milkpress was a Runner Up in the Home & Living category of the 2020 Core77 Design Awards.
Alternative milks over the past few years have reigned supreme over their dairy counterparts thanks to both their dietary and sustainability benefits. But just because you're buying alternative milk doesn't mean your behavior is necessarily more sustainable. According toInhabitat, on average it takes about 1.1 gallons of water to produce a single almond, and the whopping demand for ready-made almond milk around the world has made almond farmers responsible for excessive water usage contributing to drought. Store- bought alternative milks can also play a part in the growing pile of single-use packaging that isn't always recyclable.
The design problem that stands in the way of people making their own milk is the hassle it involves and the lack of products available that help make the process seamless and easily accessible. Founders behind ModernMilk noticed this lack of presence in the health and wellness market and as a result designed milkpress.
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The milkpress, designed by Type Inc. is a 32 oz filter and bottle system for making oat milk, almond milk, and other plant-based milks at home. Milkpress was designed using glass and silicone in a playful form to encourage regular daily use while also eliminating cartons and plastic bottles from the waste stream.
To achieve their glass bottle form, ModernMilk partnered with HARIO Japan, a manufacturer of heatproof glass known for working on high-end coffee brewing products. The form consists of three parts with a removable bottom cap, an open cylindrical form glass middle, and silicone top. The thinking behind this multifaceted design was to make cleanup as easy and efficient as possible. Special attention was paid to the design of the form in order to avoid areas where food particles could hide. "Cleaning hassles often inhibit frequent use of home kitchen equipment, therefore simple smooth interfaces such as chunky screw threads make the milkpress suitable for regular daily use," the Type Inc. team said of their design.
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One of milkpress's most novel features has to do with a common problem related to alternative milk making—what to do with the mess. "Making plant-based milk at home is traditionally a messy process requiring unsanitary hand contact with the 'milk' when using a cloth filter or involves other methods that produce gritty results," the team at ModernMilk notes. To solve this problem, the design team behind milkpress designed a "milkstick" that is used to press liquid through a mesh filter. Instead of the typical mess of nut pulp produced when using common kitchen tools to make the milk, Milkpress creates a compressed "cake" of pulp that can easily be thrown away or used in baked goods, smoothies and homemade cosmetics.
Sometimes it takes a well-designed and even beautiful product for consumers to change their ways in a more sustainable direction. With a unique use case, several novel features, and a look customers will proudly display in their kitchen, milkpress fills a gap in the market that might just motivate people to embracing the DIY nature of alternative milk and leave that readymade carton of almond milk behind on their latest grocery trip.