Throughout our most humdrum of days, there are little bitty joys that carry us through. Tiny details like the firm click of a well-made switch or the reassuring “thwop” sound of a sturdy container seal offer morsels of satisfaction that keep people returning to certain products and activities day after day.
Yet as simple as they seem, these tiny details are still the result of some careful engineering. A clever new French press accessory called Grums promises just this kind of simple pleasure, and it’s soon to enter production after years of development.
While the classic French press brewing method remains popular around the world, cleaning the thing is no one’s favorite task. The Grums, which takes its name from kaffegrums, the Danish word for coffee grounds, is a deceptively simple solution developed by a small group of Danish French press lovers. It’s a little cup that fits snugly at the bottom of a French press carafe to collect the grounds for more efficient removal.
Users first drop the Grums down into any traditional 1-liter French press carafe, then add grinds and water for brewing as usual. When pressing the plunger down to end brewing, the filter assembly snaps into the Grums, effectively sealing the majority of grinds inside. At cleaning time, the Grums hangs onto the plunger and slides out with the grinds inside, allowing users to simply knock the grinds out into a compost bin or into an accompanying Grums knockbox.
Rather than putting yet another entirely new French press brewer on a market where scores of identical products already exist, the Grums is a solution aimed at improving the experience French press devotees already enjoy with the brewers they already own. The company told Daily Coffee News it intends to expand over time to includes Grumses for other sizes, including 0.5-liter and possibly an Espro-compatible unit.
“I got the idea in Copenhagen, where I still live,” Grums inventor Tobias Henius told DCN. “The first prototype was made with a 3D printer at the University of Copenhagen. I started collaboration with Fabrikators, located in Lyngby, just north of Copenhagen, in 2015.”
Henius first conceived of the handy tool while drinking coffee daily in the late 1990s, although he couldn’t initially find a product manufacturing company willing to accept an outsider’s idea. He kept Grums under his hat, so to speak, for more than a decade. Then came another three years of trial and error in perfecting the design in collaboration with the Danish kitchen and home goods manufacturer Fabrikators, which turned out 11 prototypes of the Grums before landing on the market-ready iteration.
Through these various attempts they reached the final height, tapered top edge, 1-millimeter wall thickness and 90-millimeter base diameter. Grooves along the outer sides and a raised logo on the bottom allow for fluid to pass and relieve the vacuum that would otherwise prevent the Grums from sliding easily in and out.
With a successful Kickstarter campaign under its belt and an IndieGoGo campaign ongoing, a food-grade polypropylene Grums is poised to enter manufacturing and is expected to begin shipping in April 2019.
“We are also looking into stainless steel, brass, aluminum, etc.,” said Fabrikators founder Lars Forsberg. “But it won’t be tomorrow.”
The company said retail distribution into the United States is anticipated for later in 2019.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.
In the”there is nothing new under the sun” department, I purchased an almost identical product that I love in London 5 or 6 years ago after that years coffee expo. I have always wondered why it was not more popular. I wish the current venture more success and will buy more if I get a chance!
It has amazed me for years how so many French press users overcomplicate the “dreaded” cleaning process. From my first experience with the venerable Bodum Chambord, any of the four sizes, all I’ve ever done is to put a bit of water into the bottom after the plunger and cap are removed, swirl it about a bit to loosen the grounds and make a slurry, then pour or pitch the contents out. Very few grounds remain. A quick rinse of the beaker then the crossplate/screen, and in a total of less than twenty seconds I am ready for the next press. I’ve done this literally thousands of times……..
One question on this unit, though…… does it work with the “shatterproof” versions of the Chambord, where the crossplate and screen are done away with and a single piece hard combination screen/plunger/wiper is fitted in its place? Whe travelling, boating, packing, cycing, I will NOT carry the standard glass beaker versions. Visualising what might happen inside the pannier on the bike with the glass beakers is frightening……. so the shatterproof versions (along with a handcrank antique Dutch mill) are my kit.