I have spent years thinking about putting a coffee post down, but as soon as I try and assemble a brief history of my coffee influences it seems something dramatic happens in the coffee world and I feel I am out of date, the goal becomes insurmountable.
So I will keep it simple.
I grew up with these two items in my constant periphery.
When I moved to Los Angeles (1989-ish) I found some arcane mention of a Japanese coffee place tucked away inside a Japanese hotel in downtown LA that served coffee in a glass siphon pot that looked like a chemistry set. I went and my life was changed forever.
I was an early adopter of the siphon pot, long before the Third Wave of coffee befell us. I would bring it to work and amaze people.
I “made” (re: photoshopped an existing) children’s book about my siphon pot. You can read the whole thing: I Am Dad Coffee Book
Basically I got so deeply ingrained in its culture that I also felt compelled to make the only vacuum siphon pot tee shirt in the world, which you can of course buy at one of my ebay tee shirt shop (sorry, no XXL’s)
I also made a step by step guide on how to prepare siphon pot coffee you can view and save that one here as well.
So, why am I writing this today? Ill tell you. It is with great pleasure that many years after creating the Vac Pot Siphon Guide guide I received an email from someone in Norway looking for advice on how to use a siphon pot. At first I was skeptical, even thought is was a prank, but the resulting exchange between me and my new friend have made my day, week, month and possibly more.
The first email:
I have bought the product, but I wonder what kind of coffee you reccomend:
Can I use press pot coffee?
Can I use expresso coffee?
Shall I use ordinary filter coffee?
In advance, many thanks for your reply!
Best regards Arstein
Where are you contacting me from?
I’m contacting you from Norway and I saw the mail adress from the coffee maker brochure. Very sorry if you have nothing do do with this matter.
It is fine, i was curious. Where did you see the coffee brochure?
To answer your question, you should use the best beans available to you always. As fresh as possible. I would not use espresso as it too finely ground.
Are you grinding it yourself? What type of grinder are you using?
Feel free to ask any questions you wish
Thank you so much for your answer. I have only tried the maker once, and this was more like a test. I do not have a coffee grinder, so I used ordinary filter coffee which was pre-grounded. I am aware that this an equipment for those who want the little extra, so for next time I will buy both a new coffee grinder and an exclusive coffee variety.
And here is the link for the brochure: http://interactivehank.com/henry/images/VacPot_FAQ.pdf
Thanks again for your service.
Best regard Arstein
Are you by chance near Oslo?
I myself live in Stavanger, but I have a brother living there so everything is possible?
Just curious about where you can access good beans and other equipment, this sounds like it is the place to be in Oslo.
The acidic, very bright coffee in Oslo is celebrated by its fans, Oliver Strand among them. Acolytes of Norwegian coffee fawn over Tim Wendelboe, Java Espressobar & Kaffeforretning and Mocca Kaffebar & Brenneri — the last two the brainchildren of the very first World Barista Champion, Robert Thoresen
If you do get a grinder, please get a burr grinder as they are superior at grinding proper coffee. A blade grinder heats the beans as it cuts them up which can destroy the very volatile oils in coffee and making it taste rancid. The proper grind for Siphon is in between drip coffee (coarse) and espresso (fine), they say Siphon coffee grind should be like coarse sand.
After grinding it is all about proper weights and measurements, For a 5 cup Siphon pot I use 38 grams of coffee.
Hello again, and thank you so much for all the time you’ve spent on me. This was just exceptional and absolutely amazing from one of those obviously is an expert in the area. I will of course follow your advices and my brother will pick up some quality beans for me in Oslo.
Thank you so much again and the very best regards from Arstein !
Austin, (egregious spellcheck faux pas)
Not a problem and please keep me posted. I would love a photo of your set up once you are done.
Yesterday my Chemex brewer had a fall, they all go eventually. I made this homage to end my story now. So, this is the end of my coffee post.
I was tired of Blue Bottle. I mean not really, but the the truth be told, I have a unsophisticated coffee nose and really never enjoy anything other than central and south American coffees, the chocolate-cinnamon-date-caramel kinds.
Blue Bottle does an amazing job even after they sold out, the quality was there, yet I was always waiting for the next Nicaragua or Guatemala to show up to really hit the spot. I finally decided to move to another subscription service, the only one I could find specializing in “The Americas” and guess what? Not so great.
An friend of mine, someone who first introduced me to “God In A Cup” and who also enjoys a similar style of coffee to me AND was always hoping to one day be partners in a coffee company.
Now he is. Click the link above to read more about Bonito
It’s really good, trust me