Press

  • Gail's Picks: Top Three Brew Grinders of 2019

    The year is coming to a close and it's time to celebrate our top threes for 2019! We'll be rolling out our top three favorites in a range of categories over the next month. To kick thinks off we're starting with the best brew grinders of the year! These grinders are for use with drip brewers, pour overs, and other non-pressurized brewing methods. (In other words, these guys won't do espresso!) Let's get started!

    Virtuoso+

    The Virtuoso+ comes to us from Baratza. This grinder features 38mm conical steel burrs. That means that it'll produce consistent, clump free grounds perfect for slow brew methods. A digital dial lets you dial in a specific time, which means you can determine how much you'll need for pourovers, drip brewing, or whatever method you use. That'll cut down on waste and ensure that you have the perfect amount of grounds every time. The fact that you can push the button and walk away means you can save time by setting up your grew while it grinds. We also notice less static in the catch bin than what we tend to see with most brew grinders.

    If we can find any cons, its that the hopper does not have a bean gate. This means you'll have a hard time removing all of the beans to change them out without grinding through them.

    Eureka Mignon Filtro

    The Filtro is one of Eureka's new brew grinders for 2019. This grinder steps up the burr game to 50mm flat steel burrs. These large burrs are controlled by a stepless grind adjust. This can feel finicky at first, but the stepless adjust means there are literally infinite settings you can set the burrs to. This will give you very fine control over grinding to adjust flavor for specific roasts. Aside from this, this stylish grinder provides super high quality grounds fed into its durable catch-bin. Simplicity in design means this grinder is a breeze to learn and use, and a hopper gate makes switching beans easy.

    The only real con with this grinder is its simple interface doesn't allow for programmed timed dosing, so you'll have to hold the button down to grind.

    Baratza Encore

    The perfect entry level grinder, the Encore uses 40mm conical steel burrs and simple operation to bring perfect brew grinds to your drip life. While this grinder doesn't offer as much control in burr adjustment as the ones above, it's powerful, consistent, and easy to use. This is a fantastic grinder for a new pourover enthusiast!

    The only real issue here is the simple operation and lack of programming paired with limited control. This is still a grinder that will be perfect for drip, press, and pourover brewing.

    Conclusion

    That's all we've got for 2019's best brew grinders! We'll be back this week with more 2019 best ofs!

     

  • All New Brew Grinders From Eureka!

    Eureka has long been a producer of exceptional espresso grinders. For years we've enjoyed consistent, simple grinding for home and commercial espresso. One thing we always say is that drip and espresso grinders are two different animals. While many espresso grinders are capable of grinding for drip, they're not ideal. Separating these processes is convenient, but it can also be hard to to get your espresso setting back after swapping to drip. For more information on why we think budgeting for a separate drip grinder is a good call, check out this article! Without further adieu, let's dive into these two new grinders.

    The Filtro is a simple grinder with a lot of quality and consistency. It uses the stepless grind adjust, found on Eurekas espresso grinders. While stepless adjust isn't necessarily needed for drip brewing, and it is a little tricky to get the hang of at first, it also offers rock solid consistency. Powerful 50 mm flat steel burrs deliver the fluffy grounds you'd expect from Eureka grinders, but for drip instead of espresso. This grinder also grinds at consistencies perfect for pourover as well.

    The Filtro uses a simple push-button system for operation. While this isn't as convenient as timer based systems, it does mean that its easy to control. Simply hold the button down until you get the volume you want. What's nice here is that the Filtro does grind quickly, so you won't be holding that button for long. What really seals the deal on why we like this grinder so much is its price point. This is a truly affordable grinder from one of the biggest, most reliable names in the business. If you want something with a little extra under the hood, check out the Brew Pro!

    The first thing you'll notice about the Brew Pro is its touch screen, shared with its Mignon cousins. While this is still a drip grinder, its one with enhanced controls. Using the Brew Pro's screen you can set timed grinding to push and forget while you prepare your brew method. Speaking of controls, this grinder also uses a single rotation dial for its stepless adjust. This means that you won't have to spin it multiple times to find the fully closed and open positions. The Brew Pro also features upgraded 55mm burrs for more power, speed, and consistency. A truly premium brew grinder that offers just about the best you can get for non espresso brewing.

    This is a more expensive brew grinder than what you might be used to seeing. This may be the case, but between the Brew Pro's upgraded burrs, powerful motor, easy to use interface, and single rotation stepless adjust, we think it justifies its price point.

    Both of these grinders offer great options for anyone looking for a highly reliable, efficient grinder. We hope you love them as much as we do!

     

     

  • Espresso Vs. Drip Grinders

    We get a lot of questions about what makes a good drip grinder Vs. espresso. We often get questions about the best grinder for both applications as well. There are a lot of things that go into a grinder, so we wanted to provide some tips for what makes each type tick.

    Drip Grinders

    What makes a great drip grinder is consistency. It's fairly well understood that larger burrs can lead to finer grind. In the case of a great drip brewer we're more interested in control settings and consistency than getting as fine as possible. Because drip brews require less fine adjustments, stepless controls are additional nice-to-haves, but not a necessity. What is important is consistency. A grinder with a decent sized (40mm or so) burrset and conical shape will provide quality, consistent grounds.

    Ultimately the point we're getting to here is that drip brewing is simply less demanding than espresso. This means that buying a drip grinder should be a much smaller dent in your budget than an espresso grinder.

    Espresso Grinders

    For espresso, consistency and control are important, but power is required as well. Espresso brewing requires a highly precise grind due to the pressure at play. This is especially true when using unpressurized portafilter baskets, because your grounds are helping to create that pressure. This means that you need very fine grounds that are also very consistent. The best way to get this is with larger (50mm or larger) burrs. Finding a compromise between burr size, shape, and price is key here. This need for more fine grounds is also why some grinders just can't to drip and espresso. Such a wide range of positions isn't possible for every burrset to do well.

    Another important facet here is control. Unlike other brew methods, desired fineness will shift from roast to roast. Some coffees will want a slightly coarser or finer grind depending on origin, roast level, and more. This all means that super fine adjustments are very important. You'll also need to carefully dial in your grinder for the best results for espresso whenever you refill it with a new bean. Which leads us to our conclusion...

    Why Not Both?

    Instead of hunting for a grinder to do both drip and espresso, consider budgeting for a separate one for each method. This may seem like overkill, but switching from your carefully dialed in espresso grind to drip and then re-dialing it is a large frustration. Even if you carefully mark where your espresso grind is set, it can be quite difficult to find the spot precisely. On the other hand, drip grinders are so comparatively affordable that by sacrificing a bit of budget for a separate one you can really make your coffee setup more usable.

    It's for this reason that we hesitate to recommend grinders that can handle both types of brewing, even if they technically do exist. Just make your life easier by adding a small drip grinder to your kitchen! We're sure it'll save you some headaches.

  • Holiday Purchase guide: Presses and Other Alternative Brew Methods!

    We’ve talked about various drip and espresso brew methods this season, but there’s a simple, delicious alternative that exists as well: The press! The French Press is a consistent, inexpensive brew method that makes stronger, full bodied coffee. It can be easy to get lost in the weeds of these simple machines, but we’re here to help. We’ll also look at a couple of other interesting methods that don’t fall into traditional categories!

    The Aeropress

    The Aeropress coffee maker makes delicious press cofffee using a simple, easy to pack brewing system. Instead of needing to bring a full sized press on a camping trip, the Aeropress folds and packs into itself, while still brewing excellent coffee. This is achieved through small paper filters that filter out grounds to provide a grit free cup of press coffee. Some people love this brewer so much that they use it at home!

    For a more classic press design, check out the Bodum Brazil French Press. This 8 cup shatterproof press is simple, affordable, and makes a classic cup of pressed coffee.

    A Wide World of Weird Brewers

    For a solution your gift recipient may be surprised by, take a look at the Fellow Duo. The Duo is an awesome little brewer that provides the full tasting cup of coffee of a press and less acidity, like you’d get from pourover. It also does it all easily and in just about 5 minutes. Simply add medium-coarse ground coffee and hot water to the steeping chamber and stir. Then, let the coffee steep for 4 minutes. Finally, twist the top of the brewer, and fresh, delicious coffee will fill the lower half. This brewer’s coffee tastes great and is grit free!

    Another weird coffee option that makes a great cup is the Bodum Santos Stovetop Vacuum Coffee Maker. This brewer sits on the stove and uses pressure from the hot water to brew your coffee. It’s easy to use, fun to watch, and delicious! Check it out for the curious coffee drinker on your gift list.

    Check back soon for more holiday gifting tips!

  • Crew Review: Espro Press P5

    You’ll never go back to regular French press coffee after you’ve tried a cup from the Espro Press P5. A classic cup of French press is muddled with coffee grounds at the bottom, but Espro said enough with muddy cups and invented a double filtration press to seal out gunk—literally! The layered filter and silicone seal work together to keep grounds out. The result? That clean cup of coffee you’ll be happy to sip all morning long. If you’re searching for your next French press coffee maker, check out the Espro Press P5.
  • Top Three "Not Quite" Espresso Makers

    The Round Up

    What’s do we mean by “not quite espresso makers?” As we know, a true espresso shot brews consistently at nine bars of pressure. There are a handful of coffee makers that brew at one to two bars of pressure creating a cup that’s rich, dark and full-bodied like espresso. For coffee lovers craving a stout cup, we rounded up the AeroPress Coffee Maker, Ilsa Express Espresso Stove Top and Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine to get the job done!

    AeroPress Coffee Maker

    First on our list is the beloved AeroPress. Simple, compact and affordable, the AeroPress easily finds its way into homes. It works similar to a French press by immersing grounds in water and then plunge, but the AeroPress brews directing into the bottom of a fresh cup. Not to mention, the pressure buildup is completely different. The AeroPress rubber plunger seals against the chamber and builds up one to two bars of pressure by hand. We’ve heard of some coffee lovers out there getting up to nine bars of pressure with the assistance of a lever device—still not quite espresso.

    Ilsa Express Espresso Stove Top

    The Ilsa Express brews by steam power, it doesn’t extract at nine bars of pressure. So not quite espresso. That said, stovetop makes one mean cup of coffee! And by mean, we’re talking about a seriously stout and strong cup. If you enjoy sipping the rich flavors of espresso, the Ilsa Express can make that happen for you at a fraction of the cost of an espresso machine. The Ilsa Express has a 3, 6 and 10-cup option available and, better yet, the 6-cup has a divider that can cut your portion to 3 cups.

    Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine

    The Wacaco Minipresso Espresso Maker is the closest thing to espresso. It boasts eight bars of pressure and makes a single shot! Similar to a pressurized portafilter, it won’t release the coffee unless it reaches that eight bars of pressure. It’s designed like a mini espresso machine equipped with a brew basket, water reservoir and hand-driven pump system. At the end of the day, if you’re on the road the Minipresso is the perfect companion for a quick pick-me-up.

    Conclusion

    The true espresso coffee lovers crave brews with nine bars of pressure. Our makers don’t quite reach that mark, but they certainly make a strong cup of java! What did you think of our Top 3 “Not Quite” espresso makers? Share what you would have chosen in the comments below!

  • Crew Comparison: Aerobie AeroPress vs Wacaco MiniPresso

    How Does It Compare?

    Coffee to-go takes a whole new meaning with today’s two travel coffee makers, the Aerobie AeroPress and the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine. As you probably guessed, the Minipresso is a lightweight, compact espresso-making fiend—it makes a perfect camping companion for espresso lovers. Most of you don’t need an introduction to the AeroPress, a crowd favorite for home brewing and exploring! Like the Minipresso it’s incredibly light and stores easily. It makes a smooth, rich cup of coffee that we’ve heard some people compare to espresso. The AeroPress definitely brews a stout cup, but the Minipresso makes a strong shot that even has crema! Keep reading to find out the different mechanics of these two travel brewers.

    The Minipresso's lightweight, compact design is perfect for hiking, camping and more. The Minipresso's lightweight, compact design is perfect for hiking, camping and more.

    AeroPress

    Brew

    The Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine has everything you need to make espresso anytime, anywhere. Brew basket? Check. Water tank? Check. Pressure? Check! The Minipresso uses a semi-automatic piston that extracts with 8 BARs of pressure just like your typical espresso machine! Pop open the piston in the middle of the machine and squeeze it about one pump per second—and presto! A delicious single shot in seconds! The brew basket holds 8 grams of coffee for a proper dose.

    The Wacaco Minipresso has everything you need! Portable espresso machine, cup, scoop—check! The Wacaco Minipresso has everything you need! Portable espresso machine, cup, scoop—check!

    By comparison, the Aerobie AeroPress has defined a new way to brew. It’s still an immersion-style coffee maker (French press anyone?) but the results are a cleaner, more concentrated cup of coffee. Instead of a metal filter, the AeroPress uses micro-filtered paper that picks up oils and grit that create a smoother sip. Some have described it as espresso; however, it creates less pressure and is made with 1:10 coffee to water. Whether you brew traditionally or with the inverted method, the beauty of the AeroPress’ design allows you to stop extraction whenever you like! It makes 1 to 4 cups of bold, rich coffee.

    Beauty

    Streamlined for traveling, the Wacaco Minipresso weighs 12.8 ounces and is 7 inches at its longest. Every inch counts when you start to factor in carrying the water and coffee to brew! The ergonomic design slips in backpacks or purses for a caffeinated companion while you’re hiking or traveling. The only downside for people on the road is the Minipresso requires basic maintenance to clean out the old coffee and has several small pieces such as the brew chamber—something that’s easily misplaced on the road. If you include a few extra moments to give the Minipresso some TLC, this portable espresso machine will make coffee you love everywhere!

    In just a couple pumps, you'll have a delicious shot of espresso. In just a couple pumps, you'll have a delicious shot of espresso.

    The AeroPress is renowned for it’s innovative, lightweight and user-friendly design—coffee aficionados just can’t get enough of it! And rest assured, the AeroPress is now BPA-free and dishwasher safe Outdoor enthusiasts or travelers will appreciate that it has fewer pieces for assembly and makes a larger cup of coffee. The only beef we’ve heard with the AeroPress is it can really engage the biceps—if you know what we mean. The plunger and pressure help develop the fuller body of coffee, but that said, it’ll be different for everyone.

    Conclusion

    If you’re looking for the perfect traveling coffee maker, check out the Wacaco Minipresso and AeroPress. Whether you’re on-the-go or just hanging at home, the AeroPress will fit into many lifestyles. With the immersion brewing, the AeroPress makes a strong, smooth cup some have compared to espresso. Of course, if you crave the real deal, the Minipresso is our top pick for portable espresso! Ready to travel in style with one of these portable coffee makers? Tell us which one is your favorite in the comments below.

  • Tips & Tricks For Better AeroPress

    The AeroPress

    It’s a press…it’s a dripper…no, it’s the AeroPress! The AeroPress Coffee Maker is a popular choice for brewing coffee. It’s a type of immersion brewer that’s similar to a press, but it has  a paper filter that removes coffee grit, unlike other styles. It’s an affordable, compact and lightweight brewer that’s incredibly easy to use.

    If you’re like us and have one (or even two) of these in your kitchen, you’ve probably gotten a brewing routine down, but it’s never too late to learn some new tricks! We’ve got four new tips for you to start using on your AeroPress today—so what are you waiting for? Let’s get brewing.

    The AeroPress is one of the most versatile pieces of brewing equipment we use! The AeroPress is one of the most versatile pieces of brewing equipment we use!

    AeroPress Tip #1: Wet Your Filter

    We recommend you don’t skip this one! Rinsing your paper filter helps reduces the papery or woody flavor taste.The best way to get it wet is to put the dry filter into the AeroPress’ black filter basket and place it over a cup, which also pre-heats your cup—win, win! Don’t worry about if the filter cools down before you brew because you’ll be pouring some hot water through it soon.

    AeroPress Tip #2: Level Out Your Grounds

    Your filter’s rinsed and ready to go—now it’s time for coffee! Grind 15 grams of coffee at about a drip coffee grind or a Chemex, but not too fine like for a espresso. Got it? Perfect, now let’s use that handy little funnel and add your grounds into the AeroPress.

    Now for the tip: Level out your grounds by giving it a quick shake back and forth (don’t stress it too much). The more even the grounds bed is the more even your extraction will be and the more even an extraction means a tastier cup of coffee!

    When you add your hot water, you want to evenly wet grounds by pouring in a circular motion. Since an AeroPress uses immersion brewing and pressure, we’re not worried about letting the coffee bloom. Go ahead and add all your water to the AeroPress and stir gently to ensure all your grounds are equally wet.

    AeroPress Tip #3: Use Back Pressure To Stop The Drip

    You’ll notice once you add the hot water, the AeroPress will start dripping—but this isn’t drip coffee! To stop the drip, insert the plunger piece into the body and…ta-da! Using back pressure is one of those wonderful tricks the scientist in us loves. It stops the flow of water and allows the coffee grounds to extract that wonderful flavor until we’re ready to plunge.

    We’ve also brewed the AeroPress in the inverted style, which is when the plunger is already attached. Using this method, you add your 15-grams of coffee and hot water through the opposite end or where the filter basket is placed. After you've let it steep, you twist on the filter basket (don't forget the paper filter) and carefully flip the AeroPress onto your cup. Plunge as usual! Since it's us, when we flip it we tend to make a mess. If you haven’t used the back pressure method, we totally recommend it when you’re brewing with the AeroPress!

    The inverted method is a popular brew technique on the AeroPress. The inverted method is a popular brew technique on the AeroPress.

    AeroPress Tip #4: Fast, Forceful Press = More Body and  Slow, Even Press = Less Body, Cleaner Cup

    You can think about this tip in terms of espresso, but, let's be real, you won't be able to create enough pressure for actual espresso. Espresso is extracted under pressure in a relatively quick time, typically, between 20 to 30 seconds, to produce a full-bodied shot. The idea applies to how AeroPress uses air pressure to extract flavor, but with human pressure. Another way to get more body is how far you plunge. If you push far enough to hear the air escape (that hissing sound) you're no longer pushing coffee water, but the slurry of dissolved coffee that's been extracted.

    As they say, slow and steady wins the race. There’s no right or wrong way to press the AeroPress, but there’s something to love about the slow method. The slower plunge allows the nuanced flavors, such as berries and fruits, to come forward and creates a cleaner bodied cup. We did about a 30-second slow plunge and stopped pushing after we heard the air release. This gave us a crisp, clean cup that we were looking for.

    Tell us what you think! Do you have any tips or tricks you like to do with the AeroPress? Share your ideas in the comments below.

  • Comparison: French Presses

    With so many French Presses to choose from, which one do you choose! Well, we decided to help you out and compare three of the most popular French Presses out there!

    In our three way comparison we took a closer look at the Hario Olive Wood Double Walled French Press, the Frieling Insulated Stainless Steel French Press and the Bodum Brazil French Press. So let's jump right into it!

    French PressesThe Hario French Press has a great look to it. It reminded us of the classic Chemex, with it's glass and wood design. The double wall will help keep your coffee hotter, longer. However, we don't recommend leaving your coffee grounds in contact with your brewed coffee for any extended period of time as it will result in over extracted coffee. The Hario brews up 400ml of coffee.

    If you like stainless steel, then the Frieling might be your choice out French Pressesof these French Presses. The Frieling comes in multiple sizes, from an 8 ounce pot all the way up to a 44 ounce pot. You know, for a crowd!

    The Bodum French Press is the best press if you are on a budget. It is not double walled, like the other French Pressestwo French Presses in this line up, but it still brews up a mighty fine cup of coffee. The handle for this French Press is easy andcomfortable to grab. Be sure to check out the 4 color options as well!

    Watch the video below for the full Crew Review Comparison! Still not subscribed to our YouTube channel? Click here to subscribe!

     

     

     

  • Crew Review: AeroPress

    AeroPressIt's portable. It's affordable. And some might even call it adorable! Yes, we are talking about the AeroPress by Aerobie.

    The AeroPress is a clever alternative way to brew up your cup of coffee. It functions in a similar fashion to a French Press, but with a twist! When you plunge the AeroPress, the coffee is forced through a paper (or stainless steel) filter. Leaving you with a very clean cup of coffee.

    It's great for traveling since it is lightweight. All that you need is some coffee and hot water to complete your set up.  The AeroPress is built in the U.S.A and is B.P.A. free. Win win? We think so.

    The AeroPress makes a stout cup of coffee that some say resembles "espresso", without the crema of course. Not traditional espresso, but a very strong cup. But the real beauty in this coffee maker is how much control you have when brewing. If you like to brew up a strong concentrate and dilute it like an americano, you can. If you prefer to make a medium strong cup of coffee and mix with half and half, the choice is yours.

    We love our AeroPress. And think you will too! Check out our full Crew Review video below before subscribing to our YouTube channel. Come on, we know you want too :)

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