Product feature: BU Brew Cup
Nov 17, 2021
Whatever your go-to beverage, we believe in making your tea or coffee break a ritual worth savouring. That’s why we designed a brew cup that would make the drinking experience as pleasurable as possible - a moment to truly unwind, immerse the senses and enjoy every sip.
BU co-founders Rich (R) and Armine (A) - both tea and coffee aficionados, talk us through how the idea for the BU Brew cup came about.
What makes the BU Brew cup unique?
A: As we're both tea and coffee lovers (drinking 5-6 cups per day), we wanted to create something that was built around the drinking experience.
We know there’s many reusable coffee cups available on the market but we honestly felt they were all lacking in basic product usability, and focused too much on performance capabilities such as keeping the drink warm or cold.
The cup is also double-walled so you don’t need an additional sleeve when drinking your favourite hot brew
Although these things are important, we've prioritised the overall user experience over any unwanted features.
R: Take materials for instance. We use glass which is odourless, easy to clean and dishwasher safe. The cup is also double-walled so you don’t need an additional sleeve when drinking your favourite hot brew.
We also wanted to enhance the drinking experience, so we've made the mouthpiece ergonomic and manufactured the lid from antibacterial plastic to repel harmful bacteria and viruses.
How do you factor in sustainability to the design process?
R: Firstly, we wanted to use as few components as possible for easy maintenance, and to cut down on waste. Material choice was also important.
Simple yet effective, glass can be infinitely recycled. This ties in with our mindful consumption ethos, which is about buying products with purpose, that last.
While our products are eco-friendly, we believe the most sustainable products are those that are used and cherished every day.
Can you talk us through the design process, where did you begin?
A: The design process was really enjoyable. We started by outlining what we wanted the product to achieve - predominantly by assessing our competitors and understanding what features we didn’t want/how not to do things.
Then, once we had a list of key product requirements, it was a case of exploring numerous concepts through prototypes and sketches. We then assessed each concept against our key product requirements and whittled them down to a handful of options.
R: Once we were happy with what we wanted to achieve, we began focusing on how the brew cup would deliver it. This involved delving into details such as part splits, materials, manufacturing methods, colours, sizes, weights and the list goes on!
How did user testing inform the final design?
A: We set-up our largest user trial to date and shipped early production cups around the world to put them in the hands of our users. Then we asked for their thoughts!
We received a ton of useful feedback, which in turn helped us create a final iteration of the cup. At this point we felt it was ready to share with a larger audience, and so we started working on our launch!
Did you face any challenges during the design or manufacture process?
R: Our double-walled glass cup is hand-blown which throws up a few design quirks. It’s great to use skilful processes like hand blown glass in our products but we had to give careful consideration to how it would integrate with other components.
Tell us about the work you did with baristas? How did this shape the end product?
A: At the early concept stage we took our ideas to professionals. Sometimes this was just an impromptu chat whilst waiting for a flat white, but it provided some real gems of information that we wouldn’t otherwise have got.
We want our users to experience the luxury of having one perfect moment every day
This helped shape the direction we went in, in particular it made us focus on material usage and simplifying components.
Additionally, during our user trial we gave some early production cups to baristas who were able to put them through their paces and provide further tweaks before launch.
What do you hope people will experience when using the cup?
R: We really want our users to experience the luxury of having one perfect moment every day, to immerse the senses. Be it a cup of coffee on the way to work or a cup of green tea in the evening, being part of a moment where people can regather and refocus is humbling.
Imagine feeling, tasting, seeing and smelling the full experience of a cup of coffee.
The BU Brew Cup is available now in three different sizes from our online shop. Choose from four fresh colours and make your next brew a moment to remember.