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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The TACKY Inlay Station is a wood pour-over stand beautifully designed for your viewing and brewing pleasure. The seamless "inlay" design gives the stand its name and also a unique look that anyone who appreciates fine wood craftsmanship will admire. The Inlay stand is available as a one, two, or three hole station and in a variety of woods. Pourover brewing is both delicious and artistic - the Inlay adds to the whole experience.
For most companies it's hard to find motivation for pushing out new products if you find yourself on top already. This is not, however, the case with La Marzocco. The Italian based espresso machine manufacturer continues to push the envelop when it comes to innovations in espresso machine technology. The newest line from La Marzocco continues their progression in the specific areas of temperature stability and pressure profiling. We've discussed the Strada Electronic Paddle version in detail in our Strada EP blog post and listing for the 2 Group Strada EP. The Strada Mechanical Paddle employs technology similar to the Mechanical Paddles on other La Marzocco models but with a few new features including individual pressure gauges, digital PID control, and dedicated group boilers.
$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.