Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

Month: August 2016

The Boxo Coffee Subscription Review and Informational

The coffee subscription company Boxo started sending me coffee when I was in the midst of (drowning in) my kitchen renovation (the blog is still reeling from the residual effects of that remodel and having a new baby). Since then, they have generously sent me a few more of their coffee boxes. Over the last couple months through correspondence and sampling their coffee, I’ve gotten a sense of who Boxo coffee is and some of the values the company holds. A post on their coffee subscription is definitely past due. Here is the rundown on Boxo’s monthly box of adventure.

What is Boxo Coffee

Boxo coffee, out of Kansas City, offers a different take on the coffee subscription model. As far as I know, they are the only coffee subscription with an emphasis on exploring coffee by the cities they are roasted in.

Boxo is run by a team of adventurers and world travelers. They believe in experiencing coffee the way you would if you were visiting a city: one part recommendation, one part discovery and one part pleasant surprise.

Each month the Boxo team ships coffee from two of their favorite roasters in a city they would like their subscribers to explore. Each month you get to taste some of the best coffee a U.S. city has to offer. It is pretty cool.

In additional to 16 ounces (two 8 oz. packages) of great coffee, the Boxo subscription box contains a limited edition print from the creative minds at Normal Human (Boxo founder Derek also helps with art design ideas). Each box also contains a detailed card that talks about the included coffees and roasters.

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How to Brew With the Toddy Cold Brew System

Autumn is right around the corner but the cold brew craze is still going strong. Before the days turn from muggy to brisk, I want to squeeze in one more cold brew post, this time about the Toddy cold brew system.

The Toddy cold brew system is an extremely popular way to make cold brew. I don’t own one (I certainly have too many brewing apparatuses already) but was able to borrow one for most of the summer to play around with.
Here is my two cents about the Toddy, its pros and cons and my go-to Toddy recipe.

What is the Toddy Cold Brewer

The Toddy is a device that makes brewing large batches of cold brew (just over 1.5 liters) pretty much as close to effortless and mess free as something gets. The classic Toddy cold brew system consists of a large plastic vessel for brewing and a glass carafe for storing the cold brew once it is filtered.

Are you new to cold brew? You can read more about cold brewed coffee here and here.

The Toddy is designed so that the brewing vessel sits securely on top of the carafe. The brewing vessel has a spot at the bottom for a small hockey puck shaped filter (about the diameter of an Aeropress filter) to sit above a hole that is blocked by a removable rubber stopper. When brewing is complete, filtering out the coffee grounds is as easy as unplugging the stopper and setting the brewing vessel on top of the carafe.

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The Bairro AltoAir Product Review

The Bairro AltoAir (an item that made it onto my 2015 Coffee Gift Guide) is a stunning brewing device. It is made of stainless steel and boasts a unique and eye-catching geometric design. It is sleek, versatile and brews a great cup of coffee.

Since Christmas when my in-laws gifted me the AltoAir, I have logged a phenomenal amount of brews with it. (I am probably averaging over two brews a day). I have basically replaced my Hario V60 with the AltoAir.

After seven months of tinkering and brewing with the AltoAir, here are my thoughts.

What is the Bairro AltoAir?

According to the Bairro website, the AltoAir was conceptualize as a response to the way paper filters stick to the walls of most pour-over devices. The assumption is that sticking filters make it difficult to control flow rate and can yield an uneven extraction.

The AltoAir is designed so that hardly any material touches the filtering medium. The filter and coffee are essentially surrounded by air. They claim this design helps achieve a more even extraction and thus a more enjoyable cup of coffee.

The AltoAir fits both standard sized Chemex filters and Hairo V60 02 filters. It can be used as a stand-alone pour-over brewer or as an insert into the Chemex.

It can easily be assembled or broken down as a simple matter of lining up the holes and rotating the base a few degrees (it takes 5 seconds tops). The AltoAir is made out of stainless steel and is dishwasher safe.

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