Your favorite coffee cupper’s favorite variegated cupping spoon maker is branching out. Umeshiso, who brought a little pizzazz to the otherwise steely world of coffee tasting with their rainbow-colored “gay spoons,” are looking to liven up other parts of your sensory experience with a new line of multi-colored chopsticks, and the campaign is live on GoFundMe now!
Started three years ago by Umeko Motoyoshi (host of the podcast A Better Table), Umeshiso describes itself as a “small gaysian-owned business,” whose spoons have been featured in Bon Appetit, Forbes, and New York Magazine. More than just very cool looking utensils, Umeshiso’s rainbow spoons “celebrate people being themselves,” Motoyoshi tells Sprudge, and “reminded me that I belong” at the cupping table, a place often dominated by straight, white males. And if you have been on the coffee corners of social media in the three years since their creation, you’ve no doubt seen these cute lil dippers come across your news feed.
Now, rainbow spoons come in a variety of sizes—big, little, and mini—and finishes, so Motoyoshi, along with Yeonji Lofland, are turning their sights to chopsticks. “One of my very first words was ohashi, the Japanese word for chopsticks,” Motoyoshi states. “I use ohashi for everything, from stirring pour-overs to eating hot cheetos. Chopsticks are a versatile and dynamic implement, and a central part of my Asian American identity… We joke that they are gay chopsticks but it truly means a lot to offer a product that represents two identities I am so honored to hold.”
Via their GoFundMe, Umeshiso is looking to raise $2,250, which will help go toward defraying costs associated with packaging and marketing materials—made by Asian artists in the coffee space Felix Tran, Laura Clark, and Ziru Mo—shipping supplies, and extra labor. The campaign has raised over a third of its goal in just one day’s time.
And if you need any more reason to back this campaign, Motoyoshi proffers a few coffee-centric uses for chopsticks. “I use a chopstick every morning to stir my AeroPress! They are also perfect for stirring pour-over blooms and YES for doing that swirly thing in the coffee bed to get a more even extraction.” And honestly, don’t you think your spoon could use a matching companion?
For more information, visit Umeshiso’s rainbow chopsticks GoFundMe page.