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sketchbook illustrating coffee press idea

the problem

When I first started this all about five years ago it was just me. I was a graduate design student with a physics background and a passion for coffee. I noticed faculty and peers bringing French presses to their offices and to the studio and, more often than not, I noticed these press pots still had grounds mashed in the bottom of them for days. It was clear to me that people didn’t much like cleaning out their French presses, and to be honest I didn’t care for it either.

So I drew some sketches, doodles really, of an idea for making a coffee press without the mess, one that would keep grounds contained in a pod so they’d be easy to remove. I wound up spending my entire thesis year in the university machine shop fabricating the first prototypes.

The Making of a Prototype

I made the first prototype myself entirely on a lathe from solid pieces of acrylic and some filters I carved out of some commercial coffee makers. When I started, I had no idea how to use a lathe or, really, any tools in a machine shop. But after a couple months of fumbling around with dangerous machinery, I completed the first prototype. It wasn’t much to look at, but after a few tweaks and revisions, I was up and making coffee and had proved both that you could make great coffee this way and that it was surprisingly quick and easy.

The Discovery of an Experience

After proving that this innovative new coffee maker was possible, I set out to create something that would show off not just how well the American Press worked but how good it could look.. I learned how to use CAD programs and CNC machinery to complete an entirely new prototype, one carefully crafted to capture the beauty of the American Press concept. I knew it looked great before even making coffee in it, but it wasn’t until I actually tried it out for the first time that I realized I not only had a concept that made great coffee and was easy to clean, but one that provided a visually unique brewing experience that captured attention from across the room.

As soon as I saw coffee brewing through the hand-polished walls of this second prototype I knew the American Press was about so much more than just being easy to clean, and that people might fall in love with the experience of seeing coffee brew in an American Press as much as they would fall in love with the coffee it made.

This is Where You Come in

So I knew I really had something and the prototypes to prove it, but I didn’t know a ton about manufacturing, so I hired some folks to make a new prototype, designed for manufacturing. It didn’t really work out. But it was the good kind of failure, one from which I learned many lessons.

Not one to be deterred, I assembled a new team of designers and advisors with more years of combined experience than I’ve been alive, and about five years after the initial idea of creating a coffee press without the mess first occurred to me, we completed the beautifully designed and painstakingly engineered American Press you see here today. But we still need to get from prototyping to production, and we’ll get there with your help.

Back our crowdfunding campaign and help create a new way to brew, and become a part of our story.