Coffee lovers, meet Peak, a new home water pitcher designed for coffee brewing. This new project from Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood (of Colonna Coffee and Water For Coffee fame) debuted at the 2018 London Coffee Festival, drawing a weekend's long packed booth of curious onlookers, neck-craners, and gongoozlers. Colonna-Dashwood helped design this device and was on hand to take punters through the paces at the fest; a corresponding Kickstarter campaign is now live.
The Peak pitcher is comprised three-part disc system with a simple goal: to make water for coffee better. The pitcher's filters work to remove impurities, while also treating water with necessary minerals and solids that help extract a quality cup of coffee.
Until Peak, there hasn't been a gravity-fed water pitcher filter designed specifically for coffee brewing. As water quality varies wildly from region to region, Peak pitchers will be packaged with a water testing kit for users to determine their specific treatment needs. The pitcher will have a dial at the top to adjust the amount of treatment the Peak provides.
If you're anything like us, all this pitcher talk is leaving you with some lingering questions. And so amidst the hum and buzz of the London Coffee Festival, I sat down with Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood to grill him with some piping hot queries. An abridged transcript of said grilling is below.
Hi Maxwell, thank you for speaking with me about Peak. I have questions. For starters, would you say this is the very first water filter designed for coffee brewers?
That's an interesting question. I would say yes.
But why are you saying “yes” with a cocked eye?
Well, I say it with a cockeye because, while I know the other water jugs have not been specifically designed for coffee, I also know people have become receptive to the idea those other jugs are now being marketed as benefiting coffee. And, I'm not saying they don't have benefit on tap water for coffee, but I don't think they do as much [as Peak] and I don't think they were envisioned and designed specifically for coffee. So I would say ours is the first where its sole purpose is coffee, yeah.
How is this different from the other filters out there?
The existing filter jugs are really, really simple. With a mixture of carbon and resin, they try and get chlorine out and drop the hardness. Regardless of the quality of the water that goes in, they all go through that in the same way. You're not able to adjust it, to adapt it to the type of water.
So ours, first of all, allows you to adjust how your water is treated, and that happens at each stage of the process. The first chamber that all the water goes through is carbon. It doesn't matter whether you want harder or softer water, everybody wants to get rid of chlorine and organic compounds and nasty stuff, and that's what the carbon does. And for every chamber we've created like a little maze inside so the water enters one side and has to work it's way through the maze to get out the other side, which basically is a more foolproof way of treating the water.
Then the other two chambers, that's what the bypass is all about. It's a bit complex but basically you're going to have a capped ion resin that gets the bicarbonate down. The problem you get then is you get a pH drop. This happens not just with jugs, it happens with systems in cafes so we're adding another resin that helps balance the pH back up.
This is going to drive up the cost a bit compared to other jugs, but it's also going to give you a more intense treatment and more control over your treatment than other products on the market.
So what do those filters cost?
So this is a very good question, and that's the one everyone wants to know. If you run a cafe, you know that you set your filter up based on your water hardness and the life of the filter depends on that, right? But obviously people who buy jugs just get told “good for two months,” or one month or whatever. So our goal is that we'll get 100 liters of filtered water through the setting for the hardest water, and if you're working with softer water to start with, you'll get more life. This will all be outlined in the product booklet.
So Peak won't necessarily come with a set “two months of use” guideline per filter?
That's right. The other interesting thing about water jugs is unlike systems in cafe, they're open to the air and what that means is they can have bacteria build up. So, the EU regulation is you must say two months once it's been used for freshness. So you've got two lives, you've got actual physical capacity to soften the water, or treat the water and then you've got a freshness life, so we will say the two months, but this is the volume.
And you know, we looked at things like indicators to tell you when it's done and it all started to turn this product into like a £100, £200 pound product. So we've tried to bring it down and make it really simple, quite analog. We might do more complex versions in the future, but we just wanted to make it really accessible to start.
The Peak is available to pre-order now on Kickstarter starting at £20 for the starter kit and £80 for 12 replacement discs (each disc will last about two months or 140 liters of water).
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.