooling duration. The cooling elements 320a, 320b are coupled to the liquid chamber 310 via the side faces 316a, 316b respectively. Such rectangular shape of the liquid chamber 310 preferably provides ease of manufacture as well as ease of assembling the cooling elements 320a, 320b thereto. However, it will be appreciated that other shapes, e.g. a cylindrical chamber, may be used in alternate embodiments.

In the example embodiment, the cooling elements 320a, 320b comprise thermoelectric cooling elements, which are also known as semiconductor coolers or Peltier coolers in the art. Each cooling element 320a, 320b comprises a cooling interface 322a, 322b (which is typically made of a thermoelectric material) in thermal contact with a heat sink 324a, 324b, and a fan 326a, 326b coupled to the heat sink 324a, 324b, respectively, as will be understood in the art. The thermoelectric cooling elements 320a, 320b in the example embodiment are preferably compact, thereby allowing the cooling compartment to occupy as little space as possible within the coffee maker. in addition, as can be seen in Figures 3(b)-(c), each cooling interface 322a, 322b comprises a plurality of horizontal fins 323a, 323b for increasing a contact area with the hot liquid, and the liquid chamber 310 is adapted to receive the horizontal fins 323a, 323b within the chamber 310. Typically, an inert layer 308 disposed within the chamber 310 prevents the horizontal fins 323a, 323b from physically contacting the liquid flow while allowing heat to be conducted away from the liquid flow. In a preferred embodiment, the horizontal fins 323a, 323b from opposite sides are alternately arranged as shown in Figure 3(b). Such staggered arrangement can advantageously maximize the contact area and slow the flow of liquid from the inlet 302 to the outlet 306, thereby allowing the hot liquid to be cooled as much as possible. Furthermore, the fins 325a, 325b of the heat sinks 324a, 324b respectively are preferably disposed vertically to provide even heat dissipation.

After the hot liquid, here coffee in this example embodiment, has been sufficiently cooled inside the liquid chamber 310, e.g. after a cooling duration has passed, the outlet 306 is opened to allow the cold (or substantially cooled) coffee to be dispensed from the coffee maker. In the example embodiment, the temperature of the cooled coffee is about 12-14°C after a cooling duration of about 10 minutes. The cooling duration may be automatically adjusted by the machine e.g. based on a feedback signal from the temperature sensor 307, so as to achieve the desired cooled coffee temperature.

Figure 4(a) shows a block diagram illustrating an electronic control system 400 of the coffee maker of the example embodiment. Figure 4(b) shows a schematic circuit diagram of the electronic control system of Figure 4(a).

The electronic control system 400 comprises a microcontroller unit (MCU) 402, e.g. model number PIC16F722, disposed on a main control board 404. Power is provided to the main control board 404 from an alternating current (AC) main source 406 and a direct current (DC) power supply 408. Inputs to the MCU 402 include signals from the buttons 202, 204, 206, and the safety switch 212, as described above with respect to Figures 1 and 2. in addition, the MCU also receives an input signal from a temperature sensor 410 indicating a temperature of the thermo block (to be described in detail below) and an input signal from the temperature sensor 307 (Figure 3(a)) coupled to the liquid chamber. The MCU processes the received input signals and controls the heating element (thermo block 216), the 3-way valves 214, 224, 234, the main pump 210, the secondary pump 226, the cooling compartment 218, the LED 244 and the display 246, as described above with respect to Figures 1 and 2. The cooling compartment 218 comprises two cooling elements 320a, 320b as described above with respect to Figure 3.

With reference to Figures 5-9, some functions of the coffee maker of the example embodiments are now described, using the same functional elements as described above with respect to Figures 1-4. Figure 5 shows a flow chart 500 illustrating an implementation of the hot coffee function according to an example embodiment. To start the process, at step 502, the hot coffee button is pressed. At step 504, the LED is triggered to flash to indicate that the coffee maker is in operation, and the thermo block is turned on for heating up. At step 506, the system checks, e.g. via a feedback signal from the temperature sensor 410 (Figure 4), whether the temperature of the thermo block reaches 100°C. If no, the heating continues. If yes, at step 508, the first 3-way valve is turned on to close a release of air, and the second 3-way valve is turned on to close the steam outlet. At step 510, the third 3-way valve is turned on for subsequently dispensing the hot coffee. At step 512, the main pump is turned on to pump water for mixing with the coffee. In the example embodiment, the water being pumped becomes hot water directly as it passes the heated thermo block. At step 514, the system checks whether the coffee maker is being used for the first time after it is powered on. If the result is yes, at step 516, the first 3-way valve is turned on briefly, e.g. about 500 milliseconds, to release air, followed by hot coffee dispensing at step 518. If the result is no, the system just proceeds to dispense hot coffee at step 518. After the hot coffee has been dispensed, at step 520, the thermo block, the main pump and all valves are turned off, the LED is configured to stop flashing, and the process ends.

Figure 6 shows a flow chart 600 illustrating an implementation of the cold coffee function according to an example embodiment. To start the process, at step 602, the cold coffee button is pressed. At step 604, the LED is triggered to flash to indicate that the coffee maker is in operation, and the thermo block is turned on for heating up. At step 606, the system checks, e.g. via a feedback signal from the temperature sensor 410 (Figure 4), whether the temperature of the thermo block reaches 100°C. If no, the heating continues. If yes, at step 608, the first 3-way valve is turned on to close a release of air, and the second 3-way valve is turned on to close the steam outlet.

In addition, at step 610, the cooling compartment is turned on in the example embodiment. At step 612, the third 3-way valve is turned off as the hot coffee is to be directed to the cooling compartment in this function. At step 614, the main pump is turned on to pump water for mixing with the coffee. In the example embodiment, the water being pumped becomes hot water directly as it passes the heated thermo block. At step 616, the system checks whether the coffee maker is being used for the first time after it is powered on. If the result is yes, at step 618, the first 3-way valve is turned on briefly, e.g. about 500 milliseconds, to release air, followed by channeling the hot coffee to the cooling compartment at step 620. If the result is no, the system just proceeds to channel the hot coffee to the cooling compartment at step 620.

At step 622, the thermo block, the main pump and all valves are turned off, and the display, e.g. a 7-segment type, is turned on for showing e.g. a count-down timer. At step 624, the temperature of the cooling chamber is checked, e.g. via a feedback signal from the temperature sensor 307 (Figure 3(a)). At step 626, the system determines whether the temperature of the chamber has reached about 10°C. If no, at step 628, the timer display is adjusted accordingly, the cooling continues and the system regularly repeats step 624. If yes, at step 630, the cooling is considered completed such that the display timer shows 0; the cooling elements are turned off and the secondary pump is turned on for dispensing the cooled coffee. At step 632, the cooled coffee is dispensed. At step 634, the secondary pump, the display and all valves are turned off, the LED is configured to stop flashing, and the process ends.

Figure 7 shows a flow chart 700 illustrating an implementation of the steam making function according to an example embodiment. To start the process, at step 702, the steam making button is pressed. At step 704, the first 3-way valve is turned on to close a release of air, and the second 3-way valve is turned on to close the steam outlet. At step 706, the LED is triggered to flash to indicate that the coffee maker is in operation, and the thermo block is turned on for heating up. At step 708, the system checks, e.g. via a feedback signal from the temperature sensor 410 (Figure 4), whether the temperature of the thermo block reaches 140°C. If no, the heating continues. If yes, at step 710, the second 3-way valve is turn off to open the steam outlet. At step 712, the main pump is turned on briefly, e.g. for about 0.05 seconds in the example embodiment, then turned off for about 0.95 seconds. In the example embodiment, the water being pumped becomes steam directly as it passes the heated thermo block. At step 714, the system checks whether the steam making button is still pressed. If yes, step 712 is repeated. If no, at step 716, the thermo block is turned off, and the process ends.

Figure 8 shows a flow chart 800 illustrating an implementation of a first cleaning function according to an example embodiment. The first cleaning function in the example embodiment cleans parts associated with the hot coffee function. To start the process, at step 802, the hot coffee button is pressed for at least a predetermined duration, e.g. about 3 seconds. At step 804, the first 3-way valve is turned on to close a release of air, and the second 3-way valve is turned on to close the steam outlet. At step 806, the thermo block is turned on for heating up. At step 808, the system checks whether the temperature of the thermo block reaches 100°C. If no, the heating continues. If yes, at step 608, the cleaning begins. The thermo block is turned off; the main pump is turned on such that the hot water is pumped through the relevant parts, and the third 3-way valve is turned on to release the water. At step 812, the cleaning is completed after the hot water has been released. At step 814, all valves are turned off and the process ends.

Figure 9 shows a flow chart illustrating an implementation of a second cleaning function according to an example embodiment. The second cleaning function in the example embodiment cleans parts associated with the cold coffee function. To start the process, at step 902, the cold coffee button is pressed for at least a predetermined duration, e.g. about 3 seconds. At step 904, the first 3-way valve is turned on to close a release of air, and the second 3-way valve is turned on to close the steam outlet. At step 906, the thermo block is turned on for heating water from the water tank. At step 908, the system checks whether the temperature of the thermo block reaches 100°C. If no, the heating continues. If yes, at step 910, the cleaning begins. The thermo block is turned off and the main pump is turned on such that water is pumped. The third 3-way valve is also turned off to direct the hot water to the cooling compartment (which is off). After a short duration, e.g. about 1 second, the secondary pump is turned on for releasing the water for about 15 seconds. The main pump is then turned off. At step 912, the cleaning is completed after the hot water has been released. At step 914, all valves are turned off and the process ends. Figure 10 shows a flow chart 1000 illustrating a method for cooling a hot drink in a drink dispensing machine according to an example embodiment. At step 1002, means for making the hot drink is coupled to means for cooling the hot drink. At step 1004, the hot drink is cooled prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine. Figure 11 shows a flow chart 1100 illustrating a method for manufacturing a drink dispensing machine according to an example embodiment. At step 1102, means for making a hot drink is provided. At step 1104, means for cooling the hot drink prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine is provided.

It will be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the present invention as shown in the specific embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as broadly described. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects to be illustrative and not restrictive.

Claims

1. A drink dispensing machine comprising:
means for making a hot drink; and
means for cooling the hot drink prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine.
2. The machine as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the means for cooling comprises:
a chamber for containing the hot drink; and
at least one thermoelectric cooling element thermally coupled to the chamber.
3. The machine as claimed in claim 2, wherein the chamber is adapted to receive a plurality of cooling fins of the at least one thermoelectric cooling element.
4. The machine as claimed in claim 3, wherein the cooling fins are disposed horizontally in the chamber.
5. The machine as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 4, comprising two thermoelectric cooling elements coupled to opposite sides of chamber.
6. The machine as claimed in claim 5, wherein cooling fins of the two thermoelectric cooling elements are alternately disposed within the chamber.
7. The machine as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 6, wherein an inlet of the chamber is coupled to the means for making the hot drink in a manner such as to selectively channel the hot drink to the chamber for cooling.
8. The machine as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 7, wherein an outlet of the chamber is coupled to an auxiliary pump in a manner such as to dispense the drink after a cooling duration.
9. The machine as claimed in claim 8, further comprising means for automatically adjusting the cooling duration.
10. The machine as claimed in claims 8 or 9, further comprising a display for showing a remaining time of the cooling duration.
11. The machine as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the means for making the hot drink comprises a heating element for heating water for making the hot drink.
12. The machine as claimed claim 11 , further comprising a steam outlet configured to selectively dispense steam produced at the heating element.
13. The machine as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the drink comprises one of a group consisting of coffee, tea and chocolate.
14. A method for cooling a hot drink in a drink dispensing machine, the method comprising the steps of:
coupling a means for making the hot drink to a means for cooling the hot drink; and
cooling the hot drink prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine.
15. A method for manufacturing a drink dispensing machine, the method comprising the steps of:
providing means for making a hot drink; and
providing means for cooling the hot drink prior to dispensation of the cooled drink from the machine.
PCT/SG2011/000313 2010-09-14 2011-09-14 A drink dispensing machine WO2012036635A1 (en)

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