Brewing coffee through a paper filter is pretty widely regarded as the best way to get the most nuance and flavor clarity out of a particular brew. Now, whether you prefer thick, Chemex-style paper filters, or thinner v60 filters, flat bottom or conical, bleached or unbleached (not this one. The answer is bleached), that’s dealer’s choice. But in the pursuit of paper filter perfection, there is one significant drawback when compared to other brewing methods: waste.

Paper filters are one-time use and then are quickly discarded into the waste bin. (You are at least composting them, right? Right?!) With their latest invention, Melodrip seeks to reduce paper waste in coffee brewing by 50%. Introducing Colum, Melodrip’s micro-brewer that only uses exactly as much paper as is needed to brew high quality coffee, and it’s live on Indiegogo now.

Melodrip broke onto the coffee scene five years ago with their handheld dispersion screen used to reduce and control agitation of the brew bed, leading ultimately to more flavor clarity. I’m an avowed coffee-should-be-simple-anti-gadget guy, but I use the Melodrip every morning. I hate myself for it, but I do it, because the coffee is just better, so :shrug emoji:.

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With their latest creation, Melodrip turns a keen eye to waste, specifically all that paper at the top of the filter that doesn’t see any action in the brewing process. Their answer is the small but mighty Colum. Capable of holding 30g of ground coffee—enough for two cups of brewed coffee—the low-profile brewer incorporates a borosilicate glass cylinder that fits snugly atop the conical brewing chamber, allowing the water level to surpass the filter level. Per the Indiegogo campaign, the Colum has the added benefit of eliminating bypass water—the water that passes through the filter but not the coffee grounds—making sure all the water makes it way to the brew bed for more consistent extraction cup to cup.

Other features include “eight vertical ribs” inside the brewer that “maintain an optimal drip rate for all pour-over grind profiles,” with a “fine-tuned flow resistance” at the drain hole that keeps the drain curve “smooth and gradual” regardless of pouring technique, an interesting feature from a company who made their name with a product built around the idea of flow rate consistency in brewing being paramount.

Going live on Indiegogo yesterday, October 4th, the Colum has already raised over $4,000 of its $20,000 goal, and there are still a handful of rewards awaiting potential backers. Super Early Bird reward options include 10% of retail price for a Colum and 25 filters or a Colum and 100 filters, at $67 and $76, respectively. The campaign goes for just 30 more days, with rewards expecting to begin shipping out in August 2023.

For more information or to reserve a Colum of your own, visit Melodrip’s Indiegogo campaign page.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

All media via Melodrip