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More filter than 'stache

Coffee-making isn't about the tool, it's about the method

Dear Hipster,

Am I crazy, or does a pour over coffee set up do exactly what my grandpa’s Mr. Coffee does? What am I missing?

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— Lazarus

True, it’s a similar process, inasmuch as both methods deliver hot water to ground coffee, but there are what I like to call “minor” differences.

On the one hand, Grandpa Lazarus’s Mr. Coffee dribbles near-boiling water over stale Yuban from an industrial-sized container. On the way to its date with destiny, the water passes through ancient passageways, each more scale-encrusted than the last. The plastic funnel surrounding the filter has more stains than the canvas surface of the boxing ring at Mickey’s gym in Rocky. The brew isn’t ready until the simmering heat of the hot plate under the glass carafe has concentrated the coffee to drinkable nitromethane, the preferred beverage of only the manliest men who strain out the errant grounds via their bristling mustaches.

Contrast that with the product flowing through the sparkling-clean pour-over funnel at your local, third-wave coffee boutique. More delicate than fair-trade birdsong. So refined, it makes a tailcoat and a monocle seem vulgar. The only thing the barista keeps cleaner than his perfectly manicured mustache (which never filters anything baser than the occasional whiff of frothed milk) is the pour-over equipment.

As they say, it’s not so much the tools as it is how you use them. For examples of the former, please visit your local gas station around 4:30 p.m. For examples of the latter, please visit the Reader’s Pour Over column.

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Dear Hipster,

Am I crazy, or does a pour over coffee set up do exactly what my grandpa’s Mr. Coffee does? What am I missing?

Sponsored
Sponsored

— Lazarus

True, it’s a similar process, inasmuch as both methods deliver hot water to ground coffee, but there are what I like to call “minor” differences.

On the one hand, Grandpa Lazarus’s Mr. Coffee dribbles near-boiling water over stale Yuban from an industrial-sized container. On the way to its date with destiny, the water passes through ancient passageways, each more scale-encrusted than the last. The plastic funnel surrounding the filter has more stains than the canvas surface of the boxing ring at Mickey’s gym in Rocky. The brew isn’t ready until the simmering heat of the hot plate under the glass carafe has concentrated the coffee to drinkable nitromethane, the preferred beverage of only the manliest men who strain out the errant grounds via their bristling mustaches.

Contrast that with the product flowing through the sparkling-clean pour-over funnel at your local, third-wave coffee boutique. More delicate than fair-trade birdsong. So refined, it makes a tailcoat and a monocle seem vulgar. The only thing the barista keeps cleaner than his perfectly manicured mustache (which never filters anything baser than the occasional whiff of frothed milk) is the pour-over equipment.

As they say, it’s not so much the tools as it is how you use them. For examples of the former, please visit your local gas station around 4:30 p.m. For examples of the latter, please visit the Reader’s Pour Over column.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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