Coffee & Coasters

Up there on my list of favorite things in the world would definitely be that beautiful bean of inspiration known as coffee. When I was living down in Siesta Key we had a Keurig in the house and I’ve gotta say that it was a nice machine. It was convenient, easy and made a decent cup of coffee. I felt like it was expensive though and storing the K-Cups was a little obnoxious, especially when you drink as much coffee as I do. So once we moved back to New York and our daughter was born I researched other methods of coffee making because I wanted a change.


I researched and tested french press, percolators and pour over methods. After a few weeks of field testing I ended up deciding on an eight cup Chemex Coffeemaker. First off, it made a great cup of joe.  The Chemex was first introduced in 1941 as a manual pour over style of coffee making so it has been around a long while and has withstood the test of time.  If you haven’t noticed by now, little things matter to me. I love to explore and celebrate the subtle details of making things and the Chemex really supported that and opened me up to tasting coffee differently. Its easy to be disconnected from something as common as coffee. You can get a cup at every gas station in the world and you hardly ever think about where it comes from or how it was made. (I have to admit that I actually like that dark, oily gas station coffee sometimes)


Sure the Chemex takes much longer than a Keurig, or even a traditional coffee maker for that matter, but sometimes it’s really nice to slow down and just focus on making a great cup of coffee instead of a fast one. Coffee making for me has taken on almost a ceremonial vibe in our house which is really nice, we really look forward to it. I use unbleached filters and my current favorite bean is Rainforest Crunch by Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters located in Victor, NY. It has a nutty granola taste that creates a super smooth and earthy experience (and it smells amazing when you grind the beans!)


Each morning I wake up with Nicole and Kennedy fill a cup of coffee and sit at our kitchen island. Usually within 5 minutes of my first sip the ideas and inspirations start triggering. I just installed new black walnut kitchen countertops so I am very cautious on what I set on them. Of course I used a durable finish but at the end of the day they are still wood countertops so they will show some wear over time. However, I would like to prolong that process so I am careful as to how I treat them and usually my hot coffee cup ends up resting beside me on a book, which definitely provides protection from the heat ring mark but it’s a bit over the top and not that sleek.


So a few weeks ago, the Rainforest Crunch hit me and I went straight out to the studio to build some coasters for our house. Most of the things that I sell are ideas that I make for us first, that way we can test them a bit and fill our home with cool handmade stuff. I looked around at what other brands are doing for coasters and there are just endless options and some incredibly cool ones out there. I wanted Rising Feather coasters to be functional, heavy duty and stylish. I made them a little beefier than the traditional coaster because I was thinking I could set my Chemex on one. I also cook with cast iron so I could use it as a serving hot plate.


I chamfered the top edge to give it a cleaner line and also makes stacking them cool. The hero though for me is definitely the dark cork board center. I like standard cork board but this dark stuff is just classic looking and looks great with black walnut. Design wise I love balancing on the line between rustic cottage and modern loft – I feel like the Chamfered Coaster does this very well.


Well, I’m off to fill up my cup and let the next idea take me away.