DISK Pour-over?

January 21, 2011

A Brief DISK Brewing Proposal:

I posted a brief review of the DISK yesterday, detailing normal brewing perimeters for brewing based of my experiences with Coava’s recipe. However, the other day I had an idea that i’m sure will turn out to be unoriginal, but as of now, I have not seen. If you remove the plunger completely, it is possible to use the DISK + Aeropress as a flat bottom pour-over, with the added perk of being able to brew larger than 200ml batches with the aeropress, as using the chamber with the plunger restricts the volume considerably. Plus the combo costs significantly less than a Chemex + Kone package.

Not only was this idea interesting to me, it also has turned out to make some ridiculously tasty brews with far less soot than the Kone. I’m not sure I completely understand how the odd brewing structure of a narrow dense bed affects extraction, but it seems that the coffee benefits from a increased dwell time that occurs within the aeropress, as opposed to most pour-overs which have a quicker drain time.

Here’s the recipe I’ve been using: 24g/400mls, ground at 25-28 on a Virtuoso Preciso, pour a 80ml bloom to completely saturate the coffee (it’s a very dense bed), dump the fines and drips of coffee that leak out into the brewing receptical, then pour the remaining water finishing around the 2 minute mark with the aeropress full to the rim, let the remaining water drip through over the next minute and a half, then you can use the plunger to quickly clear the grounds out of the aeropress chamber into the trash bin.

400ml is my preferred batch size for most of my brewing methods, but I would imagine that doing a batch size a little bit larger would work just as well. I’ve yet to try it with the aeropress paper filter, but I’m expecting more resistance than I would desire. As well I’ve been moving further and further away from paper filtration for coffee. The ‘Paper taste’ that haunts many people does not really bother me unless they are ‘natural’ brown filters, but I do appreciate the increased body and aromatics that cloth and metal filters give. (and I have a completely un-tested hypothesis that paper leads to flatness in the brew mid-palate)…

Try this out and see what you find, I’m very interested in this sort of brewing bed architecture as I have some other ideas cooking. Report back what you find and also give me a heads up if I am completely unoriginal and have just copied someone else or why this is a horrible idea and I’m an idiot for posting it. 😉

Watch out over the next week or so for a review of the Virtuoso in regards to it as a home espresso grinder. I’m going to pair it up with the updated Mypressi Twist espresso brewer (which I loved when I tested the first one). Should be a fun and frustrating week of experiments.

DISK Review

January 20, 2011

I’ve been experimenting quite a bit this past couple weeks with Coava’s KONE, no sooner did I get back home to the states to get my hands and start the process of brewing with new equipment, than they released the DISK filter for the Aeropress, and no sooner than was I about to do a write up on both of these than they released another DISK with slightly smaller holes! (Not to mention the KONE funnel coming out in the next couple weeks)

Slow down with all the innovation!

Well, regardless, I’m getting around to reviewing the product now, and I’ve been more impressed with the DISK as a consistent brewing device. The Kone has gotten me to brew a different kind of coffee (read: oily, big bodied, slight soot) by tricking me with one of my favorite brewing devices, the Chemex (read: clean, crisp, bright brews). However, I didn’t own an Aeropress before I was given the DISK + Aeropress combo for Christmas, and so naturally i’ve been drawn to brewing with it often.

Here’s my brewing specs for the DISK: 12-14g depending on the roaster, Inverted Aeropress, 200ml water poured in 10seconds, snap lid on and flip over the sink at 60 seconds (some coffee falls out into the sink that mostly contains fines and soot), set on cup, at 120-150s remove plunger and let the coffee drip through, depending on grind size it should finish up around 180-210seconds. I grind around 22 on the Virtuoso Preciso for a starting point, This gives a really balanced cup that highlights the aromatics and sweetness with very little soot. I’ve not had any good results actually using the plunger to push the brew through the filter, every time it ends up horribly sooty with a terrible astringency.

The best part about this filter (and brewer) is the easy clean up, while the KONE takes a little bit longer to clean, the DISK is no hassle at all to rinse and get rid of the coffee grounds and oils. As well, at a lower price point of $15 for one, $25 for a set of two different sized filters, it’s a more affordable luxury.

All in all, I can’t recommend Coava’s products enough. Though many don’t have the means to purchase, they are at least helpful to get one thinking about brewing in a different way, and moving the coffee industry further past the need of paper filters.

Watch here tomorrow, I’ll be posting some thoughts about a brewing experiment i’ve been working on with the DISK…

Kone Review

January 19, 2011

Coava Coffee generously sent me a Kone to review back in November, but because I was overseas as well as holidays, moving and starting another semester I am just now getting around to reviewing the product.

I’ve been doing a modified, but fairly basic, pour-over method with the Kone in the Chemex. 25-28g (higher than my normal 24g), 100ml bloom poured in the center over a 45 second period, left to rest for 15 seconds, then a slow pour right down the middle of the remaining 300ml in 90 seconds, then a drain for 30 seconds, which allows for a 3 minute overall brew time. This is all done with a grind coarser than espresso, yet finer than one would normally do for drip.

I have seen some overly sooty brews others have made (online and in person) as well that I have made, and almost always the issue is a method too close to a normal Chemex. If you take the Kone to a sink and pour water through it you will see very easily that there is a radically small amount of resistance in redirecting water through the brewing bed, and that water exits the sides, not the bottom of the filter. This means that pouring only in center actually is the best way to redirect the water through the bed, whereas in normal Chemex or V60 brewing bed architecture, the coffee is mostly flowing out of the bottom inch or so of the filter, meaning you want to incorporate the sides of the bed thoroughly as the water drains through the center bottom.

As well, because of this lack of resistance, I have found that coarse normal chemex grinds only work when you are aiming to overdose the coffee and have a weak, sooty, and underextracted brew. The finer than is common sense grind necessary is just that, necessary. For some sort of reference point, I’m currently using Macro setting 9 on my Baratza Preciso, with the micro dial set halfway to the right.

My only real complaints with the product are the flimsiness of the filter, It has already taken a bit of a beating from being used by some barista’s at the shop. While I doubt these dents substantially effect the brewing bed, it is a bit disappointing from a product that is higher in price point than around 750 regular paper chemex filters.

The Kone is another great tool to add to my arsenal, and although I do reach for it often, i’m more impressed with the DISK filter for the aeropress as far as the tastiness of cups i’ve been getting, which I will post a review of in the coming days..

p.s. I didn’t get to experience the great packaging that everyone else did because my brother was overly anxious to play with it..

Coming soon….

December 29, 2010

KONE Review

V60 Guide

December 9, 2010

Here’s a quick little V60 video I did this afternoon. Bit of update to how i’ve been making coffee day to day.

I’ve also been logging some data on method of brewing and country of origin over at Daytum. Right now it’s a bit monotone as I only have my V60 with me and an In My Mug subscription, but it will be more varied once i’m back in the states with coffee and brew method choices.


Brew Guide

September 26, 2010

V60 brew

Sorry for the lack of posts. Working quite a bit this summer at Catalina Coffee didn’t allow much time for blogging! We pushed a slow-bar program at Catalina this summer with a premium offerings list as well as the beginnings of a new coffee buying philosophy focusing on buying small amounts of premiums lots rather than larger buys of bread and butter long term lots. As well I worked on putting together a brewing guide for our Customers and Baristas that is a starting point for people buying brewing equipment. I’ll link a download of this 2 page simple document at the end of this post, as well i will eventually format some photos for an online version whenever i can figure out the best way to do it! Since all this shop business i’ve moved to Belfast for a semester for a study abroad program, which has allowed me to travel a bit to London and see some amazing sights and inspiring coffee shops. Hopefully i can do a rap up post of my coffee shop experiences in Europe sometime this winter. Thanks for the continued reading despite my lack of attention to this space!

Micro-Lots at Catalina

May 19, 2010

There are two new Coffees here at Catalina Coffee in Houston: Kenya Karuya AA Micro-Lot and Organic Costa Rica Natural Process Las Lajas. Serving them in house as slow bar only, choose V60, Clever, or Press Pot. $5 for the Costa Rica and $4.50 for the Kenya.

Sipping on a V60 i made myself right now of each coffee. The Costa Rica is everything you want from an amazing natural, sugar sweetness, winey acidity with a hint of lime, strawberry and red grape with an amazing finish. The Kenya is a super crisp coffee with a citrus acidity and a hint at some tropical fruit, honey and black currant. Come down by 2201 Washington Houston, TX 77007 and try them out!

V-60 Brew Guide

May 1, 2010

A short little video i did last night to show a way to brew with the V60 i’ve been really enjoying!

Good Friday

April 1, 2010

Arkansas Good Friday
by Franz Wright


Everyone knows what the cross means, or will
———-before long

It is the body

It resembles the first stick-figure depictions
———of it found in caves (some
———with the heads of birds)

Depictions reproduced to this day by young children
———just learning to draw

Its aerodynamic properties ought to be obvious I suppose

to us,
the wingless

How many years we have been carrying it
And before too much longer it will reveal itself
the source of a forsakenness and agony
nobody would have dared foresee
I saw it
over twenty years ago

Every day as the darkness came down on New York
I went up to my father and saw

(More and more I meet him
in the mirror, it is his blood I have
to clean up if I shave–…)

And I was born just as I found him there

a little bald
toothless man
not for long though
(I refer to Mother Morphine’s left tit)


Now I’ll tell you something you don’t know, you hurt
by the past, just like me, crushed
by the future and blind
to the present,
to the moment–

But there is nothing you don’t know
I got up every morning here
a long way from home
and cried for ten minutes
then showered and dressed
and got back down to work
assisted, on occasion, by one or two magical mystery


I can tell you this
Who dwarfs my pain I cling to
the genuinely broken
and poor
And I cling to the Before
The spirit face
behind the face
yearning for light
the water and the light
And I am flowing back to the Before, the infinite
years which transpired while I was not
here, and did not know
I was not

———I came just like you
from inconceivableness, the eternal
before-we-arrived, flowing
from God’s mouth, and come here to say
“this world” and
————-“God,” as if
they needed
——– And what lies beyond is no doubt the beginning
I wouldn’t know but I’m going
to find out
The what lies beyond
this loneliness and panic
I call dying, time, remorse, this cold
and purifying
fire, which hurts so much, which burns
away the world and all I was
who walked and breathed and spoke
how real it all seemed
for a few years, but I was always
immortal and will be
once more, when I return
to the infinite time
which elapsed before I was conceived;
when the heavenward face is burned away
and its scared eyes
and its tears
and its euphoria, which no one can imagine
(wrong: someone in love can imagine!)
And I have heard God’s silence like the sun
now I long to return to it
no matter my infantile clinging
to this gorgeous material of such early wisteria and
———lilacs, the wind
in the redbud and light-giving new heart-shaped leaves
music visible if completely unheard, I’ll return
The angel’s going to raise his arms and sing that time is
———no more
nor tears: that numbered
sea of them is gone–
now there is a new sea, a new earth, a new sky–
and I will know what to say at the end: What end?
And I can add I found this world sufficiently miraculous
———-for me, before I’m changed.

Shrove Tuesday

February 16, 2010

We remember the long dark nights of Ashdod;
They were long because you stood
in the Philistine place passively;
They were dark because the gods of the Philistines
seemed to prevail.
And now we face the long, dark days of Lent:
to ponder your strange passivity
to hold deep the suffering of Jesus
to grasp afresh our fragile morality, that we too will die;
to move beyond ourselves to notice the raw loss
connected to your absence,
We name the brutality among us;
We make the greed so close to us;
We see the poor, the homeless, the exploited,
while we enjoy the easiness of the leisure class.
And then – dark and long – our eyes shift back to Ashdod;
We wait, a heavy edging toward hope,
not yet as light as hope,
as heavy as absence.
We pray in the name of the crucified. Amen.

(A Walter Brueggeman prayer for Shrove Tuesday in “Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth”)