Vacuum Brewing vs. other methods

mpkelley20

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Sep 24, 2004
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For the home coffee roaster, what is the best method for making coffee? I recently read some stuff on vacuum brewing coffeemakers and they sound interesting. I currently use a standard drip machine and am satisfied but I am probably not getting the best possible taste from my home roasted beans. Anyone here use a vacuum brewer? What would be the best method for the home drinker of regular coffee (not espresso).

Thanks!
 

phaelon56

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Sep 25, 2003
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Syracuse NY
I use a small Bodum vacuum brewer and love it but it's not for quick and easy weekday morning brewing. IMHO it delivers quality like a French Press but without the sludge in the bottom of the cup.

Not economical for amount of coffee needed. I use 40 grams of beans for 25 ounces of water to make one batch. But it is worth it.
 

BaristaTrainer

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Oct 18, 2004
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Portland, OR
I love my Bodum mini Santos but agree that it is not the quick morning jolt brewer that I sometimes need, more of the Sunday morning sleepy eyed science project brewer.

Pour over cone filters work well, and there is always my other favorite ... french press. I also have a Nuova Simonelli Oscar home machine which is also good.

BT
 

Quink

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Feb 11, 2004
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Bristol UK
Have you guys tried near boiling the water for the santos in a kettle and then adding it to the bottom sphere? it works for me and the whole process takes about 10 mins at the most rather than the 30 odd for just letting it sit on the hob
 

pstam

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Jan 7, 2005
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China
It has one thing typical. If you like, it is good; if you don't like, it is not good.

It has the water temperature higher close to boiling, and the sourness is almost be killed out. We normally like the coffee with good balance of bitterness and sourness, so we do not like it. But, maybe it is good fo you.
 

mightybean

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Apr 8, 2003
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Medina, Ohio
I am a big fan of my French Press, Its an antique handed down from grandma. I have not found a better press, I have found that the water temperature needs to be between 180-185 for it to make its best coffee. Any more or less and I can taste a real difference.
 
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mpkelley20

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Sep 24, 2004
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I decided to try a vacuum brewer. Everywhere I read, I know I shouldn't buy an electric model but, in the end, the Bodum Santos eclectric model was my choice. Maybe the stovetop model is better because you can control the process a little more but the amount of work that is needed is just too much (especially at 7am on a Saturday when all I want is my coffee). I read enough "people" reviews on places like Amazon and Epinions to justify my purchase. And, anything is better than my crappy $45 Mr Coffee that I bought at Walmart a while ago. Yuck....makes awful coffee!!!

I should be receiving my brewer within a few days (hopefully before the Superbowl....I'm from Boston!!!) and will post my thoughts once I have tried it out.

By the way, I thoroughly enjoy the taste of french press coffee but the sediment is to over the top for me. It's like drinking orange juice with pulp. Again with the Yuck!!

Thanks,
Matt
 
Put myself out on a limb here. I am a big Broncos fan from the year I did in Colorado 1989/1990. I am backing the Patriots this Superbowl. Brady is hell of a good quaterback. Superbowl in not big in Asia outside of Japan. My first Asian superbowl was at a beach bar, 5.30am in Ko-Samet in Thailand- back in 1998. This year plan to watch it outside of the roastery at a little cafe owned by an expat American. Looking forward to it. Reckon it will be 28-14 to the Pats
 
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mpkelley20

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Ok, tried my new Bodum Santos Electric Vacuum brewer last night for the first time. I used some older Blue Mountain coffee my neighbor had brought back for me this year from Jamiaca. I was not impressed with the quality and taste of this coffee the few times I tried it (way too sour and mild) but I didn't have any of my green beans roasted so this is what I had to work with.

I set the machine up, added the water and newly ground coffee and watched. The process was very enjoybale to watch and I was amazed at how this thing works. When it was done, I poured my first cup and was blown away at how good it tasted. The sourness was gone and, although still mild, the taste was delicious.

The main thing I noticed was how piping hot the coffee was. My crappy Mr. Coffee machine never got the coffee this hot. I would sometimes have to throw my cup in the microwave in order to heat it up because any adidition of cream would make the coffee luke warm. Don't have this problem anymore.

I now understand some people's complaints with the electric version of this. There is no real way to control the brewing time as everything is pre-programmed in the electric base. I guess with the stove top version, you can control when the heat is shut off which in turn releases the brew back to the lower chamber. For people wanting a stroner brew, they can keep it on the heat source longer. With the electric version, you don't have this option. I suppose I could play around with the bean grind (make it finer) but I doubt I am going to be complaining considering what I was using before.

The next big test is on Sunday when I have people over to watch the Superbowl. I will be roasting beans tonight so they will be perfect for Sunday evening. I'm sure I will be getting a lot of compliments from my friends!

Go Pats!!!!
 

rcs1

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Feb 10, 2005
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The biggest problem with the electric Santos's has been mentioned here before, but happens to be the short "up-north" time. Raising the syphon tube just a bit allows you to control the amount of time the coffee brews for. This is easily done by not seating the top half fully. It will still make a seal, but now will allow you to turn off the brewer after the right amount of time. I have found that vacuum brewers do not require near the same amount of time to brew as other methods. Ideally in the e-santos you want about 90 seconds of a full rolling up-north time. I then kill the heat by just turning it off, and then pour the coffee into a thermal carafe after it is sucked back down.

For the full manual brewers, I have no idea why it would take anyone 30 minutes to make a pot, unless you were using an alcohol spirit lamp. I do pre-heat my water too, but it isn't completely necessary. Usually I put the amount I want in the microwave, go grind my coffee, pour the water in the bottom part, and then put on the top, stick in the glass rod filter, and pour the coffee grounds in. The water will begin to move north almost immediately. Since the manual brews aren't nearly as "violent" as the e-santos, I usually stir the grounds while it is bubbling away. Then I kill the heat after about 2 minutes, and move it to a cool burner, and let the vacuum action take over. Total time, including water heating in the microwave, is about 10 minutes.

C.
 
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mpkelley20

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Sep 24, 2004
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rcs1

thanks for the advice. It works great and I can now brew my coffee for as long as I want (or so it seems!).

Matt
 

NW JAVA

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Filtron

MAn! I just made up a crafe of Filtron cold " brewed" ( actuially extracted) coffee, and it's is the smoothest full flavor no hint of acid coffee I have ever had. Truth be know, I am a coffee guy stuck in an espresso buisness, but that''s o.k. I don't drink my profits away.....
 

phaelon56

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Sep 25, 2003
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Syracuse NY
Have you guys tried near boiling the water for the santos in a kettle and then adding it to the bottom sphere? it works for me and the whole process takes about 10 mins at the most rather than the 30 odd for just letting it sit on the hob

Yeah... I'm among those wondering about the 30 minute time. A full pot (25 oz) in my mini Bodum vac pot takes about 5 minutes to boil enough to start moving north, another 90 seconds to 2 minutes to move to the top of the pot and then I allow it to step for about 3 minutes before turnign off the heat. The trip back south starts about 90 seconds later and is complete in 1 or 2 minutes after that. Total time including set up and clean up is about 13 - 15 minutes for me but it's worth it.

I was given a mini-Santo electric vac pot as a gift and really appreciate the tip about raising the siphon tube. An alternate tip that will produce longer brew times yet still leave it as an automatic device (i.e. it will shut itself off when the brew cycle is complete) is to shimp up one edge of the pot formt he bottom using a 25 cent coin (US quarter) or perhaps even two of them taped together. This tilts the thermostat slightly and lengthens the brew time.
I have used both the Melitta and Chemex systems in the past and enjoyed them both but I do prefer the vac pot coffee.
 
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