Consumer Review: Antique Silex Vacuum Pot
Yes, that’s right, I’ve been on eBay again. And while not drunk in the traditional sense, I had been drinking in that sweet elixir known as curiosity. Curiosity over what, you ask. Well, to answer that I’m going to have to start right at the beginning.
You see, for my money there are 4 basic categories of coffee brewing. The first known to mankind is simply boiling. This includes both Turkish and Greek coffee boiled in a traditional Ibrik (or Briki). This method also includes your basic percolator which many holdouts (my grandma included) still use to this day. By the mid-19th century, though, this method came under criticism because the 212-degree temperatures over-extracted the coffee grounds and created a nasty, bitter beverage.
The next method, gravity brewing, is what almost everybody in the United States uses for coffee - your standard automatic drip maker. In principle a rather ingenius device, most of these suck because (despite over 50 years of development) they only heat the water to about 175-185F, while the ideal temperature lies between 192 and 197F. The only automatic coffeemaker certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America to reach these temperatures is the Dutch-made Technivorm but it’ll set you back about $170. Also included in this category are extremely simple manual pour-over devices, such as the Chemex (my everyday coffeemaker), the manual Melitta, and the SwissGold One-cup Brewer. The principle here being, of course, that only gravity is used to move the hot water through the coffee grounds and the filter.
Third, you have the pressure method in which hot water is forced through compacted coffee grounds by either steam or pump pressure. This method includes your high-end espresso machine and your humble Moka Pot. While some think that this is the end all, be all for coffee, I like to enjoy my beverage over a longer period of time (say, all day), rather than drinking my coffee as though it were a Jaeger bomb.
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