Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Portal to Another World

Last weekend Martin Kastner, the genius designer behind Crucial Detail (the service wear that graces the tables at Alinea, Next and The Aviary) released a Kickstarter Campaign for The Portal.

The Chai Tea Portal
For those of you who have not been to The Aviary, The Portal is one of their signature drinks. Part of what makes it so amazing (other than the simple beauty of showcasing the ingredients of the drink) is that The Portal is The Aviary in a single drink. It is a drink that is designed to change into something else over time. You pour a little into a small cup, have a conversation with your friends, then go back five to ten minutes later and pour some more, and voila! The drink has transformed. It gets darker, the alcohol is able to steep in the teas and fruits and herbs that are around it, so your first drink is totally different from your second, and your third and your fourth.  By the time you've finished The Portal drink, you've had the ability to both see and taste the changes that have occurred in front of you.

People spent a lot of time trying to steal Portal's from The Aviary. It's incredibly unique (Kasnter made them JUST for The Aviary) and one of those things that everyone wants to have at a party.

So finally Kasnter, Achatz and Kokonas decided it was time to try and "mass" produce these beautiful vessels. They decided to do this via a Kickstar Campaign .  Within the first 10 days of the 30 day campaign, Kastner has received over $186,000 from over 1,000 contributors.

They had initially only requested $28,000 in start up capital, however that goal was blown within hours.  To thank the people who have made this project explode, Kastner set a few goals. At $175,00 everyone would get a Rare Tea sample that The Aviary uses in their Portal drinks, and at $300,000 everyone received a pair of specially designed cups for their Portal.

The Husband and I purchased our Portal within a few days of it going live. At $95 a Portal, it's worth it. I am also crossing my fingers, as I want to get some custom cups!

And of course, after watching the video, I also want to be BFF's with Nick Kokonas. I mean, who wouldn't want to have dinner at his house and see a Portal as their centerpiece?

Since it's obvious that no matter how much money we spend at their restaurants, we're not going to be BFF's with Grant and Nick, I can use their ideas to make my tablescapes more unique. I love the idea of having The Portal sitting over dinner and then pouring it at the end as a digestif.

And I can tell all of my friends I learned it from Grant and Nick as I serve it in my custom cups.

If you missed the link embedded earlier in my post, make sure you watch the Kickstarter video for The Portal Here!

Update: As of August 20th, the $300,00 goal was hit. Mama gets some Custom Cups!

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