We just returned from spending two weeks at the factory in China. Our goal was to find a finishing solution for the copper grinders that is durable and aesthetically pleasing.
In a survey sent out to the backers of the copper grinders last year the community voted to have the pieces electroplated with real copper and then brushed in the same way that the nickel grinders are brushed.
The problem with real copper is that it reacts with oxygen and tarnishes. Initially we thought this would not be that big of a problem and regular maintenance could maintain them. After a couple weeks the pieces looked like the picture below.
This was not acceptable to us so we started looking for a way to protect the copper from tarnishing so that it would maintain its beautiful color. We asked our manufacturing partner to find a factory that could spray a protective clear coat onto the brushed copper pieces.
They told us that they would find a factory that could do it and prepare a sample. This process ended up taking two months because of the Chinese New Year. When we finally received the samples they looked like the picture below.
To our disappointment, the new samples we received were not electroplated copper with a protective clear coat. They were identical to samples that we received over a year ago where a type of copper colored paint is applied to the plastic piece with vacuum deposition.
This was very frustrating to find out, especially after we had waited so long to get the samples. We decided to take a trip to the factory so that we could meet with the factory team in person.
While we were at the factory we discovered a coating called Incralac that is specially formulated for coating copper. In an extensive research program initiated by the International Copper Research Association (INCRA), Incralac was found to provide the best protection for copper of all air-dry coatings tested.
This is exactly the product that we were looking for. The plan now is to coat the pieces with Incralac immediately after they are brushed. This will prevent them from tarnishing and provide a strong, beautiful finish.
We are planning another production run to take place in May and plan to assemble the limited edition copper grinders during this run. We apologize that they have taken so long and want to thank all the copper backers for their patience.
All orders with confirmed addresses have been shipped. The international distributors received their orders and they were shipped out without a problem at any location.
If you are expecting a grinder and have not received it yet, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will find out what happened!
One of the biggest problems that we have seen with the grinders is the Acrylic hoppers can crack if they are dropped or too much stress is put on them. This is due to acrylic being a very brittle material, like glass.
For the last year we have been trying to find a way to make the hoppers from Tritan because it is 10X more impact resistant than Acrylic. Initially we were told that it was impossible to mold the geometry of the Handground hopper from Tritan because it has a different shrink rate compared to Acrylic.
Fortunately persistence pays off and we were able to produce a sample from Tritan with our existing mold. It came out great and we were able to literally throw the hopper onto a concrete floor without it breaking. Tritan is about 30% more expensive than Acrylic but the improved durability will be worth the increased cost. All Handground's produced after May 2017 will have Tritan hoppers.
Every Handground comes with a 2.0mm allen wrench. It is used to remove the 3 screws on the bottom of the grinder when installing the calibration washers.
The set screw on the handle used to be 2.5mm and if it accidentally slipped off you would have to find your own allen wrench. We modified the handle mold to accept a 2.0mm set screw so now the included allen wrench fits all the screws!
We received a lot of feedback that the coarse settings (6 to 8) were too coarse. The overall range of the original steps piece was 2.8mm with a 0.20mm change in between each step.
To make the coarse settings less coarse, we modified the mold for the steps piece to adjust the slope of the steps. In the picture above you can see where the old steps line was and where the new one is now.
The overall range is now 2.2mm with a 0.16mm change between each step. This produces very similar settings on the low end and a lot more usable settings on the high end. Setting 8 will now produce a grind size similar to what setting 6 was on the original grinders.
We are looking to add a new member to our team to help with emails from customers and partner coffee shops. You can work remote and the hours are flexible.
You will need to be available for 2-4 hours each weekday to respond to customer inquiries. We are looking for someone that is passionate about coffee and already has a working knowledge of Handground.
The Black and Nickel grinders sold out about a month ago and the white soon after. The good news is that the next shipment is already on the way and will be available towards the end of April. Any orders placed before then will be shipped as soon as the next shipment of grinders make it in!
We stopped accepting new wholesale accounts last year due to a limited amount of inventory. With the next shipment we will have extra inventory that we can offer for wholesale in the US.
If you own or work at a coffee shop that is interested in carrying Handground, please fill out the wholesale application at the link below.
When we first started Handground we wanted to call the company Kaizen Coffee because Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement that we try to apply in our lives and business.
Fortunately we had Team Handground to help us discover that most people can't spell Kaizen and the associations with "handground" is a much better fit for a coffee grinder!
Even though the company isn't called Kaizen, we still plan to improve Handground with every production run!
Daniel & Brandon