Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mandatory Third Wave coffee bar equipment

There's a great video out that shows the classic Balance Vacuum Coffee Maker in action. It's meant to look old-timey and fun and succeeds on both counts, but the first thing that struck me in watching it is that the brewing process shown is actually less tedious than watching your local barista brew a Hario pourover and the result is ever-so-much better: an actual pot of coffee, not a mere cup, that's hot instead of tepid.

Now the last time I was in an Intelligentsia store Doug Zell facetiously apologized for not having a Fetco installed (and of course the coffee would've been much better - and the wait in line infinitely shorter - if he had), but I think, in penance for the innumerable cups of under-extracted, papery and obscenely overpriced coffee made while you wait wait wait that all of the groovy Third Wave chains ought to brew on nothing but these ever-so-retro vacuum brewers.

That way - finally - I'd be able to get a cup of coffee that doesn't suck, from a brewer that does.


  1. I love almost everything about balance brewers except the fact they have almost no dwell time, unless you manually keep the heating element lit / lid open. I reviewed them 11 years ago. http://www.coffeegeek.com/proreviews/detailed/balancebrewers

  2. Thanks for sharing the link to your excellent review of balance vaccum pot brewers. Of course they're nowhere near as good as classic vacuum pots for the reason you mention, but then again, too-short dwell times and underextraction are what trying to brew single cups on Harios and the like are all about, so again a perfect brewer with which to get one's Third Wave geek on.

  3. I literally lol'd when your blog popped up and I saw that picture of that contraption.

  4. Hi Kevin,

    I'm a regular reader of your blog since your post " Coffee from Fools fro Masochists". That means I'm quite a new one. But I don't understan you wasting your time watching great videos about underextracted coffees :-). Watch this instead:


    Kind regards!