Espresso Supply Connected App Preview at SCA Expo

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

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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OXO 12-cup Coffee Brewer

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Which Entry Level Grinder?

The missing mystery element in brewing is the grinder. There. I said it. Just like every heart doctor wonders if their newly released open-heart patient will exercise, every priest wonders if the just-forgiven sinner will truly repent and change their lifestyle, the...

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The Coffee Maker Emerges: SCAA Seattle Event 2015

I keep saying we’re living in a golden age of coffee brewing. This year’s Seattle SCAA Event brought more brewers. There are even a few coffee discoveries to report. Here are some highlights: Nick Kohout of Arcaia showed me some scales that, frankly, did not impress...

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International Housewares Show Coffee Report: 2015

I keep saying that if you don’t get into coffeemakers, your coffee at home will never be great. The best trade show for the gear isn’t a coffee show at all - it’s the International Housewares Show. It’s where I discovered the Chemex, the Aeropress, KitchenAid’s...

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