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

by Coffee Kevin on February 17, 2017

Flywheeel siphon sample 4CoffeeCon 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 presentations are better than I imagined. Still we are a comparatively tiny-budgeted event. I had a last-minute cancellation at last-month’s Seattle event due to not being able to fund a presenter’s travel.

I hope you will be able to attend CoffeeCon, the reason I keep taking it around the country, and hope one day beyond.  Here is a rundown of our upcoming LA event, which has the benefit of being an established venue (a big advantage) and a good nearby source of presenters. Let’s go.

CoffeeCon LA is the only CoffeeCon featuring US grown coffee. Yes, coffee not only grows in California, we have California coffee grower Jay Ruskey, who will be sampling his 100% Made in Mainland USA beans and offering coffee plants for sale you can take home. Who knows? Maybe you’ll grow enough beans for an AeroPress.

Beanscorp, the Korean entrepreneurs who seem to live on coffee as they tour the world will be again at CoffeeCon LA. In addition to their innovative Cafflano Klassic grind and brew one-cup travel drip maker, they’ll be sampling from their new Press device. Is it a manual espresso or a step beyond the AeroPress? Taste it and tell me.

Chemex is coming to every CoffeeCon event this year. They’re innovating with customer personalization collars and ties, giving the Chemex yet another advantage over any other brewer. They’ll also be bringing some historic artifacts from the Chemex archives to give you a mini-tour from the Chemex museum I keep telling them they should create.

Bonavita’s Marcus Boni came up with an idea so close to my own heart my only disappointment is I didn’t think of it. Marcus will brew the same excellent coffee in four difference brewing methods: An automatic drip maker, a Chemex, a full-immersion dripper and the new Rattleware cupper. Tastes will be shared with the audience to demonstrate the difference brewing makes.

Mokhtar Alkahnshali’s got the oldest story in coffee. One of a magical bean, one that for some years all but disappeared until he started a one-man crusade to restore its prominence and availability to the world. It’s a compelling story. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, as I was when I first learned of it.

While we’re on an oldest kick, the oldest method of making coffee is almost unknown in mainstream US of A. It’s the ibrik (pronounced ee-brick). It’s the way everyone brewed coffee since that fake news-created dancing goat got high chewing berries. We have Turkish Coffee World ibrik champion Turgay Yildizli on traveling half-way around the world to demonstrate his techniques, which are different from any other ibrik make I’ve ever before seen; hence I reached out to him to bring his art to our event.  chemex-ottomatic

Everyone’s got an artist inside them, and Klatch Coffee’s champion barista, Heather Perry will show you how to create artistic latte art in your home espresso. Just in case you thought, oh it’s easy because she’s using a giant commercial machine like a café does, Ms Perry does her magic using a home machine, albeit a fine one.

Local San Diegan roaster Marc Wortman of Make Good Coffee will teach a home roasting class. This is a first for us here in LA. At our Chicago events, our home roasters are virtually a separate event within the event. Marc is both a skilled professional and someone who started roasting as a fun pastime. His knowledge and enthusiasm are infectious. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own first crack, but haven’t known where to start, now’s your chance.

What do you know about the 98% of your coffee beverage, water? Too hard or too soft, water can affect your beautiful cup of coffee, so much so that new companies are offering mineral-enhanced waters designed for brewing. We’ll warn you right now. We’ve asked a water expert who’s a strong advocate for such waters to come and preach it to you. But we think the arguments are strong enough to let them be heard in our classroom. Use your own judgment, but be prepared to learn about coffee’s number one ingredient. Our expert will be

All this presumes you have already spent time on our tasting exhibit floor, the most important of all reasons to attend. No one, not even our visiting expert presenters and professional tasters, can coordinate the giant array of coffees brewed seconds before tasting. This is more than simple cup differences due to growing regions, farms and lots, but also through idealized roasting and brewing. I do well at home, but there’s no better way to enjoy coffee for me than to attend CoffeeCon.

I wanted this to be an easy read, and mimicked the phone call I’d give if you called the night before and told me you wanted to see everything, impossible really, but at least now you can come close. See you soon.

 

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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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Hario NXA-5 “Next” 5-Cup Syphon Coffee Maker

June 16, 2016
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The Hario Syphon is perhaps the ultimate quality siphon, also long-known as a vacuum coffee maker. The Syphon works on the principal that near-boiling hot water in an enclosed lower vessel releases steam that expands, forces the hot water up through a tube into the upper bowl, where it is inherently the right temperature to […]

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