A pair of new gadgets are making headlines this week in the name of making better coffee. Are either of them right for you?
First up is an hourglass-shaped contraption that guarantees an exquisite cup of coffee, if you’re willing to wait for it.
The Baltimore Sun’s Meredith Cohn blogged earlier this week about Hammacher Schlemmer’s Coffee Hourglass. It’s a cold filtration coffee maker that requires the user to wait 12 to 24 hours for it to produce a coffee extract that can then be mixed with water or milk.
The theory behind cold filtration is that the chilled water helps the coffee retain more of its essential oils. Cold water has also been shown to reduce acidity by almost 70 percent. You don’t need to have a gadget like the Hourglass to achieve cold filtration (just Google “cold brew coffee”), but heartburn sufferers might benefit from switching to this style of brew.
Besides being eye-catching, the Coffee Hourglass requires no electricity and, according to this video, is easy to use. The video’s coffee-sipping lady who says “ahh” in the middle of the video seems pretty happy with it.
According to the manufacturer, you can store the coffee extract in your fridge for later use for up to two weeks.
Something you won’t want to store in your fridge
Next is a device that would come in handy before you’re ready to make coffee in your Hourglass or any coffee maker, for that matter. It’s the Friis Coffee Savor, a special storage canister that claims to help coffee retain its flavor until you’re ready to brew it.
The canister has a disposable “freshness valve” that filters out carbon dioxide naturally released by coffee beans, but keeps oxygen and light out. Over time, the build up of CO2 gases causes coffee to lose its flavor, which is why bags and traditional glass or plastic canisters don’t really do the trick (not to mention –eek!—sticking it in the fridge).
“Extensive market research revealed most coffee drinkers struggle to keep their coffee beans and grounds fresh,” said Keith Emmel, inventor of the Coffee Savor and Director of Business Development of Friis. “While many people enjoy high-end or flavored coffees, they often end up discarding expensive beans or grounds because current storage options cause their coffee to go stale too quickly.”
The Coffee Savor holds about one pound of whole bean or ground coffee and retails for $21.95 (US). If you buy one, you’ll also need to replace the CO2 valve every two months. A year’s supply of the valves comes free with each Coffee Savor purchase. You can find them at friiscoffee.com.