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.
Christmas is only a week away. Work parties and family gatherings are imminent and if you are excited about coffee, there is a good chance that you are contemplating taking your manual brewing show on the road.
Sharing your love of coffee with the world can pose some interesting questions that don’t come up in every day manual brewing scenarios. One of the topics I see floating around a bit (especially this time of year) is how to brew large batches of coffee via the pour-over method.
The Chemex is my large batch brewer of choice. It comes in a variety of sizes with capacities from 350 mL or to about 1400 mL (1850 mL if you have the Thirteen Cup Chemex).
Simply owning a brewing device that has the capacity to brew large batches of coffee isn’t enough. Brewing a big batch of coffee has different challenges and nuances that should be addressed. It is not the same as brewing a small cup of coffee for yourself.
Over the past month and a half, I have been experimenting with brewing large batches of coffee on the Chemex and here’s what I learned.
Ah the Chemex, where to begin; an iconic manual brewer invented in the 1940’s by Peter Schlumbohm? A third-wave coffee stronghold? One part pour-over, one part carafe and one part science-i-ness?
The truth is, I haven’t owned my Chemex for even a year yet but I adored it from the first time I used it. I love the classic vintage design, the amazing thick filters and it’s unmatched potential for brewing large batches of good coffee to share with the world.
It’s forgiving. It’s photogenic. It brews a pretty great cup of coffee.
Because it is one of my newer additions to my manual brewing arsenal, I have been dragging my feet on posting a brew guide. This is not because I lack confidence. I just wanted explore and answer some of my questions I had about the device.
Just because I haven’t owned the Chemex for a decade, doesn’t mean I haven’t spend time using it, I’m halfway through my third box of filters, which means roughly 250 brews.
After spending a solid month of concentrated Chemex brewing, including brewing for large family gatherings, work colleagues and even a few less than stellar Periscope performances. I’m ready to talk. Here is a my Chemex brew guide and some other relevant information.