Express Individual Drip Coffee Maker
I found this item new/unused in a local thrift store back in May and I thought it might be fun to try out. The box came with a sealed pack of ten #1 filters and looks completely simple to use. To be honest, I did not expect much from this device, but it does have some interesting features. The cup size is adjustable thanks to two metal rails the drip chamber slides up and down on. There is a brace to keep the rails from flexing that fits above the drip basket so it is fairly sturdy. The device is top heavy empty but when a cup is placed on the base it becomes very stable. The feature that sets this brewer apart though is the manual flow control - this is like a poor man's Bunn BTX (well, maybe a poor man's Hario Dripper). Someone clearly put some thought into this device though because it works. I wish I could tell you where to find one but I have no idea - I had never seen one of these for sale before either new or second hand.
I brewed on a scale to maintain a 10 gram to 6 fl oz (180 grams) gold cup standard ratio (according to my Bunn manual anyway) while controlling brewing time - since the small upper cone will not hold 6 fl oz, I set the drip rate to a slow trickle at first till I hit 180 grams and then closed the valve to let the grounds steep for a couple minutes. The heat stays decent thanks to the included lid and also because I had to slow pour extra hot water in the middle of the brew to hit six fl oz in the cup. The coffee is comparable to a cross between a manual pour over or an auto drip brewer and that is pretty nice. The coffee in the cup is Sumatra Takengon Fair Trade Viennese from Armeno Coffee Roasters which is available here on ROASTe by the way.
I guess I am a gadget geek since devices like this always seem to fascinate me. I am also amazed at how simple a decent coffee brewer can be. If it controls the contact time between the water and the beans and can hold heat for three to four minutes, then feed it good fresh ground beans and a couple seconds off boil water to enjoy as good or even a better cup at home than most coffee shops can brew.