Tuesday 27 September 2022

Graycano: let’s explore this unique dripper that connects also with coffee trees

The creator: “Our main goal with this material combination was to get the best out of the aluminum heat conduction through the brew, while leaving your coffee flavor untouched and pure. The dripper takes advantage of the low heat capacity of the aluminum - quickly reaching a high temperature and maintaining it throughout the whole brew process - while not allowing your coffee to directly touch the metal, keeping the aroma and flavor "pure and untouched"

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MILAN – Graycano is the creature realized by Felix Brügmann and Nicole Chabot. Felix is a professional soccer player since 2012 in the regional league in Germany, he worked in a specialty coffee shop in Leipzig – Franz Morish – as social media marketer and project’s coordinator. Nicole graduated in Construction Management in the USA in 2017. She worked as assistant project manager in the real estate and construction business in the USA and currently in Germany. Together they decided to dedicate themselves to their shared passion for good coffee and the art of hand brew, devising a tool that would guarantee a different experience (with an impact on the environment that would also make the consumer an active participant).

Why did you create Graycano? What did you feel was missing on the market?

“The coffee world is dynamic and it is in constant change and development. We want to impact it and bring a unique yet modern german company to it. With the graycano we wanted to bring a new presence in the coffee market, a modern lifestyle to the specialty coffee world, not only a dripper an experience. We started to study and analyze the drippers that were already on the market. We wanted to however also focus on the looks. Germany being the land of engineering and precision, we wanted to combine and
elegant and modern look to an efficient structure and material selection. We believe we definitely achieved our goal with the graycano dripper, but of course we are in constant market analysis and collecting all the feedback from our clients to always strive for improvements and better results.

To add another differential, we wanted our clients to have the possibility to connect themselves to the coffee cycle. Adopting a coffee tree in our plantation in Brazil and through our online platform get up to date to what happens to this little tree, which is kilometers away, is also a way for us to positively impact the course of the coffee world.”

What are the technical features that distinguish Graycano from other typical pourver brewers?

The Graycano dripper (photo granted)
The Graycano dripper (photo granted)

“The graycano is the first coffee dripper made from cast aluminum coated with a high-technology coating, that is strengthened with ceramic and was developed in Switzerland – the reason for this material combination we explain in the next question. In addition, the graycano has the The Lava Ribs, which have many functions and was carefully engineered so that through the combination of this functions the perfect extraction is achieved. The spiral form and position of the ribs reinforce the natural flow of the water.

However, unlike other conical drippers, the structure of the graycano was designed to break any air and water channel that might form. The water is allowed to freely flow between the gaps of the V’s and break these channels. Resulting in an evenly wet coffee bed – assuring an even extraction. Furthermore, the asymmetry of the Lava Ribs provides a natural agitation of the water. This agitation allows for a more intense flavor extraction and stronger body of the coffee.”

What advantage does the aluminium base provide? And what is the function of the ceramic coating?

The dripper (photo granted)

“Our main goal with this material combination was to get the best out of the aluminum heat conduction through the brew, while leaving your coffee flavor untouched and pure. The dripper takes advantage of the low heat capacity of the aluminum – quickly reaching a high temperature and maintaining it throughout the whole brew process – while not allowing your coffee to directly touch the metal, keeping the aroma and flavor “pure and untouched”. Through this thermal dynamic, the fruity and flowery notes of the coffee are
intensely accentuated.

Furthermore, the graycano’s double wall cylinder helps maintain the heat in the inner conical wall, retarding its loss to the ambient, which sustains even more a temperature constancy during the brew.

And of course we have the beautiful vegan cork sleeves, which are used to allow you to safely touch your dripper even with the high heat. To produce the cork sleeves we work with a social work company with people with disabilities from Berlin, who cut, sew and produce these beautiful and colorful sleeves that come with the graycano dripper.”

Your creation took the stage at the last German brewers cup: first place for Graycano. How do you comment on this victory won by Nicole Montgomery-Bettefeld?

“When Nicole contacted us and said that she wanted to take part on the Brewers cup using the graycano, we were really happy and honored. The coffee itself is the main factor of the competition, but of course the brewer has also its part on it and having a great coffee professional like Nicole brewing with the graycano showed us again that we are achieving our goal of positively impacting the coffee community and giving them an amazing tool to brew the best out of their coffee.

When the competition happened we were at the time in the coffee plantation in Brazil and had to accompany everything online. We sent Freddi as our representative, our great CIO and Felix´s brother and he was keeping us updated. But we remember as we were watching the finals, really nervous and excited…then they announced Nicole as the champion and we were so overwhelmed with happiness! She did an amazing presentation and of course her coffee was without question the best! She did really deserve it and of course it is for us an honor to have her win the German Brewers cup using our dripper, a German brewer.

In addition, we also have to say that this win had a more meaningful impact. Nicole wanted to have her cork sleeves with the Ukrainian flag and we of course produced it for her, to create the awareness that we all need, that war is not the answer. Not only that, we started this amazing Ukraine Auction, where Nicole and us offered her graycano drippers used in the competition to be auctioned together with one coffee tree adoption and 150g of her coffee. The auction was very successful, we collected 500 EUROS that are going to be fully donated to the German/Swiss Non governmental organization Libereco, to help the
Ukrainian people in need. Another project we are very proud to have organized. “

Do you plan to improve this equipment in future models, or will you design tools for other types of extraction?

“We are currently in the development of an interesting gadget to the graycano dripper, which will allow for more possibilities of extractions. To that we will for now keep in a secret. And of course in a not so far away future, we are going to offer our clients exclusive products to extend their graycano line of coffee products. So stay tuned. “

Graycano is also linked to a peculiar initiative to adopt a coffee tree: could you explain to our readers?

“Here we wanted to also extend on our other side of the graycano – MY TREE, which is the coffee tree adoption in our coffee plantation in Brazil. When we created the graycano we made ourselves really busy into the coffee theme in general, also the cultivation and processing. We wanted then to also bring our clients closer to the coffee cycle and that they also had a chance to uniquely learn how a coffee tree is cultivate and what are all the steps behind it. What are all the challenges that the farmer must go through in order to bring the coffee trees into their first harvests. From that idea we started our first coffee
plantation in Brazil, where the coffee trees can be adopted by our clients and they get to follow the life of this tree.

We believe this is a unique and amazing way for our clients and companies to learn about the coffee cycle while making a deeper connection with a coffee tree. The client chooses the name of the tree and a sign is handmade and placed near the tree. Then every year the client will get information and photos of how their tree and the plantation is doing, what were the biggest challenges they had and how the farmer and his team were able to go through it. The Fazenda Jacarezal is located in the north of Minas Gerais, in Buenópolis.

The farm is a small family farm owned by Paulo, Nicole’s grandfather. The farm has been in the family for generations and was mostly for small commercialization in the local area. This is the first time that Paulo, the farmer, had the possibility and resources to cultivate his first own coffee plantation. The tree’s were planted in December 9th, 2021. They are still young and have a couple of years before their first harvest. We are already studying the best possible and ideal method of processes for the cherries, to get the best out of the coffee in the region we are cultivating. Regarding the roasting, we have big plans
and are already in contact with roasteries about the opportunity to have them roast some of the beans – meaning we plan to make partnerships with more than one roaster.

An image of an adopted coffee tree (photo granted)

We have a small coffee plantation, which gives us the advantage of maybe diving the harvest into small groups. However, each tree cannot be harvested and processed separately , so what we want to do is to allow groups of trees to be “adopted” by companies like coffee shops and roasteries. The companies/coffee shops/roasteries that adopt these groups of trees can then let their clients adopt the individual trees. What
it means is that when the harvesting and processing time comes, we will treat each of these groups separately and the companies/coffee shops/roasteries can provide their customers with their own special coffee group.

The clients with their independent tree adoption will have their coffee cherries processed with others. But at the end the tree-adopters will be the ones to have priority in ordering their coffee beans for a fair fee stipulated at the time of harvesting/roasting. The tree-adopters have also a fairer fee than a non-adopter.”

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