Food & Drink

Coffee Clutch

UMBC grad’s coffee contraption puts Starbucks on notice.

The conundrum: The days you most need coffee are often the days you have the least time for it.

Enter the Mojoe Mobile Brewer, a coffeemaker and travel mug in one that allows users to have coffee wherever and whenever. The device is the brainchild of Harford County native Joseph Hyman, who earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Hyman was struck by inspiration when studying in the campus library.

“I wanted a cup of coffee and I didn’t want to go to the cafe because I didn’t want to spend money,” Hyman, now 27, remembers. “And I didn’t want to go to my dorm because I knew that if I went all the way back I would stop studying. I thought, ‘How come there isn’t a mobile coffeemaker?’”

Hyman and three of his friends—Alexandre Wing, Ezekiel Kolajo, and Jingrui Wang—set out to create one. In late 2015, they started an online fundraiser to cover manufacturing costs for the first batch of the devices, which will be shipped to customers starting this summer. The product, available for $149.99, also will get an auspicious introduction later this month at the CE Week electronic show in New York City.

The high-profile unveiling speaks to the ambitions of Hyman and his cohorts. “We want to have a very strong launch and [have it become] a household name similar to Keurig,” he says.