About this project
What sets Handground apart from other grinders?
Locking top so bean particles don't fly out while you grind
Side-mounted handle for better ergonomics
Wide base for more stability while grinding
100g Capacity hopper able to contain enough coffee beans for 5 cups of joe
Coarseness adjustment ring to select a grind setting with one twist
20 preset coarseness levels at 125 micron intervals fit for any method of brewing
38mm conical burrs made from densely sintered Alumina ceramic which has high strength and hardness, temperature stability, and high wear resistance and corrosion resistance
Triple mounted stainless steel axle to eliminate burr wobble and produce a consistent grind
Borosilicate glass catcher to prevent static and sticky grounds
By choosing one of the reward levels above, you will become one of the first people in the world to own a Handground grinder. Select a reward from the column to the right or click one of the rewards on the image above.
Handground is the result of thousands of coffee enthusiasts around the world contributing their time and ideas. From home brewers to national barista champions, people from all corners of the world have leant lifetimes of experience with coffee.
The power of this experience shines through in the design of the Handground coffee grinder. It took hundreds of iterations and incremental improvements to get to the final design and there is no other way it could have been done without the help of these people. Here are just a few pictures of the people behind Team Handground.
By backing this project you will join Team Handground and have the opportunity to participate in decisions going forward as we move into production.
The idea to make a better coffee grinder started from something we called the "Crowdsourced Coffee Experiment". We were attempting to apply a Japanese principle called Kaizen to our coffee routine. It wasn’t long before we learned how important a good grinder is to making better coffee so we purchased an entry level manual grinder.
The new burr grinder was a noticeable improvement over the blade grinder, however we couldn't help but notice areas for improvement. Since Kaizen means continuous improvement we started to look for better options. Yet after searching the market and seeing the same ancient designs being repeated over and over we finally thought, we can do better.
Originally we wanted to name the company Kaizen Coffee but decided to do a survey with our top 4 name choices. The surveys came back and we learned a ton of things that we didn't know that we didn't know. For example, Kaizen is impossible to spell and associated with German culture (which isn’t a bad thing) but it is a Japanese term that was being perceived as something other than what we intended.
Handground, on the other hand, was easy to spell, simple to remember, and had tons of positive connotations. The choice was obvious, but only after consulting the coffee community. We decided to apply the same crowdsourcing principles everywhere we could for the rest of product development. That's when we held a design competition. Hundreds of designs came in and Team Handground helped narrow down the pool to 6 finalists. After the final round of voting, Joaquin Herlein had won with a design that was the beginning of everything you see now.
Joaquin has continued working with Team Handground to improve on the initial design. Every time a major design decision or tradeoff arrises, members of Team Handground give their opinions and ideas through surveys and open ended responses. This effort has led to a 50% reduction in the number of screws used and an overall height that brings the grinder into alignment with the golden ratio.
We started our Instagram on day one as a way for us to document our journey but it has turned into so much more. I don't think we want to try to count how many hours we've spent on IG, but the community we found is great.
We decided to take the show on the road during the Kickstarter campaign and tour up the west coast to visit some of the biggest coffee cities in the USA. If you live in any of these cities, come say hi and see the Handground prototype in person.
Black Handground Grinder
The black version of the Handground grinder will be made out of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, otherwise known as ABS plastic. ABS is considered superior for its hardness, gloss, toughness, and electrical insulation properties. ABS's light weight and ability to be injection molded and extruded make it useful in manufacturing products for everything from musical instruments, to golf clubs heads, to automotive components including bumpers, protective headgear, luggage and protective carrying cases, to coffee grinders :) The list is endless for the applications of ABS plastic.
It is a very strong and durable plastic that will withstand the abuse of even the most careless coffee brewers.
Nickel AND Copper Handground Grinder
The nickel and copper versions of the Handground grinder will be made out of ABS plastic and then electroplated with either nickel or copper metal.
Electroplating enables us to coat plastic with metal to achieve a real metal surface to increase the strength of the plastic substantially without adding a ton of weight to the product. This is a common practice used in home appliances like the sink faucets and handles and in the auto industry. These products look and feel metal because they are coated in actual metal, but if you were to break one in half (which is very hard) you would see that the inside is actually made of a hard plastic. We have currently chosen this method to achieve the nickel and copper finished versions of the grinder.
As discussed in the Risks and challenges, if this process does not live up to our standards and survive our thorough strength and durability tests, we will explore other methods to achieve the results we are looking for, including possibly die-casting the parts out of full metal.
The burrs are 38mm conical burr mills made from densely sintered Alumina ceramic which has high strength and hardness, temperature stability, and high wear resistance and corrosion resistance. We are continuing to experiment with material composition, the treatment process for the ceramic, and mechanical design aspects such as the angle and sharpness of the teeth. We will keep everyone updated on our progress with the burrs.
Stainless steel components
The main vertical axle and all screws and washers that will be in contact with the beans will be made from 300 grade stainless steel that you typically see in pans and other cookery tools.
Stainless steel is non-porous, it resists bacteria and germs more effectively than wood or plastic surfaces. It also is one of the most hygienic surfaces available, so any foods that come into contact with the surface or material do not attract dirt or germs. Stainless steel also does not react with coffee or other drink/food products.
Design: Joaquin Herlein
Video Production, Editing & Sound: Alexis Morrell
Brewing Device Icons: Eric Ellis
Risks and challenges
While manufacturing a product has become increasingly easier in today's well-connected world, there are always unforeseen challenges in bringing a brand new product into production. To best prepare for these challenges, we've been consulting with both successful Kickstarter inventors and coffee industry experts.
We've partnered with a sourcing company that has 25 years experience working with factories around the world. They employ professionals both locally in the US and internationally in Asia. Because of their experience working with top-quality factories in Asia, we are confident that we will be able to manufacture a high quality product from this region. We have already completed a round of factory tours and have selected the manufacturers that are most capable of building this product.
The next step of development is the consultation of a professional engineering firm to help conduct stress & longevity analysis. We will be integrating their feedback into our final design for manufacturing and then proceed with the factory that we choose to build the tooling for plastic injection molding. We will be actively involved with the tooling and validation, and plan to travel to the factories in order to inspect and test the initial production pieces before shipment.
As of right now, we see the greatest possible challenges in the areas below:
Coffee Wood Knob: It has been our goal to source the wood for the knob from actual coffee trees from a coffee farm in Central/South America. Coffee wood is rarely, if ever, used to make physical products but our research shows that it has a very high tensile strength. Right now, we have found a large farm in Costa Rica that is going through a major renovation of their farming plot and will have thousands of old coffee shrubs available for our use. The problem that remains is finding a professional wood-shop that is located within a reasonable distance of the farm and capable of mass producing the wood knobs fast enough to then be shipped to our factory for assembly before we ship worldwide, in addition to conducting further tests on strength and durability. This is an ambitious goal that received high interest from Team Handground when we presented the idea months ago. It was clear that everyone loves the idea but that we can do without it, if it raises the cost of production too high.
The wood knob you see now on the prototype is called wengy wood. This is currently our first choice for wood because it is much easier to source than coffee wood. It’s only downside is that it is fairly expensive, although absolutely beautiful. If we are unable to source a large quantity of coffee wood or wengy wood at a reasonable price, then we may have to consider a different type of wood that will achieve a similar look and feel.
Electroplating is a process that uses electric current to reduce dissolved metals so that they form a coherent metal coating on another surface. In other words, science enables us to coat almost any material (including plastic) with metal to achieve a real metal surface that looks and feels like metal because it is metal, to increase the strength of the plastic substantially without adding a ton of weight to the product. This is a common practice used in home appliances like the sink faucets and handles and in the auto industry. These products look and feel metal because they are coated in actual metal, but if you were to break one in half (which is very hard) you would see that the inside is actually made of a hard plastic. We have currently chosen this method to achieve the nickel and copper finished versions of the grinder.
The prototype shown in this Kickstarter has a brushed nickel-like finish. Very thin black lines give the appearance that the product has been brushed. Brushed electroplating achieves this look by physically brushing the plastic parts with a plating solution. Brush electroplating has several advantages over “tank plating”, including portability, ability to plate items that for some reason cannot be tank plated, low or no masking requirements, and comparatively low plating solution volume requirements. Disadvantage compared to tank plating includes greater operator involvement, which can substantially increase the cost of production. We will be able to calculate the cost of production better once we know the initial demand for the grinder through Kickstarter. If the cost for brushed electroplating is too high, or if backers as a part of Team Handground decide they like a different finish better, we can choose from one of many other metal finishes for the grinder, such as a smooth matte finish, to a shiny reflective finish, that don’t require brushed electroplating.
With that said, high quality and strength are our major goals, and even though electroplating is strong on paper, if it does not live up to our standards and survive our thorough strength and durability tests, we will explore other methods to achieve the results we are looking for, including possibly die-casting the parts out of full metal.
Gear material choice: We are currently using brass miter gears to transfer power from the side-mounted handle to the vertical shaft that drives the ceramic burr grinding mechanism. Our initial goal was to use two different sized gears to achieve a higher spin ratio (2:1) so that one turn of the arm corresponded to 2 turns of the burr grinder. This greatly increases the difficulty in turning the handle and we have decided not to use two different sized gears. We are now using brass miter gears that are high in strength. These gears are strong enough but we are continuing to experiment with gears made of other materials, including, but not limited to, stainless steel and delrin, a self-lubricating high strength plastic.
That is all! We will keep you informed with regular updates as our product gets closer to production, and we'll be doing everything possible to stay on schedule and deliver you a high quality and beautiful product. As we’ve done since day one, we will keep everyone involved and be 100% transparent throughout the process. We will turn to you as a backer to help us make decisions as they arise throughout this process, from Kickstarter to your front door.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (32 days)