Ditch your boring mug for c(ʟᴇᴠᴇʀ) design that’s built to last.
The story of how a bike brake lever wound up fused to a stainless travel mug is comical. Lucky for you, it’s also a bit of accidental genius.
My wife Lisa and I designed and hand-crafted early versions of the Coffee Brake Mug—shipping them to happy customers in 27 countries. With new (v4) samples in-hand, we’re asking for your support to ramp up production on a big order. Get in early and help us bring the stronger, larger, beautifully designed Coffee Brake Mug to java junkies & cycling survivalists everywhere.
We’re offering Kickstarter backers up to 50% off the $30 retail price—leaving you some cash for coffee, inner tubes, mustache wax, etc. … Come along for the ride!
It kind of happened by accident. It was a frigid Minneapolis morning and I was commuting into work on my bike like any other day, when all of a sudden, my front wheel slid on a sheet of ice and I crashed. My trusty mug (and hot coffee) hit the ground and the plastic handle shattered into a million pieces. I did what any other person would do—I brought my broken mug into my bike shop, scrambled around in a parts bin, and pulled out a used brake lever and attached it. Voilà! The Coffee Brake Mug was born!
So since necessity is the mother of addiction ... er, invention ... what was a quick fix for me soon became a revolution. We made 20 and they sold in a week. We made 70 more and they sold out too. We made 1500 and they sold around the world. And now you too can have a Coffee Brake Mug.
Over the last few years, many of you have reached out, urging us almost daily to bring it back to market. The Coffee Brake Mug v4 brings together the best features of all previous versions:
v4 improvements: increased stability, increased capacity, screw-on lid, larger sip spout, Coffee Brake badge, even more durable.
Taking Advice from a Design Pioneer:
I remember sliding the original Coffee Brake Mug v1 across the table and asking Tom Ritchey, "What would you do to improve this?" He suggested mitering the hoods to match the curve of the mug to increase the strength between the two components. We discussed the idea of welding the lever directly to the mug but that was thrown out due to the challenge of properly fusing incompatible metals. He encouraged me to take these ideas to the shop and work with them. “Don't expect someone else to innovate or improve your product. Get in the shop and weld and try new things yourself. Figure it out. Trust your eye.” All of these exhortations were helpful to me and I took his advice seriously.
Building Mugs and a Family:
He also encouraged me to build and assemble the product myself as much and for as long as I could, and that's exactly what we did for v2, and then again for the 1500 unit v3 run a few years ago. We set up an assembly line in our home shop and basement. I would take a case of 24 mugs at a time and tig weld all of the weld nuts on, and then bring them into the basement for the lever application. My wife shaped the curve of the brake lever hoods on our pedestal grinder. We each had our little jobs and we enjoyed all of the different processes along the way. After that, we also managed to produce a beautifully designed baby boy (if we do say so ourselves).
Putting a Better Mug in Your Hands:
To this day, we keep hearing about how those first mugs are still kicking around and serving people after all these years. But we wanted to return to the straight-sided mug that started this whole thing, for the capacity, stability, and toughness factors. We couldn’t find the mug we needed so we started working with a manufacturer last summer to retool some moulds and create it. With the new mug came a need for a new attachment process. With v3, because of the tapered bottom of the mug, we were able to bend the brake levers enough to fit an allen wrench in the gap and put the bolt straight into a weld nut. But a straight-sided mug meant there was no gap in the handle, so we had to go in another way. This also required a custom mould for the attachment.
Putting our Future in Your Hands:
With larger minimum order quantities, intense customization, and an increasingly active toddler running around it doesn’t make sense to build them ourselves this time around. (The cost would be prohibitive and we would likely go insane :) So we’ve found a great team of people who work with other bike companies to help us bring the best Coffee Brake Mug to life. They care about the details as much as we do, and are just as excited as we are to see this Kickstarter succeed! When you help us here, you get a brake on the mug AND the price. You also get our undying appreciation. Thank you! - Ben & Lisa
- We are offering our Kickstarter backers a discount over the retail price of $30. Take advantage of this special offer and help us start full production!
- ONE Mug - from $20
- TWO Mugs - from $36
- FOUR Mugs - from $68
- TEN Mugs - from $150
- TWENTY FOUR Mugs - from $400
- Or get one of Ben's original mugs for $10,000!
This motley crew was featured on Discovery Channel. The shop is now gone. But the scrappy, borderline-genius, borderline-crazy design lives on in the Coffee Brake Mug!
"Coffee Brake" and the trade dress residing in the mug design are trademarks of Scallywags. Mug design Copyright Scallywags 2016.
Interested in featuring our story? In this LINK you will find everything you need, including a press release and high resolution images. Want more? Just mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are available for interviews upon request.
The team at Brand Purveyor helped tell our story and put the KICK in the KICKSTARTER!
Will you share this and help us reach our goal?
Risks and challenges
We've sold internationally in smaller quantities, and this accounted for 35% of all orders for v3. The challenge of including shipping for that many international orders in this v4 goal meant we had to get creative, but we've worked hard to deliver them to you as cost effectively as possible.
The research and development phase is already done, and we have actual production samples in hand. We're just fine-tuning the QC process as we speak. Since minimum order quantity is higher with v4, just need to place a large enough order to keep technology up and costs down. Naturally, production can be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, but we believe that ample time has been included to deliver rewards as stated. If there are any delays, backers will be updated promptly via Kickstarter. We want to take care of our supporters!
Please share this project and help us get a mug to you and everyone else who deserves a Coffee Brake!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)