eieio Senior Member Joined: 17 Apr 2013 Posts: 31 Location: New York Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 3:16pm Subject: Re: Aeropress: What might be a logical next "best improvement"?
In a nutshell, there's two major divisions on how to brew coffee.
1) probably the oldest, called infusion, immersion, full contact or steep brewing. It's like brewing tea - you put the coffee together with the hot brew water, let it steep, then separate the coffee from the grounds when you think you're done. The AeroPress, a French Press, the Clever when used per instruction, and sampling cupping are all infusion method.
2) percolation brewing (not to be confused with a percolatOR, which is technically an infusion process because it recirculates the coffee over and over the grounds during the brewing cycle). In percolation, also called "drip", and also called a "pourover" if done manually, fresh brew water is introduced to the grounds continually, the water percolates through the grounds and dissolves coffee from them, and carries this solution into the cup.
Most brewers are either used as one or the other. It's almost impossible to use the AeroPress as a drip type or percolation brewer, for example. Likewise, unless you install a valve into a Hario you can't allow it to steep - so the water you pour in will continually percolate through.
The Trifecta is an infusion brewer. It cannot be converted to a drip machine. Ever.
Infusion is easier and more forgiving. Depending on how it is filtered, it can use almost any grind and yield decent results just by controlling the temperature of the water and the time it's allowed to contact.
Percolation brewing properly done means introducing the brew water just at the rate that it is travelling through the grounds. It is also very dependent on the grind fineness. It can be fussier.
The CCD is designed to allow a steep time, and the separation of the coffee is done by allowing it to drain when the user wants.
I just suggested it because of the flexibility. Think of it as an AeroPress that you can't "press" the coffee out. And if you ever wanted to experiment with pourovers or manual percolation brewing, then you can use the CCD as such a brewer just by placing it on your cup and doing the same thing you'd do with any other brewer.
Now, which method produces the best coffee is like arguing over which is the best value automobile out on the market today. The answer is "it depends".
Netphilosopher: that was genuinely useful. Big thanks!
i like the results of my Aeropress so much that i hesitate to sink a lot of money into a costly machine unless i have a chance to amply try it out. i have yet to find out where to try out a Trifecta, et al.
i do know that an Americano made by my local coffee place (La Colombe) is truly excellent. it is clearly better than what i can achieve with my Aeropress but, i must say, the Aeropress comes very close, say 80% to 90%, and with de minimis clean up/servicing of the equipment! ;) THAT is a big big plus for me. To attempt to duplicate what La Colombe does at their coffee bars would mean probably at least a $1,000 espresso machine, along with whatever maintenance that comes with those machines. I'm beginning to wonder how close an automatic machine, such as one of those Saeco machines, might come to the results achieved by those guys at La Colombe?
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