The most distinctive feature of the Drobi One is its all-metal construction, comprising a stainless steel body with an aluminum ring holding a three-layer steel mesh filter.
The three-part cylindrical device is designed to prevent the phenomenon known as bypass, in which water bypasses the ground coffee bed during brewing.
With the Drobi One, ground coffee is loaded into the bottom of the brew chamber, while the shape of the infuser forces water to move through the coffee, increasing extraction and reducing the amount of coffee needed for a finished cup.
A crowdfunding campaign as the new brewer has passed $9,000 with four weeks remaining, at the time of this writing.
The Drobi One hits the market around the same time as the Melodrip Columbus, a conical infuser without bypass currently crowdfunding for release in 2023. The seeds of today’s no-bypass field were first planted with the tricolor brewer, launched from Australia in 2018, as well as the largest NextLevel brewerwhich hit the market in March 2021.
The Drobi One, on the other hand, is made up of a showerhead top piece that evenly distributes hot water over the floor, a central infusion chamber piece, and a bottom piece that rests on a coffee cup or other container. The pieces are designed to fit together compactly for storage. The three-layer mesh filter also reduces the need for a paper filter.
“Coffee people use paper filters a lot,” Jiyoung Lim, brand strategist and project planner for Rainmaker, told the Daily Coffee News. “That’s because the paper filter completely filters out fine particles, but we wanted to make clean coffee without using a paper filter. Do this, [the Drobi One filter] has been made triple so that it can perform as much fine particle filtering as a paper filter.
Rainmaker was founded in Seoul, South Korea in 2019 by Seoung-hoi Kim, who is also the inventor of the Drobi One. Originally a product development company commissioned by others, the company has fully developed and launched in 2020 a line of portable UVC sterilizers. Revenue from this venture has supported the development of the Drobi, according to Lim.
Brew recommendations for the 1-2 cup Drobi One range from 16-20 grams of coffee and 200-300 grams of water for a finished brew in about three minutes. After Rainmaker established an office in Manhattan earlier this year, the device made its public debut at New York Coffee Festival 2022.
A first batch of 500 brewers is now ready to ship to Kickstarter backers as soon as the campaign ends. About 800 more Drobi One brewers will be ready to ship by January, with scaling to follow, according to the company. The expected retail price of the Drobi One is $70.
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Howard Bryman is associate editor of Roast Magazine’s Daily Coffee News. He is based in Portland, Oregon.