Do It Yourself


The CafeSolo, another sexy newcomer to the brewing world, is an alternative to a plunger pot—a low-tech way to brew that involves pouring hot water over ground coffee, stirring, and pouring the brewed coffee through a filter after four minutes of steeping. In place of the glass cylinder of the plunger pot, which is easy to break if the coffee is too finely ground, is a curvaceous, sturdy flask with a flared top (a ringer for the carafe that used to come with mix-it-yourself Italian dressing), and instead of a screen attached to a plunger is a fine-mesh metal funnel that goes almost all the way down into the coffee mixture.

Also see:

"The Magic Brewing Machine"
Cool new coffeemakers bring out the deeper pleasures of a light roast. By Corby Kummer

The official reason for the enthusiasm is a cup that shows off the high notes of a medium- or light-roast coffee better than the plunger pot, which is best suited to a darker roast, and that has body almost as full but with less sediment (the mesh is finer than the screen in many plunger pots). And the pot comes with its own, effective way to keep coffee warm—a tight neoprene jacket with a big zipper—though you shouldn’t let the finished coffee sit for more than 10 to 15 minutes, because it continues to brew and grows sour.

The real reason is the cool Danish design and the frankly suggestive motion of using that zipper. (Available online at around $80 for the 0.6 liter size or $100 for the 1 liter; I’d recommend the smaller one, which makes two eight-ounce cups.)

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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, immediately after which he came to The Atlantic. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
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