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Vacuum Drip Coffee

 
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:35 am    Post subject: Vacuum Drip Coffee Reply with quote

We switched to a vacuum drip coffee maker. I don't drink the coffee so I'm taking it on Steve's and America's Test Kitchen's and the LA Times' advice that it makes good tasting coffee.

Here's what I like about it:
• it's fun to watch the water show
• all the parts of the coffee maker get washed each time and there are no little crannies for the brewed oils to hide in so no bitterness should ever develop to spoil the flavor
• no paper filters to buy or run out of
• the pot is much smaller on the counter than a conventional coffee maker; the plug-in electronics that direct the initiation of the brewing sequence are so tiny as to be almost invisible

Here's the down side:
• all the parts that have to get washed each time need to be hand washed; some are dishwasher safe but I don't want them to get all cloudy and scratched up if I'm going to have to look at them every morning
• the carafe isn't a vacuum so I have to pour the brewed coffee into a vacuum bottle (but I do anyway so Steve can take it to work with him)
• the funnel apparatus that has to be removed to serve the coffee is a little awkward (but I brew next to the sink so I can put it in the dish drainer to drain and for the grounds to dry out some
• it's a little messy dumping the used grounds from the large funnel portion into the little paper sack that I collect them in until I put them out as mulch for my azaleas and camellias

Bottom line: I like it. Steve, the coffee drinker, does too and I'm sending the regular drip machine to Goodwill.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey---I need your e-mail address---tried to send a note via e-mail addy ending sbcglobal.net to no avail!

cheers
d
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nima



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey,

I've never even heard of a vacuum coffee maker. What makes it different from a regular old drip machine? I'm totally technologically backward...I make my coffee in a South Indian filter coffee "machine," which has to be among the lower-tech methods for brewing coffee. It's a double-deckered stainless steel container. You put coffee and hot water in the top container and wait until it strains through, by gravity, to the bottom level, leaving the grounds in the sieve above. It produces a nice strong brew, if you don't mind waiting an hour for the coffee to filter down Smile.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nima- Well, I'm afraid I'm utterly technologically challenged myself. I can just tell you that vacuum extraction was around in the US when I was a kid 50 years ago. It went out of fashion but people are rediscovering it for it's clean taste.

The system consists of a carafe at the bottom which is filled with water at the beginning of the sequence. Resting on it with a tight plug in between is a large funnel; mine has a lid to keep it closed. Between the stem and the bowl of the funnel its fitted with a small tight-mesh filter. The coffee grounds go into the funnel. This is all similar in mechanics to a an espresso pot but it's bigger and, in my experience, glass or, now, clear plastic.

The sequence begins when the water at the bottom is heated. Something (FoodSciGeek, can you help us out here?) drives the heated water up the stem of the funnel to immerse the coffee grounds. The water begins slowly drawing upward and then finishes in a great bubbling hiccup. When there is no more water in the bottom (I'm thinking the vacuum that the system in named for has been created) the water-now-become-coffee is drawn back into the bottom carafe and the grounds are retained on the other side of the filter in the funnel. As before, it begins with a smooth "seeping" and end with a gushy, bubbly spasm. A tiny laboratory display for your morning gratification!

It takes about 2 minutes from the time the water begins to boil until you have finished coffee. It's highly amusing to me — the non-coffee drinker — and yummy to my husband — the coffee drinker.

Here's a picture of what they looked like back in the 50s:

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nima



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey,

Thanks for the explanation. It does look like a cool science experiment. It reminds me of a restaurant in Delhi, called United Coffee House, that serves something they call Kona coffee (though I have my doubts about whether it really comes from Hawaii). But it's great fun, because it's brought to your table is a cool, beaker-like vessel, sitting in a long stand. There's something very extravagant and 'mad-scientist-like' about the presentation.

While United Coffee House is still very much a Delhi institution, these kind of older dining establishments are slowly giving way to a whole new generation of lux, slick globalized restaurants, which sadly don't offer any of the eccentricities of the older places.
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