GROSCHE International - Providing Safe Water to Those in Need by Silvia Milanova, March 02 2023, 2 Comments

Faucet engages, water flows freely. We lather our hands, clean our kids, fill our cups, quench our plants (even our grass). It seems like a fundamental human right. Or is it? For us, in the US, this may seem like a given—to be in constant reach of water—specifically, clean drinking water. Yet, 785 million people today do not have basic access to water, according to Unicef. In addition, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). They are in danger of drinking water that could sicken them, sometimes fatally.

One company has set out to combat this issue, one purchase and one water filter at a time.

GROSCHE International was founded in 2006 by husband-wife pair, Helmi and Mehreen Ansari. After a trip to Pakistan, their 10-month-old child became sick from a waterborne illness. As parents, the experience was traumatic. Going through the unimaginable motivated the parents to create GROSCHE and the Safe Water Project, which provides safe drinking water to communities in need.

“Being so close to almost losing a child to waterborne illness ourselves, my wife and I wanted to use our skills and knowledge to help prevent any parent from having to experience what we nearly went through,” said Helmi Ansari.

Unicef outlines that it’s not enough for children to have water available to keep them healthy. The water “must also be safe, attainable and affordable. This means it must:

  • come from a reliable source like a well, a tap or a hand-pump
  • be free from faecal and chemical contamination
  • be readily available for at least 12 hours a day
  • be located on the premises of a child's household or within reasonable reach”

This is exactly the reason behind the mission of GROSCHE. Helping those less privileged has always been a passion for Helmi and Mehreen. As a teenager, Helmi often volunteered and even worked to help rehabilitate refugees from the Iran and Iraq war.

“I was always trying to organize resources to make things better,” said Helmi Ansari.

So even when Helmi was still working full-time, he and Mehreen would sell tea door-to-door and send the profits back to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada. That eventually evolved into selling loose-leaf teapots and coffee products.

Nowadays, GROSCHE is known across North America for its stovetop espresso makers. As the company continued to grow, the donations switched from SickKids to the Safe Water Project.

“When the incident with our daughter happened, I felt as though it was a clear sign from the universe,” said Ansari. It was now time for me to find joy along with personal and professional growth, and that could only come with building a business entirely focused on changing the world.”

And what started in their basement as a social enterprise has come a long way. To date, GROSCHE has provided 305, 178, 000 (and counting) days of safe water to families in need, all over the world. With each purchase, GROSCHE funds 50+ days of safe drinking water to communities across six different underdeveloped countries:

  • South Sudan
  • Uganda
  • Malawi
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • The Philippines

Sustainable Change

GROSCHE supports safe drinking water for these families by funding the creation of biosand filters and distributing them throughout communities in need. These filters are an adaptation of slow sand filters and are simple to make and use. Each filter casing can be made of concrete, paper or plastic, and each is made up of these layers:

  1. Lid – to keep dust and debris out
  2. Diffuser plate – to protect the sand and spread the water evenly throughout the holes
  3. Biolayer (good bacteria) – to help clean the water
  4. Sand x 1 layer – to filter the water
  5. Gravel x 2 layers – to add weight and structure and keep the filter steady on the ground

Since the biosand filters do not rely on electricity or fuels to work, they are easy to maintain. As long as the housing container isn’t damaged, the inner components of the filter will never need to be replaced. And the filters are not only simple to make, but they can clean water for up to 10 people and last up to 30 years. In addition to turbidity (cloudiness) and some heavy metals, the filters remove the following:

The most important part of this project for the GROSCHE team is not only to supply the water filters, but to also create sustainable change. They achieve this by using local materials and generating local employment to make the filters, instead of buying them elsewhere and simply sending them to the six countries. The GROSCHE team wanted the locals to continue to access and utilize the materials and not be dependent on items that are unattainable.

“We work with local community members and non-profits operating in these countries to train them on BioSand water filters,” said Ansari. “We teach the process of making them and maintaining them, and identify households that would most benefit from access to safe water filters.”

This is what sets GROSCHE apart from other larger brands with similar product collections. The company’s focus is entirely about changing the lives of others for the better. Their brand was built from the ground up with $6500 from personal savings and a garage full of teapots and mugs.

And for them, it hasn’t been an easy road. Ansari has devoted much of his time to GROSCHE and the Safe Water Project. For a long time, he would work 100-hour weeks split between his day job and his passion.

“At one point almost every room in our house was filled with teapots and coffee makers ready to be shipped out,” said Ansari. “Our competitors are huge mega brands with large marketing budgets we cannot compete with. We certainly cannot out-advertise them. But the reason we have been successful and grown so much to be an international brand today is that our customers care about changing the lives of others by choosing us over them day-in and day-out.”

And as long as there are people around the world struggling to access clean water, GROSCHE will aim to give more, and more. Their next milestone is to reach 400 million days of safe water. And they want people to know that by choosing GROSCHE, every customer is part of the solution, every customer makes a difference.

“We are grateful that the work we aim to do is rewarding in itself and also connects us with like-minded customers,” said Ansari. “GROSCHE is not one of those brands that just talks about giving back. It’s our mission to do so and the sole reason we exist. Together, we’re making a difference.”

EcoPlum currently offers some of the top sellers from GROSCHE, including their famous MILANO moka pot—a modern take on a classic, well-loved way to brew stovetop espresso. These old-school pots make it easy for coffee lovers to make lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso drinks at home on their stovetop. Find more of the Grosche MILANO collection here!

Here are a few more of our favorite GROSCHE products, ready for customization!

Grosche CHICAGO STEEL Insulated Tea Infuser Flask - the perfect “everywhere” infuser bottle for your beverage of choice. Use the removable infuser to flavor your water with tea, fruit or herbs, or use it as a water bottle or thermos! 


Grosche DUBLIN Stainless Steel French Press - a stainless steel French press that offers durability and style. It has double-wall insulation to help keep your coffee hot throughout your morning routine.


Grosche BREMEN Mini Travel Manual Coffee Grindera manual ceramic conical burr coffee grinder made for adventurers! Its compact size is designed to ensure you can consistently grind your coffee beans for a perfect cup wherever you are.


Grosche EVEREST Double-Wall Insulated Coffee Tumbler with Clear Lid - an insulated travel mug that is the perfect companion for the outdoor enthusiast! Its durable 18/8 stainless steel body makes it ideal for tough adventures without worry.