Nestle Japan strikes a musical note

Nestle Japan has extended its offering from coffee to music as part of a promotional event for its Nescafe Gold Blend Barista instant coffee.

It has launched a wooden musical instrument, the “Pythagorean”, which plays Christmas melodies (watch the video). It is the only Rube Goldberg machine in the world to be installed in a coffee shop.

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Designed like a coffee mug and about 3.5m high and 3m wide, the Pythagorean involves a wooden ball being released into a staircase-shaped maze. Christmas carols play as the ball rolls downward, striking tuned xylophone steps. The contraption comprises 180 xylophone keys and 1450 individual parts. It took about five months to build, using laser machining and other cutting-edge technologies.

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By using an app, customers at the Nescafe Harajuku outlet can choose an emoticon that befits their mood. A bird character then appears on the screen, and while their coffee is being made, the ball is released to play one of three Christmas tunes.

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