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Article: For National Coffee Day, We Put Duo To The Test

For National Coffee Day, We Put Duo To The Test

About a year ago we backed the Duo coffee steeper on Kickstarter. After some formidable delivery challenges, our Duo arrived! We excitedly unboxed it and got to steepin'.

What better day to share our first Duo experience than today, National Coffee Day! I know what you're thinking – ISN'T EVERY DAY COFFEE DAY REFILL PLEASE. Relax, it's just that today we as a nation officially celebrate the magical bean. Here's our version, with a crowd-funding success story and local Charleston coffee roaster called Balzac.

The Duo was easy to use once assembled – there are a few parts involved, and you could definitely do it wrong but luckily, like Ikea, it was sort of fun following Duo's directions. Actually, the company's sense of humor was one of the things that sold us on their Kickstarter (their video is still one of our favorites).

Visiting Balzac was a mini adventure. Tucked away just off King St, the historic building was a surprising place to find a coffee roasting operation. They were out of their packaged Good Coffee dark roasts, so she bagged up some beans from a fresh batch (no one knows what roast it was exactly, but in the end it was tasty). We got back to the office and got started --

The Verdict While the coffee was on the weak side, that's an easy fix – next time we'll use more coffee. The Duo produces a small amount of coffee, and for a piece that takes up as much space in your kitchen as the Duo does, ideally it would make more coffee (at least filling up the bottom reservoir). It was easy to clean up, and looks pretty sitting on our countertop in between brews. Our hearts were set on the look of the first Duo that was shown on Kickstarter – an entirely glass body, so you could watch the brew being poured past the metal brewing chamber. Pretty slick, but also apparently pretty impossible to execute in production.

We had to hand it to the Fellow team for keeping everyone informed with updates along their bumpy ride – which included construction changes, shipping snags, and a rebranding. As designers who've dealt with the hiccups of mass production, our hearts went out to them; and as seasoned Kickstarter backers, we weren't surprised by the delays that are so often part of the crowd-funded experience.

All in all, Duo delivers a good brew. Mmm, coffee. 

Next up: Steeping tea in the Duo! Hm, when is National Hot Tea Day?....

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