Tuesday, March 30, 2010

coffee without gimmicks

One of the things we feel pretty strongly about at the Coffee Catcher is keeping a clean filtration system.  And by "clean" we mean both literally (not a lot of mess) and also figuratively (easy for the average coffee drinker to use on a daily basis).  New coffee filtration toys are coming out almost daily and we keep trying them and hoping - really hoping - for something clean, easy, and satisfying.  But underneath it all, it seems that the new toys are still just...well...toys.

Siphon brewing is a mess to clean and requires you to keep a cotton filter immersed in water in a refrigerator so it won't mold....and it still gets brown.  Cold brew uses a cotton filter and takes 24 hours with a chemistry kit to brew.  Paper filters are, well, paper and that's chemex and aeropress, which we aren't thrilled to put in our coffee.  We can't help feeling that each of these hits on part of the solution, but doesn't get it exactly right.

Basically, each of these methods creates waste (cotton, paper) and also doesn't offer a very user-friendly brewer experience.  In fact, in a certain way they ostracizes the user by requiring an unreasonable amount of expertise and maintenance to use.  What happened to the relationship between drinker and brew?

We want to see people reconnect with their coffee.  It's time to really enjoy coffee's clean taste, and clean ritual without unreasonably high maintenance.  This is why we're joining the search with our coffee brethren, and developing equipment that will offer clean flavor and a clean experience, while reconnecting the drinker with their brew.  Check out the equipment we're developing, we hope it can help remind you why you first loved coffee.

Monday, March 29, 2010

coffee: the ageless obsession

We've been getting a kick out of this two-part film on coffee made by CBI (Coffee Brewing Institute) in 1961.  It is a combination of gorgeous coffee equipment and questionable coffee brewing advice.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Coffee Catcher vs. The Old Fashioned Way

Here's a little video of Nate and John demonstrating the Coffee Catcher way vs. the Old Fashioned Way of cleaning the carafe with a spoon.  We sure had a lot of coffee fun while shooting the footage.

Monday, March 22, 2010

SCAA Registration is still open!

 We're very much looking forward to the SCAA Expo in Anaheim next month.  Running from April 15 - 18, the Expo describes itself as "the coffee professional’s one stop shop for everything they need to succeed in the coffee industry."

Since we'll be debuting the Coffee Catcher to the West Coast coffee community (it made its first trade show appearance earlier this month at Coffee Fest, NY) we're looking forward to demonstrating the Coffee Catcher's effect on both flavor, cup-life, and easier carafe cleanup.  We expect to have a lot of feedback to report after the show and if history is any indication, a lot of Coffee Catcher converts as well.

To learn more about the Expo, download the official 2010 SCAA attendee fact sheet.

You don't have to be an SCAA member to attend the Expo.  If you're planning to attend and haven't registered yet, we suggest doing so now to ensure available registration.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coffee Catcher product samples put to good use

We've had so many baristas, cafe owners, and coffee enthusiasts borrowing the Coffee Catcher product samples to demonstrate for their clients and friends that all of the samples are now spoken for!

Thank goodness the Coffee Catcher's first order is moving along!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coffee Catcher "How To" Sighting!

The Coffee Catcher "How To" Video is being spread around the blogosphere.  We've noticed it being posted in a couple of places.  Seems to us that French Press users are becoming curious on how exactly the little device works.  Well, check it out for yourself:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Coffee Catcher and grounds

So, the question was recently asked of us: "Will the Coffee Catcher hook work if I use a lot of grounds in my French Press?"

The answer is yes!  We recommend aligning the catches of the Catcher Disk so that they line up with the handle and spout of your French Press.  That way, it's easy to hook into the catches on the Catcher Disk even if they are hidden beneath a heavy batch of coffee grounds!  We've designed the hook and catch precisely so that the two will connect solidly, yet be easy to find by feel.

Plus, lining up your Catcher Disk with the handle and spout of the French Press maximizes the disk's ability to capture and retain the bitter, over-brewed coffee tail at the bottom of the press. The bitterness stays trapped in the carafe and only delicous coffee goes in your cup.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

no one is safe...

Our founder John Custer is currently wishing he was in Seattle where the Coffee Catcher samples are being produced and distributed.  While Seattle-based founder Nate Jones is enjoying the Coffee Catcher on a daily basis, John is still struggling with cleaning his French Press the old fashioned way.  At least he only has to endure until the Coffee Catcher ships in April.  But in the meantime, check out John's latest cry of agony, received in the Seattle office via email this weekend:
 Hang in there, John!  Help is on the way.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Coffee Catcher 2010 appearances

2010 is shaping up to be a busy year for the Coffee Catcher.  After making its debut in the Seattle coffee scene and attending Coffee Fest, New York it will be taking the show on the road over the next few months.

Don't miss The Coffee Catcher at one of its upcoming appearances:

SCAA Expo (April 15 - 18, 2010)
Hilton Anaheim
777 Convention Way
Anaheim, CA

Caffe Culture (June 23-25, 2010)
This is also where they'll be hosting the World Barista Championships, 2010
Olympia, London

Coffee Fest, Seattle (October 29 - 31, 2010)
Washington State Convention & Trade Center
800 Convention Place
Seattle, WA

Monday, March 8, 2010

a shout out to our blog-bretheren

If there's anything the Coffee Chroniclers love, it's a funny thoughtful coffee blog - which is why we wanted to direct our readers to check out Meet The Press Pot.

Not only are the blogger's article's really funny in-depth and insightful, but there's also an excellent resource of links to other prominent coffee blogs.  So, brew yourself a cup and nestle in for some scrumptious (and entertaining) coffee reading.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

taste and over-extraction

Last Wednesday Coffee Catcher co-inventor Nate Jones joined Sarah Dooley of Visions Espresso for the most carefully prepped Coffee Catcher test we've set up so far.  Nate brought three Stumptown coffees from the three major roasting regions: a Kenya Gatomboya (bright and limey), an Indonesia Gajah Aceh (earthy and full-flavored) and a Peru Capacy (understated and balanced). All were roasted on the previous Sunday.  There was only time to try the Kenya Gatomboya before Visions closed, but it proved to be the right coffee for a one-off test. The Kenya's acidity and brightness responded well to the Coffee Catcher, and it was a good chance for Sarah to dial in a popular Stumptown roast with the Coffee Catcher.

Here is Nate's detailed look at the cupping:
I got the sense that we both would have enjoyed spending 5 or 6 hours really delving into the way the Coffee Catcher affects different roasts and flavor profiles, but Sarah's main goals were to do a carefully calibrated test so that she could experience the Coffee Catcher herself.  We tasted the top, middle and bottom of each press and we both had similar impressions throughout the tasting process. During the first minute of tasting (about 2-3 minutes after the coffee was poured), we both preferred the traditional french press. The floral notes really sparkled and the coffee tasted crystal clear, so that the coffee's complex flavors came through clearly.
I should note that [the flavor preference] happened only for the top portion of the french press. The bottom part of the press, in particular, started to over-extract almost immediately. During that first tasting, the Coffee Catcher coffee's flavors (especially on the top two cups) seemed shy and smooth, still blooming. Within 5 minutes of pouring, the extra dissolved solids in the traditional press coffee had started over-extracting the brew and the coffee began to taste flat. Meanwhile, the Coffee Catcher coffee continued to mature and blossom, showing a sweetness and smoothness that the other coffee never attained. The floral notes were all there, but they were more subtle, more balanced than in that first tasting of traditional press coffee.
The top two cups of Coffee Catcher coffee reached their full flavor in about 5-7 minutes, with the bottom cup maturing a couple of minutes later and showing slightly earthier qualities, with perhaps a hint of cedar. The mature flavor of the Coffee Catcher cups remained more subtle and balanced than the fireworks experience of the traditional press in its first minute or so, but all the complexity of the coffee was there. Without the extra dissolved solids, though, the Coffee Catcher coffee continued to taste true as it cooled, allowing the cooler, sweeter flavors to come through in ways that you would never get with regular french press coffee. Also, without the burst-collapse traditional press experience, I felt I had more time to explore the different flavors in the cup, which continued to evolve as the coffee aged. By contrast, the bottom of the traditional press was too over-extracted to be drinkable in less than 10 minutes, and the top, middle and bottom of the traditional press showed signs of over-extraction within 5 minutes.
I talked to Sarah about the development of the Coffee Catcher for 10 or 15 minutes while the coffee cooled. Then, at about the 25-30 minute mark, we did another round of tasting. All three cups of the traditional press were over-extracted and bitter by this time. The complexity of the flavor profile in the Coffee Catcher coffee had receded to an over-arching sweetness, and I could detect hints of over-extraction in the background (this was more pronounced in the bottom cup), but the overall effect was still very pleasant. By this time the coffee was near room temperature, but it remained sweet and drinkable without the bitter over-extraction that characterizes traditional french press coffee.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

catch us at Coffee Fest New York this weekend

The Coffee Catcher is traveling to the East Coast this weekend!

Catch us at:
Coffee Fest, New York in the Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, NJ

We'll be there from March 5 - 7

Find us in booth #231 with our friends from Visions Espresso.  Ask Tom Pikaart for a personal product demonstration and see the Coffee Catcher in action!

Monday, March 1, 2010

a shout out from Slayer Espresso

Our team is all a-twitter after the Coffee Catcher receiving a shout out from Slayer Espresso in their Twitter feed.  After making us blush with the accolade, "A LESS MESSY FRENCH PRESS",  they later expanded their compliment to include, "Ease of clean-up & improved flavor!!!"

We couldn't have said it better ourselves!

If there's anyone who knows about coffee quality, it's the Slayer team. Slayer's inventors are seasoned espresso machine designers who developed the Slayer in their quest to build the perfect espresso machine. The Slayer is notable for it's precise thermal management (so that water temperature and pressure is consistent for each shot) and for it's manually timed pre-infuse setting, which allows steam to gently saturate the espresso puck prior to the actual pull. This pre-infusion step allows Slayer baristas to pull longer shots that extract more flavor and tasty dissolved solids from the espresso puck before over-extraction occurs. There are only 40 Slayers in the world, so your local cafe probably doesn't have one yet! Still, Slayers are spread from Sydney to Seattle, so there's a good chance you can go coffee touristing and find one within a few hundred miles.

For you Seattle residents, the local Slayer locations are: Zoka (Kirkland), Equal Exchange Espresso (Ballard Market, coming soon) - let us know if you find others!