I remember, there was onetime when using a stovetop moka-pot, I forgot to turn off the gas on time, and the plastic handle melted on my fingers and the metal pot burn my arm. I fell on the floor and collapsed in tears, it was not because I have a fragile personality, nor that the wound didn’t hurt like hell, but all the frustration and despair already build up to the breaking point, and I wonder, how come even my last comfort was so hard to get?
One day on 2012 a dear friend introduced me to Nespresso®coffee capsules in a shopping mall counter. I clearly remember the first brew and watching the drops becoming crema layers in that black liquid was so hypnotizing!
And the very first sip, I thought this is exactly what I was looking for all these years, strength, flavor, texture and smoothness all at the right balance. I asked the seller to brew another cup of espresso, and remarkably it was the same! How come it can brew so effortless within 30 second at the same standard?! I was blown away and immediately got one.
I had about 5 coffee capsules daily and if I had clients or friends visiting, we had some more. It felt awesome brewing a good coffee without thinking which parameters to consider. But when I looked at my garbage bin, I felt not that great…. and when I had to make my next purchase, I felt even worst, I was spending about 200usd per month for coffee capsules! Soon enough, I tried all the 20+ varieties the brand had to offer, and wanted to expand to more options, I specially missed the some specialty coffee but I didn’t want to go back and spend over 10-15 minutes just to prepared a cup of coffee in those creepy old coffee makers I had.
I know, I know some people enjoy THY RITUAL of preparing a cup of coffee, but neh.. that’s not me, I just want my coffee stat, like really urgent! I imagine you are just like me, otherwise you wouldn’t choose a coffee capsule machine in the first place, right?
Although the coffee capsule system fulfills my coffee expectations, I was feeling guilty that I was making so much waste, spending so much money, and worst of all, I felt like being slaved by not having more options.
So I collect and got all the reusable capsules available in the market then and tried them all, unfortunately, none of them was good enough for me, some didn’t have enough crema and made weak coffee, some even melted or use toxic plastic material, and some was difficult to use or even damaged the my precious coffee capsule machine.
As a R&D myself, I thought I might as well design a reusable capsule, and being the eldest of 5 siblings, I originally called it Bigsis (now rebranded Sealpod)
The design of SealPod is actually quite simple, but for different models of Nespresso®machines, the compatibility was not the same, so the 1st challenge was that it had to fit properly it into every single model, and in order to do that, I hunt down every single model, new and vintange from US and Europe mostly.
The 2nd challenge was my conviction to get only good quality food grade approved materials and sending them for approval for FDA approved laboratories. If you didn’t know, not all stainless steel are the same, and the sticker lids, oh my.. the glue part really took many trials and errors to get it right..
Believing I was making a good product that would make people happy and make a better world, I put all my savings into the projectè so being back to broke again.
I remember people telling me there’s no point patenting the design, researching for higher quality raw materials, or even why bother with the lab tests! But for me this is what matter the most, people like myself are trusting the safety and functionality of the product.
In November 2013, I uploaded to youtube a video review of Sealpod’s performance comparing to similar products, it really is a VERY BORING un-edited long video, and I didn’t expect it would become such a success and having so many interested comments on where to buy it! Thanks to those comments and a little voice that told me that my business will be blessed, we went ahead finishing the development and finally started production in late 2014. I was clueless on how to sell it, I figure I would just learn to make a website store and reply to the video comments on where to buy it.
And like that, out of dozens and now hundreds of similar and/or chienese counterfeit products, years later I’m so proud to say SealPod is still one of the best products in the market for reusable capsules, and how we’ve expanded for more coffee capsule systems, that really works.
Looking back, I am grateful for the obsession I felt about making finding a solution to fill our own capsule and make the perfect coffee as easy and quick as possible, for it brought an opportunity to make SealPod, a reusable capsule that you can fill your fresh coffee in seconds, and like any other product our capsules has a silicone base material we call “FRESH COVERS”, sealing airtight the capsule after filling it, so you can fill coffee in advance and use it later at your convenience.
I would like to thanks the people who supported me along the way, my generous boss Gorka Garmendia who gave me refuge in times of despair and loaned me initial investments, TingYu who introduced me to the world of coffee capsules, my family and friend for helping me run the business, Frank, Ted and Kan my partners in R&D and supply of SealPod, Justin Brook, Ecocapsulas, Crema Joe and all our distributors around the world for seeing our product worthy.
And finally, thank you my dear friend for reading this long article.. now you know that it took passion, effort, time and faith to get it done, so SealPod is quite unique comparing to other counterfeit products. I do hope you choose us, and please feel great if you already had, because you are doing the right thing, and I’m grateful to you.
Ps: One of the sweetest things we get to do is read reviews from all over the world (even in languages we need to google translate it) telling us that they love it and now they can choose their favorite coffee from a local coffee roaster, and or how it helps them to save money, feeling good knowing they are not harming the environment and not compromising the quality of coffee they enjoy!
Taipei, Taiwan 2020.04.01