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Check out the clever dripper . Put filter and coffee in, put it on your cup, pour hot water in, wait a few seconds, and pow. It's apparently not quite as good as a regular filter drip cone, but simpler to get a decent cup of coffee out of without as much finessing.
I spent $3ish per workday on coffee before I bought my house.
then I became moderately house-poor and my coffee shop owning friends suggested the clever coffee dripper to me.
I have one at home and one at work. my everyday coffee is folgers french silk and it tastes totally acceptable in the clever. during shitty work months, I splurge on coffee grounds from my friends' shop and that's a damn delight.
I now spend about $25 per year on coffee. my house-poor-ness is so much less a big deal than it was before.
I have one of these and it works quite well. It's the same concept. The coffee steeps for a few minutes, then you set it on your mug and the water runs out. Seems like it would be a bit easier and neater than what you're doing.
If I’m car camping, I bring a Clever Dripper. It combines the best of French Press (you can steep it longer for stronger coffee, since I never tend to sleep well enough on the first couple nights) and a paper filter (cleaner cup quality, smaller undissolved particles). It’s just a cone with a paper filter, like a pour over, with a valve on the bottom that opens automatically when you place it atop your cup. Tough enough to toss in your pack if you’ve got the room too.
Clever Coffee Dripper, Large, 18 Ounces [link]
I think the french press would be the obvious choice but, by far my favourite brewer is the clever dripper which also comes in large. It doesn't seem to get a lot of love on this sub compared to other methods, but it's easily the simplest to use and clean, arguably the fastest, and I think makes a better flavour than the aeropress.
I brought my aeropress home to my parents for the first time about a year ago - a coffee proselyte venturing deep into "2 pots of coffee in the morning from the same basket of 6 scoops of storeground" land. They were in too deep for full conversion, but they remarked (without prompting!) on the difference in strength (both in the taste and caffeine feel) from a single cup of aeropress, even though it was much less volume. I think you're onto something with your last point! Though there is definitely something about just having a volume to drink, I completely understand that.
Could you consider something like the Clever Coffee Dripper? I use it on mornings when I don't want to make a pourover and it easily makes 16oz of coffee. Intuitive and simple (really, less steps and effort than the aeropress, though it takes another minute to brew each time), but a well-balanced and clean cup. If you're willing to branch out a little bit, the Clever is pretty cheap and may suit your desires better. And you always need more coffee stuff!
I have a super-automatic (Saeco Exprelia Evo). I like my morning cappuccino. It has a milk-frothing carafe. So I just hook that thing in there, put down a cup, push a button, and cappuccino.
Before that, I used this:
Not sure if it's the same brand, but that's the idea. It's kind of like French press in that it's steeped, but it's also filtered.
The combination of this, a good local roaster, a burr grinder, and a temperature-variable kettle makes for a pretty darned good cup of coffee at a pretty reasonable cost and without a ton of work.
85C is the perfect temperature. I would use something like this [link]
Cooler water will not make the coffee more sour, it will actually make it sweeter usually since the bitter compounds are drawn out by hotter water.
I really like the Clever Dripper. It's plastic, and although it's not quite as adjustable, it's damn hard to mess up a delicious cup of coffee. I have a v60 and a bunch of other brewers, but I go back to my Clever at least once a week.
Another thing you could look into, if you like immersion brewing and simplicity, is the Clever Dripper. You put the grounds in, bloom for a bit, pour the rest of the water, wait 3 minutes, and put it on top of a mug. Cleanup's even easier than the Aeropress. It's become my method of choice for immersion brewing -- the fullness of flavor of the french press, but the clean cup of a pour over.
I've been curious to try a Clever dripper, myself. You get full immersion like a French press and paper filter like an Aeropress (which is also full immersion). No matter how you slice it, you'll need a kettle to heat water. I used one of the cheapest ones on Amazon, and it worked just fine.
I have a dripolator I used to use for camping. For anyone not familiar, a dripolator is (basically) the all metal version of a chemex (in that is is an all in one type drip brewer) that doesn't require a paper filter. It has a top where you pour water, a perforated basket to put your coffee into and a bottom to catch your brewed coffee into. No paper filter.
Brewing in one is as simple as anything. You heat water in a separate vessel, put your coarse ground coffee into he basket and depending on your dripolator, you either drop the basket into the bottom, or screw it into the top. Then you put your top on it and fill with your off boil water. It drops down in 3-5 minutes.
You then take off the basket and empty top part and use the lid from the top as your new lid for the bottom part.
You then have a metal pot of coffee that you can snap the fire on under it to heat it back up of needed. Kinda neat. Durable.
OP: I've got a few suggestions for you. First, your dad and you were already making very good coffee back in the day. And you are right, with any old electric "coffee machine" you probably aren't making the best coffee now.
What you were doing in a way, was a part immension, part drip type cup of joe. It's going to be what we here in this sub would call a blend between immersion style brewing with a drip finish.
To emulate this I would go with one of two devices. The first, a clever dripper. The clever dripper is a filtered cone with a lever that will start emptying once you place it on the receptacle. It's a super cheap device, the large on is only about $20
. You pour in the water, wait, then release the water.
The other way, might be a French press. Though the French press is an immersion vessel primarily, it will make a full, rich cup. I recommend you use the James Hoffman method of brewing it.
Again, a great affordable vessel that is around $20.
Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee Maker, 34 Ounce, 1 Liter, (8 Cup), Black
That covers the tool to create the brew. Next, make sure you have good coffee, good water, and a good grind.
Good coffee can be found on Amazon, or places like "happy mug", or "s&w roasters". Happy mug will let you buy one ounce servings to try it out first.
Get like 10 different samples, then get a couple of half pound, ground already coffees that appeal to you. For now, unless you have a good grinder, get your coffee preground, in small portions so it doesn't deteriorate quickly.
I'll be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences going forward.
To add some more answers:
2: I'd also look at the Clever Coffee Dripper. It doesn't come with a carafe, but can be used with a wide variety, or just straight into your mug.
3: The filter type will depend on the machine you use. Most use either "Melitta" style (conical with flat bottom) or "basket" style (circular with side crimped to make a basket). The size (usually a number) will also depend on what machine you use.
5: A "dangerous" amount of coffee will depend on the person. Personally, I don't like the "cup" measurement, because everyone makes coffee of differing strength. I will go through 25g (1/3 cup) of beans on a typical day, but will sometimes hit 75g. But I have a fairly high tolerance. The FDA estimates that it takes rapid consumption of 1.2g of caffeine to have toxic effects. That's roughly 500g of beans, so unless you're drinking an entire bag of coffee in one day, you're probably safe. However, coffee can have a fairly potent diuretic effect, especially on those who aren't used to it.
7: The standard measurement for "how many sugars" is sugar cubes, or sugar packets. Similarly, the unit for cream is the typical single-serve creamer packet that you find in diners or hotels.
Don't worry about being a novice. Everybody was once. As for brewing methods, they all boil down to:
All the variations (grind size, infusion vs flow, pressure, temperature, etc...) just allow for different aspects of the coffee to come forward. The correct way to brew is the way that makes coffee that you enjoy. And it sounds like you're enthusiastic about coffee, so that makes you a coffee enthusiast.
Or you can just run your coffee through a pre-wet pour over cone+filter.
Or get a Clever or Bonavita Immersion Dripper.
It’s actually called a clever brewer (hence the title)
This is a bit off topic for this subreddit, but for larger quantities, I like using the Clever Dripper.
It's simple, easy to clean, and the immersion method is great.
This? [link] Only problem is it's plastic.
But I think this is the glass version. [link]
This based off a coffee brewing pour over that's been around for a while. It's called a Clever [link]
Great: most on this sub would say to get a Hario Skerton, but you could probably get a much cheaper hand grinder and get good results with an immersion brew method. So, I'd get a cheap ceramic burr grinder, a clever dripper and the cheapest electric water kettle you can find.
<$50 with tax, out the door (with coffee filters).
As a casual drinker, you may want to consider buying small batches of whole beans form places that sell bulk beans (fill your own bag style), but, of course, buying from a local roaster is best, but it's also twice the cost per lb.
To use the grinder, your best bet is to find a medium setting where it's relatively consistent, and then play around with your brewing time to get to right taste. Too acidic: brew longer, too bitter: brew faster.
Edit 2: I should preface that I don't think a Hario Skerton is not worth the price, being as it's $40, and you can get an electric conical Burr grinder for $80 and the consistency is much better
The Clever Coffee Dripper is super handy. Put some ground beans in a filter, pour in boiling water, wait 4ish minutes, and put the thing on your mug.
Second the Aeropress. Easy to clean up, easy to use, small, portable, makes great coffee. Another low-effort option is a clever dripper. It's kind of like a french press where you immerse all the grounds in water, but then you put the cup on top of your mug and it allows the coffee to drain straight into your mug. Very easy to clean up. I use my Aeropress more often but I use my clever dripper quite a bit too.
Edit: Verve has some great little vids if you want an idea of how each works:
There was this post from earlier today on it. A good read through.
I'd recommend the Clever. It is easy to use and like it says, it will make ~18 oz. Make it a little strong and dilute with 2 more oz of water for your 20 oz mug. This sub plugs the Hario mini mill or skerton for hand grinders as well.
I use one of these it's a cheap and easy solution for at work, it's pretty similar to the v60 I guess.
Are you wanting to stick to a french press? How about something like a Clever dripper Or a V60
Brain mixed up clever and smart. I must be neither!
Just use a Clever Dripper
I have both the Clever Cup and the Hario Stainless Steel Cup. I'm still iffy on them too. The former requires paper drip filters and works well, but I kinda hate buying filters. The latter as a stainless steel mesh requires no filters but produces more sludge in the cup.
I'm honestly kinda tempted to go back to the aeropress. I like the smoothness and lack of sludge though I still find it a bit of a hassle to use.
Yes clever dripper large can make more than one cup
This is what you are looking for, friend. [link]
I don't own one, but the Clever Press makes a fine cup of coffee
This is awesome! Another brewing technique that is inexpensive (and the one that I use) is the Mr. Clever. Here's a video on how to brew it and some of the benefits. It's only $22 on Amazon.
So cool what you are helping these kids out with! I hope it gets going! As far as some academic aspects to include you could talk about the different coffee regions and the characteristics of that coffee. Have a coffee from that region during that meeting and learn about the geography of that region, maybe some historical events. It really brings that cup of coffee to life and helps me appreciate it more and feel more connected with it. Best of luck!
I looked at the cupping notes, and I think it would work excellently in a Clever Dripper -- full immersion, but elimination of the oils with a paper filter like an Aeropress. You can pick four of them up and make them all at the same time, since there's no need to keep pouring or monitor them or anything. They're also made out of a pretty durable plastic, so they'll likely withstand the abuse you give them. And they'll give everyone a 16 oz cup, which seems important because I'm guessing you all won't be getting much sleep. Coffee Shrub only sells them by the case of 12 (for $11/dripper), so here they are on Amazon.