Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Brewer Review: Duo Coffee Steeper

Back in January of 2014, I backed a Kickstarter for a new coffee brewer called the Duo. Here's their Kickstarter video:

I was SOLD. It was supposed to be ready to ship in July of 2014. I backed it immediately.  

I quickly became obvious they weren't going to meet their timeline (seriously, does any Kickstarter??).  But, I really didn't mind, as these guys were GREAT about keeping the backers updated with what was going on, and what changes they had to make, that sort of thing. It was like they took the backers along with them on the experience.  

But... I was tired of waiting on trying an immersion brewing method, so I procured a Sowdon Softbrew, and used it during the year I waited on the Duo. Definitely sold on immersion brews.

July of 2015 came, and it finally arrived.  

I quickly brewed some coffee, using the same parameters I had worked out for the Sowdon. Coarse grind (like for a French press), a hefty bloom time with just a tad of water wetting the grounds, and about 4.5 minutes of brew time, with a couple of (gentle) stirs to get the grounds to sink into the water.  

I'm not sure why, but the Duo made better coffee than the Sowdon, which had been my favorite coffee-brewing method.  I still don't know why as they are essentially the same method. But it is better.

It seems complicated at first - all these parts to assemble. But once I got used to it, it takes me about 15 seconds to get it ready for brewing. I don't like the lid very well (it's plastic, and the only plastic that touches coffee). And sometimes coffee burbles out the spout when it drains. But that's it. My only negatives - totally worth it for such good coffee.

We gave a Duo to my father-in-law for his birthday last August thinking that he'd enjoy playing with a new brewer, but not expecting that it would displace his beloved French press.  Much to our surprise (and delight), it's become his daily brewer - it's easier to clean up than a press, and yields a cleaner cup, but with equal flavor.

It's now May of 2015, and I've been using the Duo nearly every day for 9 months, and it is STILL my favorite brew method.  

Here's my recipe/brew instructions:

  1. Grind: 5 tablespoons of fresh coffee beans, and place in the Duo filter basket. 
  2. Heat: 24 ounces of water to about 200 degrees.   
  3. Bloom: Barely wet the ground and wait 40 seconds.
  4. Pour: Fill the brewer to the top of the filter backs and wait 1 minute.
  5. Stir 1: Gently press the floating grounds into the water with the back of a spoon, and wait 1 minute.
  6. Stir 2: Gently press the floating grounds into the water with the back of a spoon, and wait 2.5 minutes.
  7. Drain: release the coffee into the lower reservoir, and enjoy your coffee.

You can get one here.

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