Pour over coffee is having a moment. The method involves slowly steeping coffee by manually pouring hot water over the grinds, one cup at time. Devotees—including trendy coffee companies like Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia—will tell you that the process extracts a smoother, richer flavor from the beans.
Here to pretty up that process is Canadiano, a set of wooden coffee-brewing blocks from Toronto-based group Fishtnk Design Factory. The standard pour-over gadget is a simple porcelain cone that sits atop a mug, and holds a paper filter for the ground coffee. Like those porcelain cones, the Canadiano makes a single cup at a time. Unlike the porcelain cones, the Canadiano uses a washable metal filter, and doesn’t need paper cone filters.
But what really sets the Canadiano apart is that it's smart (in an analog way!). The coffee maker learns about and responds to its user’s preferences over time. “Different types of wood will age with your coffee based on your preferences," the designer, Mani Mani, tells Co.Design. "The wood will remember the last cup you made." Over time, she says, the wood retains more and more of the oils and can influence the flavor of the brew.
The blocks come in three kinds of wood: maple, cherry, and walnut. Because maple and cherry are harder woods Mani says they're optimum for lighter, citrus-infused coffee beans. The closely knit wooden grain absorbs the oils slower over time, so that milder coffees don't become immediately overwhelmed by the leftover oils. Walnut, on the other hand, is less dense and can absorb more flavor, resulting in a more complex coffee. The Fishtnk team recommends pairing beans from Western hemisphere countries with the first two kinds of wood, and coffee from Southeast Asia with the latter.
Fishtnk is producing 50 Canadianos a week, with sights set on releasing a camping edition and kit in spring 2014. Get one now, here.