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.|
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.
You know how serious we are about coffee grinders! If you haven’t heard us rant before about how they’re really the most important element of your coffee setup, remind us to break it down for you sometime.
Today’s video addresses a different aspect of coffee grinders: If you’re not planning to ever make espresso at home, how do the entry level grinders compare? Even if you’re just budget-conscious and aren’t making espresso right now, picking up one of these grinders in the short term isn’t a bad idea.
We asked Gail to discuss a few different grinders (Capresso Cool Grind, Capresso Burr Coffee Grinder, Capresso Infinity and Baratza Encore), many of which don’t go fine enough for a standard espresso extraction. She shows us their features and specs, then compares their grind consistency. Finally, she prepares an Aeropress brew with each of them to see how they practically compare in a side-by-side taste-off.
If you know anything about us it’s that we love, love, love hot weather! What are we doing living in the Pacific Northwest, then?! We ask ourselves that all the time … except for when summer finally shows up and showers us with gorgeous sunlight dappled through lush evergreen trees. Then it all makes sense.
In celebration of summer’s arrival, Brandi has crafted a delicious and simple frozen treat. Delicious because it incorporates the amazing blueberry notes of Atomic Cafe’s limited edition Ethiopian East Harrar coffee and simple because it has only three ingredients!
- 2 cups strong cold brew coffee or espresso
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder
Mix the coffee, condensed milk and cocoa powder together. Whisk for a couple of minutes (as the coffee is cold, you’ll need to put a little elbow grease into this to fully incorporate the cocoa). Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for about 8 hours (we did our overnight).
In search of a small single boiler espresso machine? Check out how these three models from Saeco stack up.
|Casing||Cased in a steel casing, this compact machine won’t take up too much space with it’s boxy figure.||Internally you can call this bad boy and the Aroma twins, but externally it’s a little more of an upgrade. Cased in the same steel material, the Venezia’s curves do more of the talking.
||Like triplets on the inside, it’s the Poemia that physically stands out from the rest of them by far. Modeled after the Saeco Xelsis and Exprelia, it has a compact metal and plastic casing.
|Footprint||8.25″ W x 9.75″ D x 11.75″ H||9.63″ W x 11.5″ D x 13″ H
||7″ W x 9.5″ D x 11.5″ H|
|Steam Wand||Making life a little easier with the panarello wand, you’ll be able to get foamy milk in no time. However, this wand will only move left to right making it a little more difficult to fit bigger frothing pitchers underneath.||With the ease to foam your milk into velvety goodness, this panarello wand gives you a little more clearance with your frothing pitcher. Its ability to swivel also makes for easier clean-up.
||Taking a cue from its superautomatic cousins, the Poemia’s panarello wand has their design and will allow you to easily create milk with microfoam. However, like the Aroma, its right to left motion makes fitting larger frothing pitchers underneath more difficult.
|Drip Tray||This may be a little messier than most. But with a more compact machine comes smaller parts. You’ll find yourself having to lift the tray out of the casing to empty out a lot more often than not.
||With more room and accessibility to slide the drip tray out when it’s time to empty, the Venezia gives you less of a mess. It also sports an accessory drawer underneath that is removable to provide more room for larger cups.
||Ridged (baffled) that will prevent messes and sloshing, you’ll find it easier to empty out your drip tray when it’s time, no matter how full it is.|
|Water Reservoir||80 oz.
||98 oz.||34 oz.
|Portafilter||Equipped with a pressurized stainless steel with plastic cased portafilter, it will help you pull ideal shots no matter what grind you use. However, the quality of this portafilter is more basic than the sleek portafilter that comes with the Black Via Venezia.||The Black Via Venezia comes with a sleek upgraded look to the heavy metal portafilter, however you’ll find the stainless steel version to have the same basic portafilter as the Aromas.
||Functions as well as both the Aroma and Venezia portafilters, you’ll find that the quality of the Poemia is not as sturdy. Made of aluminum wrapped in a plastic case, it will still do the job.|
We’re finally experiencing the joy of summer (!!) and there’s no better way to rock it than with a tall glass of cold brewed coffee in your hand. Jessica’s favorite brew method is the Chemex, so we asked her to demonstrate this brew technique to one of our compatriots, Teri, which involves standard Chemex brewing into a carafe filled with ice.
The sun’s finally out, the weather’s getting warmer and it’s that time of year to trek up the mountain to enjoy good ol’ Mother Nature. But make sure you fill up that pack with all the essentials — map, water, compass and … CAFFEINE! Yes, it’s possible to keep yourself buzzing with java as you hike through the forest. Check out some of our favorite on-the-go coffee makers that we throw in our packs before we hit the open trail.
Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker
|As long as you have your whisper light, some water and your favorite coffee, you’ll be brewing up a strong cup o’ java in no time. Made of aluminum, this indestructible pot allows you to diffuse heat and get that same aromatic smell out of your coffee in the great outdoors. Simple and easy to use, just fill the lower chamber with water, add ground coffee to the filter and then place it on your whisper light until the water boils your espresso to perfection.|
|AeroPress||Light and easy to pack, the AeroPress is the next best thing to bringing the actual coffee maker on a hike. Made of BPA-free plastic, the AeroPress mixes grounds and water for ten second and then uses a micro-filter, leaving your coffee silt and grit free. Smooth!|
|Handpresso Wild/Domepod||Bike pump or espresso maker? The Handpresso may look like a bike pump but rather than pumping up your tire it’ll pump you up with caffeine. This hand held tool barely takes up any space and gives you an even easier option of using E.S.E. pods or your favorite ground coffee. All you need is hot water and your favorite coffee grounds or pods, then pump up the Handpresso and it’ll extract away.|
|Bodum Brazil French Press – 8 Cup – Polycarbonate||Nearly indestructible, the polycarbonate version of Bodum’s popular French press is going to stick around for the long haul. Carry your favorite coarsely ground coffee, add hot water and let it hang out for a few minutes. Then serve up a rich brew for yourself and your favorite hiking partner — while watching the sunrise or set over the mountain side.|
Visiting with good friend and retired OB/GYN Dr. Francis Fote, he explained to Cox how the rate of women dying in these countries is the highest in the world, but is also one of the most preventable cancers when it’s caught early.
‘In coffee growing communities most women don’t have access for screening and treatment,’ said Jane Dale, Grounds For Health Development Director. ‘When Dan learned this he said it was unacceptable and that they needed to do something about it.’
Taking action, Cox and Fote set out to raise cervical cancer awareness and improve screening by servicing pap smear clinics in Mexico. This began the work of Grounds for Health and today it has grown in a number of other coffee cooperatives in other countries.
From its inception as a small service provider, Grounds for Health has now become a training organization to reach more women. Educating communities in the Single Visit Approach, it ‘has proven to be the most effective way to screen for and treat cervical cancer in low-resource environment,’ states GroundsforHealth.org.
The organization has also expanded from Mexico and is now running programs in Tanzania and Nicaragua, training their doctors, mid-wives, nurses and health providers on cervical cancer services and prevention.
‘In a low-tech technique, it’s a technique that is basically as simple as washing the cervix with household vinegar, waiting for three minutes and, if there are abnormal cells, you’ll be able to see it with the naked eye,’ said Dale. ‘Training is important because that’s where sustainability lies.’
Dale explains that women who have accessibility to screening and treatment at least once in their lives have a 30 percent less chance of dying from cancer.
Since 1996, Grounds for Health has screened over 16,000 women. Sharing the work of Grounds for Health with the coffee industry, Cox has created an organization that has been supported by almost 200 coffee companies since 1996.
‘We’re all about empowering these communities, giving them the skills and confidence to provide their communities forever,’ Dale said. ‘We still do screen and treatment but it’s all part of training now. The program has definitely evolved since it started. All the private funding from companies has made it possible for us to be responsive and nimble in changing and modifying the programs as conditions dictate in these areas.’
To learn more about Grounds for Health and to find out how to visit this organization’s mission, please visit www.groundsforhealth.org.
There is a camp, in which Gail squarely resides, that doesn’t dig the silt often found with coffee press preparations. Others of us love the roughage (!), but if you’re one with Gail, then you’re one with Espro’s very popular coffee press, which features an additional micro filter that greatly reduces the sediment at the bottom of the cup.
The only complaint we ever received about these presses was that it was too small, so we were clearly excited to learn about the introduction of the 10 cup version! It produces roughly 40 oz. overall, so keep that in mind when measuring out your final brew capacity.
Watch as Gail takes on this bad boy for the first time.
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.