Equipment

Coffee Questions: Great Coffee at Home by Caleb Savage

Home Brewing

“What’s the easiest way to improve my home brewing setup?”

Making coffee at home can be a lot of fun, but with recipes, brew methods, and brewing variables, making great coffee can be frustrating or feel like more work than it’s worth. We think coffee brewing should match your interest, time, budget, and taste. If it feels like making coffee at home is too complicated, too time intensive, or too costly, chances are, we can find a better way for you to make coffee!

Fellow Kettle Chemex and Acaia Scale.jpg

Interest

Is the idea of making a perfect cup of coffee overwhelming? Does the thought of breaking out a calculator to make coffee seem outrageous? Finding easy-to-use recipes from companies like KLLR Coffee or brewing methods like the Stagg XF and it’s “Fill-up” Method might be your solution!

Time

How much time do you want to invest in making a cup of coffee? Do you take your time in the mornings or do you base setting your alarm on the number of minutes it takes to get out of your house? If you’re short on time, immersion brewing methods like a French Press, Aeropress, or Clever Dripper may work best. Investing in an electric kettle like the Stagg EKG can hold a temperature for up to an hour, allowing you to heat up your kettle in advance!

Fellow Stagg XF and Kettle.jpg

Budget

It’s easy to spend a lot of money on coffee equipment, but it doesn’t mean you have to. Some items like scales have a pretty large range in price, but it’s possible to find a quality scale that can the job done under $30. That being said, coffee grinders have a higher baseline for one that will grind your coffee consistently enough to be effective. We think the Baratza Encore gets you the most bang for your buck, but if you only use one brew method or go through a bag of coffee within a month, a Fellow Atmos might be a good alternative! Check out our last Coffee Questions post on freshness and using the Fellow Atmos Canister to keep it fresh.

Taste

If you prefer your coffee to taste clean with a sweet, bright acidity, you’re going to have difficulty being content with a French Press. If you enjoy the taste of espresso or americanos but aren’t interested in making espresso at home, an aeropress might be your best bet!

Using these four categories, we can help you take the next step with home brewing! Chat with a team member next time you’re in the shop and let us know what you’re most interested in and we can help!

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Fellow Products by Caleb Savage

Creators of the Stagg Pour Over family of kettles and dripper and other great coffee and tea brewing equipment, Fellow Products launched out of a little mixed use space in San Francisco in May 2015 when their Kickstarter for the Duo Coffee Steeper raised $193,402 out of their $50,000 goal.

"After months of picking French press grinds out of his teeth, our founder, Jake, wanted something better. Jake comes from Caribou Coffee and is an avid home brewer. He kept moving back and forth between the French press and pour over. Both can make a great cup of coffee, but have their respective drawbacks. After 8 months and countless prototypes with our friends at Enlisted Design, Duo – a dual chamber “twist” on a traditional French press – was born."

Photo Courtesy of Fellow Products

Photo Courtesy of Fellow Products

Their desire to combine quality brewing with beautiful product design led to a line of coffee and tea equipment we’re proud to support and use in the shop.

Quality in Style

In so many fields, consumers have to choose between devices that are functionally advanced or devices that are aesthetically pleasing but lacking in functionality. Fellow’s line of products gives equal weight to design and craft allowing for products that use the best innovations in brewing while hiding those innovations in design to create products that consumers actually enjoy using.

Stagg Pourover Kettle

Photo Courtesy of Fellow Products

Photo Courtesy of Fellow Products

Great pour overs hinge on control. With the Stagg Kettle, Fellow places all the power in your hand by shifting the balance of the kettle closer to your hand for easier pouring, a flow-restrictor in the spout for a slower and more optimal pour and a thermometer built into the lid of the kettle so you don’t have to worry about your thermometer falling out of the steam vent. With the addition of the EKG Fellow’s Stagg lineup, you can get all of the best things about the Stagg Kettle while adding temperature variability and control. The EKG+ adds bluetooth connectivity for brew tracking and pairing to Acaia Scales and their family of apps.

Innovations in Brewing

Fellow continually looks to improve the home brewing experience. Some of their latest releases include the Prismo, an Aeropress attachment for brewing espresso, the Stagg Pour Over Dripper, and the Stagg EKG+. For the dedicated tea drinker, The Raven Tea Kettle takes all of Fellow’s best ideas and applies them to tea.  

Some of these items are available in the shop or on our online store. The rest are available on Fellow's website.

Next week, we'll talk more in depth about the Stagg [XF] Dripper and why we think it's amazing.

Modbar by Caleb Savage

Modbar Chemex.jpg

We love the way a cup of coffee tastes when made using a Chemex. We also love serving our friends coffee as consistently and efficiently as possible. For us, the solution came in the form of Modbar’s Pour Over system. Using Modbar allows us to spend more time with customers while also allowing us to serve more customers quality brewed coffee alongside our espresso offerings on the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle. Here’s a little more info about Modbar and their systems from Modbar team members Will and Lena:

“Modbar was created by two bandmates in Fort Wayne, Indiana: Corey Waldron and Aric Forbing. The idea started percolating in Corey's mind in the early 2000s while he was working as a barista and roaster -- he wondered why he had to have a big bulky machine on the counter getting in the way of his conversations with customers. He imagined there must be a way to move most of the machine under the counter and leave only the coffee service above. Corey turned to his friend Aric, an industrial designer, to bring the concept to life. Early on, the pair found support from La Marzocco and brought the first modular, undercounter espresso machine to the market in 2013.”

Modbar Pourover.jpg

Modbar debuted their Pour Over system alongside their Espresso and Steam systems at the SCAA Expo in Boston in 2013. “Originally, Aric & Corey wanted to offer a hot water tap to complement the espresso and steam systems but found that there were already some good options available for that. Their thinking then began to incorporate a by-the-cup drip coffee option, and they found that there weren't any options that allowed for both manual and programmed/automatic use, so they got to working on what eventually became the Pour Over System we know and love today.”

Modbar Espresso

By moving all of the boiler’s and technology under the counter, Modbar’s Espresso system eliminates the need for a mini coffee-creating wall between barista and customer, leaving only the group heads and steam wands on bar. This sometimes confuses coffee consumers who take the absence of a big machine on the bar to mean the shop doesn’t serve espresso.  

Photo courtesy of The Boxcar

Photo courtesy of The Boxcar

“It's kind of a two-edged sword: we want the 'gear' to disappear in order to highlight the process, the barista's hands and their crafting of the beverage. But then I'm also like, 'Hey! Our machines are really good looking. Notice them!' We can't have it both ways, but I still want to. Our system is great for that reason - the guest can see their drink being constructed. Most latte fans have never seen an espresso shot pouring. It also makes the barista have to up their cleanliness game, which I love, as everything is on display. No more hiding the mess behind or under the espresso machine.”

Next time you grab a pourover, check out the system just behind the Black Eagle and let us know what you think. Also, to see Modbar’s Espresso and Steam Systems in use, head south and see our friends over at The Boxcar of Moore!