Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Screw you Cafetiere

For after you've ground the beans and poured water on them.
  [vote for,

I like strong coffee. In fact, I need strong coffee.

I also need it fast.

For these reasons, I tend to make coffee in a cafetiere (one of those plungery things), but using about an inch-and-a-half of espresso coffee in the bottom.

This works fine, except insofar as it doesn't.

The main problem is that mankind seems completely unable to create a cafetiere plunger which seals properly. This is fine if you are make feeble restaurant coffee, but not if you are trying to plunge a mixture which has the consistency of wet cement, as my pre-plunge coffee does.

Considerable pressure is needed to plunge the plunger (unless, of course, you are patient and wait for the grounds to settle). Invariably, the plunger leaks, and a spurt of coffee-with-grounds escapes past the plunger. Depending on the applied force and the geometry of the situation, this can result in a sploosh of hot coffee jetting out of the cafetiere. It also leaves grounds in the plunged coffee.

Enter the MaxCo Screw You Cafetiere.

The body of the Screw You Cafetiere is hewn from the finest food- grade aluminium (coffee-drinkers fear no Alzheimer's), and has a shallow helical thread internally.

The plunger itself is rather like a cup. The base of the cup is formed by the usual fine metal mesh. The sides, also of aluminium, are threaded externally to mate with the internal thread of the body. A rod extends upward from the plunger, and ends in a T-shaped handle.

To use, simply add large amounts of coffee and the requisite amount of hot water. Screw the plunger in to the top, and then keep screwing with the T-handle. Pressures of up to 5 bar can easily be achieved below the plunger, ensuring that your coffee is plunged in next to no time, no matter how much coffee you have used, or how finely it is ground. Very little coffee leaks past the threaded sides of the plunger, and the close tolerance of the threads ensures that no coffee grounds can get past.

There. That's better.

MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2010

[MaxwellBuchanan] brewing coffee. http://picasaweb.go...O-O_QLlBie5K6jdygRw
[mouseposture, Nov 20 2010]

Acht-Acht http://en.wikipedia...cm_FlaK_18/36/37/41
Very versatile [8th of 7, Nov 21 2010]

Alternative Brass_20coffee_20press_20_22hand_22
A more practical, less labor intensive filtration system. [WcW, Nov 21 2010]

Aerobie http://www.aerobies...s-coffee-maker.html
Better than a cafetiere and made by a toy company! [robilode, Nov 25 2010]

Centrifugal coffee http://s923.photobu...ntrifugal%20coffee/
Editors of Nature have been approached. [MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2010]

Namesake establishment http://tennesseeenc...ry.php?EntryID=M029
For [po] [mouseposture, Dec 12 2010]

http://www.msc.univ...s/Moka/article1.pdf [hippo, Oct 30 2018]


       <solid aluminium cafetiere body splits and shatters, spewing pressurised hot coffee all over [MaxwellBuchanan]’s immaculately laundered attire>
pocmloc, Nov 20 2010

       //sploosh of hot coffee jetting out of the cafetiere// Yup, I still bear the scar. And wear clothing for any sort of food preparation involving boiling water.   

       //close tolerance of the threads ensures that no coffee grounds can get past// It had better. If any coffee gets in there, and dries, you may need a machinist to get it unstuck. Alternatively, looser tolerances, nontoxic grease, and prompt, thorough cleaning.
mouseposture, Nov 20 2010

       If you can have patients and wait a little bit longer, for example, 300 million years longer, you could use similar sedimentary processes of pressure and stillness that were set in motion during the Carbonara period.
Ian Tindale, Nov 20 2010

       //If you can have patients//   

       They don't let me have patients. Not since....well, they just don't.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2010

       //you may need a machinist to get it unstuck. //   

       Point prenée. We may opt for solid teflon. Alternatively, we just widen the T-bar and devise a special clamp and a socket for a scaffold bar. Leverage is cheap.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2010

       sp. point pris.
mouseposture, Nov 20 2010

       It begs the question; why is there no coffee cetrifuge?   

       //sp. point pris.// that would be true in French, perhaps.   

       //why is there no coffee ce(n)trifuge?// Several reasons. First, you will want to be spinning a significant mass of coffee at a fairly rate (I'm guessing 1- 2000rpm), which is similar to a basic lab centrifuge. Even scientists (who are all remarkably clever) regularly fail to balance their centrifuges, causing them great distress. Second, I'm not sure that coffee grounds will pellet well; my guess is that they will form a loose pellet which will tend to break up as soon as you start to pour.   

       However, in the interests of scientific adventure, I will try this next time I'm in the lab, and report back.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2010

       //My guess is that they will form a loose pellet which will tend to break up as soon as you start to pour// Probably not, since I've used the following method successfully: pour ground roasted coffee & water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let sit overnight. In the morning, pour off the supernatant. Should be equivalent to a one-g centrifuge, no?
mouseposture, Nov 20 2010

       Interrrrresting. I would not want to drink your coffee, but it does bode well for centrifugal options, I admit.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2010

       Regarding the link, can I point out that the gentleman's nuts are too small for his spanner?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2010

       //nuts too small// Perhaps, though the muscles of his right arm do seem to be contracting against resistance. Anyway, you're definitely wrong about one thing: he's clearly not a gentleman.   

       //I would not want to drink your coffe// It was superior to no-coffee. I make no stronger claim.
mouseposture, Nov 20 2010

       and the (n) prize goes to...   

       <kidding> My proofreader insists on weekends off.   

       Oh dearie me, why do we always forget that most of these problems have been solved elsewhere? Why do you want to mix up two of the three critical components, namely the piston seal, and the screw mechanism? I posit that any thread suitable for generating the force you're after, is unsuitable for use as the edge seal.   

       It'd be the work of a couple of hours to convert a simpe single-acting hydraulic cylinder into an industrial strength coffee plunger. Double-or-tripple o-ring sealed, there's no way you're going to bypass the piston.   

       [after a few preliminary sketches] - I've got it down to 4 basic components. 1) outer cylinder, plain with machined inner surface and fine thread at the mouth. 2) piston head, which is two-piece (to support the gauze filter, and is obviously drilled to suit), has double o-ring seal to the outer cylinder and features a plain bearing on the top surface into which engages the 3) piston rod, including t-handle and coarse square-cut thread on the outside which screws into the 4) pusher plate. The pusher plate engages the fine thread at the mouth of the outer cylinder, and has a coarse square-thread tapped into it to generate the high force reqired on the piston shaft. Also incorporates pouring nozzle. Did that make any sense to anyone but me?   

       Ultimately you could machine the outer housing out of tempered glass if you insist on being able to see what's happening inside.
Custardguts, Nov 21 2010

       Somebody in the office once used normal cafetiere coffee in the espresso machine. The result was horrible. We hypothesed that the pressure of the machine caused "nasty stuff" to be extracted. We knew we would never know for sure given the horror of repeating the experiment. We also agreed that to protect humanity, we would never mention what we stumbled on unless someone else was about to tread the same dangerous path.   

       I've just opened the high security vault and torn open the modest envelope.   

       It says   

       "Use the right coffee"   

       There's even a money off coupon to help defray initial expenses.
DenholmRicshaw, Nov 21 2010

       We consider the best results would be obtained by using expanding gases to propel the piston, by modifying one of these: <link>
8th of 7, Nov 21 2010

       //"Use the right coffee" //   

       Cafetiere-ground coffee is always complete crap. It's like gravel (and not only in texture).   

       Espresso-ground coffee (lotsof) in a cafetiere makes an acceptable strong brew, albeit not an espresso.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 21 2010

       //"Use the right coffee" // Everybody knows that, when operating state of the art technology at the edge of its performance envelope, you've gotta have the Right Stuff.
mouseposture, Nov 21 2010

       // It's one small steep for man //   

       Actually, "It's one small steep for A man ...
8th of 7, Nov 21 2010

       ...one Venti Americano for Mankind.
mouseposture, Nov 21 2010

       <Dave Bowman>   

       "My God ! It's full of foam !"   

       </Dave Bowman>
8th of 7, Nov 21 2010

       You simply need to mix in some coarse ground coffee and push less firmly. You have likely habitually ruined your presses with over firm action. If your coffee is truely expensive you could use rice hulls but that is getting a little bit hotelish.
WcW, Nov 21 2010

       Interesting. The theory, presumably, is that the coarse grains make the accumulating mass of grounds more pervious to water? Can you vouch for having tried this?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 21 2010

       I am an expert with the cafetiere... here's how you do it. Put in as much coffee as you want ie tons. Mix it in using a spoon (pre-heated of course). Start plunging, but as you plunge, for every half inch or less you push down, pull the plunger back a quarter of an inch, (or even further) then continue.   

       Periodic partial retraction of the plunger is the key action for satisfying the needs of the fickle cafetiere.   

       This simple action enables very strong coffee to be made which would otherwise have been virtually unplungeable due to the damming action of the concentrated coffee grains.
xenzag, Nov 22 2010

       I've wondered (and perhaps this needs its own idea here) whether it might not be better to make coffee with milk rather than water. The principle underpinning this hypothesis is that the flavour and caffiene compounds in coffee are not water-soluble, but are fat-soluble and will therefore dissolve more easily in the fat droplets suspended in whole milk. To test this, you should start with espresso-ground coffee (for maximum surface area) and hot milk. Put the coffee powder in a cafetiere and pour over the milk. Depress the plunger - and then maybe pull it up and push it down a few times to acheive an incredibly strong coffee-infused milk. Then, to make it more like normal coffee, add hot water. Use of a fatty solute as the plunging medium should result in a higher proportion of the flavour molecules in the coffee powder being dissolved in the coffee.

If only one of us had access to a properly-equipped lab where this could be experimentally validated...
hippo, Nov 22 2010

       // The principle underpinning this hypothesis is that the flavour and caffiene compounds in coffee are not water- soluble, but are fat-soluble and will therefore dissolve more easily in the fat droplets suspended in whole milk.//   

       I think this is not the case. Black coffee is a known thing. Moreover, I can vouch for the fact that pure caffeine is soluble in water in hazardously large amounts. (It is also soluble in 96% ethanol - don't ask.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 22 2010

       But that's exactly the kind of thing I want to ask about...
Custardguts, Nov 22 2010

       It might be the volatile flavour compounds I was thinking of.
hippo, Nov 22 2010

       [custard] OK - we have both components in the lab. It was interesting.   

       [hippo] I think the flavour compounds are water-soluble, otherwise black coffee wouldn't work. Some compounds may be more fat-soluble, but then again maybe they're not the ones you want in your coffee...
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 22 2010

       I'm confused by all this talk of plunging. I just dump a couple of generously heaped spoonfuls of instant in a cup, add hot water, give it a quick stir and then consume. If I'm feeling decadent then I'll occasionally add milk and a glug of brandy. In my more debauched moments, a generous spoonful of hot chocolate goes in as well and I reach for the chocolate bourbons as an accompaniment. To my mind, making coffee shouldn't be like a sentence to hard labour.
DrBob, Nov 22 2010

       [DrBob] - hmmm Maxwell House?...<suspicion dawns>...   

       What [xenzag] said about the down-up-down thing - it really does work, though you have to judge it like a bomb-disposal expert or risk a jet of gritty grounds getting through to the proper coffee.   

       As a coffee addict, I've recently become a massive fan of the espresso machine - there are a number out there on the market, but having got annoyed with at least 3 different models have settled on a proper one that can both generate a series of espresso 'shots' in quick succession, but which also froths milk, should I fancy something more gentle on the stomach.
zen_tom, Nov 22 2010

       I'm not a big coffee drinker - maybe just once or twice a week - so I just use a cheap Bialetti stovetop machine.
hippo, Nov 22 2010

       you do realize that you're supposed to let the grounds sit in their with the water for a minute or so, right? You're not supposed to plunge immediately. It's pour in grounds, then water, then stir for a second, then cover the top and allow to rest, THEN plunge.   

       My practice and what I've read is that you wait for 4 minutes for coarse-ground coffee. I would imagine you could wait 1 minute for espresso-ground.
EdwinBakery, Nov 22 2010

       //you do realize that you're supposed to let the grounds sit//   

       You do realize that you should read the post?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 22 2010

       And a little impeller at the bottom to aid in stirring! Methinks that the settling and packing nature of the espresso grain size will impede optimal leaching.
daseva, Nov 22 2010

       Ohh, NOW there's an idea! As you push the plungy thing down, an impeller attached to the bottom of the gauzy thing sweeps around, gently wafting all of the grains down, out of the way so that they don't jam up the whole works - plus providing a little gentle agitation while they're at it.
zen_tom, Nov 22 2010

       I would have thought that the caffeine provides all the agitation that you need.
DrBob, Nov 22 2010

       I'm with Bob on this but I never quite know how to order a bog standard instant (Maxwell House) coffee in a coffee shop without looking like a complete twerp!
po, Nov 25 2010

       Let go, [po], and embrace your inner twerp.   

       I didn't get where I am today without looking like a twerp.
pertinax, Nov 25 2010

       so funny - o.k. yes, I'll forget trying to look cool.
po, Nov 25 2010

       Maxwell Estate? who knew?
po, Nov 25 2010

       Actually, we just call them "The North Estate", "The South Estate" and "The Spare Estate"; everybody knows they're ours.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2010

       //It begs the question; why is there no coffee centrifuge?//   

       The experiment has been done, and not without some success. See link.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2010

       [po] //inner twerp// No! Do it! You'll blow their minds with your sophistication. Reverse-snobbery of the highest order.   

       (In fact, Starbucks is now attempting to market instant coffee, following in the footsteps of Maxwell House, which I assume was once an upscale establishment as well.)   

       PPS: Yup, "featured such delicacies as Calf's Head, Leg of Cumberland Black Bear, and Tennessee Opossum" <link>
mouseposture, Dec 12 2010

       For any Health and Safety Officers from the MRC, I should like to point out that the photos in the link were shot entirely on location, in a near-perfect re-creation of my lab. No animals were harmed in the making of this coffee.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2010

       //I'm not sure that coffee grounds will pellet well//   

       Perhaps the coffee should be grown in lead and epoxy rich soil?
saedi, Dec 12 2010

       See link. I was wrong - they pellet nicely.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2010

       How long did it take you to prepare your centrifuge espresso?
methinksnot, Dec 12 2010

       Start to finish about 2min (including about 30s microwaving and a 30s spin). It was not a bad espresso, but no head on it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2010


       That's so great! Now get back to saving the world already. "//no head on it.//

       //2 min// That's a 50% improvement on the 4 minute recommended time.   

       MaxCo Labs does it again. Now, about that Ebola virus...
methinksnot, Dec 13 2010

       //Now, about that Ebola virus...// Yeah, I ought to get back to that but I can't find my samples. I know I had them when I went in to test the coffee protocol. Anyway, it'll have to wait til tomorrow - I've got the mother of all headaches coming on.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 13 2010

       // No animals were harmed in the making of this coffee //   

       Kind of looks like a wasted opportunity to us ... if you're going to make a few of litres of concentrated centifugal coffce in a batch, a cat would be THE perfect counterbalance in the centifuge.   

       You'd need a bigger centrifuge, mind. Keep an eye out for a courier delivering a large crate, on its way to you as of now.
8th of 7, Dec 13 2010

       Cruel, inhumane, buggar you are. THE perfect counterbalance...indeed.
blissmiss, Dec 13 2010

       //No animals were harmed in the making of this coffee// Next time, do it with Kopi Luwak.
mouseposture, Dec 14 2010

       I use a Bialetti stovetop coffee maker - see link for the physics of these, which is really quite interesting
hippo, Oct 30 2018

       Finally, 4.5 billion years of evolution have reached their conclusion. For Man invented the Aeropress, and he looked upon it, and he saw that it was good. And there was much rejoicing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 30 2018


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