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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Theres 110 and 220 volt power available but not water....I've been bringing 5 gallon jugs and its been working out fine.  

Had a huge demand yesterday, basically 5 hours of constantly pulling shot after shot....NEED to find a way to brew drip at a large scale soon.  It would decrease the amount of Americanos I make by probably 70% and bring in a lot more customers that just want drip because they feel espresso is concentrated crack!  

Now that the weather is getting better I think I may be able to sell 200 10/16oz drips in 5 hours.  

I'm also in the process of getting health department approval for ice, so I need to find a good way to brew for that as well!



Mike Sabol said:

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?

Looking at the 

but having zero experience with these large scale drip brewers I don't really know what I should look for.  I could recoup the cost of this in probably 2 markets but want to make sure I buy the right thing the 1st time and not be under-powered.  I want to be able to comfortably meet a large demand and not be worrying about it.
Is Fetco considered to be a better brewer maker than Bunn? 
Thanks



Brady said:

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.

When you say that you don't have water and have been bringing in 5 gallon jugs does that mean that you have been feeding the espresso machine by putting the end of the water supply line into the bucket and letting the machine's pump draw the water through?  The reason I ask is that a commercial brewer like the BUNN you are looking at requires a water supply that has some pressure behind it, otherwise it will not fill or brew.  You can get a pourover brewer but those tend to be smaller capacity.

You might be able to rig up a Flow-jet bottle pump to feed the brewer.  I know they work well for feeding an espresso machine but I'm not sure about how it would do with a higher demand item like a coffee brewer.  That would be something to investigate if hard plumbing the unit is out of the question.

I think the BUNN you are looking at is fine.  I'm not a fan of how BUNN finishes the metal panels on their machines, as I've cut myself more times than I can count on them, and I don't like the clips they use instead of pressed in threaded inserts, but BUNNs tend to be very reliable and they're easy to get parts for if they do break.  I like Fetco machines better but they are more expensive and with the pulse brewing systems both machines use I think the coffee will be the very close.  The sprayheads Fetco uses do a great job on the agitation of the coffee in the brewbasket and get a better extraction, IMO, but the BUNN unit will be fine.

You should also make sure that the available amperage of the 220vac circuit is appropriate for the brewers you're looking at.  The deal breaker is the water, though.  If the Flow-Jet isn't up to the task of supplying a brewer then the only other option is to use pourovers.

Right now I have a flo-jet powering my pitcher rinser from a 5 gallon jug and am in the process of getting an accumulator to rig it to my GS3, though I don't know if it will have enough power.  Right now I'm just using the reservoir on the gs3, which sucks to refill but is convenient.  

Easily could add another flo-jet if it does have the power for a commercial drip brewer....is the one I linked gonna have enough power? I'd rather spend more upfront to have something I can use without worrying about constantly.



Mike Sabol said:

When you say that you don't have water and have been bringing in 5 gallon jugs does that mean that you have been feeding the espresso machine by putting the end of the water supply line into the bucket and letting the machine's pump draw the water through?  The reason I ask is that a commercial brewer like the BUNN you are looking at requires a water supply that has some pressure behind it, otherwise it will not fill or brew.  You can get a pourover brewer but those tend to be smaller capacity.

You might be able to rig up a Flow-jet bottle pump to feed the brewer.  I know they work well for feeding an espresso machine but I'm not sure about how it would do with a higher demand item like a coffee brewer.  That would be something to investigate if hard plumbing the unit is out of the question.

I think the BUNN you are looking at is fine.  I'm not a fan of how BUNN finishes the metal panels on their machines, as I've cut myself more times than I can count on them, and I don't like the clips they use instead of pressed in threaded inserts, but BUNNs tend to be very reliable and they're easy to get parts for if they do break.  I like Fetco machines better but they are more expensive and with the pulse brewing systems both machines use I think the coffee will be the very close.  The sprayheads Fetco uses do a great job on the agitation of the coffee in the brewbasket and get a better extraction, IMO, but the BUNN unit will be fine.

You should also make sure that the available amperage of the 220vac circuit is appropriate for the brewers you're looking at.  The deal breaker is the water, though.  If the Flow-Jet isn't up to the task of supplying a brewer then the only other option is to use pourovers.

My brother was at Stumptown in NYC yesterday and said they use the French Press into thermos method to brew all their drip.  Can anyone confirm this?

The Stumptowns I've been to in Portland have done this.  I can't confirm anything about New York but it would make sense that they would do that, as well.

Keep in mind, however, that running several big french presses is time consuming and if you're locked down on your espresso machine with a line that doesn't let up for 5 hours then cleaning out french presses can seem like a real PITA.  You'd almost need another person to keep the drip going.  And they could do things like run to get more ice, milk, cups, change, etc.

With the big french presses you'd still have to provide them with a lot of hot water so you'd still need to purchase a water tower of some kind.  You might want to purchase a water tower that can also brew coffee, if necessary.  ;)

I agree that it could easily result in a big PITA!  I'm just trying to find a way to quickly implement it mobile-y.

My wife helps me out taking orders, feeling steaming pitchers, etc and she could be in charge of the french presses if necessary but I'd prefer something more automated if I can find the ideal unit.  Right now I've got a 101 cup hot water tower that I quickly go through making 16oz americanos that I think will be fine for the day once I find the right drip solution.

Are there any commercial brewers that use large reservoirs or am I limited to feeding it with a flo-jet or other pump?

Where's the best place to buy from in terms of price/customer service/etc?  Need a good site just to look at my options.

Thanks for any suggestions


Mike Sabol said:

The Stumptowns I've been to in Portland have done this.  I can't confirm anything about New York but it would make sense that they would do that, as well.

Keep in mind, however, that running several big french presses is time consuming and if you're locked down on your espresso machine with a line that doesn't let up for 5 hours then cleaning out french presses can seem like a real PITA.  You'd almost need another person to keep the drip going.  And they could do things like run to get more ice, milk, cups, change, etc.

With the big french presses you'd still have to provide them with a lot of hot water so you'd still need to purchase a water tower of some kind.  You might want to purchase a water tower that can also brew coffee, if necessary.  ;)

+1 Mike comments.  In your situation I would probably look for two pourovers, something like the Bunn VPR APS.  Fairly easy to power, and you just need to stay on top of refilling the reservoir, which is easy enough to do.

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