Kickstarter has changed how innovation is delivered to consumers, particularly in niche categories, so it only makes sense that the coffee industry would flock to the crowd-funded sphere.
Pearl Scale by Acaia
Undoubtedly the most impactful coffee kickstarter is the Acaia Scales. Acaia launched in 2013, but only with moderate success. An original 496 backers brought this project to life, and to our barista stations all over Australia. With these guaranteed customers, Acaia were able to negotiate competitive manufacture rates, and scale this project into where it is today. The premise is simple: fast, rechargeable, accurate to 0.1 of a gram, and large enough for a portafilter – however this isn’t what they were originally designed for. Australia’s espresso culture merely adapted what was meant to be a filter brewer scale, with Bluetooth to save flow rates for your favorite pour-overs.
Stagg EKG by Fellow Products
In more recent times, the Stagg EKG has blown the lid off what previously could be hoped for on Kickstarter, amassing a grand total of $447,235.00 USD to bring this project to life. The design of the EKG is immaculate. It’s sure to look gorgeous on any bench, which helps mitigate the roll of the eyes from your loved ones when they discover you’ve bought another “Coffee Thing.” The Stagg EKG is not only beautiful – it also features variable temperature control, accurate to the nearest degree. The base also come packed with Bluetooth connectivity; turn on remotely (from your bed in the morning, anyone?!), alert you when your at the desired temperature, or log recipes to compare with your future brews. You can take this to yet another level by pairing these with your Acaia Scales, Baratza 270Wi and the Brew Bar app to log all brew parameters.
Images: Fellow Products
Hiku Hand Grinder by Kanso
The Hiku Hand Grinder by Kanso has just landed in my hands after backing this project earlier in the year. Featuring a titanium conical burr set, and a patent pending stabilisation system utilising a “wave spring,” this grinder promised a lot! The grind setting system is genius, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen on a hand grinder – this makes the unit easy to dial in, and a breeze to replicate your favourite brews. My preliminary brews have left me confident enough in using the Hiku by Kanso in my Aeropress competition. Wish me luck!
Images: Kanso Coffee
Peak Water by Colonna Coffee
You know what would be nice to go with my Aeropress competition entry? Delicious water. That’s what Peak Water sets out to achieve – it’s the world’s first gravity-fed water filter designed specifically for coffee. With Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood and Christopher H. Hendon behind this equipment (Co-Authors of Water for Coffee: Science Story Manual), this equipment is sure to be on point. The Peak recognises that water quality varies greatly from location to location, which is why the Peak has 4 different filter settings to modify what the filter does with your waters bicarbonate level, while still eliminating chlorine. Coffee extraction is chemistry, and this is sure to be your missing element.
Word of Warning
Kickstarter campaigns should never be introduced without warning, however. With an estimated delivery of Nov 2014, the Arist Coffee Machine was backed in a huge way, drumming up $845,139 worth of support. Wow! However, this product seems dead in the water. People are still yet to receive their product, and there’s a wave of unhappy customers requesting their money back – money they’re very likely never to see again. Think carefully about the campaigns you back – do they look feasible, or are they promising too much, and asking too little? Keep your wits about you, and with great risk, comes great reward!