how can coffee drinkers consume green coffee direct from farmers?


co-founded | brand, product, app, system and experience design direction


coffee is the world's second largest commodity after oil


it is mostly traded as an investment good; mixed together, beans are endlessly transported around the world to find a buyer who would roast the beans and sell them on


the coffee farmer is left with hardly any income and power


in 2008, Andrew Stordy and myself made a documentary on the trail of coffee, and we envisaged an alternative interaction. one whereby the coffee farmer could sell his best unroasted, green coffee beans direct to consumers.


the consumer would then roast green beans at home - resulting in a much more flavourful experience


we called it ikawa, meaning 'coffee' in burundi

to enable our vision, we then spend years together to iteratively design a way to roast coffee at home that was attractive, clean and fast and that resonated with users


as every type of bean has to be roasted differently to develop a great flavour, we invented digital roast recipes to ensure great roasts without requiring prior knowledge


when we finally revealed our demonstrator at the world of coffee in vienna in 2012,  it became so popular that even the most renowned coffee professionals started using it


ikawa is now a thriving business with systems used by thousands of customers around the world


 and while our growing coffee platform facilitates direct interaction between consumers and producers, we start to make a positive impact on coffee farmers worldwide

the ikawa pro allows professionals to create and manage their own roast recipes on an app

panasonic licensed our design for the japanese market and started marketing systems in japan in 2017

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© Rombout Frieling lab 2019

Rombout Frieling lab

Kastanjelaan 400

5616LZ  Eindhoven

the Netherlands


+ 31 6 41467059



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