Why dont you stir?
Just made some coffee in an old press pot (using Peru Kontiki from the last poll which Ive found to be nice but , well, just nice). I hand-ground it very coarse in an old cherry-wood Trespade mill. I scalded everthing thoroughly but let the water rest off the boil for a while before pouring it on the grinds. Now, here are my personal rules for press-pot: let brew rest, do NOT stir, let the press come down very, very gently, and pour very, very gently into a scalded cup. I wouldnt say the results were as good as a vacpot, but it was a great, brisk cup of coffee, without any grittiness on the taste, just a few dregs at the bottom of the cup. Maybe a Bodum Columbia would make things even better, but I guess its true that with fresh beans and the right grinder you can make good coffee in an old sock.
And DONT stir.
Why dont you stir?
I guess that as the grinds swell and form a bit of a crust they trap a lot of the finer particles. If you dont stir and push the press down as gently as possible the grinds themselves act as an extra filter. And if you pour very carefully much of the finer gunk should stay trapped in the grinds. Thats my theory. Of course a coarse, even grind from a good set of burrs also helps.
I prefer to stir my press pot (Bodum Kenya) for 60-90 seconds after adding the water, to make sure Im getting the maximum available flavours from the grounds and that they are wetting out thoroughly.
I never used to stir much, just a quick swish when adding the water, then I read this how-to from Alan at CoffeeCo and since I started stiring well, the flavour of the coffee is alot stronger and I really enjoy the extra flavours that appear, esp when using fresh fresh coffee.
Ive never had vacpot coffee before but would like to try it one day. Ive heard great things. Ive been listening to CoffeeGeek podcast and Mark Prince raves about the amazing brewed coffee that comes from a vacuum pot brewer.
Im really glad I started a low-tech post. Even vacpots are a little too scientific for me, but there seem to be several things working for them: ideal and constant brewing temp, extraction of oils, great filtration, some aeration maybe, and a serving temp that s hotter than the brewing temp. When I first tried it it was hard to get used to the silkiness. The back of the mouth seems to miss that bitey finish that other methods generate. Also, its hot. You actually have to wait for the coffee to cool a little before getting the full taste. And if theres anything amiss with the bean or roast, the vacpot will expose it. Its also hard (not impossible) to make small quantities, and you cant skimp on the coffee.
The reasons to own a vacpot are the spectacle of a successful south-north-south brewing, the clarity and...that taste!
By the way, I also make coffee by putting extremely coarse grinds in a themos with hot water, shaking, then pouring into a cup through a tea sieve.
Lastly and most embarrassingly, Ive been known to heat a cup, throw some medium grinds into it and pour sub-90C water on to the grinds. I leave it to form a crust for a couple of minutes then stir hard. The grinds should sink and the coffee should be okay, good even. Hot water buggers the coffee, coarser grinds wont sink. Also, if you go too cool with the water, the grinds wont sink...
Im embarrassing myself, arent I?
Are the dregs on the botton of the plunger all that of a turn off to people?
Personally Ive never seen them as a disadvantage...
Me neither. I never drink the "mud" at the bottom, but I like the "coffee swirls" that appear with each sip as you get to the bottom half of the mug :)Originally Posted by FarmerJoe link=1140069004/0#5 date=1140129212
I was out at a mates place last weekend gone, and shes not got anything but a tea pot which she didnt want me to use in a pink fit for me coffee....
So after a cupboard scour I find a sauce pot, which has a bowl shaped bottom, and a thinner top, with a little spout and a handle to pour. This makes GREAT "camp coffee" and there was hardly ANY grinds in the cup! Couldnt believe it!
Method: Grind coarse - pour in water (this pot was big enough for 2 cups only) - leave it a bit to brew - stir, let settle a bit - give it a few good wacks on the bench to get the grinds to the bottom - pour it gently.
I was amazed at how good the coffee tasted too! It wasnt a vac-pot, but man - it was good! (better so for all the messing about in the kitchen Im sure)
Yeah, Ive even done the "grounds into a mug, pour hot water over, stir, leave, drink (gently) ;)" thing a couple times when Ive forgotten my plunger at work.
You have to be careful not to get a mouthful of mud by gulping too hard towards the end, but given the alternatives of no-coffee or worse still, instant... it wasnt too bad.
Interesting post Andy. I wonder if we havent forgotten all the good things you can do with coarsely ground coffee. Now that Im a CS and coffees not so scarce Im even experimenting with a coarser grind in the vacpot. The quick suck-down seems to give a nice final extraction of flavour whereas a sluggish suck-down seems to introduce unwelcome elements. Maybe. Im not sure. Our grandfathers used to brew coffee in old kero tins over wood-fires, but, as Ive been told, the grinds were very coarse. Tonight Im going to do one of my ultra-low tech roasts (iron pot, silicon spatula) of the PNG. Ill try vacpotting it on various grinds through the week. Might even try one of Andys pot-brews.
you guys are so soft.
I just grind right into my mouth, pour in some boiling water, swish and gurgle the coffee and water in my mouth, then swallow the whole lot.
Saves on washing up too!
At least you dont percolate.
Geez mattyj,Originally Posted by mattyj link=1140069004/0#10 date=1140238651
I thought you just put cold water in your mouth and then heated up with a blow torch, you must be getting soft(ish) ;D
LUXURY!Originally Posted by Mal link=1140069004/0#12 date=1140283226
We used to have to walk 20 miles to take a bite out of a glacier.
THEN blow torch it to heat it up!
Blow torch? whay you guys had it soft! We had to crawl uphill through twenty miles of broken glass to our glacier, eat a whole tin of baked beans, and light our own farts to melt it for water!Originally Posted by fatboy link=1140069004/0#13 date=1140310101
yeah, i dont even grind anymore ... just eat them beans.
I eat them after mouth-roasting them with lighted farts, after crawling uphill through thirty miles of broken glass to my glacier, eating five whole tins of baked beans (cold) ... as you do!
I love it how we aussies can do this to discussions!