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Reports From the Road
SCAA 2006 Charlote Day 2 Report
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: April 8, 2006
Article rating: 9.3
feedback: (11) comments | read | write
 
Aeropress... it could have been so much more...
Posted by Mark Prince, 1:00pm Permalink to this blog entry
Click for larger image
Aeropress showdown
One of the tasters watches the Clover Barista preparing his beverage (foreground, yellow shirt)
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Not quite sure...
Brad's not quite sure how this one will play out.
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Come here...
Neither was I... but Julie Beals was very convincing in getting me to come over and be part of it.
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Hurry!
Julie, working her magic on getting a reluctant me to participate. Mark Crawford on the left.

Alan Alder had his Aeropress vs. Clover thing at the Intelly booth. It's a shame, it could have been so much more than it was. But Alan was determined to brew using his 180F water and paper filters. It still wasn't bad, but could have been transparently identical to the Clover.

Here's the low down. Alan wanted to use a french roast, which Intelly doesn't have. So he settled on one of their single origins and did the side by side with some tasters, including Mark Crawford (ESI), myself, Julie Beals (Fresh Cup), Brad Ford, and a few others. I got Don Holly (very experienced palate) and Peter Guiliano (another experienced palate) very interested in it as well, until they found out that Alan didn't want to use the steel filter option for the Aeropress. They balked and I almost balked, but Julie convinced me to try anyway.

When I drank my blind samples (I didn't know which was which), I knew immediately which one was the Aeropress based on flatter profile in the cup, but I did something which may end up being bad. I gave Alan a bit of a pass, and rated the (unknown, but I knew) Clover brew a 7, and his a 5. In reality, it was probably a 4 or a 3, and the aftertaste was so bad after a while, I had to find some carbonated water and crackers to get rid of it. The Aeropress 180F / paper filter was the last one I sampled, and it was hurting after two or three minutes.

Alan decided next to do espresso (la marzocco) vs. the aeropress. I just couldn't stick around for that one.

The thing is, I knew in my heart and my head that if I had gone up there, and matched the profile of the Clover's brewing parameters (45 second steep, 201F temps, the same grind) and used the metal filters, I would have been able to make the two blind samples so identical, it would have fooled the tasters completely. This would have shown this $30 product (with maybe a $5 option) to be capable of producing a near similar cup to an $8000 wunderkind. Which would have been massive advertisements for the Aeropress.

Still, I have a feeling Alan will be posting the data soon, and I have to say it wasn't an accurate, scientific test or evaluation, I'm sad to say. We were just doing a rating of one to ten with no "ten" barrier set, no real cupping quantitative scaling in the judging of the cups. And I know I wasn't the only one who was ranking the Aeropress coffee a bit optimistically (I talked a bit to Mark Crawford about it after). And Julie Beals did actually pick the Aeropress higher than the Clover. I would have preferred at least a situation where we pick our fave, give that a 10, and rate the second cup based on the best's "10" position.

But I can't help but wonder how the test would have gone down with a metal filter and a match to the Clover's brewing parameters....

Article rating: 9.3
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: April 8, 2006
feedback: (11) comments | read | write
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One of the more popular pieces of content on the CoffeeGeek website are the reports from major trade shows. We cover shows like no other media source does - giving first hand intimate and frank reports that give you the real scoop on what's going on, from a consumer and a coffee lover's true perspective.

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