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Showcase 2023 Student Spotlight: Ben Holmes

Student Spotlight featuring BSc (Hons) Product Design student, Ben Holmes and his project, MyMokka (Silicone Coffee Percolator).

Render of a portable coffee maker

The project

From personal experience and talking to the target market, making good espresso-style coffee whilst wild camping has always burdened the outdoor enthusiast and coffee lover’s rucksack with unreasonable bulk and weight.

The ‘MyMokka’ is an ultralight coffee percolator designed for Alpkit. It brings the luxuries of the home to the ultralight camping market.

The silicone casing folds around the Aluminium body when not in use to protect it and other items in the user’s rucksack when not in use. The whole product can be taken apart for cleaning and packing away.

Made in collaboration with Alpkit for their target market, the MyMokka utilises a collapsible silicone reservoir to reduce weight by 30% and pack size by 40% whilst fitting on top of Alpkit’s current Moka pot. In doing so, the total C02 footprint of the MyMokka is reduced by 20 tonnes per 5000 units sold whilst the user saves the burden of a heavy rucksack.

Render of a portable coffee maker

The inspiration behind the project

Growing up in the Lake District, the mountains have been hugely influential on my hobbies and interests. The therapeutic and enriching qualities that accompany making and indulging in a good coffee have always come hand in hand with camping. Both are seen as ways of escaping the busy day-to-day life of the modern individual, whether it be for 5 minutes or 24 hours. The “MyMokka” is a meeting point between the two; an ultimate way of enjoying great-tasting coffee without the burden of a bulky, weighty device.

This project has been an excellent chance for me to create something that aligns with my personal interests. Moreover, the product is something that my friends and I would frequently use back home on wild-camping trips in the Lakes therefore I am confident that the prototype will be tested until it reaches its limits. I have also established new connections with industry professionals, such as Alpkit, who have collaborated with me on my Major project. I am currently in the process of redesigning a rucksack for Mountain Rescue, and Alpkit has been a valuable partner in this endeavour.
A coffee maker in the country side

Being part of NTU

Looking back at work from my first year and earlier, It is rewarding to see how far I've come. The independent working environment has certainly taught him a lot and really given me the space to push myself.

The most memorable part of his degree was probably my placement year where he managed to work in the south of France for three months and British Colombia in Canada for another three. This has been incredibly valuable and really pushed him out of my comfort zone.

Woman in a tent making a coffee using a portable coffee maker

Closing remarks

I strongly recommend if you're considering attending university, fully embrace the multitude of opportunities available to you during your studies. Rather than settling for something sufficient, actively seek out and take advantage of these opportunities by making requests and engaging with available resources. This will be hugely beneficial both personally and academically.

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