Espresso Supply Connected App Preview at SCA Expo

by Coffee Kevin on May 4, 2017

Espresso Suppy scale app 2One of the reasons I so enjoy the Specialty Coffee Association’s Expo is running into products that are in the pipeline, but not quite ready. I realize how this happens. The inventors are tweaking them up until showtime and then the lights come up. Do we or do we not exhibit it? I mean it’s not quite ready? As we used to say in my previous life in television, “We never finish anything. We just abandon it.”

Well, I’m exaggerating a bit with that last line. In this case, Espresso Supply has an app which will definitely be finished. Meaning it will be released and no doubt work for its purpose. Its purpose? It’s designed to assist you when making coffee in a manual brewer. I noticed that they brought along a Chemex, which of course made me happy as it’s one I often use at home. It was quite inclusive of them, considering they have a number of their own manual brewing designs. Glad to see they’re above corporate jingoism that might have cause them to insist it be one of theirs.

The idea is to weigh your coffee on this scale. The scale sends this information to your phone and the app then tells you how much water to pour, step by step. It’s really quite simple to use. The goal is to make manual brewing as consistent as possible. It also allows you to change your grounds weight; then the app will automatically change how much water it tells you to pour into the brewer. This is one of those products where descriptive words take more time and effort than just using it. Espresso Supply’s Elliot Jackson demonstrated this in-development app for me, I recorded his demo along with his observations about its potential.

Espresso Suppy scale app 4It’s worth noting it’s my opinion that the use of such a tool will become more and more useful as it covers more variables. If course as it stands today, it will help maintain brewing consistency. But the real power will come when it monitors the grind. Those of us who attempt to vary batch sizes in a drip brewer know that slight grind adjustments can enable practically identical flavor profiles when changing batch sizes, and this is really difficult. While the demo didn’t demonstrate the app’s capability to change batch size parameters, and it’s unlikely that v1 addresses grind at all. Long term this is the dream I have for all of these products.

Congratulations, Espresso Supply for taking some first steps to move toward this along. Here’s hoping it’s released in in field use soon!

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OXO’s New Manual Drip System, Hot or Cold

by Coffee Kevin on April 18, 2017

This year’s International Housewares Show in Chicago had some exciting news. OXO has introduced a new manual drip coffee brewing system. As usual with OXO, the benefits are in the details. It’s a system, meaning it has attention to aspects of boiling water, of brewing and serving. I couldn’t get them to give me a sample, but I’ll be happy to review it. Based upon a few quick taste samples, it has what it takes. A few features:

OXO Dripper

Attention to balance. OXO has this down. The idea of making sure it’s easy to handle and perform all tasks.

 

OXO Dripper

Deep ridged filter, to allow air to circulate. Facilitates brewing. The filter bottom is narrow, but flat, leading to efficient, consistent flow during steeping.

OXO Carafe

Double walled glass carafe. Cool outside. Evenly hot inside. Designed high enough to place ice cubes in bottom for instant cold coffee, while retaining all the benefits of Specialty Coffee Association specified hot brewing.

It’s interesting to see OXO moving towards manual gear. It gives me hope that there’s life in new manual methods. While this may be refinement more than reinvention, I can think of no more thoughtful minds than OXO’s folks to apply themselves to getting more from your precious grounds. I’ve requested a review sample and am eager to see how it fares in my own kitchen. Meanwhile, enjoy this conversation I had at OXO’s space at Housewares.

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CoffeeCon LA

February 17, 2017

CoffeeCon has taken on a life of its own. I created it as something I simply wanted to attend. It has its own following, and its presenters creating their presentations. My role is goal setter, overactive attendee and tinkerer. I am constantly urging, cajoling and watching our presenters rise to new heights. Often their finished […]

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Reviewer’s Coffee Gear Christmas List 2016

December 16, 2016

A coffee enthusiast is hard as a gift recipient. That’s because coffee  or gear must be useful to make sense. Otherwise, get me socks or a new wallet. Thanks to the past few years, there are not only lots of great coffees, but lots of good gear gifts at all levels. Now, you can go […]

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“How to Brew Old Coffee” article. For Real?

October 3, 2016
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I admit I was surprised when the highly regarded Fellow coffee maker manufacturer posted this on their site. I was surprised mostly because it was both innovative and, upon reflection, largely true. Roasted coffee freshness is an elephant-in-the-room issue in the coffee business. Through much of the industry there’s a lot of emphasis on grinding […]

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Caroline Bell’s Cafe Grumpy Interview

September 6, 2016

I have always been intrigued by Café Grumpy. Never have I heard so many scary rumors of the tough love treatment of consumer electronics, coupled with praise for their beverages. Such media luminaries as Bruce Cost (creator of my favorite ginger ale) to HBO Girl’s Lina Dunham, where her character works as an uninspired barista […]

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Intuition, Not Measurements. Hansa Coffee’s Tom Maegdlin

August 19, 2016

I met Tom at CoffeeCon Chicago 2015. He impressed me first with the coffee, then with his sense of humor. Finally, one day over a cup of coffee at his North Shore Hansa Coffee Libertyville location, he mentioned that he doesn’t brew using any gauges or scales. I saw his roaster. No Agtron roast meter. […]

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A True Consumer’s Publication: Coffee Lovers Magazine’s Joseph Robertson

August 12, 2016

Since written word began the word has been a powerful catalyst in developing any culinary art. Just as Julia Child helped spawn a new era in home cooking, writers like wine’s Robert W Parker and coffee’s Kenneth Davids helped foster our quest for knowledge and appreciation of their respective beverages. I’m interested in discovering who […]

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Nitro: Coffee as Beer?

July 27, 2016
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“Have a cold one!” How often do we receive this invitation? I have consumed around two or three beers in my entire lifetime. But, I’d have my eyes closed if I didn’t realize how popular beer has become, and how much it matches coffee’s complexity. My first taste of nitro beer was at last year’s […]

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The Secret to Finding the Best Blueberries: Jeff Jaeger Interview

July 11, 2016

What do blueberries have to do with coffee? Well, they’re both fruits and both have complex flavors and require knowing something to find the best. I’ve known Jeff Jaeger for many years as I’ve found his blueberries to be savory season after season. He’s also kind of unusual because it’s all he grows. Not the […]

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