A few months back, Portland's Coava Kone became the Able Brewing KONE, as the device's inventor, Keith Gehrke, stepped away from Coava to focus on product development and sales under the Able Brewing brand name. The KONE is one of the most talked-about new products of the last few years, used in shops and homes around the world. Mr. Gehrke and Able have spent the first part of 2012 readying an new cache of re-designed products, and we've got the details here first on Sprudge.
On May 1st, Portland's own Able Brewing will release their new line of Kone stainless steel brew filters. This is the 2nd update to the Kone from its original product launch; according to Mr. Gehrke, users can expect “a bigger improvement from 2.0 to 3.0 than there was from 1.0 to 2.0.” These design revamps include a newly sealed (and less sharp) pointed tip, smaller filtration holes, thinner steel, and a permanent plastic rim around the lip to help Kone keep its shape. This means you'll be able to turn the Kone over and tap out fines without damaging the filter, while the molded plastic ring will buttress the device, allowing for a finer filter and a cleaner cup.
Mr. Gehrke told Sprudge, “It's never been our goal to chase or taste like French press coffee.” He views the first and second versions of the Kone as a work-in-progress, very much a part of the R&D and start-up that attends any new project. Because of public support and feedback, Keith has been able to invest in a (rather expensive) plastic mold for the new Kone, and will now be able to offer what he considers a far superior product.
There's an exciting promo coming up when the Kone 3.0 launches in May, allowing brewers to pick up the new version directly through Able for $40. For the first month, the Kone 3.0 will be available exclusively through Able's web-store. There's also some other new Able products that will be launching with the new site. We were sworn to secrecy, but we can tell you that this new gear will be all made by hand in PDX, with the goal of offering a more complete top-to-bottom experience for brewing on the Kone.
Able's Kone and Aeropress Disk products are still completely made in the USA; there are 11 steps just to make the flat Kone pattern, and all the forming and welding of the Kone is done by hand. The resulting product has layers of craftsmanship, locality and intentionality. They're paying extra for American steel; they're printing their t-shirts in Portland, using logos from Portland designers. Able's dedication to handmade American products is unique, important and rare.
Expect a website launch with tasteful, minimalist unbranded logos on May 1st. Look for new Able products at the USBC / SCAA event in Portland in just a few weeks, including a DISK 2.0 filter powder-coated in 18k gold to be given to each national competitor at the World Aeropress Championship, held in conjunction with the USBC event: