HIKU Hand Coffee Grinder

The HIKU Hand Coffee Grinder sitting on a white table, against a soft light blue background.
expertise & services
Concept development
Industrial design
User experience testing
Mechanical engineering
Design for manufacturing
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Designing and Launching an All-New, No Compromise Premium Hand Coffee Grinder for a Discerning Market


HIKU is a premium hand coffee grinder that features the world's largest 7-fluted conical burr in a hand grinder, and a stepless adjustment ring for perfectly precise brews.

The Challenge

Design a premium piece of coffee hardware for coffee enthusiasts to compete with established brands on performance, aesthetics, and quality.

The Outcome

HIKU, the premium hand coffee grinder, including the world’s largest conical burr in a hand grinder. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, HIKU launched worldwide and produced three patent pending innovations.

The HIKU hand coffee grinder burrset in gold, sitting on a light blue-grey marbled countertop.

From Beans to Brew

The design of HIKU was well-informed by deep research in not only coffee, but many facets of industries including photography, kitchenware, sound design, and electronics. Insights from these other fields and subjects guided the design team as they developed more than 50 physical iterations of each component of HIKU, from the concentricity of its central shaft, to the accuracy of its finely tuned burr system, and even down to the sound and tactile feel of the beans as they’re being ground.

Key design elements of the iterative process was the focus on efficiency of motion, precision of grind, and user experience, which makes HIKU easy and enjoyable to use with no frustrations. The grinder’s premium feel and unique tactility is achieved through its materials, texture, finish, and internal arrangement of components that gives a desirable weight distribution.

Carefully painting the grind measurements by hand on a prototype of the HIKU hand coffee grinder.

Houston, We Have Lift Off

HIKU, the premium hand coffee grinder launched as a resounding success. More than two years in the making, its development involved three patent pending innovations, including the world’s largest conical burr in a hand grinder. The Kickstarter campaign was a model example of managing expectations and fulfilling promises in a crowdfunding environment where hyperbole and missed targets are far more common.

Premium Product Benchmarks

Through product benchmarking, research, and the team’s own opinions on how to further the state of the art burr, the Altimus team established several design goals for HIKU that would need to be achieved in order for the product to establish its own unique niche in the premium coffee grinder segment:

  • Engineering, from scratch, a new conical burrset that was significantly larger than competing products, for faster grinding
  • Introducing an easy and intuitive way for users to adjust grind size quickly, without needing to take apart or calibrate their devices
  • Establishing a system to precisely control concentricity of the burrset and shaft, thereby significantly improving grind quality
  • Presenting a product that feels premium, and exudes premium - by way of finely machined aluminum, carefully selected components, and fanatical attention to manufacturing tolerances and tooling design
  • Developing and maintaining a crowd-funded campaign that was rich on content, factual information, and details about various stages of development to inspire customers and prove that our team was experienced at development leading to manufacturing

What HIKU brings to coffee enthusiasts is nothing short of an engineering achievement. It makes hand grinding coffee a breeze for users who are both new to coffee or are already coffee connoisseurs. Customers can experience premium hardware knowing that the performance matches the promise.