Specialty manufacturer Bodum AG of Triengen, Switzerland, plans to extend marketing of its stylish Santos polymer-based electric vacuum coffee brewer to North America by late summer.
Production occurs in Germany. A plastics processor near Stuttgart has made Santos for Bodum, but future manufacturing will occur in a vendor's plant in Munich.
In 1997, Bodum and coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. of Seattle began developing a plastic vacuum brewer for the gourmet coffee market in homes and offices. The firms have been in collaboration since the early 1980s on coffee presses and other products.
``They know everything about how they want coffee to come out, and we know how the machine works,'' Nils Lindblad said in a telephone interview. Lindblad is president of sales subsidiary Bodum Inc. in Racine, Wis.
``Our goal is to have more people with these coffee makers,'' said Ken Mooney, Starbucks general merchandise manager. ``We asked Bodum to distribute the product in North America.''
Clear and graphite-colored plastic versions reached the North American market in October under Starbucks' Barista Utopia private label in the retailer's 3,500 United States and Canadian outlets. Worldwide, Starbucks has 4,500 stores. Now, Starbucks will sell only the graphite style.
Bodum began retailing clear, blue and yellow Santos plastic brewers in Europe in August and is adding the United States and Canada soon.
The plastic-dominated product won a gold honor in the 2001 Industrial Design Excellence Awards competition.
A stainless steel element heats the water in a polycarbonate carafe. Evaporating steam generates pressure, and the water rises through a tube to a PC funnel for four minutes of brewing. A vacuum sucks the liquid through the nylon micro filter-strainer.
The system has a PP-elastomer soft handle and an elastomer timer cover.
The Bodum subsidiary contracted with an Ohio firm to handle distribution of the Santos vacuum brewing systems through numerous specialty outlets such as Linens 'n Things Inc., Bloomingdale's, Lechters Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Bodum suggests a retail price of $130.
Bodum makes plastic coffee presses and tea makers at an in-house injection molding facility near Bilund, Denmark.