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Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
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TeddyMac
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Boston MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Yama stovetop, Hario...
Drip: Hario woodneck, Bona-Vita...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Nov 30, 2013, 6:01am
Subject: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

I'm in search of the Holy Grail of vacpots for small-amount stovetop brewers: a 2-cupper. After searching here, I've seen helpful posts about why brewing with less than full capacity (or at least close to it) with vacpots is less than ideal; it explains why my small batch brews (10- to 12-ish ounces) in a Yama 5-cupper are also less than ideal. The results are still surprisingly pretty good, especially some advice I've seen here to increase the amount of coffee for the brew, but I'm clearly missing out on a lot of what the vacpot can do by using so little water.

The smallest stovetop vacpot I found was indeed the Yama 5-cup, but sometimes what someone can find is limited to what they know to search for, so to speak. So I'm checking in with folks here, wondering if there's a 2-cup, stovetop vacpot out there that might not be as obvious to find, that's not on sites like Sweet Marie's or Amazon, etc. Something not available in the US, for example, or that's vintage? Or that's sold as a tabletop but usable as a stovetop? The 2-cup tabletop Yama looks perfect in terms of size, but the bulb shape bottom wouldn't work on a stove. (For various and sundry reasons, a butane version isn't possible.)

I make two cups per day, about four hours apart. If I can't find my Holy Grail, I'll simply use my current Yama, double my brew amount, and invest in a good thermos! Ideally, though, it'd be great to be able to do a single-serve vacpot brew both times.

Many thanks for any help/information/advice.


(I used Search here as best I could before posting. Apologies if this was already covered elsewhere.)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,710
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

Hi, welcome to the board.

A "cup" is a moving target, every manufacturer has a different standard as well as our personal definitions are all over the map too.

What do YOU consider a cup so that when you have two of them, how much coffee do you wind up with? 12 oz, 14 oz 16oz? A MUG? How big of a mug?

Perhaps when discussing brew volume, the use of FLoz or ML is a better way to gauge the desired amount of coffee you want!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 891
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 6:00pm
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

The only one that comes to mind is the Cona model "A". Strictly speaking, it is a table top device, but the lower bowl has a flat bottom so will stand level on its own.

Mine will brew about 250ml.  I don't know how that converts into your "cups" but European brewers like technivorms work on ~125ml per cup, so by that definition 2 cups, or in my case enough for a medium sized mug.

Upsides:-

Elegant and classic mid-century modern  design, beautifully made and quite sturdy glass even though not too thick.
Flat base that allows it to stand on its own.
Makes the best non-espresso coffee IMO.

Downsides:-

No longer avaialble new, so you'd have to buy used **  Very sought after, and go for a high price when they come up for sale.  One just sold today on the German version of a well know auction site for €114.99
Because the bowl is obviously very small, and therefore has a narrow base, I wouldn't want to use it as a stovetop device - it would be quite unstable especially bubbling away with all the water in the top.

I use mine in its stand with a cona electric heater. I love it.

** may still be available new in Germany - have seen a price listed of €297 but don't know who stocks them.  If you're interested, keep your eyes on that well-known auction site, but make sure you elect to view "worldwide" or "EU" auctions not just N.America.
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Eastsideloco
Senior Member
Eastsideloco
Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Austin
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: '74 Cremina, '91 Livietta...
Grinder: Vario-W, mid-century...
Vac Pot: Cona C, Kono PR 3, Hellem...
Drip: Kalita Wave, V60, Chemex,...
Posted Mon Dec 2, 2013, 11:13pm
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

The Cona B models are a little less rare and are probably right in the pocket for you in terms of capacity. A Cona B just sold on eBay in the US for $50. It was missing the glass rod, but in excellent condition otherwise. The seals are available new if you find one in need of some TLC.

FWIW: this is my 2 x 10 oz siphon cup set up:

http://bit.ly/1bGmjP6

My Cona setup is even more handsome:

http://bit.ly/179SVgo
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 891
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 11:11am
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

Eastsideloco Said:

The Cona B models are a little less rare and are probably right in the pocket for you in terms of capacity. A Cona B just sold on eBay in the US for $50. It was missing the glass rod, but in excellent condition otherwise. The seals are available new if you find one in need of some TLC.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

Cona B is a very good brewer, and it's the one I tend to use the most - but it's about twice the capacity the OP is looking for - 1 Imperial pint or ~570ml  It would be more stable to use on a stovetop than the (half sized) Model A though.

I haven't tried using a model B with much less than its design capacity, so not sure whether it would work well or not.  You can get away with using the larger C and D model at almost down to half their published capacity, although it can make the brewing process a bit hit and miss.

Sometimes think I should "thin out" my collection of Conas.  Currently have:- Model D (x1) Model C (x3) Model B (x3) Model A (x1) Cona Rex electric version (x2) Cona Rex spirit version (x2) plus a spare Cona Rex top globe.  More glass rod filters than I can recall, and some of the cloth type filters sold as part of the French Manufactured Cona sets.

But you never know when you might break one and be glad you have a spare :o)
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Eastsideloco
Senior Member
Eastsideloco
Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Austin
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: '74 Cremina, '91 Livietta...
Grinder: Vario-W, mid-century...
Vac Pot: Cona C, Kono PR 3, Hellem...
Drip: Kalita Wave, V60, Chemex,...
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

Yes, I misread the post. (I saw 2-cup and 10 oz. and decided that meant 2 x 10 oz. cups.) In that case a Cona A is just the ticket. And based on the typical selling price it appropriate to call it the Holy Grail!
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TeddyMac
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Boston MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Yama stovetop, Hario...
Drip: Hario woodneck, Bona-Vita...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 5:04pm
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

Thank you all so much for your welcome and your wisdom.

calblacksmith, you're quite right and I should have known better about amount specificity. After doing a little measuring, it looks like I make a single 8-oz./240-ish ml serving two times per day, around 5AM (ugh) and 10AM.

I can't decide whether the Cona A is more like hens' teeth or the Holy Grail, but either way, I haven't been able to find anything on the sites I usually visit for hard-to-find things. Not much better luck on the Model B search, though I did find this lower bowl on ebay. I feel pre-stupid for asking this question, but would it be possible to use the Yama 5-cup top with this Cona model B bottom bowl? I would guess the Yama stem/tube might be too long for a smaller bowl…

Click Here (www.ebay.com)

Some of the hario tabletop versions look great, just the right size, like the TCA-2 and TCA-3, but the bottoms are round. I suppose if I were more inventive, I'd find a way to balance one on a heat diffuser or something like that. If anyone has ideas, I'd love 'em.

My latest thought is about the Tiamo ECA-4 pot. I can't find out what "4 cup/servings" means in this setting - no googlifying of mine could find it - but it looks pretty small. Orphan Espresso sells the bottom and top separately as replacement parts. Hard to tell if it was intended for table- or stove-top, but since the bottom is flat, it might do the trick. I've written to find out what they think, and as a bonus question, whether I could use the Yama cloth filter and holder. But duh, I just realized, I forgot to ask them what the capacity is. If I find out, I’ll pass it on.

Click Here (www.orphanespresso.com)
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 891
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 10:05am
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

Not sure about using a yama top globe with a cona B bottom bowl, but I wouldn't be too optimistic. There is the size of the neck and the seal to consider as well as the length of the glass tube.

If you think the Cona B will fit the bill for you, if you keep an eye open on that well known auction site and make sure you include EU based auctions, you'll find one or more up for sale fairly soon.

On its own, that bottom globe you show is a bit over-priced and you'd have to get a handle for it too.  That same seller will probably have a complete Model B brewer, but charges high prices.

Germany always seems a good source for used model B brewers, also the UK.  They tend to go (on auction) for around £65 (~$US100) plus carriage and whatever other costs are involved, but sometime a lot less.  I bought one minus the glass rod for £7.50 from someone who seemed to have no idea what it was.
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TeddyMac
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Boston MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Yama stovetop, Hario...
Drip: Hario woodneck, Bona-Vita...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 1:29pm
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

Thank you, both for pointing out the challenges and potential pitfalls of mix-n-matching bowls, as well as tips on including more than one ebay market.

I want to pass along a good suggestion I got, partly because I want to see whether any of you have experience with this. The idea was to take the grill off a gas stove burner, and put the tabletop siphon on the stove, around the burner, acting as a kind of butane/bunsen substitute. It seems like a pretty neat idea, though I wonder whether the heat going sort of around a round bowl rather than directly under it would make a difference.

It seems the heat's height would be comparable, but I think that width clearance could be an issue. I see the width (well, depth really) of the Hario TCA-3 is 95mm, and my stove burner measures 67mm. Unless the arms of the stand are a lot wider than they look, that should work okay.

Has anyone tried this? Or have caveats I should consider?
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 891
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 5:44pm
Subject: Re: Current or Vintage 2-cup stovetop vacpot?
 

I haven't tried that (never needed to) but in principle it should be OK, provided you keep the flame down very low and certainly don't let it lick up the sides of the globe too much. Depending on how well the burner will go down to a very low level without cutting out, it may work, but be careful if you try it.

Just out of interest, what's the reason you can't use a table top device as intended ? (bearing in mind you can get electric heaters for some models).
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