I guess I have this (possibly misguided) notion that maintaining the brew temperature within some narrow range is desirable. You're right about the Aeropress, and most other brewing methods do not accomplish this either. I was just reading about intentional temperature profiling with espresso. Who knows, maybe a slowly dropping temperature is what we really want?
It's something I've wondered about, too. That insanely expensive Blossom machine certainly was designed with temperature stability in mind. The most thermally stable gadget I've had a chance to play with is a siphon, and the coffee it brewed was *very* similar to what I get out of my Trifecta, which brews with a slowly declining temp. profile. So I guess I'm thinking turbulence is an equally (or possibly even more) important variable.
Over the years I've owned and used an ESE pod espresso machine and two Nespresso capsule machines. It was my dissatisfaction with them which inspired my design and development of the AeroPress. I continued to experiment with capsules even after the AeroPress was in production.
Kenneth Davids told me that studies of pods and capsules found that they averaged nine months duration between roasting and brewing. It's an expensive way to buy stale coffee.
I thought that the Nespresso aluminum capsule kept its contents fresh, but coffee professional Robert Barker cut one open and it smelled quite stale. Another issue with this system is that the standard capsule contains only 5 grams of coffee. Checking Amazon today, their price is $13.44 for ten capsules. This is $121.63 per pound of grind.
In 2006 I machined a special AeroPress cap which holds an ESE pod. The brew was very weak. I found that a better way to use the pod was to tear it open and dump its contents into the AeroPress, though it was still pretty yucky compared to a scoop of fresh grind.
That experience leads me to think that the best way to use a K-cup would be similar -- dump the contents into the AeroPress. The K-cup holds 12 grams.
I also measured two brewers designed to work with K-cups:
An electric Keurig brewer made 10 oz of brew at 53% of the strength of the SCAA "Gold Cup" standard. When set to brew a 6 oz cup, the strength was 80% of the "Gold Cup" standard.
The Cafejo hand press is advertised to meet the "Gold Cup" standard. With a regular K-cup it produced 6.8 ounces of brew, again with a strength of 53% of the "Gold Cup" standard. I also tried filling the supplied "Eco Cup" with loose coffee. I could only get 8 grams of coffee into it. That produced 6.7 ounces of brew with a strength of 47% of the "Gold Cup" standard. (Both tests used 7 ounces of 200 F water which was in the center of their recommend range).
What did surprise us was the quality of the beverage produced by the Ekobrew and the My K-Cup when used on the Keurig as outlined above, a quality very close, almost identical, to the cup produced by careful use of the manual Aeropress. Which doesnít mean that those who brew manually should run out and buy a Keurig and an Ekobrew K-Cup, but what it does suggest is that those committed Keurig owners who use the best reusuable K-Cups carefully can produce a rather nicely-brewed cup of coffee.
But the advantage with the Aeropress, or with any manual method, is that you can use more ground coffee per cup and brew stronger if you prefer to, whereas twelve grams per serving is pretty much tops with the little do-it-yourself K-Cups. And of course you also can vary both brew water temperature and extraction time with a device like the Aeropress. But by varying them carelessly you also can, of course, screw up your coffee, which gets us back full circle to the reason people buy Keurigs and pre-manufactured K-Cups
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:01am Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
Frugal AeroPressing - The Single Scoop Mug
It's been about seven years since introduction of the AeroPress and I'm still learning how to use it.
I've always used 1.5 scoops to brew an 8 ounce mug of American coffee to the SCAA "Gold Cup" standard (1.25% total dissolved solids). This was in accord with our recommendation of one scoop of fine drip grind per 5 ounces of American coffee. But in recent years, I've learned that finer grinds press easily when using only one scoop:
"For a single scoop I've never found a grind that was too fine. But you must push gently." -- "Re: Aerobie Aeropress"
The finest setting on my grinder produces 7 ounces of Gold Standard brew per scoop with no compromise on flavor. I heap the scoop slightly (13-14 grams) and brew an 8 ounce mug.
I'm still using our recommended 175F water temperature, but this fine grind delivers 24% extraction. I filled the water to "2.5" on the chamber, then added hot water to the pressed concentrate for a total of 8 ounces.
jpender Senior Member Joined: 11 Jul 2011 Posts: 568 Location: California Expertise: I like coffee
Grinder: OE LIDO Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot Drip: Aeropress
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:09am Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
But also the time and "fuss" factor, which is surely of high importance for a user of a Keurig.
However, if you donít have a water kettle with automatic temperature control you need to add in the time required to watch for the kettle to boil and then to allow the water to cool down a couple of minutes before pouring it into the brewer, all of which adds considerable kitchen fuss time to the total brewing act for the Aeropress.
I think this is technique dependent. For example, I use a microwave and the heating to boil time overlaps other setup tasks (like hand grinding). I then transfer the water to another cup (sometimes the Aeropress plunger) with a thermometer in it and sitting on a tared scale. This facilitates the cooling and the water is at temperature pretty quickly.
I just timed a cup with the Aeropress, from start (weighing the beans, gathering a few items) to finish (cleaning the Aeropress) and it was 5:25. I was trying to be efficient so maybe I usually take a little longer, but not much.
paulbel Senior Member Joined: 26 Apr 2008 Posts: 136 Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: aeropress Grinder: conical burr (cuisinart) Drip: sometimes
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:18am Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
I have an automatic kettle, but getting to the right temperature has become very easy for me. I decant the water into a large pyrex measuring up, which cools it quite readily to the right temp (%175=185). I used to keep a thermometer in the cup, but by now it's not necessary.
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