The French Press Myth
A week or two ago, Kyle Glanville of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea shared a thought on Twitter: many high-end coffee shops that pride themselves on the quality of their espresso serve downright mediocre filtered coffee. This is not a sentiment I can agree with based on my own personal experience, as I've not been able to frequent many such shops in person, but I do agree with it in principle.
I was asked to help a friend of a friend answer a question on Twitter today: "Does anyone know the science of why coffee made in a French Press is so much better?" It didn't hit me until after I responded that I had been contemplating the inherent problem with this question for a long while, and that Kyle Glanville's observations hinted at the answer. Most folks in America don't understand the flavor potential that coffee has; much of it is brewed very weakly, and of the coffee that is not brewed weakly, very little of it is actually good coffee. Very little. I'll be brutally honest here: those large drip machines you see in coffee shops that brew a couple liters of coffee directly into those air pots are not the way to go when you want a good cup of coffee. Yes, they're convenient, but no, they're not likely to be doing the coffee justice...and that's if the coffee is good to begin with, which is also unlikely.
So, back to the topic at hand. All of this creates an environment in which any brew method that offers a stronger -- and therefore, what will likely be perceived as a more flavorful and superior -- cup of coffee is seen as The Best Way to Brew Coffee. Unfortunately, this just isn't true. Ridiculously delicious coffee can be made through paper filters, cloth filters, even glass filters, and that's before a french press is brought into the equation. Pour-over brewing, which is done by pouring hot water through a filter holding ground coffee, can yield a surprisingly flavorful cup, and one that doesn't have the muddy sediment that plagues a french press. The syphon, or vacuum pot, has been around for about 180 years, but it takes a fair amount of skill and patience to master it.
The french press enjoys a fair bit of popularity these days, but it's far from the only way to enjoy a flavorful cup of coffee that hasn't been made in an automatic machine. Please don't hear this as me saying I don't like french-pressed coffee; far from it! I'm sipping on coffee from a press as I type, and believe me, it's delicious.
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$2,865.00When it comes to serving freshly brewed coffee in a commercial setting, one key dilemma has continually arisen. How can a commercial, high volume coffee shop make quick, fresh coffee without sacrificing quality? The solution has been either (1) to slightly sacrifice quality by making a large amount of drip coffee every hour or so, or (2) to preserve quality but to slow down production and possibly lose a potential profit with single-cup brewing (V60, Chemex, French Press, etc.). The brewing process that the Bunn Trifecta is built upon could be the answer to this significant dilemma.
The Trifecta has been anxiously awaited by the coffee community since Starbucks bought the rights to the Clover brewing system and took it off the market. At a fraction of the price of the Clover, the Trifecta could be the next-generation coffee system. The process is incredibly simple and efficient without sacrificing quality. It can be compared to a Syphon Brewer in its use of total immersion, constant temperature, and agitation of the grounds.
First, the hot water completely saturates the freshly ground beans resulting in a French Press like immersion. This takes advantage of the total extraction of beans that can only take place in full immersion brewing systems.
Second, Air is injected into the pressurized chamber which agitates the grounds. This further enhances extraction by exciting the grounds and water as they interact with each other.
Third, at just the right time (before over-extraction can take place), the pressurized air presses the coffee through a metal filter into the waiting cup. Similar to the Aeropress, this added pressure further enhances the extraction process and ensures a full-bodied flavor in the coffee. To read a full, hands-on review of the Bunn Trifecta by our coffee team, click here: Bunn Trifecta First Impression.
Compak is a company dedicated to quality and craft. Their newest endeavor is a line of espresso grinders that raises the bar on control and efficiency. Aptly named "Fresh" for its innovative design and functionality, these grinders were created from conversations with baristas around the world and from the experience of a company that has been around for over 50 years. The K-10 Fresh offers a number of innovative features including: the ability to pre-set the the dosing time for a single and double shot to within a tenth of a second, manual push-button doser that keeps time of amount dosed on the digital display, and a completely new dosing system, electronics and control system. Also, the electronic display shows the selected grinding point, a configurable warning to change the burrs, promotional message with your logo, shot counter, and multi-language display.