Rosalin Senior Member Joined: 17 Oct 2013 Posts: 11 Location: LI NY Expertise: Just starting
Posted Fri Oct 18, 2013, 5:54pm Subject: Open Pot and Press Pot: Are they *really* different?
I've been doing a lot of what I think is "open pot" brewing lately. That is, I finely (around gaggia MDF's 10, largest espresso setting) grind about 2-3 spoonfuls of beans and toss them in a teapot and add a half pint of 195 degree water to it, let it sit, give it a very mild stir/disturbance here or there, and then very carefully pour off the liquid as most of the grounds end up together at the bottom of the pot at around 3-4 minutes. I tend to get a lot of mud in the last sip, but it can often be comparable to a sloppy (and finely ground) french press... which leads me to my question:
Is there really any difference between the two methods?
In terms of the output of coffee type, taste, and quality? I suppose that my "open pot" method is essentially a press pot without the plunger...so another way to frame the question would be, what does the plunger actually do to the coffee?
Does the plunger merely separate the grounds from the pouroff? If that is the case, can't that be done by carefully via the "open pot" method? Or does something else happen with the magic plunger?
MWJB Senior Member Joined: 1 Jun 2013 Posts: 258 Location: UK Expertise: I like coffee
Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario... Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Fri Oct 18, 2013, 10:30pm Subject: Re: Open Pot and Press Pot: Are they *really* different?
What you call the "open pot" method was a common way of brewing in Europe, certainly in the 1950's (my grandmother used to use it). The coffee may have additionaly been strained through a cheesecloth/muslin when poured/decanted.
Yes, the plunger's typical role is merely to keep the grounds out of the beverage. There may be other factors that influence the result (pot shape, heat retention, etc.) but essentially these are the same method.
You might try making a little extra to minimise the sludgy part at the end, or wait a little longer for the grinds to become fully waterlogged & settle.
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