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Using a Tea Ball Infuser for Coffee?

This is a discussion on Using a Tea Ball Infuser for Coffee? within the Coffee and Espresso Machines forums, part of the Coffee Addicts category; Hey all, I've been brewing my coffee manually for some time (heating water in a teakettle, allowing it too cool to brewing temp, then pouring ...

  1. #1
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    Using a Tea Ball Infuser for Coffee?

    Hey all,

    I've been brewing my coffee manually for some time (heating water in a teakettle, allowing it too cool to brewing temp, then pouring over beans in filter), and more recently I've begun roasting my own beans on a cast-iron skillet, with excellent results.

    I am currently using a single-serving manual drip coffee brewer, which is essentially a disc that sits on the top of a coffee mug or thermos, with a V-shaped filter holder / funnel above to place the filter and beans in.

    Of course, I'm also an avid tea drinker, and prefer my tea loose in a tea infuser.

    Recently I've begun to ask the question, why must coffee be poured over the beans while tea can simply "hang-out" in the hot water for the desired steep time?

    From what I know water picks up the flavor of the beans as it passes through them, and if you don't provide enough beans the tannins start getting pulled into the water, making coffee bitter.

    But, if you kept the brew / steep time limited, would there be any harm in using a tea ball infuser?

    I realize I'd need one with a tightly woven mesh, and probably larger than your average tea infuser, as most only hold around 1Tb or less when 1/2 full.

    I'm mostly struggling to figure out if there's something unique about the water going through the grounds that provides a better cup than the grounds simply soaking for a bit.

    Thanks,
    Dan O.

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    Congratulations... you've invented the press port!
    Seriously, there are a number of brewing methods and devices that use a similar theory that full-immersion over a period of time gives better, fuller extraction than merely having the water pass through the ground coffee. That might be a good thing or not depending on the coffee. There are some coffees that you just wouldn't want to taste that "fully." Also, when you don't have to use a paper filter you get a much full-bodied, richer cup of coffee.

    To get started, Google:
    - Espro Press (still my favorite low-tech brewing device)
    - Sowden SoftBrew
    - press pot
    - French Press

    The problem with using most tea infusers is that few (if any) would be fine enough to keep the sediment out of the cup and so, like the last three on the list above, you don't want to take that last sip from the cup.

  4. #3
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    Thanks Randy,

    I do have an odd habit of inventing things that have already been invented. :P

    I figured it would need a very tight weave on the metal filter to prevent grit.

    That Espreso Press looks really nice, just wish it were a little more in my price range. :P

    I'll take a further look at some of the other models, see if the savings in price is worth the increase in grit.

    Thanks,
    Dan O.

  5. #4
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    The Espro Press is not cheap, but it is quite sophisticated. The vessel is double-walled stainless steel and there is a vacuum between the layers, so it holds in the heat which is important for brewing well. The filter separates the grounds from the water so well that you can leas the plunger in while drinking without over-extraction. it also removes nearly all the fines, and the very small amount that gets through is very fine.

    They are going to have a three cup model available soon!

  6. #5
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    I've been wondering the same thing. I ordered a Bodum French Press so I'll see how it performs soon enough. I think using a tea ball or tea infuser could be an extremely cheap way around expensive presses like the espro or breakable glass like the Bodum. On amazon I'm looking at the FORLIFE Brew-in-Mug Extra-Fine Tea Infuser with Lid by*FORLIFE. I don't think it's fine enough but still searching. I think it's a great idea to brew right inside the cup your drinking from. I'll post more once I find a working solution.

  7. #6
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    Tea should be treated like a delicate food, similar to coffee.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy G. View Post
    Congratulations... you've invented the press port!

    The problem with using most tea infusers is that few (if any) would be fine enough to keep the sediment out of the cup and so, like the last three on the list above, you don't want to take that last sip from the cup.
    The Finum Tea Infuser has a tighter mesh screen than most real French Press coffee makers. We have been using it for years to make tea and I just tried it this week for making coffee. The results are nothing short of amazing!

  9. #8
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    Finum Tea Infuser For Brewing Coffee (French Press Style)

    Quote Originally Posted by Torrentula81 View Post
    I've been wondering the same thing. I ordered a Bodum French Press so I'll see how it performs soon enough. I think using a tea ball or tea infuser could be an extremely cheap way around expensive presses like the espro or breakable glass like the Bodum. On amazon I'm looking at the FORLIFE Brew-in-Mug Extra-Fine Tea Infuser with Lid by*FORLIFE. I don't think it's fine enough but still searching. I think it's a great idea to brew right inside the cup your drinking from. I'll post more once I find a working solution.
    Check out the Finum Tea Infuserat Amazon (amazon(dot)com/Finum-Brewing-Large-Basket-Black/dp/B000J3JFJU)

    We have owned 2 of them for over 10 years. Just tried it for coffee because I need a decent method for brewing coffee while camping. It's the same model that MSR sells for back packers and they sell it for about 2x under the name Mug Mate.

 

 

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