By Maren Ellingboe
Updated December 12, 2014
Credit: Courtesy of

Aimed at construction workers, campers, hunters and people who just want a little more ruggedness in their homes, COFFEEBOXX is rustproof, waterproof and compatible with any K-cup coffee. It's also strong enough to support the weight of a car. OXX founder Jim Doan is currently raising money for his first production run through Kickstarter: Rewards include not only COFFEEBOXX, but also super-durable OXX thermoses, stainless steel tumblers and T-shirts. Here, Doan discusses his design process and dream coffee mates.

1. What's the story behind COFFEEBOXX?

Looking at the new construction around our neighborhood, I started noticing beaten-up coffee makers on job sites everywhere. They were usually filthy and looked really out of place. It made sense, though: Who has more need for hot coffee? But these guys didn’t have anything that was designed for them, and I knew I could. I was working at the world’s largest appliance company at the time and knew the idea would never survive there, so I quit and did it myself. I knew if I could make it tough enough for them, then the campers, hunters, boaters, RVers, tailgaters and other outdoor enthusiasts would know it’s tough enough for them, too.

2. How did you come up with the design, and how does it differ from other portable coffeemakers on the market?

Pretty simple, just do the opposite of what I learned designing home appliances. Sleek white or stainless steel boxes with edge-to-edge glass and touch panels were clearly not going to work. Just take a look around job sites, and you see what products last: their tools. The COFFEEBOXX design needed to be tough, really tough. We use impact-resistant polymers like you find in power tools. It’s the first dust- and waterproof coffee brewer. It has an extra-large water tank that is spill-proof, so you can even store the COFFEEBOXX on its side. Probably the most impressive part is the crush-proof chassis we engineered so that you can literally park a car on it. And it’s green because it’s not what you would expect from the white goods industry (which is so predictable you can refer to it by the most generic color there is). Our Kickstarter video shows how we do some unconventional field testing.

3. Who is your ideal consumer?

People who work and play in the outdoors. People who know how to get their hands dirty. The commercials try to make you believe appliances are for good-looking people with beautiful homes. That’s not what we’re about. We designed the COFFEEBOXX for the home builder, not the home owner.

4. Who would be the perfect spokesperson for the COFFEEBOXX?

Easy, Mike Rowe. Likes to get his hands dirty. He’s also the voice of a new movement in the US changing people’s attitudes toward skilled trades. Every office I’ve worked in had a coffeemaker. Why shouldn’t the people who literally built the country deserve the same?

5. Your dream companion for sipping on some hot coffee, past or present?

Steve Jobs. He believed in great design and had an unstoppable desire to do things differently. He changed the world with that belief. We’re working on more products, and we hope to do things differently and change a piece of the appliance industry ourselves. Should be fun!