I have a small, inexpensive Bodum French Press that I sometimes use to brew a richer cup for myself, but most of my non-coffeegeek friends don't care for the grounds/sediment that ends up in the mug. I know that the French Press is a proven method, and I intend to offer a small selection in my shop, but I am wondering about any other simple, less-muddy home-brewing methods to recommend to my customers. More specifically, I am curious about the Aeropress and the Bialetti-style moka pot. I understand the Bialetti Brikka will almost make espresso, while the other moka pots make what amounts to Turkish. Which do you prefer? How do they compare, flavor-sediment-crema-wise? Which is the simplest? Which is cost-effective to stock in a store? Favorite models and online shopping suggestions would also be appreciated.
I add my vote for the Aeropress for home use. It can be a challenge, at first, to dial in the right grind for any given bean, but once you've figured it out you get a sweet and smooth cup. You DO have to follow the instructions. Water temp makes a huge difference with this device. I wouldn't use it in a commercial setting (except perhaps for an occasional one-off cup), but I do recommend it for home. And, as others have said, the little filters take care of the sediment... and they can be reused a couple of times, so there's little waste.
I'm a big fan of melittas. My dad is a big old-fashioned (in other words "crappy") coffee drinker, who relies solely on his Mr. Coffee and swore by Dunkin Donuts for a long time. French press was too chewy for him, and any other method I tried to show him was too complicated. He really really enjoys the melitta, though. It isn't a very big profit machine, though, but the simplicity, clarity, and control is appealing. I imagine Chemex would be the way to go from a retail standpoint, then, since it's very similar and prettier.
Home-brewing classes would be great, since vac pots, siphons, chemex etc. all take a bit of tooling around with to get the hang of them, I think.
You can find some decent burr grinders for around $30... I dunno what wholesalers would hook you up with, but it would definitely be something to look into. Pair that with simple pour over, or press, and I'd be pretty happy with that.
French Press, Vac Pot, Chemex, Pour Over, Brewer,... All wonderful method with similar, yet distinct outcomes. I would pick up a couple of each and see which of them take off. Maybe offer brew samples from each (Fri. French Press day, Wed. Chemex day, etc...) the main thing is going to be educating your customers about grind, water temp, brew times, solubles, etc... If your customer is educated about extraction it will not really matter what method of brewing they use, they will still get a fantastic cup of coffee at home. Plus, you will solidify yourself as there coffee professional and go to company for beans and further edu. Good luck!! Keep us posted on what you end up going with!
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