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Cricket duo’s design encapsulates their love of a good grind - The Weekend Australian, Nov 1 2014

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WHEN it comes to grinding out an opening-wicket partnership, former Test opener Ed Cowan is among the best. But this week he will launch a product which has seen him involved in a grinding of a different nature.

In an Australian first, Cowan — alongside his old Tasmanian opening partner Steve Cazzulino — will launch the first recyclable coffee capsule, which features a hermetically sealed product designed specifically for the Nes­presso machine.

“We’d bandied around a few crazy business ideas while playing together. But it was a rainy day in the changing room and we were on our 19th Nespresso capsule and thought, ‘these blokes are on to something’, and investigated from there its viability,” Cowan told The Weekend Australian.

Almost a year on from that rainy day, the pair will unveil Tripod Coffee and a product range featuring three retail packs made up of the single source Gold Sombrero, and two blends, Black Panama and Red Fedora.

“It’s been an incredible experience for us in terms of delving into something very foreign and, at the same time, it’s been an incredible experience trying to balance cricket with it and learning along the way what makes a successful business,” Cowan said.

“All the little things you don’t even think exist, all the costs you don’t think exist, all the things you assume get done generally by someone else, we’ve had to do.”

Australians drink about three million capsules’ worth of coffee each day. “What separates us is the new technology around the hermetically sealed capsule — so we’ll be first to market in Australia,” Cowan said, noting that the capsule also doesn’t need foil packaging, which makes it more environmentally friendly. The capsules contain about a gram more coffee than most brands.

“This is a specific capsule for Nespresso hardware and because of the R & D that’s gone into this, the output is significantly greater than other capsules. We’re also … in testing for biodegradable.”

Cowan and Cazzulino used their teammates as test subjects — and the word has been positive. “George Bailey reckons it kept him sane in Zimbabwe, and Alex Doolan sometimes needs all the waking up he can get and he’s very comfortable with the Black Panama for an early start,” Cowan said.

“The Australian team in Dubai and the recent tour to Zimbabwe have also been indulging.

“Hopefully there will be a bit of momentum around the cricket angle — a few players we sponsor hopefully will be sporting Tripod Coffee stickers on the back of their bat and we can build some brand awareness organically.’’

Cowan said the dedication and communication vital in cricket had helped in business.

“We feel we’ve learnt in a different sphere and can actually translate them across,” he said.

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