If you use any drip method for making coffee, I’m afraid I cannot allow you buy Baristador Coffee. Let me explain.
Drip coffee making, such as through the method in the image here, is quite simply the worst method of making coffee using coffee grounds. It is on par with instant coffee for vulgarity and diabolical flavour.
I have long known this but it was brought home to me quite recently when a group of small business owners taking part in one of my online marketing workshops, convinced me to bring some Baristador coffee in for them to try, having heard me talk about it during the workshop and seen me making little espressos with my Handpresso.
Against my better judgement, I gave in and venue caterers prepared the coffee in the drip coffee machines for our breaks.
I was staggered at how ordinary and even bitter this beautiful, top-shelf, gourmet coffee tasted after being tortured with this apparatus. You see, it was so shockingly ordinary that putting my espresso blends through this device could only be described like buying the latest, top-of-the-line Mercedes Benz to drive in a weekend demolition derby with $10 prizemoney. It just makes no sense!
I should’ve know better
One of the reasons I have turned down approaches from three cafe owners to use Baristador as their house coffee blend is that I did not have the confidence they would pay enough attention to the craft of storing, making and serving coffee to ensure their customers got to enjoy my blends to the full. So when I tasted my coffee during the workshop it became clear to me that I must act decisively to look after Baristador and, most importantly, the quality-seeking people who trust Baristador to be the guarding of “the spirit of espresso” – even if that means saving some people from themselves!
ou see, Baristador Coffee is not an average espresso blend, it is super premium and that is reflected in the bare-to-the-bones price, which is not cheap. So the last thing I want is for a person selecting Baristador to put it through the dripolator torture chamber and destroy the very attributes of body and flavour that my brand stands for. I would rather lose a sale than disappoint someone.
Why is it torture?
Coffee is at its best, in full majesty and body, when it is “espressed” through a well maintained and run espresso machine operated by an experienced, confident and caring barista who has a palate finely attuned to discerning the perfect shot. In short, the barista and machine ensure that water at the right temperature is forced through the cake of tamped (compressed) coffee grounds at a pressure that allows a fusion of water and natural coffee oils and sugars, resulting in a thick, dark body of coffee, crowned with a golden brown cap of crema. It is sublime. Compare this to the drip method.
In a dripper, hot water (hotter than is required for espresso) drips through the coffee grounds with no pressure other than gravity. This lacks the pressure needed to extract those flavours and the body which result from the espresso method. This insipid solution drips into the waiting jug which itself is sitting on a hot plate. This second barrage of extreme heat plays havoc with the chemistry of the “brew”, assisting it to become acrid or bitter at the speed of light. The longer the jug sits on the hotplate, the less palatable the coffee becomes.
These two incomparable methods mean that all coffee-making methods cannot be treated equally and action is required where the coffee drinker’s experience is at risk.
What can you do?
One option you can explore when making coffee for a small group or individual is a simple plunger. This is eminently more satisfying than the drip method, and just as low-tech and inexpensive. Next in line would be stovetop espresso maker, followed by an automatic espresso machine, followed by a manual espresso machine. Costs and ease of use vary. However, if you want some ideas or help, feel free to ask me your question – that is what Baristador Coffee is about, it is a service for coffee lovers, not a bland, money-grabbing, stale-coffee-providing mass market brand. My email address is [email protected] .
Providing coffee for larger numbers of participants, eg, 20+, can be more challenging. Good, commercial-grade domestic machines like Jura (Talk to David at Homestyle Solutions in Adelaide, 08 8271 1185 or HomestyleSA on Twitter, about these machines, he impressed me with his demonstration – more about automatic coffee machines in a later) can really perform well for small to mid-sized groups – anything less and, frankly, it might be best to offer your guests water and a discount coupon for a nearby cafe!
In conclusion, my apologies to you if you only have a drip coffee-making method at your disposal. If you cannot move to a better method, I suggest you just buy some cheap coffee for now because despite your best intentions, spending more on better coffee will be throwing good money after bad because you won’t experience the extra quality you are paying for!
Yours in the spirit of espresso
Founder / Espresso Evangelist
Dude…using a drip coffee maker is *not* the same as using a Drip-o-lator. That’s “Drip-o-lator”. Not “Mr Coffee Walmart coffee maker” although I do have a 4-cup for last resort, along with the last of the Braun KF-12s.
I have three Drip-o-lators. And a moka pot (your “stove top espresso maker”). And a French press. And a vacuum pot. And a French cup-top dripper. And a napoletana. And several percolators (don’t turn your nose up…I’ve mastered their proper use). Even a Faberware 36-cup urn. I almost feel embarrassed for you, confusing a drip brewer with a true Drip-o-lator. *Almost*. But, then again, you probably use an electric mill.
Nice to hear from you, Dave, and your menagerie of coffee equipment!
As with all things ‘beverage’, it all comes down to individual palates as the ultimate arbiters of taste and acceptability.
Yes, it was a provocative post but it was aimed at the Australian market where popular usage groups those devices together. Our coffee culture here has been more heavily influenced by Italian immigrants and we seem to have skipped the dripping/boiling coffee phase that is more prominent in the US in those ‘other’ cafes and diners that sit between Starbucks, Peet’s, et al.
For me, it is electric-powered espresso all the way, unless travelling – take a peep at my ‘How to make good espresso on the road‘ blog and video and you will see that I do use some ‘analogue’ methods when I need to 🙂
Thanks for chipping in.
Yours in the spirit of espresso
PS Have you ever thought of listing all your coffee gear into the song lyrics of The Twelve Days of Christmas? I’d feature it here!!
For the most part, leaving coffee on the hotplate isn’t going to yield wondrous results at all – which is largely where the bad flavour comes from, especially in homes and diners that don’t place the coffee “elsewhere.” Immediate transfer to a pre-warmed thermos flask is preferential to better flavour – rather than baking on the hot plate.
I love my coffee from a French Press, and use a nice type of grounds that suits my taste preference. I found that while overseas in Scandinavia, MANY people use the “Technivorm Moccamaster” drip machines – which whilst detracting from the body somewhat with paper filters, still yield a delicious cup of (black) liquid gold 🙂
This was even using a typical supermarket ground coffee brand, which was surprising (Although not so when you smelt the grounds. Very nice).
The secret: Transferring straight from the carafe to a thermos jug. Coffee is an integral part of social life in Scandinavia, so cold, poor-tasting coffee just isn’t an option.
This is probably contrary to practically every coffee lover’s opinion, but being different is fun… Even if I am a luddite for being so!!!
Wow. When you stated that a plunger is better than a drip method, you blew it for me!
Plunger coffee has got to be the worst in my view, terrible stuff. ( yes I have used them extensively in the past but no more.)
Hi Iak. It is only better by way of being least worst. I cannot imagine ever CHOOSING plunger coffee unless it was a choice between plunger and drip. Espresso all the way for this coffee drinker. Steve
I stumbled across this while looking for a new coffee machine. Of course it’s all opinion but – I got hooked on the drip filter junk while living in the USA. I was a massive coffee snob before I moved there but you simply can’t be one if you live in the states. Finding a good coffee in the US (was) simply impossible. That’s all changing now though, there is a growing trend of micro roasters and blah blah blah. It still sucks but it’s improving… My point!?!? , nothing smells better (to me) that a house that has drip filter coffee on the go. I love a poor over.
Ha ha, of course. The aroma can be okay. It just stumbles on the palate for me. 🙂
If only coffee suppliers would treat coffee the way you do here in the Philippines…
I found joy in reading this article haha made me realize that some people really care about thier produce more than profit. Thanks for making the world a better place for coffee.
I use an Aeropress,V60 and a Bialetti Dama btw.. depending on the mood
I too think that the fault is not with the drip method but with the hot plate. My father made the morning coffee in a French drip pot, with dark roast drip grind coffee. He set the coffeepot inside a saucepan that held simmering water, so that the coffee stayed hot until it could be served, still seeming, to his adoring wife and daughters who were still in bed. The coffee was hot without tasting cooked. We lived in the non-chicory part of South Louisiana, where coffee is still almost a religious experience for many people.
Interesting point. Thank you for sharing. And, amen to the almost religious aspect of the coffee experience!