Coffee’s on me

By TASTE, 19 September 2016

Trying to impress that hot date with coffee at your place? A plunger just won’t do it these days. You need some serious kit and the vocab to go with it. Take this crash course from the experts.



According to Origin Coffee’s head roaster Michael MacDonald, there are two dynamics that affect the flavour
of your siphon brew: the immersion of the grounds and the creation of a vacuum. The machinations of the process are pretty higher-grade, but basically it involves heating water in the bottom chamber and adding your grounds to the top one.* “It creates a balanced cup,” explains Michael. “The cloth filter keeps back the sediment, ensuring clarity and acidity perception, and allows through some of the oils, which heighten body and carry the aromatics.”


A pour-over coffee dripper is perfect for folks who enjoy a light-bodied brew, says Michael, who particularly likes the Hario V60. “Its paper filter accentuates the acids, as it keeps back some of the oils, which give the coffee
its body,” he explains. “Pour-over coffee equipment works with gravity, as opposed to direct pressure, so it gives your brew a more delicate flavour spectrum.” “The Hario gives you a crisp and bright brew,” adds Motherland co-owner Seb Schneider. “Great for morning coffee.”


“The Chemex works similarly to the Hario V60 dripper, but uses a slightly thicker filter paper,” explains pour-over fan and Rosetta Roastery co-owner Rob Cowles. “The water pathway isn’t identical, as the Chemex has a smaller hole at the bottom of the filter, so you need to play around with the grind size and water-to-coffee ratio until you hit your sweet spot.” “I like its clean flavour,” adds Bean There operations director Sarah Robinson. “You can taste the flavour profiles of the different origins..”


“It’s great for people who like the taste of filter coffee, but it’s much more diverse than a plunger,” says Origin Coffee barista and current SA AeroPress champ Winston Thomas. “I like how you can manipulate the taste of the brew, making it more like an espresso or an Americano, depending on the ratio of grounds to water, and whether you choose a paper or metal mesh filter. It’s affordable and durable, and great for using at home or travelling. The only downside is that it only makes one cup at a time.”


Hipster proponents of this cool little one-cup wonder have Italian inventor Luigi De Ponti to thank for creating the original Moka Express for Bialetti in 1933. “It’s the closest you can get to the taste of an espresso-machine coffee on a stovetop appliance in terms of boldness and intensity, as it’s also brewed under pressure,” explains Seb. We like it because it’s pretty idiotproof. And shiny.

Discover more coffee recipes here.


Article by TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.
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