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?

Thanks!

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I recommend the 2.5 liter stainless steel ones, like from Bunn. They last a long time, are easy to clean, and work well.
i was just going to do one coffee through a fetco 2031e drip brewer in an airpot during the busy times (for people in a hurry), then cafesolo/chemex/press/pourover for everyone else. a guy doing pourovers at the WBC (he was from DC i think) gave me that idea, i think it's pretty common sense.

i don't think i'll go through more than one 2.5l airpot every 30-45 mins even at the busiest times.
They are not used for French press in our shops, we don't brew it like that. But, I have seen it done at shops like Octane in Atlanta in the smaller airpots.

Kayakman said:
how fast do you empty a 2.5 liter airpot at your shop?
Thanks for the advice on airpots. It's refreshing to read this discussion about brewing to order vs. preparing for folks in a rush and its relation to a shop's role in the community. This is something I've been thinking heavily about as we prepare to open up in a week or so. The range of opinions available here is great food for thought! I'm really hoping we can both develop and maintain high coffee standards while also taking a role in community building.
FWIW, I always decant my french press into a 1L vacuum carafe when I make it at home. This lets my wife and I enjoy a batch over the span of half an hour on a Saturday morning. Plus I feel there is real benefit to carefully pouring the finished brew off of the sediment in one smooth motion. We only do single mug press at the shop, but even there we do it at the bar and decant into the customer's cup. If we add a larger press option in the future, we'd decant into vacuum carafe instead of sending the press to the table.
Exactly like an older traditional wine. Or a homebrewed beer for that matter.

The method is the same for one cup as I use for a carafe - just pour carefully and slowly with the fewest motions and all at once. No pausing, as that will cause the coffee to slosh back and forth across the screen and disturb the sediment. I use a clear glass Bodum and watch the sediment creep closer to the spout as I pour, stopping just before it escapes into the cup. Just like a homebrew, there'll be an ounce or so left in the press when I'm done... the cost of doing business, I suppose.

Its easy to see the effect of this method by pouring three cups from the same press in the usual manner, righting the press between the first and second cup, then making sure to pour every last drop into the third cup. Now taste all three cups. Bet the first one tastes clearer.

As far as the sediment, I personally find that it mutes the flavors of the coffee - like looking through a very dirty window. I know that there are many that appreciate the contribution it makes to the cup, but I don't.

At the shop, we park the press on top of the espresso machine as it infuses - somewhere towards the middle where its nice and warm. At home, I wrap it with a towel and place in a warm spot.
That sounds like a pretty cool idea. It happens that I have zero experience with vac-pots. How long does it take to brew? How long do you think one would be good to keep warm? Could you maybe share a link to one you might recommend? I pretty much have the press situation ready to go, but I am pretty interested in your idea. Do you know anyone currently doing that who I could potentially get some feedback from?

Thanks for the post!

Kayakman said:
If you are opening your shop in a week, this may be too late.

What about using an 8 cup vac-pot for brewing, than keep it warm as it waits to be used. Depending on how busy your shop is you could have 2 or 3 of them ready to go.

For the flavor extraction and freshness, this might even be one of the best options.

BTW... keep us all posted on how your shop goes after opening.

Mike said:
Thanks for the advice on airpots. It's refreshing to read this discussion about brewing to order vs. preparing for folks in a rush and its relation to a shop's role in the community. This is something I've been thinking heavily about as we prepare to open up in a week or so. The range of opinions available here is great food for thought! I'm really hoping we can both develop and maintain high coffee standards while also taking a role in community building.

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