Aaron Freyer got the idea for the Cora Coffee Brewer three years ago when he was packing up for a visit home to Portland, OR. “I got my suitcase out and pulled out my Chemex and my grinder and my scale — and realized it wasn’t going to fit,” he told me over the phone. “But at the same time, I was just getting into specialty coffee and I didn’t want to sacrifice quality.”
So he decided to develop a product that brewed excellent coffee but took up much less space: the Cora Coffee Brewer. At 4.7 inches in diameter and 9 inches tall, it is indeed petite, and can brew up to 13.4 oz (equivalent to one large cup of coffee). The Cora Brewer launched its first IndieGoGo campaign yesterday with a goal of $10,000.
Sure, if space is an issue you can always use an Aeropress or Kalita or even just a good old plastic drip cone. And all of those options are cheaper than the Cora, which Freyer says will retail for $199. That buys you the porcelain brewing carafe and the smart scale. But Freyer’s coffee brewer has two things going for it: 1) It’s IoT-enabled, and 2) It looks really nice.
The Cora brewer magnetically latches to a wood scale with bluetooth — but no interface. In order to see the scale’s reading, you have to open up a connected app, which will tell you the real-time weight readout of the Cora brewer in ounces or grams. It also has a built-in timer.
Though it attaches to the brewer, the scale can also be used independently to make tea, weigh packages, or bake. It has a rechargeable battery which lasts up to a month. When it needs juice, you can plug in the scale with a USB C charger.
As of now, that’s all the scale does. But Freyer said that the plan is to integrate that hardware with a more advanced app into the future. “It could almost gamify the process; it could say ’Hey, you’re pouring too slow,’ or recommend certain coffees to you,” he elaborated. Freyer has already developed the Cora app for iPhones and is working on one for Androids, as well as a way to sync the scale up to Apple watches.
Freyer is currently a senior in college at San Jose State and has a keen interest in industrial design. Which is why he wanted to make the Cora not only compact and connected, but also beautiful and well-made. And since its primary use case is in a smaller apartment, where every kitchen gadget and appliance is on display, aesthetics are important.
“I put a big focus on the quality of materials used,” he said. From vegetable-dyed leather to food safe porcelain to cherry hardwood, every aspect of the Cora screams “curated.” All parts are also manufactured and assembled in the U.S.
If he reaches his fundraising goal, Freyer says their first priority will be on jumpstarting the manufacturing process. “Everything is quoted and ready to be made,” he said. Which is why he’s confident that Cora can indeed reach its projected September ship date and avoid crowdfunding manufacturing delays.
Early backers can grab a limited number of Cora Coffee Brewers for $149 (once those run out, the price jumps to $169). Which is still a chunk of change. We’ll see if java-loving aesthetes are willing to pay for a device that looks as nice as the coffee it brews will taste.