Why I Grind and Brew Coffee Manually

manual coffee brewing and grinding equipment

This is the kit I pull out of the cupboard each morning to make coffee. Obviously I don’t brew manually because it’s convenient. There’s lots of bits and pieces and nothing is automated. Some folks would look at all this gear and write it off as being too complicated.

I love all the various bits and pieces. I continue to expand my collection of manual coffee brewing equipment. I’ll admit, that I have a job which makes accumulating gear very easy and inexpensive. For someone who doesn’t have a job like mine, for under a hundred bucks, you can get a manual coffee kit including: Aeropress coffee maker, Porlex coffee grinder and a bag of fresh beans. The kit in my photo above probably costs closer to $450. That might sound like a lot, but if you compared the cost of decent electric espresso makers and grinders, plus accessories, $450 is a bargain. The obvious advantage to manual gear is that you can take it anywhere, so there’s no compromise when you’re making coffee while camping.

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Cafflano Klassic all-in-one coffee maker and grinder

The Cafflano Klassic isn’t the first all-in-one coffee brewer/grinder we’ve used, but it’s certainly the smartest. We travelled down this road with the Grindripper, a great unit comprising of a solid hand grinder and a pourover cone. The Cafflano Klassic takes this idea further by also incorporating a much-needed drip kettle and a thermal mug. The Klassic also dispenses with the need for wasteful filter papers with the addition of the stainless steel filter in the cone. With the exception of hot water and beans, it really does offer everything you need to make coffee on the go, whether you’re at the campsite or at the office.

Here’s a video of the Cafflano Klassic in action. It’s worth noting that there’s actually a lid for the drip kettle, though they haven’t used it in the video.

The Klassic is now available in red or black, on our Australian and New Zealand websites:

Australia
Cafflano Klassic (Red)
Cafflano Klassic (Black)

New Zealand
Cafflano Klassic (Red)
Cafflano Klassic (Black)

 

Latte art wombats and the frustrated home barista

latte hearts

This photo won’t impress the average coffee geek and I’m not about to win any latte art competitions, but for me it was a minor miracle. I’ve poured a heart before, but this morning might have been one of the first times I’ve poured two hearts in a row. Why is that a big deal for me? Typically I would have poured a heart and then, much to my frustration, followed with some sort of blobby wombat (my son is great at identifying shapes in my latte art). For two years I’ve been using the Bellman milk steamer and while I believed I understood the fundamentals of milk steaming, it has taken this long to begin to consistently apply the knowledge. Continue reading

Farm Life at Espresso Unplugged HQ

Tractor moving a pallet of ROK espresso makers

How do you move a pallet of ROK espresso makers at Espresso Unplugged HQ? You rally the troops and fire up the tractor.

I loved getting these photos from Greg this morning after he didn’t answer my phone call. The photos said it all – “Mate, I can’t take your call, I’m on a bloody tractor”. It seems like there’s always something out of the ordinary happening up at the farm.