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A pour-over coffee maker designed to elevate the ritual of making coffee by hand. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 18, 2014.

A pour-over coffee maker designed to elevate the ritual of making coffee by hand.

About this project

Hi there! The Kickstarter campaign has ended—but you can still get in on Manual Coffeemaker Nº1:

And please keep in touch! We'll be regularly posting backers-only production updates on Kickstarter, and occasionally we'll post open updates for everyone to see as well. You can also stay up with Manual in other ways too:

A sincere thank-you to everyone who supported and backed MCM—you're all golden!

  

Manual Coffeemaker, or MCM, is a pour-over coffee maker that lives on the countertop in a home or office, like a low-tech appliance. Hot water is gradually poured through fresh ground coffee in a filter, and brewed coffee slowly drips into the carafe, or even directly into your mug.

The handmade sculptural glass form of MCM provides full visibility of the process, while the "double-wall" design effectively retains brewing heat. The wooden base is intended to develop a patina over time, similar to a well-aged cutting board. 

Manual—or "pour over"—brewing has become popular in the world of craft coffee, because it gives full control over all of the variables in the brewing process. More control means you have the ability to adjust and perfect your recipe to better highlight the nuanced flavors found in today's high-quality craft coffees. 

MCM takes inspiration from manual coffee brewers of the past, but completely redesigns the experience with a new form. Other manual brewers have more in common with pitchers or kitchen funnels, while MCM is designed to be a beautiful freestanding appliance—an appliance you truly love to see on your kitchen counter day after day. 

Because it brews by the cup, it’s also ideal for use in a small office or studio, when you're just making a fresh cup for yourself.

In a world ever focused on speed and convenience, the act of preparing coffee manually and by-the-cup is a chance to really slow down and enjoy the moment. As you master a manual brewing method, the ritual of preparing coffee becomes just as pleasurable as drinking it. Manual Coffeemaker was designed to celebrate this ritual of daily craft through a considered experience, a thoughtful interaction, and an understated design. 


The Details—

The Coffee—

Since the beginning, the good folks at Gaslight Coffee Roasters—a micro-roaster and coffee shop in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago—have been supporting this project through testing, feedback, coffee, and moral support. My first project update was about the collaboration and my second project update featured their roasting process.

Retail wall at Gaslight Coffee in Chicago
Retail wall at Gaslight Coffee in Chicago


The Rewards—

SUPPORTER/PLUS—$25/$40 Not ready to commit to manual brewing, but still love coffee? You'll receive a large (12 oz) bag of single origin coffee custom-roasted by Gaslight, pair of glass Manual mugs, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

EARLY RISER—$70 You are one of the first 100 here, so you get a chance to get in with a discount! You'll receive one 'first run' MCM, a pair of glass Manual mugs, a small bag of single origin coffee custom-roasted by Gaslight, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

FIRST RUN—$80 You're in on the first production run of MCM. You'll receive one MCM, a pair of glass Manual mugs, a small bag of single origin coffee custom-roasted by Gaslight, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

SECOND RUN—$90 You're first in line for the second run of MCM, which will follow the fulfillment of the first run. You'll receive one MCM, a pair of glass Manual mugs, a small bag of single origin coffee custom-roasted by Gaslight, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

LIMITED EDITION BASE—$175 Limited edition of 25 Kickstarter-only MCMs with a Corian® base—the result is a subtle and gorgeous marble look. Photo and more details here. Each of the 25 will be signed and numbered (on bottom) and will come with a hand-drawn certificate of appreciation. This is in addition to the standard bamboo base, a pair of glass Manual mugs, small bag of custom-roasted coffee, starter filters, 'User Manual' zine #1, your name personally thanked in the zine. Free US shipping.

COFFEE SUBSCRIBER—$250 Show a little extra support to Manual, and you'll receive a 3 month bi-weekly coffee subscription. You'll receive a 12 oz bag of Gaslight-roasted single-origin beans every other week for 3 months (that's 6 total bags). I will be working with Gaslight to make the selections—I promise they'll be ace. You'll also have your name personally thanked in the zine. Additionally you receive all of the FIRST RUN rewards: one MCM, a pair of glass Manual mugs, a small bag of single origin coffee custom-roasted by Gaslight, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping, US only reward.

INDUSTRY PATRON—$500 This is a great fit for a coffee shop, restaurant, or other commercial customer interested in using Manual in their business: we set up a 1 hour conversation via Skype to discuss your needs and applications. Think of this as a way to start an exclusive relationship with Manual that gives you the opportunity to have a dialogue about how you might outfit your space with MCM, and discuss customization opportunities. This also guarantees priority access to multiple unit commercial orders after the campaign ends. 

You'll also get your name/business name personally thanked in the zine and one of each of the current Manual product line (Pinch salt & pepper set, Sharpener Jar, see manual.is for details)

Additionally you receive all of the FIRST RUN rewards: one MCM, a pair of glass Manual mugs, a small bag of single origin coffee custom-roasted by Gaslight, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

VIP PATRON—$2500 You get a pre-production sample—as soon as we receive it—for you to test and keep. We take you to dinner in Chicago at one of our favorite restaurants. We give you a private tour of our studio, for a behind-the-scenes look at the process. We send you a hand-selected bag of coffee every two weeks for an entire year. This also guarantees priority access to multiple unit commercial orders after the campaign ends. 

You'll also get your name/business name personally thanked in the zine and one of each of the current Manual product line (Pinch salt & pepper set, Sharpener Jar, see manual.is for details)

Additionally you receive all of the FIRST RUN rewards: one MCM, a pair of glass Manual mugs, a small bag of single origin coffee custom-roasted by Gaslight, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

Who is behind Manual?

Photo via Sight Unseen
Photo via Sight Unseen

Manual is a new brand by Craighton Berman—a designer, illustrator, and creative director based in Chicago. Craighton has work in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the first designer to use Kickstarter to launch a product. Based on this background of high concept design and DIY attitude, the aim of the Manual brand is to design products that celebrate the aesthetic experience of food while providing essential utility. 

The MCM Story—

I've been more than causally into coffee ever since I started using "fueledbycoffee" as my name around the web over 15 years ago. But after working at a design firm that produced the retail beverageware sold by a certain Seattle-based coffee company, I began to get much more interested in independent coffee shops and the pursuit of higher quality coffee. What started as experimenting with equipment, buying better coffees, and trying more progressive coffee shops, turned into an obsessive need for the freshest beans, searching for the best shops in every city I visit, a collection of brewing tools bigger than my kitchen pantry, roasting beans at home, and keeping a Tumblr named Overextracted where I obsess and overanalyze the world of coffee.

MCM Prototypes
MCM Prototypes

After hacking a pour-over stand to quickly make coffee at my studio, I designed a prototype and had two made for a show during Design Week in NYC last June. The show response was huge, and it was covered in publications like Gizmodo, Dwell, Sight Unseen, PSFK, Mocoloco, and coffee insider favorite - Sprudge.  Since then I have been refining prototypes, working with manufacturers, and—the best part—brewing a lot of coffee. 

After prototyping, developing, and funding MCM on my own for over a year, I've now lined up mass manufacturing and need your support to get my minimum order quantity high enough to do a full production run.

For Coffee Enthusiasts—

For those that are already familiar with manual coffee brewing techniques, we offer a few more meta details:

What's the flavor profile like?

In testing MCM has had a slower extraction speed than that of a Hario v60, more similar to that of a Chemex. This means the body of the cup is a bit more developed with the slower time, without sacrificing too much clarity. By adjusting the dose, grind size, and pouring technique, you can adjust the flow to the profile to your linking.

What kind of coffee ratio do you use?

I tend to use a 15:1 ratio, so for a 10oz cup, I use 20g of coffee and 300mL of water. For even extraction I recommend a burr grinder that yields a consistent grind. I use a Baratza Virtuoso on setting 27. You may need to dial in anything from 20-30 and adjust your dosing to dial in various types of coffee.

Why not integrate a kitchen scale?

One of our goals with MCM was to make pour-over more accessible to the less obsessive coffee drinker. Measuring volume (in mL) is just as accurate as grams, and much more likely to be utilized with each brew. Less equipment, simpler life. But if you insist on using a scale, the base can be placed on a Jennings CJ-4000 scale (or similar).

What other kind of filters can it fit?

MCM can fit any 60º filter, such as Chemex or even the reusable Kone filter, but we prefer the Hario filters. More info here.

Can MCM make Japanese iced coffee?

The only iced coffee that matters? Yes.

Japanese iced coffee in the MCM
Japanese iced coffee in the MCM

Production Plan—

Manual Coffeemaker is not a ready-made product—the images on this page and in the video are prototypes that I will be taking into mass production over the following months. I have been working with a manufacturing agent based in Chicago and his partner in China who has direct contact with the factory. We have selected a vendor to produce MCM who has produced prototypes that will be refined for final production. The design of MCM's components will generally stay the same, except for some minor adjustments that happen when preparing for a production run.

Below is a projected production calendar: 

Early April - Production samples received
April 18 - Kickstarter funding!
May - Travel to China to help guide factory
June - Final production samples
July - "First run" production
August - "First run" on freight
Early September - "First run" received in Chicago
Mid September - Early Risers, Supporters, and Patrons fulfilled
Late September - "First Run" fulfilled
September - "Second Run" production
October - "Second Run" on freight
November - "Second Run" received in Chicago
December - "Second Run' fulfilled

These dates are optimistic: when producing physical goods it's reasonable to expect that there could be some delays. We promise to be open and honest in our communications in timing and design changes.

Green beans at Gaslight Coffee in Chicago
Green beans at Gaslight Coffee in Chicago

So there you have it—

MCM is the embodiment of the way I believe we should engage with what we eat—to slow down, respect ingredients, get our hands dirty, and enjoy the process. My hope with the Manual brand is to continue to create objects that celebrate rituals, reward labor, and create beautiful experiences out of every day activities. If you do too, I hope you'll join me.

Learn more about the brand at Manual.is
Check out my coffee journal at overextracted.tumblr.com
Hit us on Twitter at @manualgoods
We'll be Instagramming at @manualgoods
See the rest of my work at craightonberman.com

Thanks—

Home photography: Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting
Video shoot/audio recording: Johnathan Crawford
Music: "Veaquis" by Nitemoves, from the album "Themes". You should buy it.
Coffee & Support: Gaslight Coffee Roasters
Logistics, support, food styling, brand manager: Emily Berman

Risks and challenges

It's important to remember that 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 and my undying respect for putting your trust in me.

Manufacturers have been secured for all MCM components, and prototypes have been produced, however when manufacturing any physical goods there are sure to be unforeseen challenges, both big and small. We promise to be open and honest in our communications in timing and design changes.

We have an agent managing our daily affairs overseas and we plan to travel to the factory to ensure design integrity. We feel confident that MCM will be successfully produced, but when manufacturing—especially overseas—some delays should be expected. We will do our best to be true to our timeline.

In shipping anything fragile, breakage is a risk—and a certain percentage will be damaged in transit. We will replace any products that are broken in transit, and will do our best to ensure the packaging is over-engineered for protection.

MCM is a product I feel deeply passionate about, and have been driven enough so far to self-fund all of the development. I am too stubborn to let this project do anything other than succeed. Let's do this.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    73 backers

    TIP JAR - Drop in your change and receive good karma. You'll see all "backer-only" project updates as we develop MCM.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    49 backers All gone!

    SUPPORTER - Large bag of custom-roasted coffee and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    20 backers Limited (5 left of 25)

    SUPPORTER PLUS - Set of Manual mugs, large bag of custom-roasted coffee and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    100 backers All gone!

    EARLY RISER - One 'first run' MCM, small bag of custom-roasted coffee, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    757 backers Limited (243 left of 1000)

    FIRST RUN - One MCM, small bag of custom-roasted coffee, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    19 backers

    SECOND RUN - One MCM, small bag of custom-roasted coffee, starter filters, and 'User Manual' zine #1. Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $175 or more

    41 backers All gone!

    LIMITED EDITION BASE - Signed and numbered Corian® Base (see details on the left), one "early riser" MCM, small bag of custom-roasted coffee, starter filters, 'User Manual' zine #1, your name personally thanked in the zine. Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    11 backers Limited (14 left of 25)

    SUPPORTER - 3 month bi-weekly coffee subscription (see details on the left), one "early riser" MCM, small bag of custom-roasted coffee, starter filters, 'User Manual' zine #1, your name personally thanked in the zine. Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    INDUSTRY PATRON - Great for potential commercial users: We set up a 1 hour conversation via Skype to discuss your needs and applications. Think of this as a way to start an exclusive relationship with Manual that gives you the opportunity to have a dialogue about how you might outfit your space with MCM and discuss customization opportunities. This also guarantees priority access to multiple unit commercial orders after the campaign ends. In addition to the standard: priority access to one 'early riser' MCM, small bag of custom-roasted coffee, starter filters, 'User Manual' zine #1, PLUS your name/business name personally thanked in the zine. Also one of each of the current Manual product line (salt & pepper set, sharpener jar). Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    VIP PATRON - You get a pre-production sample—as soon as we receive it—for you to test and keep. We take you to dinner in Chicago at one of our favorite restaurants. We give you a private tour of our studio, for a behind-the-scenes look at the process. We send you a hand-selected bag of coffee every two weeks for an entire year. This also guarantees priority access to multiple unit commercial orders after the campaign ends. All of this in addition to: one 'early riser' MCM, small bag of custom-roasted coffee, starter filters, 'User Manual' zine #1, PLUS your name/business name personally thanked in the zine. Also one of each of the current Manual product line (salt & pepper set, sharpener jar). Free US shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (32 days)