Weighing In on the Pour Over Scale Problem
If you are a fan and practitioner of manual, pour over brewing methods like the V60 or Chemex, you may, like many of us, pour using a scale for precision and profiling. And, if you pour on a scale, perhaps you have experienced the frustration of having the scale auto shut-off on you a minute or two into the brew. This is VERY frustrating, and many in the pour over brewing community have voiced their frustrations and have sought forums for advice about suitable scales.
There have been a few scales out there that have been noted for their precision as well as for remaining on throughout the entire brewing process (2-5 min, including pre-infusion) but there do seem to be some issues with those mentioned. The AWS Scale is a great scale, very precise and does remain on even past five minutes. But in our tests we found that the blue light angled display was unreadable except from eye level, which excludes typical pour over brewing posture. The Salter Digital Scale is a wonderful scale, and has sentimental value for me as it was my first. But I have experienced it cutting off from time to time, which is usually conditioned upon my pour rate. If I am pouring aggressively the scale works fine, but if I am pouring slower than normal, it is more prone to cut off after a minute or so. And more recently, I have been able to play around with the Jennings CJ4000, and while it may not be the most beautiful scale on the block and is slightly bulky, pragmatically it left me with little want.
This timeout issue became a problem for us as we were designing the Contra. We chose the Escali Tabla because of its design to place a pour over stand upon it, and also because initially, we did not encounter any problems with the auto shut-off. But after asking other local baristas to experiment with the Contra, we found the timeout problem was occurring with different pouring styles.
So, we contacted the good folks at Escali, and they agreed to redesign the Tabla and lengthen the auto-off to a post five minutes brew time. They sent one to us that had been modified and we can attest that it does, in fact, stay on for the entire cycle of the pour, regardless of the pour rate or pre-infusion pause. These new and improved Tablas will be available in September. If you do wish to order the Contra before then, there are three options: We would be glad to ship the station now, and ship the new Tablas when they are ready; We can ship all together when ready in a couple of months; We can ship the Contra with the current Tabla, if preferred.
*If you have any experience or reviews of scales that you have used and would either recommend or not, we would love to hear about them!
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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.
$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.
$81.98It can be difficult in the world of specialty coffee to find a brewer that not only looks fantastic but also produces a fantastic product. Eva Solo has done an exceptional job of combining both elements into the Cafe Solo. The Solo seems a little strange upon first glance for the very reason that it may be the first coffee brewer of its kind: one that is clothed. The designers at Eva Solo had the ingenious idea of using the same material that keeps divers warm (neoprene) and wrapping it around the glass carafe... thus keeping the coffee hot during the 4 minute brewing period.
Not only are its looks something to take seriously, but the Solo's coffee is not to be underestimated. Because of its use of "total immersion" brewing (similar to that of a french press), the grounds are evenly and completely submersed in water. This provides extraction that is difficult to achieve by other methods of brewing. It is advisable, however, that once the 4 minutes of extraction is complete, the coffee should be immediately served or transferred into a thermal pot (we recommend one of the Zojirushi carafes). This will prevent over-extraction from taking place which results in a bitter tasting coffee.
The Cafe Solo is unquestionably a unique and exceptional specialty coffee manual brewer. Because of its simple usability and superior design, the Cafe Solo is a force to be reckoned with in the specialty coffee world.