For those of you who serve french press by the cup out of an airpot, do you have any recommendations as to which airpots you prefer? Also, what size seems to work best for that purpose? Something smaller so that it is by necessity changed out and fresh often?


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i rebrew every hour-hour and a half as a rule. but this is outta a fetco, not a press.
i wasn't aware anyone served french press coffee out of an airpot
We pour our french presses into 2.5 liter airpots. This is out of necessity. Anything smaller and we wouldn't be able to keep up. Due to the amount of business we have freshness is not an issue.
We do the same thing as Trevor. We use Stanley Commercial 2.5 L airpots. Make sure you get a small strainer to pour through into the airpot to catch any wondering grounds that were missed by the plunger. If you brew 3, 1L french presses they will fit in a 2.5L airpot.
I wasn't aware of this either... but I feel like I should have been - makes sense. Might need to give it a shot now.
Is maintaining temperature an issue? French press already loses so much heat while extracting, no matter what you do.
Temperature not much of an issue. We preheat everything. By the time we get it into the airpots you've probably lost a couple degrees and at that point its ready to rock.
I think the point of using airpots is to be able to keep up with the amount of requests in a busy shop. Storage for a long period is not usualy an issue. Keeping up with demand is the primary issue.

We brew this way and we also have a pourover bar for those customers that want to try something different. We also offer french press to your table if you prefer. When things slow down a bit later in the day we stop pressing coffee and only do pour overs. We waste very little coffee. I hate dumping airpots down the drain.
Kayakman said:
More of an espresso bar kind of place that also wants to serve brew coffee in a quick way? A fast-paced and high volume brewed coffee setting?

The majority of respondents are in the US and catering to people on their way to work who want their coffee fast.

Even after sitting 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour, no matter the brewing method the coffee will go flat, no matter how its heated.

I like the pour over bar better in those cases, maybe not as fast as the Airpots, but I feel fresher and better quality.
Agree 100%. I formerly brewed two 48oz press pots filtered through Swissgolds into Airpots. 11 months ago quit using Airpots totally switching to individual brewed to order pour over station for "house" coffees. Lost some customers, but as word spread gained more than was lost.
Maybe a Clover is the best option out of all of them.

Over all, non-espresso brewed coffee takes much more time to brew and is best served like tea, in a place with sit-down setting (vac-pot, cafesolo, and French press by order)... but I guess if you really want to use airpots and/or pour overs to offer and alternative to espresso, then you need to weigh out these second best options.
There is a time and place for a sit down setting. We have a sitdown setting. Yet most early morning customers aren't here to sit, they are here to get ther coffee to take to work so they don't have to drink the office coffee swill. Not all, we go through a fair amount of porcelain orders in the morning too, but more paper ToGo. The US culture is NOT European culture.

Classing individual brewed to order pour over as second best with airpot held is BS. Ground and brewed to order individual pour over is every bit as high quality as any other individual brew method you mentioned.
Some of us still respect coffee and want to see it give more back to the communities around us than a quick fix. In some coffee cultures $$$ speak louder than core values... so you do what you have to do I guess.

What is that supposed to suggest?
So coffee should not be a personal treat?
I always thought that customers throughout history were under the impression that they were supposed to enjoy their coffee...not be made guilty for drinking it.
You are pointing your espresso finger in the wrong direction.
It is not a coffee houses job to add to culture but culture should add to the coffee house. What I mean to convey there is that... where you have a point to say that coffee houses of the past were involved with community more so than take is that the coffee house has always been neutral 3rd place and the people flavored it with activity. So the lack of this now is not a negative commentary on the coffee house because our job is to serve great coffee...but it is a negative commentary of social culture that continues to become more and more hermit-like.

Kayakman said:
It should be obvious, but I can make it more clear as this seems to be what you want.
Some coffee cultures seem to be bent on playing/cashing in on the worse aspects of modern culture and turn coffee into a commodity that is part of a quick-fix personal treat life-style. I believe this shows coffee great disrespect, as historically it gave much more back the the community.
"Quality coffee is meant to build community, inspire creative expression, and drive us to social responsibility." - Kayakman

When coffee is turned into a just a commodity or even gourmet commodity sold in paper cups and in drive-thrus, something central to what the bean has to offer us is lost. We all loss big time when the bean is pimped out.

Never the less... mike is sadly right, sometimes the coffee culture is so strongly one way that there is nothing that can be done but to join in and cash in like the rest. best just to go with the flow and not question it right?

Deferio said:
Some of us still respect coffee and want to see it give more back to the communities around us than a quick fix. In some coffee cultures $$$ speak louder than core values... so you do what you have to do I guess.
What is that supposed to suggest?
You said:
"2a. I coffeehouse is not a "3rd-space" if it does not provide community, which is not possible without the arts"

I a way I agree...but...
People provide the arts and the Coffee House provides the opportunity. Coffee Houses always provide's the "type" of community that is your concern.
Coffee house=Frame
Public= Painting
If the public is bad at painting you will have less depth of character. If the public is good at it you will have great depth of character.
But the coffee house has never been successful at teaching people to paint...
just successful at suggesting they learn.
I know we are getting a bit away from the original post, and hope the OP has gotten a satisfactory answer to his question. This is a relevant discussion though, so I'm glad its veering just a bit. If I'm off base, you have my apologies for keeping it "off track" for another minute.

The unfortunate fact that several have pointed out is that, in the US, the cheapening HAPPENED. The toothpaste is out of the tube. What many of us are trying to do is to redeem the coffee, to show people what they have been missing. We're trying to "put the toothpaste back in the tube", which can be done, but it is very messy and requires much patience :). This, to me, is where airpotted french-press has great potential.

The big benefit that I see to the press-into-airpot approach is that you are bringing the coffee to the customer. You are giving them a taste of something better, a hint of what is truly possible, within their comfort zone. They can have it on their way to work without having to wait. Which may reinforce some less-desirable aspects of US culture, but may be useful as well. The key, I think, is to use it as an intermediate step. When the customer tries the airpotted version and comments on how much better it is than standard drip, follow up with a teaser "yeah, if you like that, come back when you have a few minutes to sit and I'll make you a fresh one". Maybe they don't, but maybe the teaser works... And even if it doesn't, the customer still gets a much better cup of coffee.

So here's my question...

We don't do an airpotted french press though I've contemplated adding this. Those that have, would you say it helped bridge the gap to doing more made-to-order?

Another question, for Mike: Do you think you'd have had as positive results with going exclusively with press-to-order if you'd not taken the intermediate step of airpotted?

Thanks all.

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