Voltaire: a portable, high-performance coffee grinder that monitors bean freshness. Ever Cup: a sustainable travel mug for coffee+tea.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Hello from Seattle!
over 3 years ago
– Fri, Oct 07, 2016 at 10:03:29 PM
Brian and Sam spent the week at the Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle, where Voltaire was a finalist in their Startup Showcase.
We didn’t win (need a fig-flavored caviar 3D food printer? Because the judges did!), but we met a lot of wonderful people and saw some fairly amazing new food tech. The future looks delicious.
Also, Scott Heimendinger (who helped us prototype the original Sensing Platform for detecting bean freshness) gave us a tour of the Modernist Cuisine Laboratory. Mind. Blown. The MC team is working on their next book, Modernist Bread, and boy did it smell good in that kitchen!
On the production and product development fronts, we have great news to share. It’s been two months since the campaign ended, and we were very busy doing what we do best: making stuff real.
The Ever Cup is in production! We locked in final branding elements a couple weeks ago and started tooling. Here are a few snapshots of the logo and other elements, which we tried to apply in a way that remains faithful to the streamlined elegance the Ever Cup embodies.
Once tooling finishes in a couple weeks, we’ll start production testing and have lots of photos to share!
Voltaire got some upgrades, too. We finalized our electronics package, including the PCB design and Gerber files, and made improvements to the LED light pipe that illuminates the digital timer. We also upgraded Voltaire’s battery pack to provide additional voltage to the burr motor, which allowed us to make a substantial positive increase in grind fineness and consistency. Voltaire’s upper grind limit can output something as fine and soft as baby powder now, while keeping the lower limit stable at a consistency that would be great for spices or bbq rubs.
We have a long way to go with Voltaire overall, but tooling isn’t far off and our March delivery date is holding firm so far.
The biggest challenge ahead of us is software development for the Sensing Platform. It’s one thing to have the hardware all set… but software dev is a whole other beast. Hope to have lots to share on that in the next couple months as we really ramp up and refocus from the hardware side of things.
On a final note, we’re launching another Kickstarter campaign on Monday! We’ve had GIR Bottle Stoppers in the works for about a year now (labor of love), and produced a small test run for pre-ordering a few months ago.
They got great reviews, so we’re ready for a full production run and plan to deliver them (along with your Ever Cups - don’t worry) in time for the holidays! They are eye-catching, inexpensive, and REALLY good at keeping stuff inside a bottle. We’ll send a link to the live campaign as soon as we launch!
Cheers, The GIR Team
We did it! THANK YOU THANK YOU
over 3 years ago
– Mon, Aug 08, 2016 at 10:27:15 PM
It's official: we're funded! Voltaire, Airvault, and the Ever Cups are headed into production. Whether you pledged $1 or $1000, we're so happy to have you along for the ride. Let's go make these things!
It was a nail-biter, but we hit our 150k stretch goal with a few minutes to spare. You'll have the option of selecting Voltaire + Airvault's metal details in copper or silver. Hello to all you midnight backers who pushed us over the top!
We'll be distributing 30% off codes to everyone who backed, so that you can check out "all that other stuff" we've been working on lately. We are just a few days away from launching a brand new, beautiful website at GIR.co, along with lots of new products to choose from. Thanks for your patience as we wrap it up and put it through the final paces of testing. (Was it crazy to run a Kickstarter and launch a new website at the same time? Yes. Did we do it anyway? Yes. Is it going to impress? Absolutely.)
Thank you for everything, and good night!
Love, The GIR Team: Sam, Christian, Lauren, Mike, Sally, and Brian
VIDEO UPDATE: The Ever Cup in action, plus... Voltaire goes to the zoo!
over 3 years ago
– Sun, Aug 07, 2016 at 10:06:29 PM
So excited to share this video of the Ever Cup in action - Christian (our Chief Creative Officer) brewed up a LOT of coffee this weekend and burned the midnight oil to make sure we had this in time to show you all before the campaign ended!
Mike (our Director of Design) made this animation of the lid turning with a cool X-ray view of the patent pending mechanism inside.
And Lauren and Sam (the NYC crew) took a field trip to the Central Park Zoo to give you a little taste of how wild things can get with Voltaire unplugged. You can also hear how quiet it is while grinding!
As I write this, we're rolling into T-24 hours. Go team!
Grind fineness comparison: Mazzer, Baratza, and Voltaire
over 3 years ago
– Sat, Aug 06, 2016 at 10:50:47 PM
We wanted to show you a comparison of grind fineness among three machines: the Mazzer Robur, Baratza Preciso, and Voltaire.
We're going to talk espresso for a minute, since it's the least "forgiving" of brewing techniques and a good metric by which to measure the performance of any grinder.
The Mazzer Robur is a $3,000 commercial grinder, a gold standard among espresso grinders. It's capable of producing ethereal espresso shots in the very best cafes. We love it. We want one. But it's $3,000, 62lbs, and just about 28" tall. It has 71mm conical steel burrs. It would probably kick Voltaire's butt in a head-to-head competition, but we'd like to think that's like asking Ali to go up against a sumo wrestler.
The Baratza Preciso is a top-line consumer grinder capable of excellent home espresso. We love it. We have one. It's $285, 6.5lbs, and 13.75" tall. It has 40mm conical steel burrs. This is closer to our weight class.
The Voltaire is a portable consumer grinder capable of grinding from anywhere and, naturally, making excellent home espresso. We love it. We built it. It's $199, 5.5lbs, and 10" tall. It has 40mm conical ceramic burrs. And it's capable of sensing bean freshness (and a bunch of other stuff) with the addition of a $50 sensing platform.
As you can see from the photo, the Robur really does show off. But step over to the non-$3000 grinders, and you'll see that Voltaire makes a great showing next to the Preciso. This is exactly what we're going for, and if we can kick it up a notch once we're in production, we're hoping to do even better.
Alchema is a smart homebrew device to make personalized craft cider at home. With Alchema, you can create your own flavor of craft cider or mead within 2 weeks. You can also make wine with Alchema with your own resource of wine grapes and age it for longer. You pick the ingredients, and let Alchema take care of the rest.
150K stretch goal! Silver, silver, and silver.
over 3 years ago
– Fri, Aug 05, 2016 at 05:20:30 PM
Heading into the last few days of the campaign, we thought it was only fitting to introduce a stretch goal. If we hit 150K, we'll be able to manufacture Voltaire and the Sensing Platform (which also pairs with the Airvault) in... SILVER! The stepless adjustment collar, timer knob, and sensing base rim will be plated in silver rather than copper, and the picture really says it all:
We have received so many requests for this color option - thank you to everyone for the interest! And if you have any friends who've been on the fence about copper in the kitchen, please please please spread the word. We have what they want now ;)
Assuming we reach the stretch goal, you don't have to do anything immediately to indicate your interest in the copper or silver options - we'll be sending a post-campaign survey to collect your preferences.
This has been such a wonderful campaign. Thank you to everyone for your insightful questions and comments, and steadfast support. For those who are hoping for a black version of the grinder and container housing: we hear you! We haven't quite reached the funding level we'd need to pull it off, but who knows... if things take off, black may just be in our future.
Also, we added a new graphic to the campaign page to illuminate some of the capabilities of the Sensing Platform, and wanted to repost it here. The standalone grinder and container are pretty cool, but when paired with the platform, magical things happen.
Want to see the readout of grind fineness on the stepless adjustment on a scale of 1-1000 or more? Can do.
Want to look at the how many beans you went through a couple weeks ago? Can do.
Want to remember what you were drinking last March? Can do.
Want to try a new roast from a single-origin growth that's slightly more chocolatey than your last bag of beans? Can do.
Want to remotely start grinding from another room? Can do (this one seems silly but is really fun).
Want to see a mass-based dosing estimate using grind fineness, historical weight trends, and timer logs? Okay, now you're talking nerdy to us.