Last weekend we packed two Hikus and hit the road for a day trip to Seattle and the 30th Annual Specialty Coffee Expo, the world’s largest gathering of specialty coffee professionals. We were able to meet distributors and demonstrate Hiku in person. Besides the usual comments about nice grind quality and the attractive, camera-like stepless grind adjustment ring, everyone who touched Hiku commented on the Ti-N burrset and how smooth and satisfying it felt to grind beans by hand.
The Expo itself seemed well attended, with many well known equipment manufacturers, speciality roasters, media, influencers and baristas. It would have been great to take in the 2018 US Coffee Championships as well, but there was just too much else to see and too many people to talk to.
We capped our day in Seattle with a visit to the Starbucks VIP Reserve and the Amazon Spheres, which are some futuristic round glass and steel structures on the downtown campus of Amazon’s HQ. We have to admit it was pretty fun and geeky to download the Amazon Go app before visiting the Amazon Go convenience store for snacks. Cashier-free shopping!
Back at the office, our custom parts have been trickling in. We are back at it with calipers and drawings, checking dimensions, finish and fit. Off-tool enclosure parts are coming as well. Although we are eager to see these, we do stress with vendors that we don’t want them if they don’t conform to standard or have obvious defects. We had mentioned in a previous update that in addition to testing and breaking things, we end up spending a lot of time working on preventing problems from happening. If you’ve ever faced time-consuming rework on the production line you’ll probably be able to relate to this. Not only does haste often make waste, so does lack of attention to detail.
In order to strike a reasonable balance of detail and ‘burden’ on the vendor, we issue our tooling and production drawings with critical items like specific dimensions or specific requirements called out and highlighted. We supplement these drawings with references and descriptions for situations where details can’t adequately be described on a dimensioned machine drawing. Things like surface finish needs a reference to compare to. Quality criteria such as which faces of a part are “show” faces and thus can’t have any physical blemishes. Threads that need to be called out not just for the thread pitch and type and depth, but for which part is supposed to mate with it so there is no ambiguity. The criteria itself is where the details lie, and this work is what we are now doing in preparation for off-tool parts and for production.
Speaking of production, we’ve been working with the packaging vendor and here’s how Hiku will be packaged. The prototype box is black inside and white outside but as you probably could guess, the final gift box will be black on black. (Prototype handle shown).
Talk to you in two weeks!
Amanda and team