For two Canadians, their love of coffee led them to engineer a better way to make quality coffee at home. The Espro Press is now enjoyed by thousands of coffee lovers worldwide and is championed by professional baristas.
This initial success led Bruce and Chris to address a more mainstream coffee making problem: brewing great tasting coffee at home. As coffee experts, Bruce and Chris knew that a coffee’s flavour and body had a directly inverse relationship: the more body gained from the brewing process, the less flavour clarity the brew would have and vice versa. They experimented with a variety of brewing methods, using coffees from small-scale producers with distinctive and sophisticated flavours. They noted that the standard French Press coffee makers were easy to use, but the coarse mesh filter allowed too many particles into the brew, reducing the clarity of the flavour.
It fast became evident that simply using a finer grade of mesh in the filter didn’t solve the issue. The filter became very hard to press down and the ground coffee in the pot would build up before bursting around the edge of the filter and into the brew. Following multiple iterations, the solution became apparent in the form of a two stage filter. The first filter was nine times finer than a standard French Press and shaped like a woven basket. The second filter was 12 times finer than a standard French Press filter; broadly fine enough to mimic the clarity provided by the more fussy coffee-making methods using paper filters. The result of their experiments is the Espro Press, a coffee maker that combines the ease of the French Press with the clarity of paper-filtered coffee.
The design of the Espro Press applies engineer’s thinking to tackle other common problems associated with the French Press, specifically that the glass beakers are fragile and offer no insulation. In response to these challenges, Chris developed a double-walled, stainless steel body. The body offers vacuum insulation between the two stainless steel layers, is incredibly robust, yet retains the elegance and form of the much loved French Press. The Espro Press quickly attracted interest, allowing them to achieve sufficient sales and build a broad network of fans to run two Kickstarter campaigns to raise funds to invest in production runs for two additional Espro Press sizes.
In late 2014, Espro returned to Kickstarter to crowdsource funds for their latest invention, the Espro Travel Press. Drawing on the popular strengths of the Espro Press, they miniaturised the design to create a one-cup coffee brewer that is also acts as a cup for drinking from and has a watertight cap, making it possible for the first time to make, brew and carry coffee in a single vessel while on the run. In a market increasingly crowded with coffee gadgetry, Espro’s engineering experience and pragmatism have led them to create beautiful and functional coffee makers that are easy to use, don’t require coffee-making expertise and which create coffee of a quality championed by baristas. It is with much anticipation that the professional coffee community and coffee enthusiasts alike look forward to seeing what Espro invent next.