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MarkPrince
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Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,611
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Thu May 22, 2008, 1:25pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

iginfect Said:

Question: your article in Imbibe did not have the vac pot as the preferred method which delayed me from getting one. They preferred the press pot. Your online article has the vac pot as your favorite. What gives?

Posted May 22, 2008 link

Erm... well, there was some "discussion" between me and the editor on that one - I best leave it at that. The article was not entirely as I'd envisioned it or wanted to write it.

Mark

 
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Weasel
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Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 118
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu May 22, 2008, 5:01pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

Hi Mark, I haven't  finished the article yet but I just wanted to say, Great Photos! These are much nicer than what I've seen in the past ( no offense ). Sharpness, lighting, compostition, etc. Even when blown up, they are pleasing to look at, and informative. Thanks for the good work and attention to detail.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,882
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu May 22, 2008, 10:13pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

Mark...Nice job!
I must say, though, the Silex Lox In allows practically no fines/grind when using my Yama 8 cup, nor my Nicro SS (actually the Adcraft copy)
Just to lazy to mess with the cloth, though you're right, it makes sparkling clear coffee. Yemen is absolutely splendid when "vac" brewed.
Beautiful Yama you have, as well.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,882
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu May 22, 2008, 10:20pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

MarkPrince Said:

Didn't forget it - it's mentioned:

Nylon Mesh: Several electric siphon coffee brewers, including the (now defunct) Black and Decker Infuze, or the Bodum Electric Santos, use a one piece filter assembly that has nylon mesh inserts to allow brewed coffee to pass through. These are fairly effecient designs, letting more coffee oils pass through than paper does, but they are quite fragile and easily torn. Cleanup is pretty easy - some are rated as dishwasher safe.

I just didn't include the photograph I took of it, because the photo was poorly exposed. I'll probably reshoot and include it later on.

Mark

Posted May 21, 2008 link

Ah, Mark...you mentioned my "sort of" beloved, now non available B&D (Applica) Infuze. I still use mine occasionally. Makes about 50oz of very good coffee, though my original one had a longer pre-set up north time. This one shuts off at 70 seconds...but thankfully drop down doesn't start till about 2 min 10 seconds. A little short, but very good coffee. Not a very pretty brewer, though.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,611
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 2:01am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

IMAWriter Said:

Ah, Mark...you mentioned my "sort of" beloved, now non available B&D (Applica) Infuze. I still use mine occasionally. Makes about 50oz of very good coffee, though my original one had a longer pre-set up north time. This one shuts off at 70 seconds...but thankfully drop down doesn't start till about 2 min 10 seconds. A little short, but very good coffee. Not a very pretty brewer, though.

Posted May 22, 2008 link

I have four of them, three New in Box, New Old Stock (whatever the phrase is), never used, never opened. Part of my retirement fund :D

Mark

 
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kokoloco
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kokoloco
Joined: 4 Jun 2007
Posts: 16
Location: LA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco Linea 3AV
Grinder: Mazzer Robur Single Phase,...
Vac Pot: Kono 3A
Drip: Chemex, French Press
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 3:14am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

How important is the stirring process?  I hear that depending on the stir the results in the cup can be vastly different.  And this whole thing about James Freeman saying how he spent months agonizing over the stirring process.  A marketing ploy where he hyped up the importance of carefully controlling the parameters of siphon brewing?

What is the ratio of coffee to water everyone is using?  I know when I brew drip on a commerical drip machine like a fetco,  french press, or chemex coffees a lot of parameters including quantity of coffee will vary quite a bit so I figure brewing on a vac pot would be no different.

Is there a big difference between the yama, hario, and cona?  Mark, you may be one of few handful of non-Asians who might know this but I see the hario vac pots and kono vac pots running about the same price on Japanese sites.  Is the quality about the same between the two?
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,611
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 4:06am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

In the article, I said this:

In fact, there's plenty of debate online today by people who have newly discovered these devices, and how different things like stirring techniques, steep times, and even the use of cold vs. preheated water can affect the taste. Some of these theories and practices are interesting to try out, while others seem like a bit of fluffery with no real effect on the cup at best, and a detrimental effect on the cup at the worst.

The most important things to note about using a siphon coffee maker are a) using fresh roasted, fresh ground coffee; b) grinding just before brewing (no wait time in between - so grinding is one of the things you do last); and c) maintaining and monitoring heat during the brew.

It was a polite way of me saying that, after a lot of recent testing, I find the stirring techniques you may have been reading about online are a nice show, but is at best neutral to the cup, and at worst, detrimental - it can over-extract bitters and also cause clogging in some filter materials.

Mark

 
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coffee_monkey
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 248
Location: Boston, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Rituale, FE-AR...
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Hario MSC-2
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-2
Drip: Hario DPW-1
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 4:47am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

Not Mark and also happened to be Asian.... but I can chime in some some stuff =)

kokoloco Said:

How important is the stirring process?  I hear that depending on the stir the results in the cup can be vastly different. And this whole thing about James Freeman saying how he spent months agonizing over the stirring process.  A marketing ploy where he hyped up the importance of carefully controlling the parameters of siphon brewing?

Posted May 23, 2008 link

Mark and I disagree on the stirring issue. Seeing his full posted article, I now see how it's irrelevant with his method. With other vacpot methods, stirring can make quite a difference in the resulting cup ((ask Chris Baka from Ritual). Unlike Jame's method, however, the only important factor in stirring (of the method I use) is timing - you do not need to stir in any particular pattern as long as you create proper agitation as fast as possible.

kokoloco Said:

What is the ratio of coffee to water everyone is using?  I know when I brew drip on a commerical drip machine like a fetco,  french press, or chemex coffees a lot of parameters including quantity of coffee will vary quite a bit so I figure brewing on a vac pot would be no different.

Posted May 23, 2008 link

Depending on the coffee, anywhere from 13g/"cup" (dark roast) to 16g/"cup" (light roasts). "Cup" is the water level marked on the lower globe. Grind setting is about table salt fineness (about 24~26 click coarser than a espresso setting on a SJ if you have one...). Darker roasts also needs slightly cooler brewing temperature to cut down on the bitters.

kokoloco Said:

Is there a big difference between the yama, hario, and cona?  Mark, you may be one of few handful of non-Asians who might know this but I see the hario vac pots and kono vac pots running about the same price on Japanese sites.  Is the quality about the same between the two?

Posted May 23, 2008 link

There has been quite a bit of discussion of Kono vac pot lately on the blogs I visit. Some claim there is a upgrade in cup profile when compared to a Hario. This is what I found out:

- Kono is hand blown and Hario is machine made. Both of very high grade heat-resistant glass (only brands I will recommend using a towel with).
- Kono's glass is thicker than Hario's. (Kono on the left).
- Kono uses a ceramic disk filter whereas Hario uses a metal disk filter. Both uses cloth filter (Kono brand cloth filter is thicker and larger, but you can use a Hario cloth filter on the Kono ceramic disk).
- Kono's lower globe is slightly taller and larger than the Hario.
- Kono came in two version - alcohol lamp and gas/butane burner. I don't know what the difference in the two are (maybe geometry of the lower globe/holder).l
- Kono retails at about 3~4 times the price of a Hario (~$40 in Asia).

Some claimed that the Kono produces a cup that is a bit rounder and more complex than the Hario. After some experimentation and discussion with the author of a blog I frequent, it was concluded that the difference most likely are the results of few things:

Ceramic disk filter:

(note: The following observation were made on experiments done on a Hario unit (TCA-3 top and TCA-2 bottom). The Kono ceramic disk filter will fit the Hario.)

- Ceramic disk filters about twice as fast as the metal disk - the extra 20~30 second at the end of brew will alter the total extraction time, and influence final cup profile.
- If you follow the same exact routine but only rely on visual cues to determine your brewing temperature, the Ceramic disk will produce a upper globe temperature about 3~4 degree F lower than using a metal disk. This will account for the cup difference if you are not using a  thermometer to regulate brewing temperature.

Bigger lower Globe (of the Kono):

(note: the below observation were made by the blog author. Though I have not personally validate his findings, I found it quite believable).

The larger lower globe on the Kono means there is a large air-to-water ration when compared to the Hario. Again, if you are brewing with visual cues instead of a thermometer/timer, this will result in cooler brewing temperature when the water travels up north. Using a thermometer/timer negates this difference.


So the final conclusion is that, the cup difference is only due to the different filters. When using a timer and thermometer to precisely control your brewing, the Hario TCA3/2 combo with Kono ceramic disk and the Kono SKD-2 produces nearly identical cups.

As for the ceramic filter, it filters faster than the metal filter, cuts the drawn-down time by about 20 to 30 seconds, and produces a cup that is a bit softer/rounder but a bit muted on the aroma and acidity notes (compared to a cup from metal disk). The Hario metal disk produces a cup that is livelier/brighter, more aromatic, and a bit more intense. With a less-than-perfect coffee/roast, the ceramic filter helps by muting/rounding off flavors, producing a more pleasant cup.


- Ben

 
www.barismo.com
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,611
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 1:50pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

That Kono ceramic filter is interesting. I have six or seven ceramic filter holders from the 1930s, including this one, which is a Silex ceramic filter that came with a 3 cup Silex brewer I have made in 1937.

Mark

MarkPrince: ceramic_filtersm.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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kingseven
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Joined: 14 Dec 2003
Posts: 209
Location: London
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Black Eagle, Hydra,...
Grinder: Mythos One, Some EKs, Anfm,...
Vac Pot: Hario stuff
Drip: Many things
Roaster: Probat UG15, GW Barth 35kg,...
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 3:19pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

I should probably know the answer to this - but any sources for either Hario or Kono in Europe that people would recommend?

 
www.jimseven.com
www.squaremileblog.com
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