Two friends. One vision for awesome coffee that accompanies awesome adventures. Tim Panek and Craig Hall have been best buds for 18 years and invented an ultra-light, ultra-portable way for coffee to be enjoyed outdoors. That passion created the Bripe™ Coffee Brew Pipe™.
Tim escaped the jungles of corporate America over 20 years ago. He and his wife Linda took their four children to the real jungles of Costa Rica to live a life of adventure, entrepreneurship, and community service.
Tim and Craig
Their newest project is a hostel that will provide medical, training and cultural services on the Quitirrisi indigenous reserve in Costa Rica. When it’s complete, the hostel will sleep approximately 50 people and provide kitchen, dining, training and handicap facilities for First Nations people who must come into the city, then often wait days to get into a public hospital. The hostel will be a much-needed alternative to living on the streets while waiting for essential hospital care.
In 1998 Craig started a Canadian success story with his wife Amber called Equator Coffee Roasters. The couple now have four children of their own living in the country just outside Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.
Their coffee company exclusively sources and sells fair trade organic coffee. Equator donates generously to communities in the world’s coffee growing regions that need help accessing basic education and healthcare. Craig and Amber believe, and have proven, that fair trade practices offer a better life for growers and their families in those regions.
Like Tim, Craig loves trekking into the wilderness and sharing his outdoor adventures. The same year he started his company, he was leading a church youth group at a remote Cree community in the Canadian province of Quebec.
Tim happened to be there on a totally different mission, and after meeting Craig, invited his group to participate in a spiritual dance and music gathering. The two men got to know each other and Craig proposed taking his youth group to Costa Rica. Tim hosted the whole group along with Craig’s family to stay at his jungle home on the Pacific Coast.
They went on treks and adventures including a visit to the Grand Chief of the Indigenous Peoples of Costa Rica, and their friendship, soon to span two decades, was sealed.
In 2015, Tim approached Craig with an idea. He wanted to be able to enjoy a great coffee shot when he was outside, and found that all of the existing coffee-making products were too complex, too bulky, and weighed too much to fit into a backpack or in his river kayak. He saw an opportunity to create a simple, compact coffee brewing system.
And that’s what he did. The Bripe™ Coffee Brew Pipe™ is a small, light, copper and silver pipe that makes great coffee in the great outdoors. No electricity, gas canister, kettle or stove. A Bripe only requires ground coffee, and water, and includes a portable butane-powered quad jet torch to fire your brew.
Like most things worth doing in this world, the Bripe required Tim and Craig to sweat the details. Tim made the first Bripe prototype out of paper then fabricated one in copper. He continued prototyping and landed on the “inner cone” design that gives the Bripe its heating and cooling efficiency to make a great coffee shot in 3 minutes or less.
As soon as he saw Tim’s prototype, Craig said, “I’m in” and insisted they immediately go to a patent office to protect the cool new invention. Craig then used his experience as a coffee guru to help Tim further refine the Bripe. Their collaboration added features such as a precision-etched stainless steel filter for various grinds of coffee, and a thermometer (that also doubles as a stir stick) for precision brewing.
Working together, the two friends also upsized the pipe section of the Bripe so people could enjoy milk, sugar or cream with their brews. They then launched an IndieGoGo campaign in 2016 that raised over $18,000 of product development funding to help get the Bripe into manufacturing and outdoor retail distribution channels.
Today, Bripes are available in outdoor stores and indie coffee shops throughout North America. Now everyone can enjoy an ultra-portable, ultra-light coffee shot everywhere, from a remote mountaintop to a white-water river run to a cycling trail to a quiet bench in a city park.
Tim and Craig’s sense of adventure in creating the Bripe also includes their strong sense of mission. A portion of Bripe Inc.’s profits is going to help build a self-sustaining coffee and cocoa-roasting operation with the Quitirrisi Tribe in Puriscal, Costa Rica under the umbrella of the Fundeico Foundation, with donated land by Tim and Linda.
Wherever your adventures take you, bring your Bripe and enjoy your brew.
Tell em Tim and Craig sent ya!