Does true grit always win in the end? Will a little extra elbow grease make all the difference in your espresso extraction? We put Gail through a serious test to find out!
In follow-up to our test video that we posted yesterday, we thought we’d break down and compare the different cold brew options we have — including the Sowden / Hario / Bodum variety and more!
|Dual purpose for hot and cool drinks, making cold brew in your french press will give you that kick in your pants all summer long. Whether you make it as a coffee concentrate to dilute or if you drink it STRONG like the SCG crew, all it takes is your desired amount of coffee, cold water and 12 hours in the fridge. This is great for making a big batch and stocking it up so it’s available whenever you need a cup o’ cold joe.|
Sowden Soft Brew Coffee Maker
|While you can use it to make cold coffee similar to that from a french press, the Sowden Soft Brew gives you more flexibility in that you can use different grind consistencies. The microfilter features over a million tiny holes that enable you to brew with even the finest grind, producing a richer cup or more concentrated coffee in a similar amount of time. This can also be used for make hot coffee, as well.|
|It may look like a science experiment, but the science of the Chemex is easier than it looks. Unlike the french press and Sowden, you’re going to start your coffee out hot and as it brews it’ll cool down in the second chamber. All it takes is placing a good amount of ice in the bottom chamber, placing a paper filter in the top chamber, filling it up with your desired amount of coffee, pouring hot water over the coffee and watch as the coffee is extracted on to the ice giving you a smooth, cold and refreshing cup o’ java.|
Hario Cold Brew/Mini Pot
|Made specially for cold brewing, the Hario Cold Brew and Mini Pots come in a sleek glass pitcher that will guarantee you will extract the most flavor out of your coffee. No need to heat up your water, whether it be cold or room temperature, fill up your pot’s nylon filter basket with coarse grounds, pour the water and brew it in the fridge for about 12 to 24 hours. You won’t need to finish your brew all in one sitting as it can keep for up to one month in a sealed container.|
Hario Cold Brew Dripper
|If you’re fancy and have a lot of time on your hands, the the Hario Cold Water Dripper is what you need. A unique way of making your average cup of coffee or coffee concentrate, this dripper uses the classic cold-drip method. With every drop of water per second it saturates your coffee and drip by drip it will extract 26 oz. of coffee concentrate in about 5 hours. With a little more patience and learning curve, once you get the hang of it you’ll be sipping on some non-oily and acidic-free java.|
Summertime and the living is easy, right? Right! Especially if living involves a smooth cup of cold brewed coffee. We offer a few different ways to make it — from Sowden to Hario to Bodum — and wondered: Is one of them better than the others?
So we did what we usually do when faced with a tough question such as this: We put Gail to the test. Watch as she crafts three batches of cold brew, lets them hang out over night and then we perform a taste test. Find out if any of our cold brewers produces a better cup.
In follow-up to our recent post on gear you can easily take on the open trail, Gail gives us her recommendations for what coffee accoutrement she recommends for back country excursions.
It’s a big bad mama jamma of a Kalita-related blog entry!
So, we went a little Kalita wild last week — trying this popular pour over out for the first time, then comparing the different filter material types and how it measures up against other popular pour over preparations.
In this first video, Gail takes on a Kalita Wave #155 for the first time:
Next, she brews up three batches of Velton’s Twilight Blend in the glass, stainless steel and ceramic versions of the #185:
We’ll definitely be bringing these new pour overs in. We loved how easy they were to use and they produced a really great cup. If you’re a pour over fan (or want to be), the Kalitas are definitely a must-have.
If patience is a virtue you’ve already acquired, Hario’s beautiful Clear Water Dripper might produce the cold cup of coffee to reward you. Watch as Gail takes this gear-fit-for-a-laboratory out for a test drive.
As you can see, we didn’t have great results, but we wont give up. Have you tried this prep method, or something like it? Please share your technique with the class!
When it comes to great coffee or espresso, it doesn’t always mean it has to come out of a fancy shmancy high-tech espresso machine. Check out 2011’s most popular gear that didn’t require an outlet.
A specialty tool approved by many newbie espresso lovers and coffee connoisseurs alike, the Aeropress is a one stop shop to make that caffeinated drink you love when you’re on the go. Simple, easy to use and with minimal necessities, all you’ll need along with the Aeropress are coffee filters, grounds and hot water and you’ll have a cup o’ joe as good as (or better than!) your local cafe.
#2: Hario Coffee Coffee Dripper V60 – White Ceramic – Medium 02
Perfect for that single serving or a small group of friends, Hario pour overs are simple to use but produce an excellent cup. All you need is a coffee filter, your favorite coffee grounds and hot water and you’ll be sipping on a quality drink in a matter of minutes.
#3: Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker – 6-cup
Want that strong cup of coffee without the hassle of plugging it in? The Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop just needs hot water, your favorite coffee grounds, a few minutes on the stovetop and it’ll be percolating a rich cup of coffee in a flash. (And if you really want to avoid electrics, throw it on your wood stove!)
#1: Sowden Soft Brew Coffee Maker with scoop – 27 oz.
Some like it hot while others like it cold, and the great thing about the Sowden Soft Brew is that it’ll brew both kinds of coffee. Using a micro-thin metal filter with half a million microscopic holes, the Sowden Soft Brew brews up a smooth cup of coffee with no need for plungers. All you need to do is measure out your preferred amount of coffee, pour in hot or cold water, brew for four to eight minutes (for hot coffee) or overnight (for cold coffee) and you’ll be sipping on rich and smooth java.
#2a: Chemex Handblown 6-cup (30 oz) coffee maker with wood collar and tie
Not your average looking coffee maker, the Chemex uses a chemically corrected method of brewing to extract the most flavor out of your favorite coffee beans. Using glass that is both heat resistant and does not absorb odors or chemical residue, you’ll be drinking a more natural cup of coffee with a full, rich-bodied flavor.
#2b: Frieling Insulated Coffee Maker French Press 1-2 cups
Frieling has taken the french press process up a notch by giving their press double wall insulation, keeping your coffee hotter four time longer than your average glass french press. Multipurpose and seasonal, not only can this stainless steel press be used to make coffee but take out the plunger and it becomes a stylish pitcher for cold drinks on hot summer days.
#3: La Cafetiere Thermique Cafetiere – 8 cup
Sleek yet sophisticated with a little whimsy to it, the La Cafetiere Thermique Cafetiere changes up the average french press by giving the press a new look and style. Taking a cue from other upgraded presses, the Thermique keeps coffee hotter three times longer with its double wall stainless steel body. And unlike other presses made of glass or stainless steel with a round look, the Thermique has a unique angular design.
#1: Bodum Santos (Pebo) Stovetop Vacuum Coffee Maker
Why not combine coffee and chemistry — or at least a little mad science? While you’re really crafting a delicious cup of joe, it will feel like you’re mixing chemicals to make some crazy concoction with this vacuum pot. But fear not! Watch the magic happen as you place the Pebo on the stovetop, and see the water from the bottom orb get sucked up into the top orb, then saturate your favorite coffee to produce an excellent brew.
#2: Handpresso Portable Espresso Machine – with Domepod
Whether it be at the top of the mountain while you’re hitting the slopes, out in your tent in the middle of the forest or at the airport before you catch your flight, owning the Handpresso means there’s never a place where you can’t scratch that espresso itch. An easy to use portable espresso machine, it’s also lightweight and small, so can fit almost anywhere.
#3: Espro 3-cup Press
Can you really improve on the well-designed, classic press pots of yore? Espro thinks you can! Their Single Serve Press outshines other presses by micro-filtering and preserving your coffee’s flavor twice. With a unique metal filter, it keeps grounds out of your cup and lets the oils in so your cup o’ joe is richer with a full-bodied flavor.
#1: MyPressi TWIST Portable Espresso Maker 2.0
New gadgets are always fun to find, but they’re even better when they make life a little simpler. For coffee lovers who are always on the go, the MyPressi TWIST provides excellent espresso shots no matter their locale. Using N02 & C02 capsules to facilitate extraction, your shots will rival those of the cafe’s down the street.
#2: Walkure Karlsbad Porcelain Coffee Maker – 12.5 oz/28.5 oz
Straight from Germany, this innovative coffeemaker will amaze you! Who would’ve thought you’d get a smooth clean cup of coffee through a ceramic filter?! The Walkure Karlsbad Porcelain Coffee Maker uses a two chamber method, allowing you to brew your coffee like a pour over with its crisscross ceramic filter. Customers love it because it’s easy to clean, easy to use and — unlike other pour overs that use paper filters — it’s less wasteful.
Do you really need a fancy, specially-designed gadget to brew up a batch of cold coffee? Or can you just use your trusty ol’ press pot? While we carry a couple of different cold brew options (from Hario and Sowden), we wanted to see if using one of them (namely, the Sowden) produced a better, worse or similar cup to making a cold brew with a La Cafetiere french press.
So we put Allison to the test! Watch as we brew up a batch in each, using the same grind and coffee-to-water ratios, allowing them to sit over night and then giving them a taste test. We also compare how much sediment appears in the cup. So exciting!
It’s our favorite time of the year — Velton’s limited edition Holiday Blend is back! This year, Velton says he was inspired by fruitcake, combining two fruity coffees in a 50/50 blend that we found to have very chocolatey and berry flavors throughout.
Watch Gail & Allison brew a couple of cups using Hario pourovers. This special blend is available through 1/15/12 or while supplies last.
In our latest round of grudge matches, we forced Gail, Rob and Allison to face off over their Hario pour over. Who makes the best cuppa? Find out in this riveting tale of triumph and humiliation.