Co.Design

Beautiful Glass Coffeemaker Demands A Place On Your Counter

Now on Kickstarter, the Modern Coffeemaker is the Keurig of pour-over brewing.

No one really wants a Keurig. The company's coffee sucks. Its pods are environmentally wasteful, since the plastic they use is not recyclable. They're a terrible deal: a single pound of coffee purchased in K-cup form costs over $50, which (unless you like civet coffee) is pricier than even the most expensive artisanal roasts. And, hey, remind me, did we mention the coffee sucks?

Despite this, Keurig has been incredibly successful in recent years, thanks to one major advantage: The average American cares less about quality coffee than convenience. Forget pour-overs, Chemexes, and aeropresses--there's simply no easier way to brew a cup of joe than popping a K-Cup into a machine and watch it instantly fill your Big Hug Mug.

Craighton Berman's Manual Coffeemaker, or MCM, is about as close to the Keurig of pour-over as we can imagine. A countertop slow-dripper made of transparent glass, the Manual Coffeemaker might not make people stop buying K-cups, but it's a smart design and a beautiful object that does what it can to make pour-over coffee feel as simple as inserting a mug into an appliance.

A bamboo base covered in an inverted dome from the same heat-resistant glass used by a French press or a Chemex, the MCM is designed to displace the electric coffeemaker on your countertop. Basically a pour-over dock, the MCM uses standard Hario-style coffee filters to brew up to 16 ounces of pour-over at a time.

Berman isn't trying to reinvent the way we brew coffee here, but what the MCM does have in its favor over other types of pour-over coffeemakers is that its form actually demands space on your counter. That's important, because having a place on the counter in a kitchen institutionalizes it as part of your daily ritual. Even in the biggest kitchens, counter space is at a premium: You have to make tough decisions about what stays close at hand and what is going to collect dust at the back of a cupboard.

For anyone with even a remote interest in improving the quality of their morning cup of coffee, the question the MCM implicitly asks is almost stupidly rhetorical. What would you rather have on your kitchen counter? This beautiful object of bamboo and glass that makes some of the most robust and flavorful coffee you've ever tasted, or a gross black Keurig that makes coffee that tastes like the plastic it's made of?

The Manual Coffeemaker is now on Kickstarter, and one can be pre-ordered for just $70.

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9 Comments

  • Nicholas Tyler Miller

    This is just silly. If you want simplicity and environmental-friendliness in coffee, get a french press or a moka pot. The moka pot is an icon of modern design. They're both much smaller and easier to clean than this thing. Also, no filters.

  • Duarte Gonçalves

    This doesn't look pratical at all and wil not replace the convenience of the so called keurig machines. How are you suposed to wash such a huge piece of glass? Why not get a Nespresso? You will get a nicely designed machine and a very decent coffee with all the convenience. :)

  • Eric Tissot

    The carage may have mL measurements, but how can you tell how much water you've added until after it has passed through the filter? Chemex with a scale still beats that out

  • After a few pours, you get a great intuitive sense of how much water is correct—for example one 10oz cup means filling the cone to the top. If you happen to overpour, it's as simple as pulling the filter. Scales are a great tool, but we don't feel they are an absolute requirement for good coffee. That said, you can place a Jennings CJ-4000 (industry standard) under MCM if you prefer.

  • Ruud Boogaard

    A great Intuitive sense is not enough for most coffeeloving people. And your statement of to not use a scale is very defensive to justify all comment on your design. Which in my humble opinion lacks something. Just admitting this would be far more better, instead of you (rather silly) quote of "pulling the filter"...