The “Heart Beans” coffee grinder does not exist, born as it is from the collective imagination of art school students and not the mind of a single overworked engineer in the bowels of a Taiwanese manufacturing plant. That’s why the machine looks like a lumpen wooden tumor and not a slick, white plastic slab — and why the prototype doesn’t actually work.
For once, though, these art school kids may be on to something. Cuddling a large wooden infant over the shoulder as it burps coffee to the rhythm of its owner’s heart isn’t exactly the sort of thing most companies think people would like to do every groggy morning, but perhaps they’ve underestimated the public’s penchant for anthromorphosizing gadgets — or the public’s love for misshapen babies. (The latter quality explaining young Brownlee’s early success on the carnival circuit.)