We have been using a manual drip method ever since I
started entertaining the idea of opening a specialty
coffee retail shop (an idea which we just recently
abandoned, due to the fact that we could only project
a 3-6% net profit even doing $1000-1500 a day in sales
with 15-hour days, 365 days a year!)
We have a 1 liter caraffe which we got free with an
order of Gevalia coffee once a few years back (awful
stuff! canceled our membership after the intro batch).
The method I read about was in a book called "Coffee
Basics" by Kevin Knox and Julie Sheldon Huffaker.
According to this book and confirmed by a few other
industry sources for proper commercial extraction,
such as Fetco, correct extraction takes place with
195-205 degree water and a 4-6 minute brew time. "When
the grounds and water stay in contact for more than 8
minutes (with the correct coffee water ratio - 1 tbs
per 6 oz water), the result is overextraction and the
coffee will be bitter. The physics of heating with
residential wattage makes this all but impossible for
most home electric coffee makers. Most units can't get
water above the mid 180 degree F range which is
nowhere near hot enough for optimum flavor
The compensation which is made is to increase the brew
time and slow down the extraction rate.
As it turns out there is a real nice relationship
between a 1 liter carafe and the amount of coffee you
use for the very nearly correct ratio - exactly 12
tablespoons. We ordered a #4 plastic filter cone from
"Oren's Daily Roast" (these things are hard to find!),
and use a #6 oxygen bleached paper filter, also
available from Oren's (via the Internet). The #6
filter allows you to fill the cone to the top with
water and accommodate the foaming of the grounds which
takes place without spilling all over the counter. The
grind needs to be adjusted to obtain a 4 minute
extraction time using water that is just off boil. We
pour a precisely measured 1 liter of cold filtered
water in a tea kettle. When the kettle whistles, I
drop the thermometer into the hole until it falls to
between 195 and 205 degrees and begin pouring into the
filter cone, pausing as the foamy water gets to the
top of the plastic cone. You'll be able to tell when
you've reached this if you have an overhead light in
As the water goes down you can pour more in, repeating
the pause-pour until your teakettle is out of water.
With the right grind and the above formulation you
should have been able to time very close to 4 minutes.
We have both a Braun model #3045 burr grinder and a
DeLonghi model DCG-4T burr grinder, although the
factory setting for finest grind on the DeLonghi
wasn't fine enough. The top burr is removable however
and shimming it with two layers of clear packing tape,
trimmed to match the inner and outer outline of the
burr and replacing it was enough shim to drop the
spacing between the burrs by about .015-.020" yielding
a perfect espresso grind.
The Braun setting for the manual drip brew extraction
is the dot between 11 and 12, and for the DeLonghi
midway between the center of the "medium" and "coarse"
settings after the modification I described above.
We have concluded that the manual drip method produces
superior tasting coffee over an electric drip coffee
maker. It's as close to the flavor extraction of a
commercially wired and plumbed extractor brewer
without the expense. We also have a Braun electric
drip maker with a 1200 watt element that we normally
use a gold-washed permafilter on, but I only use that
if I don't have time to fool around with the manual
drip maker which only takes a little more time. Whe we
go up to the cottage with my in-laws whose idea of
good coffee is decaf Folgers from the stockpile of
cans sitting on their basement shelves (who knows how
old they are?!) and skim milk, it's easier to let them
make theirs in the electric while we make ours in the
manual brewer and everyone's happy.
In fact, had I known about manual drip brewing before
I replaced our electric brewer about a year ago, I
would have saved the money and done something else
with it. If you home roast, you owe it to yourself to
try drip brewing - you won't be disappointed. The
filter cone can be had for about $4-5, the oxygen
bleached filters are cheap and the only expensive part
is the carafe, and I can't imagine that would cost
much over $20-25.
obxwindsurfhttp://profiles.yahoo.com/obxwindsurf"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes -- Marcel Proust"
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