Designing a re-imagined, precision engineered, hand coffee grinder for the discerning coffee enthusiast.

Client: Kanso Coffee

The Challenge

Help Kanso Coffee design and achieve a new benchmark in coffee hardware, with an industry-first seven fluted conical burr.

The Outcome

The industrial design and user experience of HIKU, including the development of its patented seven fluted conical burr, materials, and how to use the device.


List of awards won by HIKU here!


List of articles of HIKU in the press!


Coffee enthusiasts only want the best brews from the highest quality coffee hardware, using the best tools available: their hands. However, hand grinding coffee can be tedious and inconvenient, often resulting in uneven grounds, complicated and messy operation, and overall, a coffee that is lacking in quality. Most coffee enthusiasts are interacting with years-old technology that has been hashed and rehashed again, only to produce more or less the same results: coffee that is too bitter, too sour, too weak, never perfect.

Kanso Coffee started with a vision to build the best coffee hardware in the industry. Unhappy with all current offerings on the market, Kanso approached Altimus to set out to improve what the team considered to be the key failing of most hand grinders available today: the ratio of hand crank rotations per unit of grind output. With every other hand coffee grinder on the market, grinding is a lengthy process. But speed is nothing without quality.

The resulting product, HIKU, is the new premium benchmark that reflects both Altimus and Kanso Coffee’s obsessive attention to detail and passion for purpose-built coffee hardware. Its sleek, priceless, and timeless design allows the user to achieve the perfect brew, without the hassle.


The design of HIKU was well-informed by deep research in not only coffee, but many other facets of the world 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 speed, precision, and user experience, which makes HIKU easy and enjoyable to use with no frustrations. The grinder’s premium feel is achieved through its colours, texture, and finish,

What did the team want to do in terms of bringing HIKU to the top of coffee hardware? The premium standard?

  • introducing a unique burr design, for faster grinding

  • introducing an easy way for users to adjust coffee ground size to their taste in seconds, without needing to take apart or calibrate their devices

  • burr system allows users to accurately set grind size, without the guesswork

  • presenting a product that feels premium, is premium, exudes premium - without the compromise in quality that other products of its caliber lack

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 experts; users can enjoy their coffee without worrying about the taste, because the taste will be what they expect - every time.