Now in its third year of business, the UK-based coffee accessory maker Bairro Alto has announced the establishment of an Australian office, as well as several new products, including a single-cup AltoAir brewer, a line of accompanying flasks and a limited-edition gold-plated AltoAir to celebrate the recent expansion.
The barely-there, nest-like AltoAir is perhaps the airiest, most delicate-seeming pourover brew tool, designed specifically to minimize contact between a filter and brewer walls, with a beautiful aesthetic to boot. The diminished contact allows for the flow of coffee to be as unencumbered as possible, as the company contends that the way wet filters adhere to the inner walls of glass and ceramic filter-holders is a hindrance to the precision of a barista’s intended extraction process.
The dainty original stainless steel AltoAir, which debuted in 2014 and weighs in at a mere 70 grams, fits neatly into the growing niche-within-a-niche of minimalist pourover brewing apparatuses. The category includes Saint Anthony Industry‘s Phoenix brewer, which focuses on more thorough extraction and greater cup clarity by way of an elongated dry brew column, and Polish designer Bartosz Garliński’s iikone, which dangles a filter from a steel ring around the top both for the impressive visual effect and an AltoAir-like unencumbered flow.
The company, cofounded in 2013 by married couple Sabina and Matt Ford as they also wed their dual passions of coffee and design, has established new Australian office to assist in furthering the products’ distribution there and to New Zealand. Purchases through their website have always shipped worldwide, and the company has also started working with St. Louis-based equipment dealer First Crack Coffee as the exclusive U.S. distributors.
The new products include a single-cup AltoAir Mini, a 600-milliliter-capacity flask and a 1,200-milliliter-capacity flask. The flasks are conical in shape, reminiscent of Erlenmeyer laboratory flasks, yet made of borosilicate glass and with logo-debossed leather collars at the top. An adapter insert is also available for using the AltoAir with the flasks. A 24-carat-gold-plated version of the 2-cup AltoAir, originally made for 2015 SCAA Brewers Cup winner Sarah Anderson who used the brewer to strain her winning brew, is now also available to the public. It is a limited-edition, made-to-order specialty item.
“Our focus is on high performing, beautiful design,” Bairro Alto cofounder Sabina Ford told Daily Coffee News. “We will continue to grow our relationships with the coffee world. It’s such an inspiring and supportive industry to be in.”
Ford also indicated that the growing company has additional products in development to be rolled out later this year. “Design is our heartland so the office is always covered in sketches and prototypes,” said Ford. “We will be launching a new product in the fall but I can’t say what it is just yet.”