I've got a stand at the Farmers Market currently doing espresso, americanos, lattes, and caps with a La Marzocco GS3 and Mazzer Super Jolly....things are going well but I'm getting a large request for quality drip and am trying to come up with a good way to provide it.

Was thinking of getting a Baratza Vario grinder and 4 of the Bodum 51oz French Presses and 2 thermos-like dispensers to pour into so its constantly being brewed fresh but don't have much experience with drip other than french presses and my Hario v-60. (May eventually have a 2 or 3 cup pour-over bar, but I'm looking to cater to people who just want a quick cup right now)

Any suggestions?  Is there another brew method I should consider?  Priding myself right now on the quality and don't know if I can just have drip sitting in airpots for hours.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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If you decide to go the french press route - have you ever used a Espro?  I would recommend them for a couple reasons - first off they have a great french press with a killer double-filter, helping you make a great cup of coffee.  Second, they are HQ stainless steel, and do a good job of keeping the coffee hot - so if you are in the middle of getting a batch going and a rush hits you, you can leave the coffee in pot without worrying that it will go cold. They also are super sharp looking, so you could even serve from them direct if you want to go that direction.  Third, they are dead simple - just follow the instructions included and you are good to go.  Eliminates a lot of the guess work.  You might have to tweak the grams of coffee depending on the roast, but once you dial it in, you are good to go.  Overall I highly recommend them.   They are not necessarily cheap, but you can likely set up a wholesale account as a retailer and get a price break. 

100 cups of drip in 5 hours... let's do easy math: 20 cups per hour. If they're 8oz cups that's 160oz/hour.

Why not do a small batch brewer? They're ideal for the situation you're describing and, when properly set up, are capable of consistent quality that's equal (or better) that of manual methods. At the volume you're describing you could use half-gallon airpots and cycle them every 20 minutes or so.

I'm not really a fan of french press into airpot. The sediment falls to the bottom, where the dip tube pulls from. A thermos with a handle (like you've suggested) would probably be better.

If you're committed to manual, what about a number 6 dripcone?

I'm offering 10oz and 16oz sizes so the volume will be slightly higher (shoulda mentioned that)....is there a specific brand of airpot you can recommend me looking into?

Thanks

Brady said:

100 cups of drip in 5 hours... let's do easy math: 20 cups per hour. If they're 8oz cups that's 160oz/hour.

Why not do a small batch brewer? They're ideal for the situation you're describing and, when properly set up, are capable of consistent quality that's equal (or better) that of manual methods. At the volume you're describing you could use half-gallon airpots and cycle them every 20 minutes or so.

I'm not really a fan of french press into airpot. The sediment falls to the bottom, where the dip tube pulls from. A thermos with a handle (like you've suggested) would probably be better.

If you're committed to manual, what about a number 6 dripcone?

I've seen the Espro but haven't had a chance to play with it, looks pretty cool!!....seems like the 30oz large tho would be too small for the job.

Jefro said:

If you decide to go the french press route - have you ever used a Espro?  I would recommend them for a couple reasons - first off they have a great french press with a killer double-filter, helping you make a great cup of coffee.  Second, they are HQ stainless steel, and do a good job of keeping the coffee hot - so if you are in the middle of getting a batch going and a rush hits you, you can leave the coffee in pot without worrying that it will go cold. They also are super sharp looking, so you could even serve from them direct if you want to go that direction.  Third, they are dead simple - just follow the instructions included and you are good to go.  Eliminates a lot of the guess work.  You might have to tweak the grams of coffee depending on the roast, but once you dial it in, you are good to go.  Overall I highly recommend them.   They are not necessarily cheap, but you can likely set up a wholesale account as a retailer and get a price break. 

Agree French Pot is not good for airpot hold and serve. Not only are the fines apt to draw into the cup BUT the fines continue to extract causing the held coffee to go bitter fast. While we don't use airpots at our brick and mortar coffeehouses only a battery of manual brew methods. We do use 6 airpots at our Farmers Market for serving free samples of the bagged beans - try before you buy. (larger cups of coffee for sale all v60 manual brewed) We use two Bonavita brewers for filling the airpots. Almost funny, first time Bryan (my co-owner and manual brew ACE) tasted our Ethiopia Natural Konga brewed through the Bonavita he lamented "damn, I don't know if I can do any manual brew that tastes good!". Bonavita brewer has spot on 200f brew temp, 6 hole shower for excellent even saturation, and restricted basket flow for proper infusion time. IMO superior to the highly touted Technivorn. AND of course fire off the brewer and do other things like serve customers while it's brewing.

I completely agree now that I think about it that French Presses arent the way to go, good explanation!  

Never used the BonaVita, do they make a model bigger than the 8cup version? I'd prefer to just have one brewer going since I've already got a lot of equipment running at the market....any suggestions?

What airpots do u recommend? I've seen a lot of places using Fetco's Luxus but they seem like overkill for what I'm doing, I don't need a display telling me how much coffee is left or the 'freshness' thing either....I can pick it up and tell how much is left and my goal is to be refilling them regularly so they will be fresh!

What about a grinder? Was thinking the baratza vario but am open to other suggestions.

Thanks!

Mike McGinness said:

Agree French Pot is not good for airpot hold and serve. Not only are the fines apt to draw into the cup BUT the fines continue to extract causing the held coffee to go bitter fast. While we don't use airpots at our brick and mortar coffeehouses only a battery of manual brew methods. We do use 6 airpots at our Farmers Market for serving free samples of the bagged beans - try before you buy. (larger cups of coffee for sale all v60 manual brewed) We use two Bonavita brewers for filling the airpots. Almost funny, first time Bryan (my co-owner and manual brew ACE) tasted our Ethiopia Natural Konga brewed through the Bonavita he lamented "damn, I don't know if I can do any manual brew that tastes good!". Bonavita brewer has spot on 200f brew temp, 6 hole shower for excellent even saturation, and restricted basket flow for proper infusion time. IMO superior to the highly touted Technivorn. AND of course fire off the brewer and do other things like serve customers while it's brewing.

We use multipe Baratza Virtuoso/Esato combos for our manual brew bars. The Esato grind by weight base was designed specifically for manual brew bar use. Has 3 settings so can have 3 different grind weights available at the touch of a button for 3 different brew sizes. Works great. Personally believe the Virtuoso excellent pairing with Esato for manual brew bars, Vario overkill but what the heck if you got money to throw around.

Will the airpots be you serve or self serve? If you serve I'd get the Bonavita brewer with thermal carafe, if self serve the glass carafe brewer and really what ever pump airpot. The cheapo $30 units from Cash & Carry work fine though the body isn't near as heavy duty as a Curtis (at thrice the price)

That virtuoso/estato combo looks really cool!! Definitely will be considering that over the vario.

Did a bit of research into the bonavita brewer and feel the 40oz capacity will be a big hinderance....whats the total time it takes to make a full carafe and load up for the next?  Any recommendations on something bigger?  I'm gonna do self-serve.

Thanks for all the suggestions!  



Mike McGinness said:

We use multipe Baratza Virtuoso/Esato combos for our manual brew bars. The Esato grind by weight base was designed specifically for manual brew bar use. Has 3 settings so can have 3 different grind weights available at the touch of a button for 3 different brew sizes. Works great. Personally believe the Virtuoso excellent pairing with Esato for manual brew bars, Vario overkill but what the heck if you got money to throw around.

Will the airpots be you serve or self serve? If you serve I'd get the Bonavita brewer with thermal carafe, if self serve the glass carafe brewer and really what ever pump airpot. The cheapo $30 units from Cash & Carry work fine though the body isn't near as heavy duty as a Curtis (at thrice the price)

6 minutes brew time. If you're really Really slow and take 4 minutes to dump grinds, rinse etc. and grind for next brewing that's still 6 batches an hour = 240oz = 15 16oz cups.  More realistically 2 minutes inbetween max so 7.5 batches an hour = 18.75 16oz cups. Need a bit more capacity? I use two for the 6 samples airpots.

 

You can certainly get faster bigger 'commercial' brewers. But don't think the cup is as good and the price of 2 Bonavita brewers less than $300...

I've already got a lot going on making espresso drinks on my GS3 so I'm gonna need a full blown commercial brewer I think so I'm not constantly making batch after batch.  Any suggestions for something so I'm only brewing once every hour or so??

Whats considered to be a good moderately priced commercial drip brewer?

Thanks

Sadly, I'm not as familiar with the smallish commercial brewers. Fetco 2031 would probably be worth a look, but it's around $1k. Bunn ICB-DV is a little less expensive. I think the Bonavita idea is interesting though, and Mike's perspective is worth considering since he's done what you're thinking about.

For airpots, I like the lever pump stainless airpots that you can buy as Bunn or Fetco. They don't break if you drop them.

I'd second the recommendation for the Virtuoso + Esato.

The amount of power available is going to be an issue with a small commercial brewer.  Is there an extra 208 circuit available?  How about water?

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