Clad in handcrafted wood and offering a correspondingly handcrafted espresso experience, the portable, manual Aram Espresso Maker has launched in the United States.
Produced in Brazil and inspired by the coffeelands of Minas Gerais, the Aram adds to the small but compelling field of threaded manual espresso makers that notably includes the Portaspresso Rossa line. The Aram functions similarly to the Rossa in that both apply pressure to water towards coffee by way of pistons threaded downward into a vertical brewing column.
Beyond its wood exterior and the design of the optional steel stand, the Aram also differs from the Rossa in that the user fastens a loaded espresso basket to the bottom first and then pours water into a chamber from above, as opposed to the Rossa, where those steps are reversed. Water is released by the Aram onto the coffee for pre-infusion by winding the crank counterclockwise, raising the piston and allowing the hot water to pass. Cranking clockwise then lowers piston back downward to apply the necessary and user-variable pressure for extraction.
Product designer and Aram company co-founder Maycon Aram dreamed up the design for his own ideal coffeemaker before presenting the idea to Juca Esmanhoto, a barista and partner at Rause Café & Vinho coffee and wine bar in Curitiba, Brazil.
Emsanhoto loved the project, partnered with Aram and began circulating the device among Brazilian specialty coffee professionals for feedback prior to the company finalizing the design and pursuing financial support via Catarse, a Brazil-based crowdfunding platform.
“My desire was for the full production to be Brazilian, with local producers and all well paid,” Maycon Aram told Daily Coffee News. “The same way of work that many specialty coffee farms do — in search of a fairer world.”
Aram had pursued coffee-making utensils as products to develop during his time as a product design graduate student before eventually founding the Aram company and beginning development of an actual brewing device in 2015, inspired by visits to his hometown of Juiz de Fora in Minas Gerais, a state with a long history of coffee production.
“Inspired by the tranquility of the mountains of Minas Gerais I started the first project of the coffee machine, which was intended to have a lever and electric heating,” Aram said. “Some product certification barriers in Brazil have made me reduce the project, reaching this result that you know today: A coffeemaker without electronic components that creates pressure up to 14 bar and total control of temperature and pressure by the user. What looked like a problem ended up being the great asset, making the product have a longer life, portable and high-quality craftsmanship.”
The Catarse campaign launched last year and hit its initial funding goal within 36 hours. It went on to collect more than 700 percent of its goal for a total of over 250,000 Brazilian Real (over $78,000 USD). As of last November, the Aram Espresso Maker launched for sale in the U.S. via the web for $269, or $329 with its optional steel support.
“For us, it is a great pleasure being able to create coffee products here since, as you probably know, Brazil is very well known for its coffee,” Aram said. “So being able to bring coffee products, created in the country of coffee, is our great achievement.”