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DanM

Coffee Press vs Vacuum Pot

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I have been using a coffee press for a while now and have been happy with the flavor... much better than a drip machine. I have also seen the rather funky vacuum pot. What differences will I see in the coffee between the two methods?

Thanks!

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Interesting that you should ask today.

I have been working on an additional page on my blog, a "daughter" page to the one on collecting vintage vacuum brewers and your question prompted me to publish the page today.

I have not written much about vacuum brewing itself but I have collected several links that might interest you and which have detailed instructions about brewing and the opinions of a number of coffee experts or enthusiasts.

The link to my blog page.

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You'll have a slightly different flavor profile since the contact time in the vacuum pot is generally shorter than a French press. I don't know what temperature you use when you brew your French press, but that will make a difference. Depending on the filtering method (cheesecloth, fabric, paper, Kona rod) the amounts of oil and sediment in the coffee relative to French press will be different as well.

Vacuum pots are fun to watch (and very trendy again), so give it a try either at a local cafe or at home (used vacuum pots are often available through eBay or Craigslist).

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Who Likes Vacuuming?

But then again, and at the risk of offending any of the hipster, johnny-come-lately coffee enthusiasts, I may have been ahead of the whole trend toward excellent coffee, since I've been doing pour over for 30 years...along with any number of other methods depending on mood, time of day, etc..click.

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Vac pots tend to bring out more brightness in coffees. I tend to prefer them for African coffees with brighter, fruitier profiles, but they can also be used to interesting effect for other profiles.

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Oooo andi! this is good to know. I also used to collect coffee makers from all over the world, but my collection had to stop due to my teeny teeny apartment.

A few weeks ago i tripped and fell, I was unhurt, but my beloved Chemex was in pieces. They are not hard to find, but i am not realy able to blow 70 bucks on a coffee maker right now. Just that after noon I was in the goodwill, and found a brand new still in the box Yuma vacuum pot from sweet marias. I have used vacuum pots in the past and loved the coffee they make, but my old one with the glass filter was too much of a pain to clean. But this seems meant to be. I have to get some alcohol to fire up the burner. It does look a little more complicated that my vintage one. Any one got tips?

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Vac pots tend to bring out more brightness in coffees. I tend to prefer them for African coffees with brighter, fruitier profiles, but they can also be used to interesting effect for other profiles.

I have been told, and others have mentioned in online articles, that Mexican coffee, which is particularly low in acid, is an excellent choice for vacuum brewing. It is best if roasted slightly longer, not actually a "dark" roast but close to it.

I got the latter information from the son of one of my neighbors who used to work in the Mexican Consulate in L.A. Apparently his boss was a firm believer in using the vacuum brewer for his coffee, grown in his home state and sent via "bolsa diplomatico" and roasted by him at home.

The guy must have been at real coffee fanatic. I picture the Jack Nicholson character in The Bucket List.

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I have been thinking about getting a vaccumpot but am also intrigued by the Aeropress. Does anyone know anything about the Aeropress and how it stacks up against presspots and vaccumpots?

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The Aeropress will brew something more on the lines of an Americano.

It's different from a press pot due to the finer grind and shorter contact time. The pressing is similar. Might even be considered a reverse Clover.

I take one when traveling since more hotels are using those crappy pod brewers instead of 4 cup drip machines. I use the little hot water dispenser to fill my Aeropress and can have good coffee before leaving my room. Always take fresh home roasted coffee with me and a little grinder.

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I agree the Aeropress would be a good thing to have while traveling on short trips.

A glass vacuum brewer would be a bit more difficult to carry and operate. However I have several working electric stainless steel vac brewer.

If I am going on a long trip, where I will be in a hotel room for a week or more, my Senseo goes with me and so does my travel water purifier. :wub:

New Mexico motel where I spent ten days in '08.

Senseo in New Mexico hotel2.jpg

Perhaps I am also a bit of a fanatic. :biggrin:

(I also take my hot water boiler and a selection of premium teas!)


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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I have a couple of the old chrome Sunbeam vacuum pots (actually I have the whole set with tray, creamer, sugar, etc. to match my T-9 toaster) with the World's Fair inspired logo. I, um, don't actually like coffee, but, have friends and family who do. Has anyone here used one of these, and, if so, is it decent coffee to serve to people I like? (the pots are very clean)

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I have a couple of the old chrome Sunbeam vacuum pots (actually I have the whole set with tray, creamer, sugar, etc. to match my T-9 toaster) with the World's Fair inspired logo. I, um, don't actually like coffee, but, have friends and family who do. Has anyone here used one of these, and, if so, is it decent coffee to serve to people I like? (the pots are very clean)

As long as the gasket will seal the top securely to the bottom vessel, it should produce as good a cup of coffee as any brewer.

There are several YouTube videos of the Sunbeam CoffeeMaster in action. Here's a good one.

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Here is good news for all fanciers of old vacuum coffee makers.

This company Dayseal.com is now producing replacement gaskets for the old favorites of the 1930s, '40s and '50s.

Yay! :smile:

This has long been a problem for collectors of these old treasures.

Another company, Silicone Gear.com is offering the gaskets for the "narrow-neck" Silex vacuum brewers.

Again, a rousing Hurrah! (I have a bunch of the latter and not all have really good gaskets.)

I'm just saying............... :wub:

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Here is good news for all fanciers of old vacuum coffee makers.

This company Dayseal.com is now producing replacement gaskets for the old favorites of the 1930s, '40s and '50s.

Yay! :smile:

This has long been a problem for collectors of these old treasures.

Another company, Silicone Gear.com is offering the gaskets for the "narrow-neck" Silex vacuum brewers.

Again, a rousing Hurrah! (I have a bunch of the latter and not all have really good gaskets.)

I'm just saying............... :wub:

That IS good news. Be really nice if you could get the bigger gaskets in silicone too.

Edited so say - I see the Dayseal gaskets are silicone! Excellent.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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My Yama vac pot with the cloth filter outshines everything else I have, except maybe a good americano when I have time to let the espresso machine warm up. For my tastes I like it much better than french press or drip.

I've imagined that living at 5k feet where water boils at about 203 degF, and the needed vapor pressure in the pot comes at a lower temp as well, is helping, don't know really, but the coffee is very very good. For 60$ plus the (unnecessary) butane burner it was money well spent.

I just made my morning pot and stuck a thermometer in the coffee sludge while it was brewing, 192 degF. Hmm, maybe I would get a better cup at sea level, hard to imagine though. The technivorm for instance regulates brewing temp to 198-205.

Hard to believe these things were in wide use once, and got squeezed out by percolators, percolating is an evil thing to do to good coffee. I guess it makes sense since most were drinking pre ground robusto in a can, and it probably squeezes more cups out of a can as well.

I just had one of those extra vivid memories involving all the senses of when I was a kid getting up in the morning and walking into the kitchen to my mom and dad and the coffee smells, the sound of the percolator going, Bob Steele on the AM table radio doing his morning talk show, was wonderful, especially the aroma. Then they let me taste it one day, yuk, needed a lot of cream and sugar for that stuff.

Larry

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