Coffee Tech: Remaking the Vac Pot

Coffee Tech: Remaking the Vac Pot

Oh… shiny! Don’t let the modern lines fool you… it’s not a new brew technology but a new take on the classic vac pot, from designer Lina Fischer. I have wine bottle-stoppers that look the like brewing end of this thing… wonder if that’s where the inspiration came from? [via...
Eva Cafe Solo — She’s a Keeper

Eva Cafe Solo — She’s a Keeper

Not so very long ago I offered a quick (and cheeky) review of the Eva Cafe Solo. Here’s a snippet of that review (or you can read the whole thing): Consider the Eva Solo. Part chemistry set, part little black dress (in neoprene, no less) this Danish design is a pretty sexy number. And it’s perfect for brewing darker coffees that have needs. You know the type… coffees that want to cuddle a little. Coffees that want to steep. Coffees that just won’t reveal everything they’ve got without a little extra intimacy. I’ve used this brewer for some weeks now, and I am increasingly impressed. The Cafe Solo has thoroughly outperformed and now replaced my coffee press and my Chemex brewer… and I suspect the vac pot is in peril of getting put on the shelf, too. Coffees brewed in the Cafe Solo consistently offer better aromatics, brighter and clearer acidity and deeper body. The clincher, though, is the flavor, which — no matter the coffee’s origin or roast style — is sweeter, more nuanced, more complex and more revealing of the coffee, itself. Okay… so the Cafe Solo is shiny. But why? I’m not sure. I suspect — and this is nothing more than conjecture, really — but I suspect it has something to do with how gentle a method of brewing it is. Like the coffee press and the vac pot the Cafe solo offers lots of dwell time… where the coffee is in full contact with the water. But there’s no plunging as with a coffee press — a maneuver that can compress the coffee grounds...
Best of 2005: Coffee Grinders & Gear

Best of 2005: Coffee Grinders & Gear

Riddle me this: When it comes right down to it, your _________ can ultimately spell the difference between a good cup of coffee and a great one. Go ahead… think about it. I’ll wait. Ready? If you answered any one (or more) of these — grinder, water, or method of storing roasted beans — then you’re on the right track. Truth is, while making a great cup of coffee isn’t exactly rocket surgery, it does require that a number of critical factors come together in concert. And if one of those factors is, well — less than harmonic — your symphony of flavors can easily become an avant-garde tone poem. And while the list above is something less than complete, it offers a ready frame of reference for this, the second part in the Best of Coffee series (which I’d better get on with or the holidays will be come and gone!) Without further ado, let’s resume… The List Best Grinder I’ve burned through a number of grinders the last few years. Idunno, maybe I’m hard on them… or maybe they’re just not built for the kind of volume that I dish out. I drink a fair amount of coffee… and I grind still more when I’m cupping, or tasting. The grinder that’s outlasted everything that’s come before it is the Infinity, by Capresso. It has the features that are critical to a coffee grinder: conical burrs that are sharp and made of quality steel, a step-down gearing system to slow the grind (a fast grind heats the coffee, vaporizing delicate aromatic oils — not good) and short, straight...
Best of 2005: Coffee Brewers

Best of 2005: Coffee Brewers

So maybe that whole Cyber Monday thing was just a gimmick to get you online, but the bald facts remain: the holidays are upon us, the shopping season is short this year, and you’ve got coffee hounds on your list that have high hopes (and high expectations) for what they’ll find under the Christmas tree this year. (I’ll save the Holiday tree / Saturnalia / Feast of Lights / Winter Solstice debates for other folk… at Bloggle it’s Christmas. So there.) Every year I get lots of emails (for a given value of lots) packed with questions from harried shoppers — Which brewer should I buy? Which coffee? Got any ideas for stocking stuffers? — and every year I answer as honestly and completely as I can, ’cause you never know, they might be buying something for me. (Hasn’t happened yet.) And thus, the Best of Coffee 2005 is born. This is a compendium of coffee products I’ve tried this year, and liked. Everything on this list has seen a fair amount of hands-on scrutiny, some have seen lengthy reviews, and all have my personal thumbs-up. The List Best Auto-drip Coffee Brewer Long-time readers of these pages know that I’ve been a fan of the Bunn line of home auto-drip coffee brewers since way back. So it will likely turn their heads that my choice isn’t a Bunn, but the Zojirushi Fresh Brew. Sure… the Bunn’s always-on system and reservoir is still about as easy and convenient to use as ever (and one remains on the kitchen counter even now… herself uses it for the first pot of the...
Bodum eSantos: A Lovely Mess

Bodum eSantos: A Lovely Mess

A recent conversation in the kitchen of chez Cadmus… “It’s cool!”“It’s a mess.”“It’s caffeinated performance art!”“You’re cleaning it.”“It’s good coffee, though…”“Well… yes. But it’s a mess.” We are of two minds — my wife and I — over the relative merits of the Bodum Santos electric vacuum coffee pot. I see an evocative design that’s equal parts mad-scientist chemistry set and Frank Gehry angular assemblage. Herself sees… a mess.Granted, the eSantos doesn’t have the drop-dead convenience of one of those push-button pod machines. And it’s not the grinding, measuring and filling thing… we’re more than used to that. It’s the post-brew mess that herself frowns at. Like a great many vacuum pots, the eSantos has a permanent filter. [Okay… semi permanent. Bodum recommends replacing it every so often.] This filter is a very fine mesh screen; it allows dissolved coffee solids and oils through, making for an exceptionally flavorful cup with lots of body, and it does so without choking on coffee finings, a problem that I nearly always experienced with my Vintage Cory glass vacuum pot and its permanent glass filter rod. The net effect is — of course — a mess. No denying it. There’s no paper filter to toss in the trash bin [or compost heap, if you’re of the composty ilk]. Instead, after the brewer has cooled it’s necessary to rinse the coffee grounds out of the brew globe, and then to wash it. Yes, wash it. By hand, no less. Matter of fact, if you’ve brewed especially fresh coffee that wasn’t roasted to death [and you are, aren’t you?] you’ll find a lovely, oily...

Pin It on Pinterest