Roman Rabinovich refused to pay $500 for a decent at-home espresso machine.
After moving with his girlfriend from Boulder to Gateway near the Utah border — where the closest Starbucks is an hour away — they bought an AeroPress, a small compact plastic device similar to a French press that brews coffee on the go in minutes.
But Rabinovich was craving something stronger. He researched how espresso is made and created an attachment, which he calls Joepresso, to convert the AeroPress’s brewing process.
“An AeroPress mixes coffee with a large amount of boiling water and lets it soak for about three to four minutes before pressing the coffee out,” Rabinovich said. “Joepresso uses pressurized percolation to force hot water through a layer of coffee grinds, stripping them of any solids and oils, which takes 30 seconds, like a classic espresso machine. The way it’s extracted gives it a different taste and characteristics.”
The attachment comes with four pieces: a stainless steel pressurized filter basket and screen, a gasket and an adapter to produce a full-bodied cup of espresso.
To use the AeroPress, customers fill the basket, which can hold 14 grams, with coffee grounds, top it with the screen, place the basket into the adapter, seal it with the gasket, and attach it to the AeroPress. They then fill the AeroPress with the desired amount of hot water, place the plunger into the AeroPress to force the grounds to get wet, and press down hard to receive the result.
“I call it ‘espresso for the average Joe,’” Rabinovich said.
On July 24, Rabinovich and his girlfriend Melissa Alexander launched a Kickstarter campaign to manufacture their first round of products. As of Wednesday, they had raised $5,067 from 96 backers. The couple has 27 days to reach their goal of $15,000.
“I wasn’t planning on spending money to market or develop the product,” Rabinovich said. “We need at least $15,000 to produce the mold and ship the product. If we raise the funds, that’s great. But if not, we can’t afford it.”
Rabinovich works full-time as a software developer and Alexander is an executive chef at Gateway Canyon Resort, so Joepresso is a side gig. Rabinovich designed the product using his software experience, and Alexander is working on the marketing.
“I wasn’t planning on starting a business or inventing a product, it was just something I created out of necessity and wanted to share with the world,” Rabinovich said.
If they reach their goal, the couple plans to retail the attachment in coffee shops where AeroPresses are sold, and on Amazon, for $40.
“It’s a niche product, and I’m not planning on making millions,” Rabinovich said. “But it’s just fun to be a part of the community and give people the chance to experiment with the AeroPress.”