Wednesday, February 17, 2010

a longer-lived cup

One of the challenges of being a French Press user is the problem of brew longevity.  Coffee tastes best when it's slightly cooled below brewing temperature, allowing the bean's flavor to blossom.  Unfortunately, due to the bitterness that comes from over-brewing in the carafe and from the brew tail making it into the cup, French Press brew can face a short cup-life.

Usually with the French Press there is a brief window, only minutes, between the the point where the coffee cools to drinkable temperature and where the carafe becomes over-brewed, or the coffee becomes bitter because the oils have begun to deteriorate.  At a recent tasting, Eric from Seattle's Cafe Ladro spoke of routinely pitching half his cup of coffee and how frustrated he was at the waste.  Eric went on to describe the improved Coffee Catcher brew "the drink just doesn't fall apart and there's some kind of bitter oil that's missing but all the good oils you love are still there."

With the addition of the coffee catcher, the oils from the bean are still allowed into the brew to enhance flavor, however, the over-brewed oils in the brew tail are sealed below the plunger and retained separate from the drinkable section of the carafe.  Without these detrimental oils, the flavor of the cup stays intact, even as the coffee cools down toward 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  This means that the cup can be full enjoyed, even in its cooler stages, which actually allow for a stronger flavor experience to compliment the bean.

Really, it's a win-win on taste.  And no more burning your mouth trying to drink your French Press brew before the flavor degrades.

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