Pure Over: how a renowned glass blower is changing the coffee game

Photo of person brewing coffee with a Pure Over

The worlds of coffee and cannabis aren’t as separate as they appear. Brewed coffee is an extraction, after all. The Pure Over celebrates this connection as a glass-on-glass pour over coffee method designed and created by Portland-based glass artist Etai Rahmil which uses elements inspired by glass pipes.

This method uses a three-piece system, including a Diffuser Lid to distribute the water into the Dripper, where it meets the coffee before trickling into the glass Mug. The pieces are made of borosilicate glass and designed to brew a strong, grounded cup of coffee—and to be beautiful as well.

“We really tried to make something that can live on your kitchen counter in a very pretty way. We pride ourselves on the design; we wanted to make something that could be part of your kitchen,” Rahmil shared in an interview with GreenState.

Etai Rahmil with the Pure Over. (Photo provided by Pure Over)

Designing the Pure Over

The Pure Over originated with a Kickstarter campaign that acquired 4,883 backers pledging a total of $351,745. Rahmil said it took every penny to get the company off the ground, “Having that capital to start the business was totally necessary, so that was super important, and it really validated our idea.”

The Kickstarter campaign provided more than the capital necessary to manufacture the product; it showed that there were a lot of people looking for a specialty coffee brewing method like the one Rahmil designed.

The inspiration for the Pure Over struck in the glass shop one day when the team ran out of coffee filters–the glass artists asked each other if there was an all-glass coffee maker on the market that didn’t require a filter. There wasn’t, and it became Rahmil’s focus to make one.

“I became obsessed with designing prototypes, and put pipe making to the side for a second and really dove into finding out the different ways that this could work, figuring out what techniques that we’ve learned in the past through pipe making that would accomplish coffee filtration,” the artist told GreenState.

Not like other pour over methods

The Pure Over doesn’t require a paper filter which creates daily waste and can leech a residual flavor into a coffee extraction. But it’s not the first brewing method that doesn’t require a paper filter. A French press is naturally filterless, and there are plastic filters, both for electric coffee makers and pour overs. I’d used many of the filterless coffee brewing methods before buying my Pure Over setup–but none offered quite the same experience as this method, and that’s baked into the design.

Image of Pure Over coffee method
Photo provided by Pure Over

Rahmil’s experience in functional glass art spilled into his invention’s clean engineering. The Dripper diffusion piece looks starkly similar to a honeycomb diffuser commonly found in a tube bong. In addition, each piece is made of 3mm thick scientific-grade borosilicate glass. This is 1mm thicker than the industry standard making pieces sturdier with better heat retention. That tracks since I’ve dropped my soapy Dripper a few times while cleaning it and was thrilled when it didn’t break.

The Pure Over method sits right between the classic V60 pour over and the French press immersion brewer. It’s a no-bypass brewer, which means that all the water that makes it into the final cup touches coffee, unlike some conical options. This method allows more oils and micro fines because a paper filter doesn’t block them out, providing a heavier, bolder mouthfeel. This method crafts a dense, smooth cup of coffee compared to the V60, which brews a more crisp and bright cup. The brand isn’t only focused on the perfect cup– it also contributes to inspiring future industrial artists.

As they grow, the brand donates as much as possible to The Crucible: Industrial Art Classes in Oakland, CA. In addition, Rahmil teaches classes on glass blowing on behalf of Pure Over, including a demo on how to apply what they learn to their life and career.

Photo of Rahmil working on glass art
Photo provided by Pure Over

Rahmil added, “It’s just a really special place, and as we transition to a more tech, AI-based society, making things with your hands is going to be more and more limited. If we can get more people to understand that’s a possibility to build work life around– that’s my goal.”

Pure Over has a lot on the horizon this year and hopes to apply its aesthetic to more kitchen products. “We have a lot of ideas up our sleeves; you should definitely be seeing some new products this year from us. We have high hopes on what Pure Over can become,” Rahmil concluded.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.