HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Vacpot (25 msgs / 747 lines)
1) From: Dean De Crisce
I love my espresso and fp...dont much like drip/pourover...but was thinking about getting a vacpot.
I hear so much here about vacpots...that I am tempted. I would try to look for a stanless steel because all that glass makes this klutz very nervous.
What do you all think about the vacpot...how does the taste compare to a chemex or pourover. Can it offer anything over fp...except a cup devoid of oils and tasty body?
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone.
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2) From: Barry Luterman
Vac pot can't be beat. I sold my TV after getting a Vac Pot.I don't
think I would want a metal one though. The glass  ones are cheap
enough and surprisingly sturdy. I am on my first one for 5 years with
only replacing my lower bowl once. So for 8 cups a day for 1725 days
at about 75 dollars that works out to 4.3 cents a day or about.005
cents a cup. I use a Cory rod so everything is glass and easy to
clean. Never any taste of residual oils. The brewed coffee is
excellent. This from another Espresso drinker. I used to worry about
breaking it also. Now if it were to break I figure it doesn't owe me a
thing.
On Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 8:23 PM, Dean De Crisce  wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Coffee
When we had the Great Can/Am Brewer Throw down a while back, several  
of us found the VacPot to be superior to all the other methods  
including the FP. I was, in fact, surprised by this. I have the non- 
electric Bodum and I really enjoy it.
-Peter
On Jun 16, 2008, at 11:23 PM, Dean De Crisce wrote:
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4) From: Peter Genuardi
As another Peter who's used the Bodum Santos for 5 years, I'll second that
emotion.
I think they sell a bunch of these through resellers (like skymall) with the
advertising pitch of "The Santos is a coffee maker that produces coffee in a
very cute way!"  They completely undersell it's ability to make a
consistent, clean cup of (relatively) full-flavor coffee.
It's somewhat tough to find (Tom has it on his site).  But if you crawl
through eBay or Froogle, you can usually find it around $60 ($59 at sweet
maria's today and $69 from bodum) but sometimes on deeper discount.  I've
seen it sold with red rather than black plastic handles and accents.  Also,
I've seen it at the Bodum store sold as a big kit with lots of accessories
(brushes, etc.) as well as just the bowls and stand.  I just have the simple
one.
My other coffee maker's a Bodum Shin Bistro French press, which I use 70% of
the time because it's smaller and I really shouldn't be drinking so much
coffee in one day.  It's quicker to clean than the Santos and compared to
their other FPs it has fewer parts.
I've also used Bodum's travel press, which works well for single-cups.  But
I only use it now on camping trips and vacation, due to my fear of consuming
too much plastic leeched from the lexan (I think that they use).  I wrote to
them once asking if they've tested in for leeching, but got no response.
For the same fear-of-plastic reason, I would not likely use the mini-santos,
which is electric and plastic bodied.
Hope this is helpful.
 - Peter
On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:53 AM, Coffee  wrote:
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5) From: Kris McN
I'm going to buck the trend here, but I'm not a big fan of the vac pot.
After the Great Can/Am Brewer Throwdown I got a vac pot because it did so
well.  However, both my husband and I find the brew to be too "clean", too
thin, lacking body.  I've messed around with different beans, grind,
grinds/water, and brew time, but it always seems to lack the body we like.
It's not a *bad* cup, just not our preferred thing.  We do use it when we
have company over because it's kinda fancy-pants, it's nice to be able to
make a full pot, and it seems to make a good/expected cup for ordinary folk
(*read: non-coffee fanatics/home roasters*).  Our primary brew method is a
moka pot, followed by AP and FP, so it may be that we've just become
accustomed to a thicker, chewier brew.
It just goes to show how much of this is about personal taste.
FWIW, YMMV, blah de blah.
Best,
Kris McN
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6) From: Brian Kamnetz
On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 2:44 PM, Kris McN  wrote:
<Snip>
Kris,
Reminds me of my favorite line from Riders in the Sky Radio Theater:
SIDEMEAT: Want some more coffee, Ranger Doug?
RANGER DOUG: Yeah, Sidemeat, twist me off another piece.
Brian
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7) From: Peter Genuardi
Yes, chewy coffee is not the VC's specialty, unless you grind way too small.
I just found this (y'all may have already seen it) feature on Blue Bottle
Coffee  in SF, which has a $20k vacuum
setup from Japan for their cafe.http://www.yumsugar.com/986866It seems like these guys are doing lots of innovative stuff.  I can't wait
to get out there to see their operation close up.
Does anyone on the list know anyone over there?
 - Peter
On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:54 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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8) From: Dean De Crisce
I am very intrigued. Hmmm.
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone.

9) From: Dean De Crisce
That is my concern...i am primarily espresso...some fp...and all previously moka pot. I guess body matters to me less than full flavor.
I do see many positive responses. I wonder if it has to do with cory rod vs cloth filter?
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone.

10) From: Cameron Forde
Hi Peter,
I've been to the Blue Bottle in SF and have a couple of suggestions.
The first is to plan on having breakfast.  They serve up a really nice
poached egg on toast and my wife really liked their french toast.
They don't fire up the vac pots until after 10 and so this may or may
not work with your breakfast plans.  The cafe can be a little hard to
spot as they don't have a sign and so bring your map.
Cameron
On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:08 PM, Peter Genuardi
 wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
ceforde
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11) From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Claus_Th=F8gersen?=
Hi,
I have broken 2 or maybe 3 top parts of my Santos over the last hmmm 2 mayb=
e =
3 years, but the coffee it makes is fantastic, and with an AP as a quick =
alternative brewer I just have to knwo when it is to early or I am to =
careless to clean the top part without breaking it.
Claus

12) From: Barry Luterman
Do not put the bottle brush in the siphon tube to clean it. Overtime
the brush weakens the glass and it breaks when you bang it on a hard
surface. Use a bottle brush only to clean the inside of the bowls
only. The siphon tube gets clean by just letting the soapy water drain
through it.
On Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 12:05 PM, Claus Thøgersen  wrot=
e:
<Snip>
ybe
<Snip>
 of
<Snip>
ffee.com
<Snip>
fee.com
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
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13) From: Donald Varona
How about a bullet list? Or two?
Pros:
   - "Clean", smooth cup
   - Brings out varietal qualities very well
   - Dramatic process
Cons:
   - More effort to prep
   - Lots of cleanup
   - Fragile components (with glass, as most are)
   - Process can be finicky-- needs consistent grind within a narrow range,
   especially with glass rod.  Your whirly-blade grinder won't be sufficient
   here.
On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 7:17 PM, Dean De Crisce 
wrote:
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14) From: Bryan Wray
Lots of cleanup compared to?  I don't think it takes more than about 45-1:30 seconds extra compared to a FP, which is about the same as a Chemex.  For Chemex I just discard the filter, take off the wooden collar and into the dishwasher it goes.  I have a Bodum Columbia FP (all stainless) so I just dump the grounds into the garbage and the rest of the pot goes into the dishwasher.  Total cleanup for both of those is maybe 15 seconds.  I have a Yama 5 Cup Tabletop vacuum brewer and to clean that I just, again, dump the grounds, rinse the top portion and give it a quick wipe with a dry cloth, rinse the filter and put the filter into a glass with very mild Cafiza/water solution and into the fridge, and put the bottom portion in the dishwasher.  Total cleanup time is maybe 2 minutes tops.  Now, I mean it is longer, and there is technically more cleanup, but not substantial enough to make it any big deal.  Granted I have worked in shops for about 6 years
 so I'm used to cleaning up as I go and really working quickly.  I'm also accustomed to taking apart conical grinders, down to parts, once a week to clean them all out which takes upwards of two hours from start to complete re-assembly, so nothing really seems to be too difficult at all compared to that.
I don't mean to harp.  I'm reading over this and it sounds super negative, it's not meant to be.  It's just I really don't think it's that difficult to clean up any non-3-group espresso machine way of preparing coffee, let alone a vacuum pot.  
BTW, can the top part go in a dishwasher too?  I've wondered about the gasket getting too hot, but hey, it has 200F water run through it... anyone know?
Not meaning to be a pain, just sayin'...
-Bry
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens of Cafe Grumpy in NYC.
--- On Wed, 6/18/08, Donald Varona  wrote:
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15) From: Barry Luterman
I've put the top part through the dishwasher many times.. No harm to the gasket
On Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 3:46 PM, Bryan Wray
 wrote:
<Snip>
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16) From: Tim TenClay
On Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 9:46 PM, Bryan Wray
 wrote:
<Snip>
For me the cleanup is the main reason I don't use my vac.  I have a
bodum Vacuum Pot, and what makes it difficult to clean is that I can't
just dump the grinds out (like a drip), thunk them out (like
espresso), pop them out (like AP), tap them out (like Mokka).  The
This is the same reason I don't use FP very often.  It's not that the
clean up is hard, it's just "messy," if that makes any sense.  I
always end up with grounds all over.
Grace and Peace,
  `tim
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17) From: Michael I
"Lots of cleanup compared to?  I don't think it takes more than about
45-1:30 seconds extra compared to a FP"
Bryan,
I completely agree.  I use my vac pot daily (a Hario Deco 5 cup), and it's
no more annoying to clean than the press.  I just dump the grounds from the
top, and use the glass filter rod to kind of scoop them out into the
garbage.  Then the top, bottom, and rod get hand-washed, wiped down, and put
back on the stand.  I don't really mind it at all, and I love the cup
character from it.
I also don't think that it's any more effort to brew with than the press.  I
have to have boiling water and ground coffee for each of them.  Then it's
just a matter of turning on and off a butane burner, which is no big deal,
as opposed to pushing a plunger.
I will agree with Donald that it's fragile.  I'm terrified of breaking
either part of mine, since I'd have to get a replacement from Japan (or
possibly Canada).  So, no dishwasher, and nobody else gets to clean it.
That way, if it breaks, it's my fault (I have no problem with other people
cleaning anything else in my house, though).
I make a lot of espresso, too, so maybe I have a higher tolerance for clean
up and maintenance than your average set-it-and-forget-it overnight-timer
drip coffee person, but I don't think that makes me an outlier in this
group.
-AdkMike
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18) From: Rick Copple
Tim TenClay wrote:
<Snip>
I usually rinse out the top part over the sink after I dump most of the 
grinds. The first couple I tip it sideways and rotate it as water builds 
up in the bowl. Then I'll tip it upright over the mesh cover in our sink 
and all the loose grinds that didn't make it into the trash are caught 
there. On the last swish, after wiping with a pad, I swish it good so 
that it spins and drains slowly, and if there are any stray grinds I'll 
use that water to corral them all into the mesh. I'm doing all this 
after I've started the water heating in the bottom pot on the stove, so 
I'm not losing any time with this. Then I pull the mesh with the grinds 
in it and knock them into the trash. No real mess.
Vacpot is my standard method of making coffee, a Yama with a Cory glass 
rod. I use a Zass, and I rarely ever have a stall. I've never had a 
stall when I let the water heat up in the bowl on its own, a 25 minute 
process at half-heat on the stove (what is recommended not to go over 
with the glass). So when I put the water on the stove, I set my timer 
for 25 minutes. That usually brings me back just in time to stir and 
watch it bubble over. Then I can go finish getting ready for my day 
while I wait for the water to heat up. But before I leave, I rinse the 
top out, and the glass rod, put them on the bottom, grind the coffee in 
the Zass and then dump it in. That usually takes about 5 minutes total, 
and then I go do other things until my timer beeps at me and I return to 
finish it out.
The few times I have had a stall is when I use the faster method of 
heating the water in the kettle. I usually can barely finish the 
cleaning and grinding before it is ready to be dumped in the bottom, and 
then it is about another five minutes for it to all get to the top and 
another two to drain back down.
I did break the Yama once. Actually, my wife broke it. She opened the 
cabinet door and something fell out right on top of the Yama, broke the 
top section. So, I found a safer place to store it when not in use. :)
Since then, however, no breaks. Just great coffee.
-- 
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19) From: Donald Varona
<Snip>
Compared to just about everything, including FP.  Not everyone has a
dishwasher, or for those that do, don't run it every day.
I haven't had a dishwasher until recently, and now I run it maybe twice a
week.  This means most of my coffee prep items get handwashed.  With FP you
take out the plunger, dump what grounds you can, and wash off the two
parts.  With a vac pot, you unlatch the filter (unless you're using a glass
rod drainer, which makes this marginally easier), pull the filter out with
your hands, and gently pour out what grounds you can-- but you don't get
much this way, because the vac process makes most of the grounds stick to
the glass with very little retained liquid.  FP usually has some liquid left
in the grounds to make this easier, and the grounds are coarser and they
don't stick as much.  So you either scrape with your hands, or wind up
washing nearly the entire batch of grounds down the drain.  (A new idea:
maybe my Aeropress stirrer would help get more of the grounds out here...
hmmm....)
Cleaning the upper bowl is not that big of a deal after this, but the carafe
has a narrow neck.  Even in a dishwasher this is iffy:  all the was water
has to go into and out of that narrow neck and may not really clean the
carafe.  I got a semi-circular brush from Sweet Maria's that does the trick
here.  It also works well for the upper bowl.
Then, if I'm using a cloth filter, I have to wash that thoroughly, and also
rinse very thoroughly since I don't want soap taste in my next pot.
You're saying FP is about the same :-) ?
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20) From: Donald Varona
Don't get me wrong, I too am not bashing vac pot.  I love the cup that it
produces.  But I have to have the time to manage the extra prep and cleanup
So I don't often use it on weekdays.
On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:39 AM, Donald Varona 
wrote:
<Snip>
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21) From: Bob Glasscock
My 2 cents...The Yama VP has become my preferred brew method, but my better
half calls it "the chem lab" and despite the flavor quality premium, it can
be intimidating to set up and clean up. Interested in trying the suggestion
of heating water in the VP instead of pouring from kettle, since I have a
lot of problems with stalled or slow brews using the Cory Rod (The cloth
filter works great). Grinder is Maestro Plus set to about 32 (very coarse).
My cleaning method is about the same as posts in this thread, and never put
any of these parts in the dishwasher. Everything washed by hand, and all
salvagable grounds are saved for the composter. Residual grounds are flushed
through the sink/disposal. Timewise, cleanup is actually quicker than it was
with the Cuisinart drip. -Bob Glasscock.
Don't get me wrong, I too am not bashing vac pot.  I love the cup that it
produces.  But I have to have the time to manage the extra prep and cleanup
So I don't often use it on weekdays.
On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:39 AM, Donald Varona 
wrote:
<Snip>
Chemex.
<Snip>
into
<Snip>
you
<Snip>
glass
<Snip>
left
<Snip>
also
<Snip>
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22) From: John and Emma
Well I have finally decided to add to this thread. The Vac Pot is not
difficult but easy to clean when compared to drip makers and no more hassle
than a FP. After all there are no nooks and crannies or plastic parts where
coffee builds up and can't get fully cleaned. We can't confuse time and
difficulty. The VP also produces one of the nicest cups of coffee you'll
find. More flavours than the FP with a little less body and much less
bitterness. Read the last paragraph.
My only method of brew on weekday mornings is the Vac Pot. I fill and start
the kettle. As the water is heating I'm cleaning out my Yama Vac Pot. I use
a brush and hot water. The VP is cleaned and old grounds are put into a
bucket for our garden before the kettle is even finished. I even have time
to start my toast before the kettle is finished. Once kettle is done I grind
my choice of beans for that roast. Place bottom on stove fill with hot water
add top with fresh ground coffee and turn stove on.
Voila finished. Now I just watch and stir gently as my mouth waters waiting
for that nectar of the gods. While waiting for the VP to finish I finish
making my breakfast. The only time I'm standing and waiting is when the VP
is off the stove and the coffee is going back down to the bottom pot.
I have personally found that the little extra time it's taken for me to brew
with the VP is worth it. It's not like I'm standing around doing nothing and
the VP does produce one of the best cups out there. I used to always use a
drip on weekdays and my FP or MP on weekends. This is before I started on
this list. The extra couple of minutes over the drip maker for such a
superior cup is worth it. Especially, after I have spent the time and money
to roast my own beans. My FP and MP were my favourite cups. After reading so
many praises for the VP and becoming more and more disappointed with my drip
maker I bought the VP. Once I started using it I must say the VP and MP are
my favourite. They produce two very different cups. The VP allows me to
taste the florals and fruits that Tom talks about more than any other
method. I still get the chocolates etc out of the VP but not as intense as
with the FP or MP. The big plus is the VP reduces and in most cases
eliminates any bitterness. All I can say is if you don't have one buy one
you won't be disappointed.
All the best.
John H.

23) From: miKe mcKoffee
Nothing against Vac brewing, produces cup with great clarity, but French
Press and Moka Pot are not inherently "bitter" brewing methods. If the
resultant FP or MP cup bitter it's usually do to technique problems causing
over extraction. The most common error with FP being too long infusion time
for the grind and/or poor grind quality with too many fines. Most common
error with MP is brewing too hot and/or too long especially towards the end.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVII.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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24) From: Bryan Wray
True story.  If it's bitter at all there is something wrong (well... usually).
-Bry
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens of Cafe Grumpy in NYC.
--- On Thu, 6/19/08, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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25) From: sci
I agree with your Vacpot opinion. I have a nice glass vacpot, but I don't
find myself reaching for it often because of what you say: very thin body;
cup too clean; cleanup a hassle; afraid of breaking it. Sure, I still use it
occasionally, esp when I just want to impress someone or if someone I know
has never tried it.
If I lose CSA points for these reasons, So-B-it. My vote for the ALL TIME
best brew method is FP, hands down. AP could trump everything IF, IF, there
was a Pyrex version of it (maybe someday). MP is third IMhO.
Ivan
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From:  "Kris McN" 
<Snip>
folk
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