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Cona Size C / D - Bruce Besharah's Review
Posted: March 22, 2009, 7:27pm
review rating: 8.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Cona Size C / D
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Arrow The Cona Size C / D has 16 Reviews
Arrow The Cona Size C / D has been rated 8.44 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Cona Size C / D reviews have been viewed 74,658 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Greg Sherwin 8.50
Wade Fillingame 8.00
Bruce Besharah 8.00
Kevin Morgan 8.00
Jeroen Vriesendorp 7.88

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Product Reviewed: C/D Vac Pot
Manufacturer: Cona Quality: 9
Average Price: $130.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $158.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Classicona Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Unlikely to be your daily coffee maker but it will be the pot to bring out at a dinner party.  It'll be the star of the show to go along with your crème brulée.
Positive Product Points

Arguably the best coffee-making "show" is to be had with the CONA vac pot.  It's uber-attractive, can fill up a big area and makes a great cuppa.

Similar taste profile to presspot but smoother and with lighter body.

Negative Product Points

Like my Riedel wine glasses, I'm worried every time I use the CONA that I'm going to break it.  I know it's not "that" delicate, but still I worry when prep'ing a cuppa, cleaning, storing, etc.  So:  great care and a "GO SLOWLY" is needed here, especially as the price is up there.

It's also not for anyone who wants a quick cup in the morning.  Count on at least 20 minutes for preboiling, brewing and cleanup.

Detailed Commentary

This is the first vac pot I've owned/used so I need to review this compared to other coffee-making methods and their taste profiles.  I bought the CONA after having read its reviews, those of other vac pots, etc. and after having tasted a cup of Clover at the local Bridgehead.  Thought I could reproduce the luscious unctuous quality in a cuppa Clover, as the brew/filter process and water temperature is sorta similar.  After many attempts I've been unsuccessful at hitting that taste profile target - what I have achieved is typically well-balanced with medium body, smooth, pure/clean and something that exhibits most of the taste points of most coffee beans.  Having trouble getting some of the fruity notes and subtle characteristics of some coffees.  My presspot coffee is of fuller body and typically spicier with more chocolate/cocoa, leather, cloves, cinnamon, etc.  I haven't prepared drip coffee in years because I was never able to approach the coffee I like even with a mesh filter.  I also do a lot of espresso and Turkish-preparation but they're not really the same method so I won't compare them here.  I'd have to honestly say that some days I really like the smooth clean cup of the CONA; other days I wish I'd topped up the presspot instead!  But if you like medium-bodied coffee, go for a CONA.  With a 2 minute steep, it'll have more body than drip coffee and many more taste components.

A little bit about my process - some tricks that I've learned:
In Ottawa, I've found Denatured ethanol (which is about 90% ethanol with 10% methanol added to make it unpotable/poisonous) at BSC Chemicals over on Cyrville.  I include this blurb here because it's called different things in different countries.  The CONA manual (being British) quotes "methylated spirits".  Canadian Tire sells methyl hydrate (similar name) so that's what I thought I wanted at first, but it's not.  You also don't want Fondue Fuel as this is mostly methanol.  You also don't want camping fuel as this is naphtha, and I'm guessing that you'd be having to clean up a mess in your kitchen if you lit that up in the little glass burner that comes with the CONA.  Denatured ethanol has many advantages - its fumes when burned are mostly non-toxic (being that you're making something to drink in your kitchen this is a bonus!) and it also burns relatively cleanly.  After a cuppa, you'll notice some discoloration on the bottom of the CONA pot but all it takes is a little bit of CAMEO powder (or Lagostina) to get it spotless each time again.

So:  preheat/boil the water before pouring into the carafe.  Use a funnel to pour it in to avoid spillage on the outside of the pot.  Heat till you hear a couple of pops (bubbles coming up) and then put the top on with ground coffee.  Perfect grind for my setup is 20 on my Rocky (it's set at 30 for presspot, 8 for espresso).  After your steep, take the whole assembly off the stand before removing the top as it sometimes takes quite a bit of twisting to remove the top.  Rinse the carafe quickly after use as its spout is quite narrow and the inside is difficult to clean.  You don't want coffee to dry in there as it'll affect your next cuppa.  Half or third pots are easy to make - just adjust the amount of ground coffee accordingly.  Yes, there's a lot of water left in the bottom of the carafe while steeping (compared to other vac pots) but I don't think it makes that much difference - just add a little more coffee or steep for an extra 30 seconds when making smaller batches.  I'd be interested if someone has done an A/B comparison on this!

Buying Experience

I went to source and bought it from Classicona.  Excellent communications, well packaged, 100% positive.

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review rating: 8.0
Posted: March 22, 2009, 7:27pm
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