Review of the fantastically complicated 9Barista stovetop espresso machine

Coffee YouTuber James Hoffman reviewed the 9Barista stovetop espresso machine.

Here's a half-section illustration from the  9Barista website so you can see what's going on. It has two boilers, a heat sink, a coiled heat exchanger, and a spring-loaded valve:

 

It's available from the 9Barista espresso website for $385. Read the rest

New video series: Understanding Epresso

James Hoffmann, a coffee YouTuber, has a new series about espresso. In each episode, he discusses one of the variables involved in making espresso. The first episode covered "dose," or the amount of ground coffee used in making a cup. The most recent episode is about the water/coffee ratio, which should be measured by weight not volume. Read the rest

Espresso is better with fewer beans, more coarsely ground

Going against conventional wisdom, researchers at the University of Portsmouth in the UK say the way to consistently make better espresso is by using fewer beans and grinding them more coarsely, reports Interesting Engineering:

"When beans were ground finely, the particles were so small that in some regions of the bed they clogged up the space where the water should be flowing," Dr. Foster said in a press release announcing the research. "These clogged sections of the bed are wasted because the water cannot flow through them and access that tasty coffee that you want in your cup. If we grind a bit coarser, we can access the whole bed and have a more efficient extraction. It's also cheaper, because when the grind setting is changed, we can use fewer beans and be kinder to the environment. Once we found a way to make shots efficiently, we realised that as well as making coffee shots that stayed reliably the same, we were using less coffee."

Photo by Kevin Butz on Unsplash Read the rest

Good conical burr grinder for coffee

I've owned this Capresso Infinity Conical Burr for 10 years or more, and it still runs like a champ. If you're at all serious about grinding coffee at home, a burr grinder is the way to go, especially when making espresso. Blade grinders lacerate the beans, and the size of the grounds vary wildly. Burr grinders do a better job of crushing the beans evenly. This model is on sale on Amazon today for quite a bit less than what I paid for it. Read the rest

One espresso tamper to rule them all

This is my 58mm espresso tamper of choice! Read the rest

This concrete espresso machine is countertop Brutalism

The stark concrete style known as Brutalism is instantly recognizable in architecture, just as it is with this espresso machine by design studio Montaag of Berkeley, California. Not content with the current aesthetic offerings of espresso machines, they decided to create their own. Bare concrete became the machine's outer shell after the studio's team went on material-discovering expeditions through local salvage yards.

The result of their efforts is the AnZa (which is also available in slick white Corian):

The AnZa is not your typical appliance, collecting dust on your countertop. Concrete. Corian. Wood. Steel. Brass. Glass. These largely ordinary materials are not often found on espresso machines. But their application shows you don’t need to look far to find design elements that create a dramatically new experience—emotional, practical, or otherwise. The result is a spectacular espresso machine, and an unparalleled conversation piece.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, this high-end coffee maker can now be pre-ordered through Indiegogo for $799 plus shipping.

(Curbed) Read the rest

Watch an ultra-automated cappuccino maker brew up a latte

My friend Ian Clarke of Uprizer and Freenet fame recently invested in a Jura Ena Micro 9, a swank, ultra-high-quality espresso machine in which many elements of the brew and milk steam processes are cleverly, thoughtfully automated. Ian was sharing something about how his new purchase was working out for him (he digs it), and I asked him to shoot a video of it so i could share it with our Boing Boing readers. Here it is. Read the rest

Espresso cups that spark joy

I measured the Bialetti 06816 Bicchierini Espresso Cups using Marie Kondo's yardstick.* I'm keeping them. Read the rest

Slowmo espresso

"Spyhouse Orion espresso being extracted from a La Marzocco FB80 @120 frames per second." (video link) Read the rest

Boing Boing Wake Up Cake, revisited

Boing Boing reader Stefan Jones shares a photo of the "Boing Boing Wake Up Cake" recipe from "internet chef" Tyler Capps.

"There's no better way to start the work week than a chocolate/coffee cheesecake with chocolate covered coffee beans on top," Stefan says. "I followed the 'Wakeup Cake' recipe from Boing Boing to make six of them for my co-workers."

Woohoo! We aren't kidding about the Boing Boing part. Read the rest

HOWTO make a home-made pocket-sized espresso machine with tiny alcohol stove

Instructables user Urant decided to create a pocket-sized espresso machine that could be built using simple tools and parts from a local home-improvement store. He came up with a tiny, soldered contraption with its own tinsy winsy alcohol stove that uses a filed-down syringe to deliver a very slow drip of fuel for a boil that goes long enough to extract a single shot. It's a great design.

Design constraints are some of the most important points of any product design; they tell us what the limits are. The tighter the constraints, the more limited the design, and we have to be more creative to be able to meet them.

On this project, I set the following ones. 1- The product had to fit in the pocket of my jeans. 2- The product had to be made out with common, cheap and easily obtainable materials from any home improvement store or corner hardware store. 3- The product had to be made using simple tools that most makers would probably already have, or could easily borrow or buy cheaply. 4- The product had to be self-contained. 5- The budget was maximum 30 dollars.

Pocket size Espresso Machine with integrated alcohol stove.

(via Make) Read the rest