Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring Recipe

Now that the sun is poking its head out here in the Pacific Northwest, I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes for the spring. We call this one the Vanna Banana Beast, and as you’ve probably guessed, it’s an iced coffee made with banana—sort of like an Hourglass smoothie!
So how do you make the Hourglass coffee even healthier than it already is? By adding fresh fruit. With this quick recipe, you’ll be sipping a springtime smoothie with the richness of a low-acid coffee in no time!

Vanna Banana Beast
  • 2 oz. Hourglass coffee extract
  • 2 oz. vanilla syrup
  • 4 oz. milk
  • 2 cups ice
  • ½ banana
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Makes 2 servings.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Find Us at Whole Foods!

Shortly after we launched into retail sales, our team talked about different stores where the Hourglass would be a natural fit and what shelves we wanted to see the Hourglass on. We of course thought of our local Whole Foods—as the premiere grocer for the health-conscious, we knew immediately that low-acid coffee would complement Whole Foods' philosophy perfectly.

We contacted our local Whole Foods, and they loved the idea. So on a Saturday in December, we set up a demonstration, and after the 4-hour pilot, we realized we’d already sold through a third of our inventory! What got people interested was the idea of low-acid coffee, but more often than not, it was the rich smooth taste that got people hooked.

Tired at the end of a long but fun day, we realized we were right: Whole Foods and the Hourglass made a great fit.

We quickly got in touch with the Regional Coffee Buyer for Whole Foods, and were approved for all of the stores in the Northwest region—so that means you will soon be able to find the Hourglass in Washington, Oregon, and even Canada!

Working with all of the staff at Whole Foods has been great, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them to offer more people a healthier, low-acid coffee.

Monday, February 9, 2009

One Word: Plastics.

Fifteen years ago, if you would have asked me if I filtered my tap water, I would have thought you were nuts. Like everyone else back then, to me, “clean” water just meant clear water, and it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the word ‘Brita’ meant anything to me. Nowadays, however, like so many other health-conscious people, I only drink water from the Brita filter in my fridge, and I’m skeptical when anyone offers me plain tap water. Simply put, we know a lot more about water purity now than we used to, and as we learn more, our expectations of our products change.

We believe that in the future, people will expect all plastic they drink from to be BPA-free. You can read in more detail on this site about what that means, but the bottom line is that most standard liquid containers have been shown to leach BPA, a harmful chemical, into the beverages they contain, and that can lead to serious health side-effects.

I’m proud to say that the Hourglass is 100% BPA-free, and that when you’re drinking Hourglass coffee, you’re drinking only coffee, and no chemicals. That has always been, and continues to be, extremely important to us.

During the production process, there was a point at which we were encouraged to go with another type of plastic in order to stay on schedule. Thankfully, we stuck to our guns—we decided then and there that it was more important to us to bring the safest Hourglass we could to the marketplace, and that BPA-free plastic was worth the wait.

For as complex as things like BPA are, when I think about it, I suppose it’s simple: people who care enough to drink healthier coffee deserve healthier plastic. I suppose that’s what peace of mind tastes like.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Making Coffee Green

One of my favorite things about the Hourglass is that it reflects a lot of the values we took to heart when we were designing it. A big part of that is how environmentally friendly it is—what we like to call “Eco-Smart.” We set out to make a product that consumes and wastes less, and the Hourglass is the outcome of that intention (plus, thousands of development hours).

First off, the Hourglass uses no power. Zero. That means that it doesn’t need to be plugged in, and there are no batteries to recharge. As we like to say, the Hourglass is Powered by Cold Water & Time™, and nothing else. Consider a traditional coffee maker: plugged in, it may not consume very much power in a single day…but over a lifetime, that adds up to a considerable amount of wasted energy (and money).

The Hourglass uses no paper filters. The stainless steel filter lasts a lifetime, but more importantly, saves you from having to throw out damp, heavy filters every day.

The Hourglass uses a bit more coffee grounds to make coffee than standard coffee brewers and makes about 8 servings per brew cycle. But because you use every drop of coffee made, there is no coffee going to waste. Many Hourglass owners brew one batch of coffee extract at the beginning of the week, and use some each day until they’re out and the week is over. Those people tell me a lot about feeling relieved at not having to throw out coffee every day anymore!

It’s always been important to us that the Hourglass be as green as it could be, and although the savings may seem small, we believe that’s exactly how big environmental changes start.