Arion Paylo, Design Director at Blue Bottle Coffee


Cool Tools Show 067: Arion Paylo

Our guest this week is Arion Paylo, the son of an artist and carpenter, Arion was initially drawn to the keyboard instead of the table saw. After 11 years at Apple he’s gone from thinking about how Genius Bars work to how coffee bars work. At Blue Bottle Coffee, he strives to create cafes that foster memorable moments with delicious coffee.

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Show notes:

Fiberglass-Reinforced Ratchet Lock Utility Knife ($19)
“I use my father’s decades old Japanese Olfa breakaway utility knife all the time. Beyond being a flexible tool, there’s something pleasing about how long lasting the tool has been and how ephemeral the blades are. I love looking at all the scuffs, dirt, and crusted epoxy on it and thinking about all the cool stuff my father made with it.”

Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder ($65)
“Grinding coffee just before preparation is key to a delicious cup. It’s even better when the grind size is consistent. This little champ is small enough to fit inside of an aeropress and its spring tensioned conical burrs provide a precise and consistent grind on the go. With this grinder and an aeropress, I can make delicious coffee in a hotel or even an airplane with minimal fuss.”

Universal Black Stick Spudger ($6)
“I’ve been an Apple nerd since I was a kid. Recently I’ve been collecting and restoring Vintage macs that I lusted after in the 90s. Most have blown capacitors, stuck floppy drives and other ailments. The humble black stick has myriad uses during an Apple operation. You have to be careful when buying these, as some are made of inferior bendy nylon — the stiff sticks are best.”

Vanmoof Standard ($748)
“The best interface is no interface. Every time I ride my bike and lock it up I get a little giddy at how thoughtful the design is. A single speed with a pedal brake, integrated pedal-powered lights, and a built-in chain already attached to the frame make the act of actually riding so pure and enjoyable.”