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Thread: Kickstarter again; this time sonicated coffee?

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    Junior Member Anthorien's Avatar
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    Kickstarter again; this time sonicated coffee?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well.. It seems I spend too much time on Kickstarter. Has anyone ever heard of coffee being sonicated before? Or on top of that, it being a good idea?

  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Never heard of it before.
    ...but I do have an ultrasonic bath for washing parts.
    Maybe I should have used it as a coffee brewer instead?

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    I know that ultrasound is used to speed up chemical reactions (in solutions), and imagine it would affect diffusion rates too.

    Never seen anything specific for coffee though (and the word 'sonicated' sounds like marketing jargon)...

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    (and the word 'sonicated' sounds like marketing jargon)...
    No, it's a genuine descriptor of the process alright but knowing how marketing depts operate, someone probably mentioned it in describing some aspect of the process after which the marketing bod's latched on to it....

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    No, it's a genuine descriptor of the process alright but knowing how marketing depts operate, someone probably mentioned it in describing some aspect of the process after which the marketing bod's latched on to it....

    Mal.
    I actually investigated the technique during a research project some years ago, but somehow didn't make the connection to 'ultrasonication' (fading memory perhaps).
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    Sonication refers to the use of high energy sound waves, giving molecules in a solution 'more energy'. Low energy waves in an ultrasonic bath (jewlery cleaner) help dislodge dirt on items, and help dissolve stuff faster than just stirring. High energy sound waves in a probe type sonicator have various uses including breaking apart cells and forming emulsions, although you need to be careful with hearing protection and not to touch the probe tip (unless you want your finger cells to lyse!).

    A google search finds that both have been used before for speeding up cold brew coffee, along with a rather odd patent filed by a Russian scientist.

    My gut feeling is that an ultrasonic coffee maker would be little more than a marketing ploy, but you never know - speeding up the brewing process could impart a different flavour profile. Marketing ploys seem to be quite successful on kickstarter

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Got a link, Anthorien? I'm not finding anything.

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Got a link, Anthorien? I'm not finding anything.
    Googling "sonicated coffee" yielded the following: Sonicating Coffee - So Little Time

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Ah, cheers. I'd been specifically looking for a kickstarter campaign.

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    TC
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    I'll pass on this one I think

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    I can't say that cold brew looked appetising...

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    I can't say that cold brew looked appetising...
    "It's a bit nutty"

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    I can't say that cold brew looked appetising...
    Looks like something someone dredged from the Murray, I'd ask for tea instead.

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    Junior Member Anthorien's Avatar
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    Sorry guys, totally forgot to add the link.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ref=nav_search

    His campaign video certainly leaves a lot to be desired...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthorien View Post
    His campaign video certainly leaves a lot to be desired...
    Eh, production values aren't gonna be huge on a little project like this and not everyone can do a great voiceover.

    That said...

    - Massively increased caffeine content? Gonna need some proof of that...
    - Absolutely no incentive for backing, just a credit of your backing amount toward the yet-to-be-finalised RRP?
    - Has a roaster as part of the team, yet talks about avoiding "the bitterness of espresso" as though espresso has to be bitter?
    - "Be sure to apply no more than 20 seconds of ultrasound, or the flavour will begin to fade" ... that just doesn't sound right.

    It might end up being a cool way to speed up immersion brewing, but I'm not feeling it, purely on the basis of what they're saying.

  16. #16
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link...

    I was only joking about using my ultrasonic bath but can see now that Frank was doing just that.

    Good on him for having a go.
    I might try is one day to see what it does to the coffee (hot/cold/whole bean?)

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Hi all

    Very interesting to watch the Kickstarter video and read the So Little Time article on sonicating coffee. Agree with Andy that they deserve praise for having a go at making coffee in different ways. Coffee is so complex that there are likely to be undiscovered methods to prepare "coffee". The later site is taking a scientific approach and trying to work out if its effective and produces better coffee but its a soft science approach. What I'd like to see is someone doing sonication of a coffee plunger with test subjects in a blind test.

    Hard to do a double blind test but I'd suggest at least someone in a kitchen makes the coffee and passes it to someone that does not know how it was made and they pass it to the test subjects. The sonicator even needs to be run while the non-sonicated coffee is made so test subjects don't get biased when hearing the sonicator. Better still would be for the sonicator and coffee making to be so separate from the test room that the subjects can't hear anything.

    I would also test both general public with a coffee tasting and experts using cupping and again using a blind test for both.

    Mike

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    Interestingly, I was wondering about cavitation for extracting coffee (especially for cold brewing), which lead to ultrasonics, which lead to a google search that turned up a few things (including this thread!).

    Firstly is this paper: Elixir Specialty Coffee, Made With Sound Waves, Is an Entirely New Kind of Caffeinated Beverage | L.A. Weekly

    Second is Elixir, apparently an Australian invention: Elixir Specialty Coffee, Made With Sound Waves, Is an Entirely New Kind of Caffeinated Beverage | L.A. Weekly

    I doubt I'll dabble with ultrasonics in the near future, but it's a promising alternative method for extracting coffee. It's a shame the Zappy Coffee Brew was yanked. Any idea what happened there?

    Cheers,

    Dan

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Uuuummmm.......Your two links are identical.


    Java "Elixir x 2" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  20. #20
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Deary me. Here's the intended first link:

    Using ultrasonics in coffee processing | Technical Article | Laboratorytalk

    Cheers,

    Monaro "measure once, cut-n-paste twice" Dan



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