Monday, September 27, 2010

Coffee Catcher FAQ

This post is long over-due! Here are the top questions we get about the Coffee Catcher. We'll update this post periodically with new questions, or info on new brewing methods (see #3 below).

1. Q: Where can I get a Coffee Catcher?
    A: Right here. Unless you live in Seattle, we are not yet in a store near you. If you do live in Seattle, you can pick up a Coffee Catcher at Trabant or at Visions Espresso.

2. Q: What is the Coffee Catcher made of?
    A: All parts are made of 100% stainless steel.

3. Q: What does the Coffee Catcher do?
    A: Two things. First, the Coffee Catcher collects grounds for easy removal after brewing. Second, the Coffee Catcher seems to filter suspended fines out of the brew in such a way that the resulting coffee tastes cleaner and has a longer cup life. Yup, that claim sounds far-fetched. We didn't believe it either at first. Posts exploring the filtration effect herehere and here.

4. Q: How do you use the Coffee Catcher?
    A: We originally designed the Coffee Catcher to be placed in the bottom of the press before adding coffee. After brewing and pressing, hook into the disc to remove the Coffee Catcher. Original video  here.
    That said, it turns out the Coffee Catcher offers intriguing possibilities for other brew methods. See experiments with coffee siphon pots, the Coffee Catcher pull technique (referenced in 5th paragraph here), and the Double Coffee Catcher technique (videos here and here), and a technique called multi-bed brewing (blog posts here and here). We expect to discover still other ways to use the Coffee Catcher in the near future. Stay tuned...

5. Q: How do I clean my Coffee Catcher?
    A: Daily, clean in three steps:
         1. After removing the coffee puck, use the hook to scrape the puck into the trash, the compost, or over your plants.
         2. Then give the disc a rinse under the faucet.
         3. Next time you brew, insert the Coffee Catcher and add a little hot water to pre-warm your press. Shake the press gently to agitate any stray fines caught between the Coffee Catcher discs into the water. Dump the water into the sink and brew in your pre-warmed press.

          Occasionally, do a thorough cleaning:
          1. Gently unscrew and disassemble your Coffee Catcher using a flathead screwdriver. We recommend disassembling directly into a bowl.
          2. Cover parts with hot water and a dash of Cafiza powder (eco-friendly phosphate free powder here)
          3. Soak for 15 minutes, rinse in cold water and reassemble when dry. To condition the metal, you can soak the assembled Coffee Catcher in water for an hour afterwards.

6. Q: I see wrinkles around the edge of my Coffee Catcher mesh. Does it still work?
    A: Yep! First, the steel discs themselves provide sufficient structure to lift and compress your coffee grounds into a cake. Second, our taste tests tell us that suspended fines trapped by the Coffee Catcher stay trapped regardless of wrinkle appearance or arrangement, perhaps because falling french press fines plug any gaps caused by wrinkles very early in the brew cycle.

7. Q: Why is the Coffee Catcher a disc instead of a cup shape?
    A: Preferences for coffee amounts used in brewing vary, and doses may even change slightly depending on roast or type of bean. We designed the Coffee Catcher as a disc in order to trap any amount of coffee: half presses, full presses, even double-dose presses (see iced coffee post here). Also, a disc shape means the Coffee Catcher will not interfere with the French press plunger action.

8. Q: Does one of the Coffee Catcher sizes fit my press?
    A: Probably, since we designed the Coffee Catcher to fit the most popular French press models. That said, let us know if you have a size that doesn't fit, as we're already working to add more sizes to the line-up.

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