Meet PERK, a caffeine-fiend’s dream. Designed by Jakub Svec, this Third Wave capable coffee machine has just gone live on Kickstarter.
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Svec, a former nanotechnology R&D specialist, has turned his expertise to the field of brewing the perfect cup of coffee.
Originally, the plan was to create a low-gravity capable machine. But his love affair with Third Wave coffee sidetracked this plan into the development of PERK, a simple one-button machine equal in quality to an artisan’s brewing setup.
The launchpad for this caffeinated endeavor was MAKE Santa Fe. A non-profit packed to the rafters with workshop tools, it contains all the resources needed to create pretty much anything.
In an excellent example of the benefit and value of such makerspaces, it is at MAKE Santa Fe that Svec had access to 3D printers and the other tools necessary to bring PERK to life. Svec said:
“Without access to the 3D printers at MAKE Santa Fe and the community for support, I don’t think I would have had the courage to take on a project like PERK. A lot of great tools are being developed for CAD but 3D printing will always remain a part of my workflow. Although the practical application of virtual and augmented reality as a design tool is increasing, it will never replace the visceral impact that a 3D printer can produce.“
PERK is live on Kickstarter as of this week. And success for Svec could very well be in his nature. His brother, Lukas, set a Kickstarter record for the most-funded food project in the crowdfunding platform’s history. His sous-vide machine raised over $800,000 in 2014.
The PERK At Work
For those not in the know, Third Wave coffee began sometime in the early 2000s. Superseding the proliferation of coffee from Starbucks and other chains — the Second Wave — Third Wave is all about the details. The provenance of the beans down to the farm, the roasting to bring out flavor, the grade of grinding, and perhaps most importantly, the specifics of brewing.
There can be no denying the worth of it all. The movement transformed coffee from overly sweet bastardizations of Italian coffee norms, to a drink of complex flavor profiles and natural sweetness needing neither milk nor sugar.
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If the PERK is as it appears on Kickstarter, it will bring Third Wave quality into the convenience of a home coffee machine without breaking the bank.
Svec’s PERK machine makes use of mechanical suspension to effectively saturate the coffee grounds. The water boiler system also maintains the ideal (manually selectable) temperature. These are the principles listed on the Kickstarter page as key to achieving the perfect cup.
Early bird backers can snag one for $174. Should the project succeed and reach the retail market, the full price will be $299.
There are reasons to believe this will be a success. On a tour of the US, Svec’s PERK collected garnered praise from the likes of Scott Rao, serial coffee connoisseur. This, coupled with the manufacturing know-how of his brother and the company Sansaire behind it, creates a proven network around the project.
But as ever, exercise caution with Kickstarter.
Source: Press release
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