coffee brewing

Brewtiful toys

Amongst the really awesome presents I received this year were two most bits of coffee paraphernalia – a syphon with its own little butane burner thing, and an aeropress. Both are great. Both use filters. A solution for the constant necessity of buying filter papers for the aeropress comes in the form of these chemically etched filter disks from Coava

They used the same method to make a filter cone (which they’ve called a “Kone”).

Kones are used in filter coffee makers like the Chemex. Which will be my next coffee frontier.

Also on the Internet, here’s a comprehensive repository of different methods of preparing your morning cup of coffee.

Check it out.

Coffee economics revisited

Former WBC champion James Hoffman has written an interesting post on the cost of coffee in your average cafe… He makes an interesting comparison between the price of espresso and the price of other high market beverages… he makes the point that most recession survival guides suggest cutting coffee out of their diets, and little wonder…

“Let’s say a single espresso in London costs £1.50, which is a little high but not by any means unusual. Assuming it is a 25ml shot that works out at 6p/ml.

If you were to go to a pub and buy a pint of espresso it would cost you £34.08. Or you bought a wine bottle of espresso it would cost £45. That is a phenomenal amount of money. Think about the drinks you can buy for that sort of price. They are either extremely delicious or extremely alcoholic.”

Which creates its own problems…

The problem is that a price tag like this is a pretty hefty promise. Selling an espresso for this much implies that the experience will be of equal value. Sip for sip it should be as satisfying as a great champagne. The problem is that in this country, in London, in the vast majority of businesses – it isn’t.

Charging this much and delivering something so awful as the average high street espresso destroys any trust between the coffee industry and the general public. This kind of price/experience discrepancy makes people feel stupid. It makes them resentful.

He suggests that this equation should lead towards the proliferation of brewed coffee, I’d suggest the best way to save money on coffee in a recession (and any time in fact) is to roast your own beans and make your coffee at home.

Convergence coffee

Super-automatic coffee machines are not wildly appreciated in the “specialty” coffee world. There’s something nice about the manual coffee making process that appeals but this contraption is taking things to a whole new level. I guess you could call it a super-manual… It’s a coffee roaster, grinder and brewer in one beautifully gas filled unit.

Ignoring the problems with preparing your coffee immediately after roasting (due to beans needing to degas post roast), and you’ve got a beautiful and iconic piece of brewing technology.

Here are the directions…

“Take 50 green beans. Roast for 7 minutes for a medium roast, 9 minutes for a dark roast. Cool beans. Whilst grinding the cooled beans heat the water until air bubbles begin to pop. Place ground beans into water. Stir and brew for 4 minutes. Then pour and enjoy a cup of fresh perfect coffee.”

Here’s a video of the contraption in action.

I should mention that I spotted this marvel here

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