Monday, January 5, 2009

The Big Idea: The World's Coolest Coffee Maker

I should start by confessing: I’m a health nut who loves coffee. I've always always been that way, and those values are what led me to seek a venture that matched my lifestyle. The "big idea" for the Hourglass, however, originally came from my grandfather Winston, who insisted on making his coffee himself, without the aid of any fancy appliance. His secret to great tasting coffee was that he “cold-brewed” it in a homemade contraption. He had his own techniques, but growing up, all I knew was that he made the best tasting coffee I’d ever had.

One day in 2004, I mentioned my Grandpa Winston's unique way of brewing coffee to my friend and business partner. Todd Maas. A few weeks later, Todd sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal that went on and on about how great cold-brewed coffee tasted, and how much the writer loved it. It was at that point that the light bulb went off, and we realized that this wasn't just my Grandfathers secret; many others were discovering this lost art of brewing coffee.

At one point, Todd and I were talking about the cold-brew contraptions we’d seen on the market—all the pieces, all the mess! And we started to think: What if we could create a cold-brew coffee maker that was functional, yet stylish, and convenient, without the mess?

The rest, as they say, is history—but it was those first conversations that propelled us through the early development of the Hourglass. We started out with a simple mission: to make a product that would bring the cold-brew process into the present; to help others enjoy the kind of coffee my grandfather used to make. Since then, it’s become much more than that—the Hourglass not only produces coffee my grandfather would be proud of, but it’s healthier too, since it’s lower in acid than traditional coffee.

But in the end, the idea has always been about making great tasting coffee that’s good enough for coffee snobs.

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