Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

Month: September 2016

How to Brew with the Kalita Kantan-Brew Guide and Informational

Last week, I championed the Kalita Kantan as a great coffee-on-the-go solution for those looking to keep it simple and disposable. This week I wanted to post my Kantan brew guide along with some tips for brewing with minimal equipment (away from your home coffee bar).

What is the Kalita Kantan

The Kalita Kantan is a 3.5 inch by 4 inch disposable pour-over brewer made of cardboard and an attached filter. They are sold in packs of thirty and are completely flat prior to folding for use. At about a quarter a piece (6.80 for thirty on Amazon right now), there is really no other brewer that is as portable, simple or disposable.

Last week Sharon from the Magic Coffee Truck pointed out that Coffee Blenders has a device that is similar to the Kantan but comes preloaded with coffee. While not necessarily a bad thing, it is best to have complete control of what coffee you use and when it is ground.

If you are looking for a great way to make about 200mL of pour-over coffee, the Kantan fits the bill pretty swimmingly.

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Coffee-on-the-go: Trader Joe’s Pour-over pouch and two viable alternatives

From airplanes to hotel rooms, there are contingencies for nearly every coffee-on-the-go situation. My tiny travel coffee kit (it all fits in the Aeropress bag) can make me a great cup of coffee anywhere there is electricity but it takes a little startup capital.

I am always on the lookout for easier, less hassle ways to brew a cup of coffee in a pinch. That is why my interest was piqued a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon the Trader Joe’s Pour-Over Coffee Brewer. There is a whole market segment dedicated to simple and disposable ways to source a good cup of coffee.

Here are my musings on the disposable Trader Joe’s coffee brewer (spoiler alert: I was not impressed) as well as two viable coffee-on-the-go alternatives.

The Trader Joe’s Pour-Over Coffee Brewer

The Trader Joe’s Pour-Over pouch can be purchased at the store for $1.49 or online for $18.49 for a six pack. It contains 20 grams of pre-ground Arabica coffee. The title is a bit of a misnomer as it is not a pour-over but an immersion brewer (like the French press).

The packaging had a best by date (5-20-17) and stated that the coffee was packed in Denmark. I was curious if this was pretty standard for Trader Joe’s coffees, but could not find anything about where their other coffees where packed or roasted.

It surprised me when I opened up the top of the pour-over pouch to check out the inner workings. I expected to see some sort of coffee tea bag on the interior perhaps like they have for single brewers (non K-cups) in hotel rooms. Instead, there is a rectangular filter in the top of the pouch that holds the coffee. Outside of this filter is room for more water and an outlet to a spout for decanting your coffee when it is finished brewing.

To use this Trader Joe’s Pour-Over pouch, simply add hot water up to one of the two fill lines (for a stronger or weaker cup) and let steep for four minutes. When it is ready, decant and enjoy a mess-free full immersion brew.

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