Like all occasions before this year’s event, the World of Coffee Milan is bound to deliver a lot in terms of innovation. We’ll do a summary of all the news after the event. But one new product impressed us so much it deserves a feature of it’s own. It’s one of those innovations so elegant it makes you wonder why no-one’s thought of it before.
Tell us how the Etkin came to be
Like practically everyone, I spent a lot of 2020 locked down at home. I’m based in Istanbul, Turkey and we had quite strict lockdowns here. As a result, I spent a lot of time stuck inside my third-floor flat. With so much time around the house, I found myself using my batch brewer less and making more pour-overs. But it was frustrating. I couldn’t make enough coffee for my wife and I to share in one batch. Each day I had to choose between making enough coffee to go around or having the experience of making coffee by hand.
Obviously, there is one very famous 8-cup pour-over dripper that doubles as a carafe, but as an Authorized SCA Trainer, I knew that above 500 ml the SCA recommends a flatbed. At those larger volumes a conical dripper tends to clog, because the coffee bed is too deep, as well as extract unevenly. I was surprised I couldn’t find a large-format flat bottom dripper.
Around the same time my business partner Özgür asked me if I had any ideas for a porcelain product. He was moving to Kütahya, which is the center of Turkey’s incredible porcelain sector. We decided to give the dripper a go and asked our friend Aaron to join the team as the marketing director.
Tell us about the journey from concept to final product.
We had the incredible luck of meeting Selim Caner Eldeniz of MODESIGN pretty early in the process. As a trained industrial designer, he was able to take our ideas and crude sketches and make a 3D model.
It took many iterations, but we finally landed on a ridge pattern that would optimize flow for an even extraction. Once we had a working prototype, we started reaching out to porcelain factories. I believe we contacted almost every major porcelain factory in Turkey.
We found a factory willing to take a chance on a small startup. What was surprising for me was that it was also our first choice for both quality and efficiency.
As in most production, the first step is making a mold, which is both expensive and time consuming, so we decided to do a Kickstarter campaign before making the mold to help mitigate some of that risk.
What about the coffee world’s reaction made you most happy?
We have been really blown away by the reception so far. Many of our Kickstarter backers are coffee professionals who are personal heroes of mine. We’ve also had the chance to demo the Etkin Dripper at multiple trade shows and dozens of coffee shops. The feedback has been incredibly positive.
I think anyone who regularly makes coffee at home for more than 1 person immediately gets our value proposition. Our product presupposes that you want to make coffee by hand, but you want to make enough to share. Oddly enough, there aren’t many products meeting that need.
What’s next for Etkin?
Even as our first container of Etkin Drippers ships out, we’re in the middle of testing a 1-2 cup dripper. This, obviously, is a very crowded space, but we’re applying some of what we learned about brewing larger batches and seeing if we can improve the single cup experience.
There is a small but vocal minority of coffee brewers who prefer plastic to porcelain. Currently we are exploring different materials, but are also weighing the demand against the environmental impact. To be honest, we love working with Turkish porcelain, so we want to make sure any other material we use meets our exacting standards.