One Bayside man’s hot idea may revolutionize the way people drink coffee in America.
After five years and more than $2 million, Daniel Grosfeld is hoping to launch his hot canned coffee product, aptly named the HotShot, this year and recently began a Kickstarter page to raise $100,000 to cover final costs.
Hot canned coffee is already a thriving multibillion dollar industry in Japan, where vending machines carry the product, but it hasn’t taken off in the United States yet. Although some beverage companies have tried to import the Japanese product, it turned out to be too small and not hot enough for Americans, Grosfeld said.
It took Grosfeld about two and a half years to perfect the formula for a few flavors of his HotShot. His formula comes from 100 percent Arabica beans grown in Indonesia, but the canned coffee is made in America.
Together with his coffee, Grosfeld is also going to launch the HotBox, essentially a hot fridge that always keeps the coffee at 140 degrees, which Grosfeld says is the perfect temperature for coffee. To protect consumers from the heated metal cans, his company also created an insulated label.
He hopes the products will resonate with Americans because the coffee is delivered instantly hot in the HotBox.
“It’s not some crazy new drink that I have to teach people about like coconut water,” Grosfeld said. “At the end of the day it’s just coffee. It’s just a new delivery mechanism.”
Grosfeld came up with the idea after he couldn’t find coffee one early morning in Japan in 2009. As a man who drinks anywhere from three to six cups of coffee a day, eventually he found a vending machine and figured cold coffee would have to suffice. But to his surprise the can came out hot and he instantly thought, “Why isn’t this in America?”
For $79, Kickstarter sponsors will be able to get a HotBox that holds nine cans, along with 12 HotShot cans in multiple flavors: espresso, French vanilla, caramel and hot chocolate. For more money they can get more HotShot cans or more HotBoxes. So far Grosfeld has already raised more than $8,000 in two weeks on Kickstarter.
The HotBox comes in a range of sizes, including the nine-can HotBox for home use and larger machines that hold 36, 72 and 108 cans. Grosfeld envisions selling the larger machines to grocery and department stores, stadiums and movie theaters, so they can sell the cans.
Although he couldn’t say which yet, he is already in negotiation with major companies that want to put the HotShot in their stores and could do so by September when it launches. Grosfeld said he can’t wait until everyone gets to drink the product.
“I’ve been dreaming about that day for a long time,” he said. “My dream is to see it everywhere. To see it in stores, and to see people enjoy it.”