A Tea Addict's Journal

Gongfu coffee

January 19, 2008 · 8 Comments

No, I don’t drink coffee… but my fiance is a drinker, and I think this press is pretty cool. While drip coffee or espresso machines always seem too mechanical to me to involve much skill in brewing, something like this makes me think that one can, indeed, have better control over their coffees than is normally the case. I’ve tried using it, and it gives you a funny “kick” when almost done pressing. I think there’s actually a high level of pressure that builds up as you press down on it with hot water streaming through. It’s an interesting contraption, and if somebody can manipulate this thing to make different tastes, etc, I’d like to learn how.

I wonder what will happen if I put some tea in it and press hot water through it…. broken orange pekoe might work. Hmmmm

Categories: Objects · Old Xanga posts

8 responses so far ↓

  • Anonymous // January 19, 2008 at 2:06 am | Reply

    hehe, that looks like some sort of expresso type pulling machine,
    or a more mechanical Aeropress

  • MarshalN // January 20, 2008 at 12:08 am | Reply

    I’m not even sure what it is called, exactly, but it is basically an espresso press, I think.

  • Anonymous // January 20, 2008 at 10:46 am | Reply

    The cup looks well seasoned 😉

  • m_marduk // January 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm | Reply

    Glad to hear that you are staring down another caffeine laden path. I’ve always considered that coffee nirvana and tea heaven are complimentary.

    A good cup of espresso requires at the very least 1) good bean, 2) correct grind, 3) correct amount of coffee, 4) proper temping pressure and technique (pressing coffee into the filter), 5) right water temper, 6) right temperature of the filter, 7) properly warmed espresso cup, 8) correct pressure, and finally 9) the right amount of pull time. If any of these things are changed, one would a vastly different tasting cup. Sounds a lot like Gongfu tea, eh?

    Next time when you in are PDX, do give my La Pavoni a go. 🙂

  • Anonymous // January 20, 2008 at 7:45 pm | Reply

    as for different tastes…
    i didnt store these in my memory(since coffee tastes 90% the same to me),
    but the coffee/espresso people have some rules (based on the guidelines of the Specialty coffee association),like:
    – a time limit when pulling the ‘good’ shot, some 15seconds?
    – they say its “steam” not water that goes thru the coffee.
    – the water temperature should be ~200F (and you should buy a PID kit that regulates the temperature to the exact fraction of a degree)
    – the coffee used for “good” shots is “Venetian” roasted (probably extra burnt 🙂 )
    – dont use a cheap grinder or a “whirly” blade grinder = BAD.
    – the coffee has a certain grind, must be ground in expensive grinders that cost >200$, otherwise there is bad grind ground and you get dust and mushy bad espresso…
    – they use a “tamper” (a cylinder with a handle) to squish the ground coffee in the holder thing. If its not tamped correctly then the water flows in channels leading to over extraction in those parts, and underextraction in other parts.
    – if using a drip – filter thru metal filter because paper ones absorb flavors and fats that so diminish taste. (i did this and the coffee does have a bit more coating on the palate, but taste didnt wow me)
    – bitter coffee = bad roast or overextracted.
    – you desire some “acidity” in the coffee since supposedly accentuates other flavors.
    – starbucks is bad
    – roast your own coffee
    – if properly stored, green coffee lasts years, roasted lasts 1 week, ground lasts hours, brewed coffee lasts minutes. (referring to good quality taste or something)

  • Anonymous // January 20, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Reply

    hah thats cute, i was writing almost the same thing as m_marduk 😛
    sorry for double post

  • mote // January 21, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Reply

    a few more points:
    unlike aging your pots with frequent use of the same kind of tea, you absolutely *don’t* want old coffee oils to collect on your brewing paraphernalia. Old coffee oils are also a major contributor to bitterness.

    Also… you wouldn’t be able to use this to brew tea, even if you were to try, because the water will flow too easily around it. Espresso extraction works the way it does because the ground + tamped beans become a sort of filter by themselves against the water, regulating the high pressure. Hmm, maybe if you took a small amount of puerh, chopped it up really thin-like…

  • adamwoolard // January 29, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Reply

    This looks like an antiquated version of those new single cup coffee machines that are so cool at offices. I know this post has been up for a while, but has anyone found out what this thing is called?

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