About this project
The beauty of hand brewing coffee is all in the experience—the smells, the sounds, the movements—the ritual is essential.
But manual coffee can sometimes come across as pretentious and complicated. Could we create a manual coffeemaker that was beautiful and experiential but also flexible, accessible, and more suited to sharing with the people you care about?
Manual Coffeemaker Nº3 is the next edition in our ongoing study in slow coffee.
At its core, Nº3 is an understated glass pitcher—hand-blown with a double walled design. You can create an entire pot of pour-over, French press, or even cold brew coffee, close the pitcher with the cork lid, and bring it to the table to enjoy with others.
At Manual—we create products for food that encourage you to slow down and appreciate the moment. Coffeemaker Nº3 allows you to celebrate the ritual while sharing the experience with others.
- Large format — you can make hand-crafted coffee for everyone, not just by the cup
- Flexible — enables you to brew a pour-over, French press or cold brew
- Insulated — keeps your fresh-brewed coffee hotter for longer with the double-walled construction
- Accessible — uses inexpensive auto-drip filters, available at any grocery store
- Multi-use — you can put the pitcher to use after coffee: the double-walled construction keeps your drinks cool and will never form condensation
Pour over is our favorite brewing method because of the full control of the brewing variables, the clarity of flavor, and the ritual of the process. We designed Nº3 to be an extremely forgiving pour-over method that's easy to learn.
The ceramic dripper is nested into the pitcher, which holds a standard Melitta auto-drip filter. Flat bottom filters provide a more consistent extraction than cone-shaped filters, and are much more forgiving when brewing.
Hot water is simply poured over top of the grinds until the desired coffee volume is reached inside the pitcher. If you like to be accurate, you can place the pitcher on a kitchen scale, or if you prefer to be more intuitive, you can gauge volume of coffee by where it hits on the handle.
French press is a classic brewing method that is known for its simplicity, consistency, and full bodied flavor. We designed Nº3 to work like a standard French press, but with the double-walled glass, your coffee brews at a more consistent temperature. To reduce the "silt" that happens with French press, we recommend a little bit of a longer steep time to allow the grinds to settle. Additionally, by not pushing the press all the way to the bottom, you can avoid disturbing the grinds—and will yield a much "cleaner" cup.
Cold brew is a summer crush and a crowd pleaser—it seems everyone is in love with cool coffee these days. Cold brew can be made easily with the Nº3 system: store the cold brew mix in the corked pitcher overnight—French press in the morning. You can even pour through the dripper to filter a second time for more clarity in the cup.
We love kitchen tools that can be used in a variety of ways. After your morning coffee, you can put your Nº3 to use as an all purpose pitcher. The double walled glass keeps cold drinks cool as well, and the spout can filter ice, citrus, or other aromatics.
- Pitcher: Hand-formed borosilicate glass with double-walled construction. Approx 5" x 7.5" (12cm x 19mm)
Volume: 1.2 L / 40 oz (this is 8 "cups" in commercial coffee maker terms—for regular people it's four 10 oz mugs)
- Dripper: Porcelain with matte black glaze, simply stacks inside of pitcher for use. Approx 3" x 5" (7.5cm x 12cm)
- Filters: Melitta 8-12 cup filters (standard flatbed coffee maker filters)
- Ground coffee: Use up to an 80g dose of coffee (around 8 heaping tablespoons) for both pour over or French press
Pour-over: Averages a 3-5 minute brew time, depending on the coarseness and the quantity of the ground coffee
- Lid: Natural cork, can be used to cover both the pitcher and dripper
- French press: Stainless steel components with integrated cork lid
Five years ago I had a vision for an impossible pour-over coffee maker made entirely out of glass. Through equal parts serendipity and grit, I found a way to make the coffeemaker a mass-produced reality and in 2015 I launched the Manual Coffeemaker Nº1 project on Kickstarter. The campaign was joyful (I had over 1000 people who supported my vision!) but it was also a grind (it took 29 days—out of 30—to hit the $100k goal). Two weeks later I was in China at the factories, and 6 months later we shipped. It was a whirlwind.
Since then, Coffeemaker Nº1 has been featured in WIRED, Businessweek, and has even had a cameo in a movie. Last year we began working on refining Nº1—and in late 2016 we came out with Coffeemaker Nº2, the next edition of our original iconic coffeemaker. Now it is distributed in 6 different countries and was even sold through CB2.
The Manual Coffeemaker Kickstarter project changed my path as a designer—I founded a company, it focused my design practice on "slow food", I was manufacturing on a scale larger than ever before, and it opened the doors for me to teach a class for designers where the students all launch a Kickstarter themselves, and even the opportunity to be a "thought leader" for Kickstarter HQ. In short, it changed everything.
But Manual Coffeemaker was numbered for a reason—I wanted to create a series of ways to celebrate the ritual of manually brewing coffee. Coffeemaker Nº3 is the latest in the series and we're thrilled to be back for Kickstarter Gold to share it with you.
Manual creates products that encourage you to slow down and appreciate the moment. We value craft over convenience, we elevate rituals over routines, and we strive for simplicity over novelty.
The images you see on this page are all pre-production samples from the factory that we have worked with extensively on multiple other projects. Manufacturing is scheduled to begin as soon as we are funded, with the goal of shipping for the holidays. Below is a high-level schedule for the project:
- June/July — Kickstarter campaign
- August — manufacturing begins
- September — products packaged
- October — ocean freight from China
- November — Product received in US
- December — product ships via Blackbox
- To Emily, the newest partner at Manual LLC, a subsidiary of Moving Units Inc. Thanks for always being there—but now from a legal perspective.
- To Potluck Creative, for the lovely visual storytelling on breakneck timelines. (but always with time for a Campari)
- To Jeremiah Chiu, for the analog-synthetic proto-funk soundtrack.
- To Cara Sullivan (of Wild Floral Chicago) for opening her amazing home to us for the video!
- To my manufacturing agents, who make the dream come alive every time.
- To Kickstarter for championing and celebrating the creation of art & culture. Fuck the monoculture.
Risks and challenges
Previously, we have successfully funded and fulfilled 5 Kickstarter projects. We work with a manufacturing agent, who has become our close collaborator through previous projects. Our agent manages our daily affairs overseas—with factories in China they have worked with extensively.
However when manufacturing any physical good there are sure to be unforeseen challenges. We promise to be open and honest in our communications in timing and design changes as we navigate these challenges.
Remember, Kickstarter is not a store—you are pledging support to an independent design company that is starting down the path of producing a product. Part of your "reward" is getting an inside view at the process as well as our sincere appreciation for the support!
We only produce products we feel deeply passionate about and are too stubborn to see things fail. You can put your trust in Manual that we will deliver the goods. ✌Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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