Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Initial Proposed Design

What will it say?

In the end, I hope that this piece says that the user takes his/her coffee seriously. That the individual respects the craft of the brew and that he/she is willing to take the extra time to brew the best cup of coffee. I also hope that it stands out from the crowd of “standard” coffee makers and is able to be a great conversational/art piece as well as functional.

What will it do?

This is partially incomplete, as I am having my friend (also the one who I am building this for in the form of a business transaction) come up with a list of design and function requirements. What we have both agreed that it will do as of right now is that it will let him cold brew his coffee in a more sophisticated setup than he has now. He wants to incorporate a few valves to be able to more easily control how he extracts his coffee. We also agreed that it needed to be easily cleaned. He is determining more requirements and specifications and should have them for me by the weekend.

How do these add up to aesthetic and functional specifications/goals?

The aesthetic behind this project falls into a few categories:

  • Science equipment
    • This piece should have the look of old time science equipment. It might incorporate beaker shaped glass, spiraling tubes, valves, and even some wood holders
Older Science Aesthetic


  • Indie coffee brewing
    • There is a whole other aesthetic when it comes to indie coffee shops, but this one could fall under the equipment used. This cold brew setup should be functional enough to deliver what my customer needs to brew his coffee, but also pleasing enough to add a great conversational piece to his kitchen.
29d13041ff96f344c485de921386d2dd (1)
Indie Coffee Brew

List your inspirations (OK to cut/paste from prior blog). What are you adding that is new?

My inspirations have almost completely changed since I last posted. I will try to keep to my original inspirations of keeping the designs simple, but instead of going modern, I will go much more rustic. I want to incorporate all the design features that my customer desires, while also being able to add my own flare to the design.

What will the hardest/trickiest/critical part be? The part where if it fails, your project fails.

The hardest part would probably be trying to incorporate spiral glass tubes into the design. If I have to make them there is a good chance they can break. I also need this design to be easily cleanable. I don’t think this is something that can be made dishwasher safe, although it’d be nice if it could be hand washed with ease. The second most challenging part would most likely be the stand. It will have to support a good deal of weight (liquids are heavy) and will have a higher center of gravity. This will make the piece more prone to tipping, which is not an acceptable feature to have.

Spiral tube


In so
me sense, I already have a prototype. My friend already has a setup where he cold brews his coffee, and I will be using that to help start the design. I will probably make prototypes of the more difficult components during assembly so that I know they will function properly.

Customer’s Current Setup

cost estimate

This is really dependent on what my customer wants for his features and other requirements, but I estimate the cost to be anywhere from $50 to $125.


I will hopefully have his requirements by the start of next week. Then from there I will generate some concept sketches and let him pick out his favorite designs/parts of a design. After that I will order/procure any materials necessary for the build and begin the process. I imagine that there will be a learning curve to work with glass, and estimate 2-3 weeks to build the components. Then I’ll build the frame and stand, which can take anywhere form 1-2 weeks.




Current Setup:

Featured Image:

Initial Design:

Science aes.:

Spiral Tube:

Indie brew:


Previous Post
LED Ball
Next Post
Design Review: A Living Room 3D Printer

13 Comments. Leave new

  • […] Ideas […]

  • Brandon Boiko
    March 8, 2016 11:10 pm

    That looks like it is going to be a great project. I like how you are trying to appeal to the class of coffee connoisseurs. For the coffee lovers out there this would be fantastic to have. I don’t know much about cold brewed coffee, but I’m sure it must taste fantastic if people are willing to wait such a long time to get their coffee. I like how you are interested in the glass manufacturing aspect of your design. While I think it would be interesting to learn how to manufacture the glassware, especially the spiral tube, I think you may want to focus on the other aspects of the aesthetic. It may be more important to design an interesting stand set up than to manufacture glass that you can just buy. Overall I think your project is very interesting and I hope it goes well. Good Luck and let me know if you need help!

  • Joseph Yoshimura
    March 6, 2016 11:19 pm

    I would like to have one of these when you are done! I do not consistently brew my own coffee, but maybe with your product I could start. The rustic and the artistic look that you are planning to add to it makes it significantly more appealing. It’s also really cool that you are working with someone else to determine the needs of the product, but you have complete control over the final design of the product. I can’t tell how complex this is right now, but once the ball gets rolling I’m excited to see what you end up with.

  • I really like the idea of having a client for an aesthetics project. It looks like its going to be fun making one of these.

  • longmont tinker mill
    glass shop through chemistry deprtment

  • Meridith Richter
    March 4, 2016 12:41 pm

    In terms of the aesthetic, I think the more rustic it looks with wood and the exposed glassware the better. It’s a really neat idea, can’t wait to see it happen! In terms of functionality, I’m glad you’re keeping the ability to clean it at the top of the list.

  • Really neat idea! the glass will be really hard to fabricate, but I get stores sell cheap versions of theses to use for any purpose. I like how the aesthetic is about how seriously your friend takes his coffee, maybe add a little arts and crafts or industrial chic style to add some flair. Your test set up process and design iteration concepts are completely feasible.

  • Great idea. I can see this not only being useful for making coffee, but as a stylish decoration as well. As long as you make it functional, that’s cool, but you have so much leeway in terms of aesthetics. You could go for the classic wood look in the pictures on your blog post, or do something more futuristic with more metal, or anything really. Have fun with it and good luck!

  • I want this!!! For a custom project this like, the aesthetic is very important. Craftsmanship here is key. Seems like you are going for simple, but an elegant scientific look. Good luck!

  • Samantha Maierhofer
    March 4, 2016 12:37 pm

    I like that you wrapped it back around to a real life situation with a client and negotiating a system to meet both of your needs. I also like the aesthetics that you are thinking about going with.

  • Ben, this such a great idea. I am really impressed with how you had no ideas at all last week and now you have such a solid idea. I like the fact the this is feasible to make. It will be easy to iterate and test a couple of prototypes. I looked at the one from amazon that you linked, it looks boring but functional. I am really digging that old scientific experiment aesthetic. Yes add spiral tubes, test tubes and even a beaker to it. You can add analog dials to add to its aesthetic. I am attaching these old stands for scientific experiments:
    If you find and buy one it might be handy to use it as a backbone for your device so you can design and build around it. Let us know how we can help. Good luck.

  • Christopher Coffman
    March 3, 2016 12:58 pm

    I really like this idea and think it will prove to be an interesting design process. I am not too familiar with cold brew coffee, but the setup that you are proposing looks like it will come out very aesthetically appealing. The spiral glasses do see like they would be hard to make / not break. This design really comes off as old fashion science equipment, and would definitely be an excellent addition to anyones kitchen.

  • Samantha Maierhofer
    March 3, 2016 9:34 am

    Really cool idea and I can’t wait to see the end result! I have done a couple coffee-related projects before and can definitely relate to the various coffee aesthetics you talked about. Have you looked at all into different types of tubing/valves? To me the idea of having spiral tubes/valves and having the product be easily cleanable seems to be contradictory but maybe there is something that already exists that would be able to help out with that. Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.