I started a company a few years ago called Native Design, hoping to start manufacturing coffee gear. All that stuff we sell and use to make coffee is a little too ubiquitous for my taste and none of it is exactly what I want. I’ve had many ideas, from a battery-powered auto- drip coffeemaker to a grinder and brewer to make coffee in microgravity on the space station. But I started with something a little less astronomical: a pourover kettle. And I learned a lot, but after four iterations I put it on the back burner to focus on a few other projects.
Someone asked me recently why I decided to start making this stuff. And it would be easy to say that I tend to modify all my gear (I’ve recurved the spouts and replaced the handles and knobs on all my kettles, for example). Or to point out the fact that I’m a tinkerer, an inventor. (While having dinner at a nice steakhouse and watching the waiter manhandle a twist-off wine with his meat paws, I came up with the idea to refine that process, which Paul McEntire and I eventually called the capkey.) But the real answer is wackier than that: I’m trying to build all the furniture in my house, fabricate the items I use every day, and to at least understand how to make the consumables in my life. Because I like for the things around me to be uniquely mine. Along the way, I’ve discovered the flaws in items available on the market and with a lot of trial and error (mostly error) I’ve figured out how to fix them in my own unique style.
Our first product on the market, The Launchpad, was born out of my frustrations with having my pourover gear strewn about the counter and cupboards, with no real place to keep anything, and having to track everything down each morning to make coffee. I just wanted one spot where it all lived. A base station, of sorts. After experimenting with various woods and shapes, fits and finishes, I came up with a device that essentially functions like a manual drip coffeemaker. They’re all hand-built in-house and are available in black, white, walnut, or cherry and come with either a black or white ceramic drip tray. The Launchpad is designed to sit securely on your Hario drip scale and fits any of the Hario V60 drippers, Kalita Wave, and most other popular drippers on the market.
It’s Ground Control for your pourover kit. T-minus … All systems are go.