Monday, May 17, 2010

Pour speed and silt behavior with the French press

As you can tell by our previous post (“Finessing the brew method”), we’ve been giving French press technique quite a bit of thought lately.  Nate Jones recently made this interesting observation during his French press experimentation:
“I saw something very, very interesting when I used the Coffee Catcher today.  I think that the filter effect of the Coffee Catcher is governed by the rate-of-pour during the first few seconds of the pour as the water meets the grounds.  If, while pouring the coffee maker lets 'er rip, then the water penetrates the mesh of the Coffee Catcher and forms a single reservoir with the liquid above the mesh, leaving silt able to pass through the Coffee Catcher’s mesh base.  However, if the water is poured gently, the water and grounds act together to seal the mesh, causing an air bubble underneath - and no silt.

“If this is repeatable, it is a definite win since it would give the traditionalists an option to still clean up with the Coffee Catcher.  Also, it reveals the breadth of flavor one can achieve using the Coffee Catcher.  Finally, and most interesting, it may mean a new dimension to the French press experience - something experienced brewers can use to precisely guide silt filtering."

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