The great coffee company consolidation continues. This one lacks the certain Illuminati, conspiracy theory-inducing panache of a multi-billionaire German family playing coffee Katamari, though. It is admittedly on a much smaller scale and makes a lot more sense. Able Brewing, maker of the Kone and Disk metal coffee filters, has been acquired by Mark Hellweg, founder of Clive Coffee and Ratio.
Able Brewing began by answering a simple question: with the growth in popularity of pour-over, can a reusable coffee filter meet the expectations of this new breed of persnickety hand brewers? The answer was the Kone, the world’s first precision-etched stainless steel filter for the Chemex. Able later grew to include the Disk reusable AeroPress filter as well as other manual brewing accessories.
The brand was just one of many interests for creator Keith Gehrke, who in other coffee circles, is better known for his time spent roasting at Victrola, Flying Goat, Ecco Caffe, and Coava Coffee Roasters. In 2015, Gehrke went on to found States Coffee & Mercantile in Martinez, California (profiled here on Sprudge). And it is this project that has pulled his attention away from Able, turning over the keys to Hellweg and his business partner Brad Walhood.
The announcement came via an Instagram post on Able’s account. Hellweg and Gehrke have long been co-conspirators in the coffee brewing innovation game, so much so that Able created a custom Kone filter to be used specifically with Hellweg’s Ratio Eight automatic coffeemaker.
The acquisition was made by Hellweg and Walhood, not Ratio or Clive, meaning the brand will continue to operate under the Able Brewing moniker. In an email to Sprudge, Hellweg states that folks can expect to see an expanded portfolio from Able in the future. “We are not ready to divulge details, but we are going to be looking at other areas of manual brewing of both coffee and tea to see where we can apply the Able perspective.” Hellweg adds, “Manual brewing is a crowded category with an overwhelming array of options, so we will only want to offer a product if we can do something a little different, a touch nicer in terms of the brewing experience, coffee quality, and durability.”
Hellweg tells Sprudge that an official announcement will be made available on Able’s website shortly. In the meantime, more information is available via Able’s Instagram.
Top photo © Mark Poprocki/Adobe Stock