kbuzbee Senior Member Joined: 2 Feb 2006 Posts: 568 Location: Mentor, Ohio Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso Vac Pot: Cona D Drip: I don't drip
Posted Fri Aug 9, 2013, 3:34am Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
The way I understand it, the longer it take to brew, the higher chance to bring out the bitterness of the coffee (right????), so the lower temperature is not necessary a bad thing (I mean the time it takes to brew is gonna 'compensate' the lower brew temp. right???)
The longer it takes to brew coffee the more caffiene is extracted. Caffiene is bitter, so, yes, a longer brew time can increase the bitter notes. In a Brika with fresh coffee I doubt you'd ever get far from acceptable levels though.
As to temp, I prefer starting with room temp filtered water.
CMIN Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2012 Posts: 1,456 Location: South FL Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Aug 9, 2013, 5:27am Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
However, taste studies with decaffeinated vs. caffeinated soft drinks show that in the presence of other flavor compounds, especially bitter ones, detection of additional bitterness from caffeine is overwhelmed by the presence of other bitter or acidic compounds, raising the thresholds of detection and flavor contribution from caffeine itself. The claims that caffeine contributes to flavor don't stand up to taste trial investigations, with an inability to detect caffeinated vs. non-caffeinated soft drinks a very common result. (about half the concentration of that in coffee)
Most likely, hydrolysis of some compounds catalyzed by heat is responsible for bitterness, not caffeine.
ďAerobie AeroPress,Ē a thread created in 2005, is the largest thread on the entire forum, with over 7.3 million views and 2,700 posts.
At that rate, mokapots could get a lot more credit that they have afforded until now. Surely, all the homegrown mokapot threads on CG make up for more views and posts than Adlerís thread on his own invention.
In media coverage of quality coffee? Clearly. And though images of mokapots are used on occasion to convey something homely and nostalgic, people keep thinking that they can only produce burnt coffee.
From that piece about Adler, it sounds like his main inventions have benefitted a lot from advertising and marketing. His CG posts might be part of that. Of course, the AeroPress might still have caught the fancy of coffee geeks if it had been an obscure product invented by an unknown hacker. But itís funny how hyped it has become, over the past few years.
Bialetti has also tried to position its mokapots a certain way, especially at the time (over 80 years ago). And it might be fair to say that mokapots donít really fit current trends in coffee experimentation, given their relative lack of versatility and control. Itís futile to expect the coffee world to wake up to mokapots, again.
But why is it that we have to focus on one brewing or coffee making method at a time? A few years ago, espresso was considered the ultimate coffee experience, especially the hyperdosed double ristretto made with beans from a single origin. The siphon only had a quick burst in popularity, but it probably got some people excited in experimenting with other methods. Then, for a short while, pour-over drip got trendy, especially the V60 combined with an artful water pouring method. The AeroPress may not even be the most hyped method at this time, at least not in cafťs. But itís interesting to notice that it made its mark in specific contexts, including some computer tech circles.
Now, while the AeroPress can indeed produce a really nice cup and has some unique affordances, itíd be difficult to argue that itís an optimal design. Its usage by coffee geeks differs greatly from what the instructors say, from water temperature and infusion time to use of alternative filters and, of course, the inverted method. If the geek community surrounding coffee were to design the AeroPress, itíd probably be quite different from what we currently have. There are alternative ďcoffee brewing syringesĒ, coming up here and there. But we might not see the full potential of these devices for a little while.
What was striking, though, was this notion that the number of pageviews and posts in that one thread could be used as a way to argue for the AeroPress itself. Our thread on Brikka and mokapots has about half as many posts and pageviews as Adlerís, and we created it because we like those devices, not because we want to sell them. There are many other threads about mokapots on CG, including some which may not even include a mokapot-related keyword because people tend not to know how to describe these devices. Were we to combine all these posts and their page views, weíd probably demonstrate more interest for the device family created by Bialetti in 1931 than for the one coffeemaking device Aerobie has created a few years ago. Would it then mean that Moka Express is more interesting than AeroPress, after all these years? Do we know anything about whoís interested in what device? Given the number of French presses, automatic drip machines, and even single-serve pod machines sold worldwide, what makes Adlerís stats more significant?
Despite appearances to the contrary, this isnít about devices competing with one another in terms popularity or mindshare. Itís about using arbitrary data to support claims about a given brewing method.
The AeroPress is a really neat device. Coffee enthusiasts have appropriated it in interesting ways. Fascinating stuff. But itís not like Adlerís engineering genius upended the coffee industry overnight because he was the first one to think of proper solutions to the coffeemaking problem. A reading of Pinch and Bijkerís work could help Crockett gain (and share) much deeper insight than what is found in that AeroPress origin story.
Okay, I understand your point (frustration?) but it's that way with every "investigative" story about the new hot thing. It's all about spin and showing that you (the author) and only you have this keen insight into the subject you're expounding on. If you can make it seem like there's this huge, unorchistrated ground swell, so much the better.
It's true in every area. Look at meat based diets. There was Atkins (maybe some before him?), then Southbeach, then X then Y ... Now it's Paleo. All designed to put forth how terrific this brand new (horrible) eating plan is for your health.
To me, all these stories benefit to raise awareness of the subject. With the Aeropress specifically, it's a very simple, easy to use and affordable way for folks to access good coffee. Even easier than Moka. If 100 people who would never have tried anything other than (for point of discussion) K-Cups read an article on Aeropress, say 50 actually try one (because it's cheap and easy) Maybe 10-20 are now curious enough to try something else like a French press, pour over or perhaps - at some point - espresso. That's 10%-20% (of "new" folks who read that story)who find their way to some form of alternative coffee who never would have without it. The methods may not be scientifically valid, but the results benefit the world of coffee, so it's a good thing.
There are a lot of other things to worry about in this life, brother. Validating Aeropress superiority by post count falls pretty far down the list, IMO. ;)
We all have different lists. A lesson from a friend was about the connections between these lists and our spheres of agency. In academia, weíre pretty big on critical thinking. And poking fun at an author who uses the most popular CG forum thread may be a reasonable thing to do in, perhaps, the second most popular thread.
Getting people away from K-cups may be a worthy goal, but does the end justify the means? Do we need to play the same game, use the same methods? Are we condemning ourselves to a vicious circle? Or, to use your protein-heavy example, do we need to make every dietary shift into a fad?
Mokapot coffee needs not be better than every other coffee brewing/making method out there. All these methods serve a purpose. Even the K-cup. Many methods emphasize convenience over experience. The AeroPress is pretty neat in terms of achieving a balance between the two. But it doesnít mean that we should all stick to it as the one true method to selectively extract flavour compounds from a coffee bean.
Lifeís too short to keep drinking the same thing.
As weíve discussed on a few occasions, a cool part of the mokapot experience is in filling the room with sounds and smells. Itís a somewhat more difficult method than AeroPress, especially at first. But its ritual quality is pretty unique. Itís connection with European homes is also nothing to sneeze at. Nostalgia is part of our sensory experience and people who grew up on mokapot coffee instead of Mr. Coffee or instant may have a different experience when going to a cafť.
Itís interesting that ďsingle-serveĒ was the key to Adlerís invention. We may think of a ď6-cupĒ Moka Express as a single-serve device, but itís probably easier to serve multiple demitasses from it than from an AeroPress. The typical Bodum French press is also easy to share among a few people. Even die-hard AeroPress enthusiasts occasionally talk about the individualistic character of their favourite device as a (minor) limitation, especially in terms of serving coffee for their spouses.
In Switzerland and Savoie, the ęgroleĽ bowl is designed specifically for sharing coffee with friends. And yerba mate drinkers often share their gourds.
Having a caffeinated drink with friends. Such a soothing thought.
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