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Coffee Makers

January 15, 2014

There would be no FUSSYlittleBLOG without coffee. I imagine there would be a lot fewer things in general if much of humanity wasn’t powered by the essence of this amazing bean.

One remarkable thing about this past holiday season is that I got through it without buying myself a single new piece of coffee making equipment. Not out of a lack of desire. Oh, there are plenty of coffee tools that I covet. Really, I blame the sabbatical and our more limited cabinet space in the apartment. There just isn’t any room.

And that’s fine. This time with fewer brewing devices has given me the chance to work more closely with my stovetop Bialetti Moka Pot. Yes, they say it makes espresso, but I’ve been using it almost exclusively for Cuban coffee. Although with all my new Israeli friends who enjoy Turkish coffee, I’m kind of regretting leaving my ibrik in storage. That is another tool that I’ve yet to fully master.

My guess is that most people make coffee at home using some form of automatic drip machine. And I’m sure most people are perfectly happy with the results. A few of you probably swear by the French press, and will attest to its fuller body and deeper flavor.

But here’s a serious question: have you ever tried a variety of brewing methods to see how the same high quality beans would taste side by side?

I don’t doubt that the French press would taste better than most inexpensive automatic drip machines. The press has fewer moving parts and no heating elements.

But how would a cup from the French press compare to a well executed pour-over drip, where the beans were ground right before brewing, and a controlled flow of perfectly hot water was extracting all of the flavorful oils from the grounds? My guess would be that the pourover would have cleaner, brighter flavors. But the depth of a French Press may still have its advocates.

The Chemex is a glass contraption that has always seemed like a one piece pour-over rig. The biggest difference is the filter. But I have never tasted a cup of coffee from a traditional pourover next to one from a Chemex. Are they as similar as they would seem, or is there some other effect the Chemex has on coffee that I just haven’t fully realized?

I’ve never been able to make a good espresso with my Moka Pot. But then again, I don’t really have an appropriate grinder for the task. So as a result, I’ve never tried making espresso in it with beans that ever stood a chance. How would this device do head to head with a proper espresso maker if all other things were held constant?

These aren’t just academic questions.

These are all testable scenarios that the Capital Region Coffee Collective is going to put together in a free tasting event that’s coming up on Saturday, January 25.

Yes, it’s in Wilton. No, you can’t say it’s too far. The tasting will be in the Healthy Living Market education center. I’ve been there. It’s a nice room. And HLM is serious about their coffee. So much so, that they finally agreed it was a travesty to sell espresso without providing proper porcelain cups to drink it at the counter.

While they have no plans to prepare any of the Gimme! Coffee beans on an automatic drip, they do plan to brew via Aeropress, Chemex, espresso, French press, pour-over drip, Moka Pot and siphon. Damn.

You know what else I’d love to see? Cold-brew. I was just looking at how the team at Blue Bottle recommends preparing one of my favorite extractions. They even use the Filtron (which makes me feel even guiltier that mine has gone unused for so long).

The full press release from the collective is below. But it’s not too late to bug them about adding cold-brew to the day’s agenda. Maybe it could even convince some more local institutions about bringing cold-brew iced coffee online for summer.

– – –

Capital Region Coffee Collective Presents a Coffee Brew Method Exploration Tasting Event

Wilton, N.Y .- The Capital Region Coffee Collective will hold its second public coffee tasting event on Saturday, January 25th, 2014 at the Healthy Living Market in Wilton, N.Y. After a successful introductory public event in November, the CRCC returns to explore a wide variety of coffee brewing methods and their effect on a coffee’s final taste.

Attendees will hear a brief synopsis about each method, witness collective members brew the same coffee through each method and then sample from each preparation to taste the difference in the resulting cups. Ithaca, N.Y. based coffee roaster Gimme Coffee will provide freshly roasted coffee for the event.

Brew methods slated to be demonstrated include: Aeropress, Chemex, espresso, French Press, pourover drip, Moka Pot and siphon.

WHO // Capital Region Coffee Collective
WHAT // Public coffee tasting – brew method exploration
WHERE // Healthy Living Market Education Center – Wilton Mall – Wilton, N.Y.
WHEN // Saturday, January 25th from noon-2pm
HOW MUCH // Free


Contact // email:
Facebook //
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Instagram //
Wordpress //


3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2014 12:31 pm

    Thanks so much for spreading the word about the CRCC, FLB! I don’t think a batch of cold brew is out of the question – it is a funny brew method, though, and certainly results in something much different than even other iced coffee brews.

  2. Mr. Dave permalink
    January 15, 2014 1:12 pm

    Coffee is an uncivilized beverage. Disregard coffee and obtain tea.

    • March 4, 2016 8:26 am

      Mr Dave, I am really very sorry to say that, I am not agree with you. Coffee is not uncivilized beverage. It is also civilized beverage.

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