The Company Behind America’s Most Expensive Cup of Coffee Is Making a Home Brewer

Alpha Dominche's new Flask home coffee brewer | Courtesy of Alpha Dominche
Alpha Dominche's new Flask home coffee brewer | Courtesy of Alpha Dominche
Photo of Kathryn Maier
Nyc Food & Drink Editor19 January 2018

Alpha Dominche, the Brooklyn-based company behind the famed $18 cup of coffee, wants you to be able to drink well-brewed coffee at home, too.

Remember that insanely expensive cup of coffee in Brooklyn we wrote about last year? The one that, holy hell, costs about $18 per cup but is also among the most delicious things you’ll ever drink?

The company behind both the café and the coffee machines used there, Alpha Dominche, wants you to be able to drink (nearly) just as well in your own home. To that end, they’ve just launched a Kickstarter campaign for their forthcoming coffee press, called the Flask. The campaign will be live for the next 35 days; at the time of this writing, it had been live for just an hour, and had already reached halfway to its financing goal.

This home coffee brewer seems a very distant relative to the company’s signature Steampunk machines, used at its Extraction Lab in Brooklyn as well as at high-end restaurants and cafés around the world, including the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai. This is the first home-brewing equipment Alpha Dominche has developed, and the technology’s a lot more simple. While the Steampunk uses a tablet device to control brewing parameters, the forthcoming Flask is a press-style brewer, one of the easiest ways to make coffee.

Alpha Dominche's commercial Steampunk machines | Courtesy of Alpha Dominche

Their goal, says the company, was to eliminate some of the biggest frustrations with home-brewing. We haven’t had a chance to test a prototype ourselves, but it’s said that its design elements render it much easier to clean than other brewers (no small feat when you’re dealing with messy coffee grounds). Some of its innovations include differently sized filters to control the body and refinement of the brew, and a valve that seals off the coffee grounds (or tea leaves) after the coffee has been pressed, to prevent it from getting over-extracted and bitter. It’s also elegant enough that you’ll want to keep it on display; the initial design is glass and leather, and they’re hoping to release ceramic-and-leather versions at some point as well.

The main advantage to getting in on the Kickstarter campaign is that it’ll land you a Flask brewer (once they’re available, which at this point is looking like July of this year) for half the anticipated retail price—which is to say, for a $40 pledge versus the $80 retail cost. Of course, if you want to then use the insanely delicious but super-pricey Ninety Plus Gesha Estates coffee that goes into Extraction Lab’s $18 cup, that’s up to you.

We’d still encourage you to stop in at Extraction Lab next time you’re in Brooklyn, though. Not least because the privilege of spending $18 on a single cup of (delicious) coffee is one of the most relatively affordable absurd luxuries it’s possible to experience.

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