Saturday, October 6, 2012

Abid Clever Coffee Dripper

Abid Clever Coffee Dripper.

(FYI - the commercial tune is "Ziggy Stardust" by David Bowie)

I finally got this in 2012 (with a matching lid), and it's been my brewer of choice ever since. I got mine from Sweet Maria's (I have the large size that uses #4 filters - NOTE: Drinking unfiltered coffee has been linked to increased blood cholesterol; also see this AJCN study).

A few things I've determined:
  • For the freshest and best-tasting coffee:
    • Buy only whole bean coffee as close to the roasting date as possible. If it wasn't just roasted, then buy it only in sealed bags, not from open bins or jars. My preferred coffee these days is whole bean Major Dickason's Blend by Peet's Coffee. The roasting date is clearly labeled on the 12 oz. bag, which I usually finish within 2 weeks.
    • Keep the coffee beans tightly sealed off from air between uses, either in 16 oz. Mason Jars using a vacuum sealer Mason Jar lid attachment, or in the original bag rolled shut as tight as possible each time you close it. The vacuum sealer method is better, based on my experience using both. 2014 Update: I now use the 64 oz. AirScape canister as being easier than having to repeatedly vacuum-seal a Mason Jar.
    • Grind only as much coffee as you will use within 24-48 hours or so.
    • If not brewing it immediately, put the freshly-ground coffee in a sealed container with as little air space as possible. If you can still smell the coffee from within the container, use a different container or wrap it with plastic wrap; if you can smell the coffee, it means that air is getting to the coffee and degrading its freshness.
    • Don't buy more whole bean coffee than you will use in two weeks, especially if you grind fresh beans every day or two and are thus repeatedly opening and closing the bag or container.
  • When putting the Clever Coffee Dripper on your cup, be sure to remove the lid part-way; otherwise, it creates a partial vacuum and the coffee will never fully drain into the cup.
  • Though I haven't compared the taste with generic or other cone filters, I use the Melitta #4 filters with micro-perforations (white; the "natural" ones are not more ecologically friendly, and per some people may impart a taste to the coffee), which should allow some of the flavorful coffee oils to pass through the filter.
My Clever Coffee Dripper method:
  1. Grind the coffee beans for drip grind (i.e., halfway between Espresso fine and French Press coarse); you'll need a good quality burr grinder to do this, which start at more than $100, unless you get a good manual hand grinder - read online reviews before you buy. I probably use the equivalent of 2 TBSP coffee (i.e., 1 standard coffee scoop) per 6 oz. water, varying it for the roast I use and the strength I want. If you want to be precise, use a scale to measure the weight of the coffee, an exact amount of water per gm of coffee, and an instant-read thermometer to ensure a precise water temperature before pouring it on the grounds. While I'm definitely pickier than most people, I'm (not yet) chemistry-lab picky.
  2. Set the timer for 3 minutes (4 minutes brewing time before setting it on the cup to drain is too long) while boiling the water.
  3. When the water boils, pour into a measuring cup the amount of water you're going to use, which also lets it cool off a bit from boiling temperature. Despite the video, I don't pre-rinse the filters to get rid of the "paper taste," as I have not noticed a difference when doing so when using the white filters.
  4. Start the timer and pour the water from the measuring cup slowly over all the grounds in the filter cone to make sure they're fully and evenly soaked. You can then gently stir the floating grounds or push them down with a spoon (like in the video), or just wait to do so at the 1-minute-to-go mark per the next step. Put on the lid to keep the water hot (this all takes about 30 seconds).
  5. At the 1-minute-to-go mark (i.e., after 2 minutes), [again] gently stir or submerge the floating grounds and replace the lid.
  6. When the timer rings after 3 minutes of brewing, put the Coffee Dripper on the cup and partially slide the lid off the top to prevent a partial vacuum while still keeping the coffee as warm as possible.
  7. It will take the coffee about a minute to fully drain into the cup, and if you do things right, there will be a nice rounded mound of coffee grounds at the bottom of the filter (versus them being spread evenly all up and down the sides of the filter).
  8. Enjoy!