Even as the world has all but shut down over the past few months, innovation never takes a day off. This is certainly true of the coffee industry, where companies have had to be more agile than ever to meet the needs of their customers and try to keep their doors open. But cafes aren’t the only ones thinking outside the box right now. The inventors, the ideators, the concoctors have all been busy at work churning out new coffee and coffee-adjacent gear and you can find many right now on Kickstarter. We’ve rounded up three of our favorite coffee Kickstarter projects that are currently live. They’ve all been funded, so you can get in on the sweet, sweet rewards without worrying about backing a project that won’t make.
Work Wear By April Coffee
Workwear doesn't have to be unfashionable. This is a concept not fully grasped here in America, where assuming we don anything more than jeans and a t-shirt during production roasting, our attire lacks any sort of sizzle. Europe knows what's up. The blue Belleville Brûlerie workers jacket, for instance, while functional, is one of the biggest statement pieces in the specialty coffee wardrobe. That statement for me being, “watch your back, Oatly‘s Becky Reeves. You leave that jacket unattended and I won't hesitate to steal it.”
But if you prefer a more muted color palette, perhaps you should give a look at April Coffee‘s brand new line of work wear. “Everyday clothes made to last,” the new line of clothing from the Copenhagen roastery and 2019 World Brewers Cup finalist Patrik Rolf includes everything you need to stay fashion-forward and understated. Included in the first collection, called The Creator, is a utility padded jacket, utility sweatshirt, utility trousers, utility t-shirt, utility tote and backpack, and a utility cap.
Funded in just under six hours—including backers snatching up all the big-ticket items (sans the Seoul trip) as quickly as they could be made available—the April Work Wear line still has lots of great options available. Rewards are scheduled to ship out in September or October, depending on the garment, and would-be backers can take part in the campaign for as little as DKK 199 ($29 USD) for the cap—a 33% discount of the retail price—all the way up to DKK 30,000 ($4,349 USD) for the aforementioned trip to Seoul with the April team to check out production. To see the full line, check out the digital April Work Wear Look Book.
Xpresole Coffee Shoes
Before we go any further, let's all just take a moment and admire the name. Xpresole. It's just mwah *chef's kiss* perfection. “Aromatic, Vegan, Lightweight, Dirtproof, Water Repellent, Odor Control & UV protection,” Xpresole touts itself as the “world's first coffee shoe,” which it most certainly is not. It's not even the first light-weight, water-repellent, UV-protecting, odor-controlling coffee shoe on Kickstarter, but that doesn't make it any less great. Each shoe is made using five cups worth of spent coffee grounds and incorporates them into every major part of the shoe: the upper, insole, and outsole.
Made in the style of the traditional Vans slip-on, Xpresole utilizes a yarn made from spent coffee grounds, mixing it with an RPET yarn made of recycled plastic bottles to create their caffeinated kicks. And right off the bat, Xpresole comes in eight different color options include two, count 'em two, coffee flower patterns, which are, if I may be so bold, the obvious choices. White coffee flower for summertime and black coffee flower for work time.
With just under two weeks left in the campaign, Xpresole is approaching going 2x on their $25,000 goal, but there are still a ton of great rewards for backers. Interested backers can get a pair of their own for just $64, 28% off the $89 retail price. As a thank you, Xpresole is throwing in a 3D coffee mask for all Kickstarter backers. And there's no long wait to get your rewards; Xpresole has set the estimated delivery date for all backers as June 2020, or pretty much right after the campaign closes.
Espro Bloom Pour-Over
When is a French press not a French press? When it's a pour-over, duh. Espro, known primarily as the makers of all manner of sleek French presses, has entered the pour-over game with the brand new Bloom. Per the Kickstarter, what sets the Bloom apart from other flat-bottom brewers—other than looking like a Kalita Wave being sucked into a black hole—is the “innovative micro-filter brewing system,” a spiral pattern design on the bottom of the device made of 1,502 precision cut holes. The narrower body creates a deeper brew bed “to evenly distribute water for optimal straight flow-through and even coffee extraction,” and all in two minutes or less.
Bloom offers versatility in the style and body of the end cup as well. Users can opt to brew with a paper filter for a cleaner, lighter cup or they can for something a little more full-bodied by going filterless and letting the built-in micro-filter bottom do all the heavy lifting.
And the Bloom has the seal of approval from a host of coffee professionals like Rachel Apple, Quality Control Manager at George Howell Coffee; Tommy Kim, Brewers Cup competitor and owner of Andante Coffee; and none other than 2019 US Brewers Cup champion Kaley Gann.
“It's a brewer that really appeals to both the everyday coffee drinker and coffee professionals. The accessibility and ease of brewing allow for a good cup of coffee at any skill live,” Gann tells Sprudge. “The filter design and spiraled stream in the flat bottom make it a fun brewer for coffee professionals to play around with and make a beautiful and complex cup in the shop or even in competition.”
With a little under a week remaining in the campaign, the Bloom Pour-Over has already tripled its $20,000 goal. But there's still time to get yours at a cool 20% off. Kickstarter backers can get their own Bloom with 50 or 100 filters for $35 and $37, respectively. Or if you already know you're going to love it, why not step up to the $50 level and get yourself a 26% discount to go with those 300 filters (and Bloom brewer of course). Rewards are scheduled to be shipped out in July of this year.