About us

We are based in Hong Kong, San Francisco and Seattle.

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    John Buckman (founder/CEO) is a software programmer with a history of creating companies that cause some heck. He is personally funding this project and is codesigner (with Scott Rao) of the product line. Email him at john@decentespresso.com or visit http://john.redmood.com/

    Scott Rao (product designer) is one of the world's leading coffee authorities. Due to the impact of his four definitive books, his master classes are frequently standing room only. His goal is making the best espresso in a repeatable, easy-to-achieve manner. Scott (with John Buckman) is the codesigner of the product line.

    Johnny Au (senior mechanical engineer) has 27 years experience covering all aspects of designing and making consumer products such as mobile phones, LCD panels, and toys. He has led products through UL/CE safety approval, written the assembly line manual, and even designed shipworthy packaging.

    Ray Heasman (lead designer, all internals) is an electrical engineer and inventor, with a particular interest in physics and mathematics. He has been especially excited to apply his insights gained in the world of audio ("moving air") to the coffee world ("moving water").

    Harriet (Bugs) Harpley (CEO of Decent Espresso International) has an advanced degree in conservation management, a degree in astrophysics and previously worked in London for Frontier Economics, the largest UK-based economic consultancy.

    João Tomaz (lead industrial designer) specializing in furniture and eco design. He is the maintainer of the Trust Me, I'm an "Eco-Designer" Facebook page.

    Mirjam Sulger (customer support) is a writer and translator whose Costa Rican host family were worried she drank too much coffee! She is fluent in English, French and German, se apaña en Spanish and Mandarin, and squeezes by in Italian and Portuguese.

    Jessica Rice has pulled thousands of shots over 20 years in specialty coffee: starting as a barista, then a trainer, and finally now as a competition judge. She was head of marketing for the Coffee Fest trade shows. Jessica helps design our products as well as to orchestrate our marketing and communications plans.

    Fabrice Martin (mechanical engineer) has years of specialty experience in injection moulding, working for a French engineering consulting company in that field. When he's not practicing his budding Cantonese speaking skills, he can be found hiking, sailing, or flying around Hong Kong (he has a private pilot license) or just enjoying an "apero" at 7pm at the office.

    Alex Chau (product designer) trained at the Hong Kong Design Institute before launching his own 3D printing business. A capable barista, he worked for two years at the HK Mandarin Oriental hotel, which is frequently reviewed as the Best Hotel in the World.

    Jennifer Wan (assembly technician supremo) when she's not creating intricate hand-made haute couture for teddy bears, Jennifer uses her dextrous hands to assemble complex parts of our espresso machine. She's lightning fast, really efficient and puts all the mechanical engineers to shame with her skills. We're really hoping she has a few more friends just like her!

    Parry Law (electronic technician) is our resident super hero electrical engineer. In lightning fast time, he learned the internals of our espresso machine: how to build it, wire it and repair it! He's not yet drinking coffee but we're not sure we could cope with him being even more awake than everyone else in the morning!

    Lee Safar (marketing) is a top barista, recovering indie music star and inventor of the wonderful cold coffee beverage Elixir.

    Yan Yan (Assistant to the CEO) handles everything from organising and understanding our espresso machine's bill-of-materials (BOM) in her head to the accounting of thousands of purchases in eight currencies. Yan sailed through multiple degrees including accounting, strategic planning, investment and e-commerce. She makes sure we run like a well-oiled machine.

    Jeremie Tisseau (app designer) is a multi-award winning user interface designer specializing in mobile applications.

    Miriam Sun (Order Fulfilment manager) Miriam has spent most of her working life in purchasing and supply, dealing with customs and duty forms and organising logistics so that we don't have to. Fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, Miriam will make sure you order is processed, boxed and shipped the same day.

    Josephine Leung (staff and factory maintainer) When she's not running 10K for charity, Josephine runs around our local "wet market" finding live shrimp, ox-tail and tracking the spot price of pea sprouts. Every day she cooks up a different dish from Thailand, Vietnam, Canton or Sichuan provinces. Josephine rings the lunch bell and like well trained Pavlovian dogs she commands the entire factory to come when she calls.

    Ben Champion (engineer) comes to us with a vast and eccentric knowledge in coffee as well as piping and mechanical design.

    Shinguk Kwon (South Korean representative) Shin wanted to be a professional dancer, even while still in engineering school. Then, while working as a barista in college, he fell in love with coffee. He decided to dance for the love of it, but to build a career in coffee. He moved to Australia to learn from the experts. He now trains baristas and cafe managers, and repairs machines from his base in Seoul.

    Simon Mo (Senior Technician) loves soldering. He loves it so much that it's basically all he's done since he started here. He melts metal to his will and assembles complex jigsaw pieces of PC boards into a tight snug home for our heaters, each one taking him a third of the time it takes a sane person to do it.

    Hannifa Chan (Assembly Technician) came to us from third wave coffee to establish a better career for herself having worked as a barista for so long. She's worked her way through all the hard parts of machine assembly and can not only explain how and why our machine works but make it from scratch as well.

    Eleanor Chung (Assembly Technician) works hand in hand with Jennifer to do the final assembly of our espresso machines. Sweet and cheerful, Eleanor can wield an electric screwdriver and wire up DC boards while smiling at everyone around her.


    You? Contact us if you think we should talk.
Illustration credit: Jim Shaw