Earlier this week we showed you how to make coffee on the Immersion Dripper, and now you can learn how to make tea on it. That’s right, tea! While a lot of our gear is designed with coffee in mind, there are a number of products that can also brew tea perfectly as well. Maybe tea and coffee aren’t so different. Perhaps the two camps can even finally make peace with each other and agree that both beverages can be equally delicious in their own way. Okay, that might be going a little too far, but at least they can share the same gear!
To be honest, it actually hadn’t occurred to us to brew tea this way until one of our viewers asked if it was possible. However, as you have probably learned by now, we love playing crazy chemists and jumped at the chance to try out this experiment. Besides, the fact that the Immersion Dripper has that valve on the bottom you can open and close (or turn on and off) that we like so much, made this product seem like a pretty good choice for steeping tea.
The setup for preparing tea on this dripper is basically the same process for brewing coffee. Place a filter inside the brewer and pre-infuse with hot water to dampen the filter and heat up the cup. In fact, since we are using loose leaf tea for this experiment, we think the filter will work much like a tea bag, but better since we are using full leaves and not tightly constraining them, and keep sediment from getting into our brew. Next, we combined Rishi Masala Chai tea with boiling water in the Immersion Dripper, let the tea steep for the desired time and sampled a cup or two. To see how the tea turned out, watch as Dori and Chris perform this experiment!
(Not so Scientific) Experiment: Brewing Tea in the Bonavita Immersion Dripper
If you have just joined the fabulous world of coffee (welcome!) or are just getting into specialty brew methods, we have just the thing for you. We’re talking about the Bonavita Immersion Dripper, which is kind of like a pour over and a French press combined. What makes this dripper unique is that it has an on/off (or open and closed) switch that opens or closes the valve on the bottom so you can immerse the coffee as long as you want.
To use the Immersion Dripper, turn it off by closing the valve on the bottom of the base, and then prep and load the dripper like you would a pour over. A few things of note are that you don’t have to get your grind perfect, which is why we think the dripper is a good choice for coffee beginners or people who just want no muss and no fuss when making their coffee. Likewise, unlike on a French press, if you go toward the finer side with your grind, the filter will prevent a bunch of sediment from leaking into your brew. We also like the fact that you can set your pour over up anywhere, and don’t have to balance it on a cup while you’re brewing and throwing coffee in it, since with the valve closed nothing will leak out.
Once you have everything set up, you can pre-infuse the coffee, let it bloom for about a minute, and pour the rest of the water in the brewer. Just as you don’t have to picky about your grind, you don’t have to have a specific pour for this dripper either. You don’t even need to have a gooseneck kettle or make sure the water stays in the center like on other pour overs, you can just dump the water in however you desire. Next, you let the coffee steep as you would with a French press. When you reach your preferred steep time, you do not plunge as you would on a French press, but slowly open the valve to release your tasty brew into your cup.
Ultimately, we really like this pour over, since you can play around with your steeping time and easily spilt a couple cups all with little to no mess. Watch as Dori and Chris brew up a cup of or two on the Bonavita Immersion Dripper, we weren’t kidding when we said pour overs are kind of their thing.
Your trusty Bonavita coffee maker brews up batch after batch of delicious java with relatively little assistance from you. It doesn’t have a lot of moving parts, so it’s easy to overlook regular care and maintenance when it just simply works, right?
Implementing a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule will result in both increased equipment longevity and improved flavor in the cup. Certain components — like the carafe — will show their wear and tear, but other, more internal parts can’t give you a visual cue. Accordingly, it’s a great idea to come up with a schedule that you follow on a regular basis, descaling and cleaning the machine’s components at least a few times each year.
Here’s what we recommend:
Weekly – Each week, wash the carafe and filter basket with warm soapy water. Using a food-friendly cleaning solution, wipe down the machine, paying special attention to the hot plate if your model has one.
Monthly – Every fourth external cleaning, wipe out the water reservoir to limit any residue build-up. If you’re using water with a higher mineral content, you should also descale at this time.
Quarterly – For softer water, a quarterly descale using a descaled and detergent combo like Cleancaf will improve your coffee maker’s performance.
Last fall, the gents from Bonavita swung by the store and showed off a slew of fun new gear focused on pour over coffee. Everything they showed us was from their first demo run, so the products didn’t become available in the US until this past spring. In this overview video, Jess shows off the different stands, scale and brewers they now have available.
You know that we play with a lot of different types of coffee equipment here at SCG and the crew definitely has their faves! We asked for volunteers to share which gear they dig in different product categories. Watch as Brendan, Kaylie, Shiami, Sam, Gail, Bunny, Dori, Teri and Miranda talk to us about their favorite kettles, pour overs, immersion / press pots and drip coffee brewers.
One of the benefits of choosing a single origin bean is consistency. Especially when pulling shots of espresso where you’re utilizing a relatively small amount of coffee grounds in your brew, a single origin ensures you’re getting the same grinds every time. With a blend, on the other hand, you have the potential for a unknown ratio to end up in your portafilter, and that can cause a little bit of havoc if you have a deep commitment to consistency.
One of the drawbacks, however, is that single origins can be difficult to source. While a blend is devised with a target flavor profile in mind and the sourcing and selection of beans will change every year depending on the coffee crop, a single origin is, well, a single coffee bean. If you fall in love with one from a specific estate or farm and they experience issues the following year, you’re kind of out of luck. But maybe that’s also something you can love about them — the potential for their rarity.
In this video, we play around with a few different preparations of a single origin from Velton’s Coffee, the Brazil Condado Estate. We featured this guy because it is a great espresso single origin and also produces a delicious cup via pour over, AeroPress and drip. Watch the ladies prep it up and give their thoughts on the coffee’s flavor profile.
Yeah, we know that we are Seattle Coffee Gear, but sometimes we enjoy a sweet cup o’ tea. Since we play around and experiment with different approaches to coffee brewing, we thought it might be fun to do the same with tea!
In this episode of SCG Experiments, we play with temperature: Keeping the dosage and steep time the same, we brew up batches of Dammann teas using water right off the boil and then with water heated to the recommended temp for both black and green teas. Watch as we taste them side by side to find out how their flavors compare.
In support of a bunch of fun new gear they’re releasing over the next few months, Bonavita‘s main engineer, Brian, visited with Gail to show ’em off. Watch as they talk through a few different products aimed toward pour over coffee lovers. The Bonavoyage Travel Kettle has already hit the market and the other goodies will land during the winter of 2012.
Tea lovers, pour over aficionados, French press geeks and cup noodle fanatics know that you can’t beat a good electric kettle. But with so many to choose from, how is one to decide which is the best for their needs?
Watch as Gail takes us through the paces of several different models that we carry. She goes over their features and specs, then we perform a (not-so) madcap race to see how quickly they boil 20 oz. of water.