Brewing methods continue to evolve at both extremes.
Last month I wrote about semi-automated $6,000 brewers ideally suited to coffee shop drive-thrus that can make multiple cups of tea in less than 90 seconds.
Immerset is at the other extreme, a simple invention that combines the gentle immersion of a French press with the control of pour over.
Inventor Chic Kelty enjoys both coffee and tea. He has several award-winning designs for products from portafilters and espresso machines to tampers. I still use his nifty magnetized silicone basket to catch the coffee grounds in my French press.
“Instead of specialized brewers for each beverage, why not a single brewer with maximum versatility?” he asked.
The quantity of water and immersion time for brewing ground coffee and tea leaves are similar but hardly the same. The secret to the Immerset is a valve Kelty built into the base to properly control the flow of liquid for either beverage.
Kelty told me that the patented helical valve design allows for intuitive and simple refinement of cold brew coffee and consistency in pour-over technique. Kelty’s design is also perfect for loose-leaf tea as it allows the water to drain completely between cups to avoid bitterness.
The Immerset debuted on Kickstarter last week and is already partly funded by more than 205 enthusiasts and $10,000 in funding with a month until the funding deadline. The first production run is this spring with delivery beginning in May 2014.
Unlike many coffee brewing devices, hidden surfaces and niches have been eliminated to ensure the most hygienic function possible, said Kelty. “The entire water chamber and passage is sheathed in food-grade stainless steel so there is no hot-water-on-plastic contamination,” he said.
When brewing coffee controlling the grind density, flow rate and immersion time can be difficult and all three are essential to a great cup.
As Kelty explains, “with French press brewing, the barista is able to control the steeping duration but the system is intolerant of variability in grind density which limits the brew options and results in less dynamic flavor. “ In addition, prolonged immersion of the coffee between cups can result in bitterness and degradation of flavor.
“In contrast, pour-overs and cold brew methods allow for finer grind which can achieve a more refined taste however it can be a complicated and time consuming task to finely tune the immersion time and consistently produce the desired outcome,” he said.
Other features include:
- Integrated insulating design that keeps the brew hot between servings
- Food-safe, impact resistant ABS for strength and insulation
- Tool-free assembly
- Silicon seals for leak-proof assembly
Click to view a break-away diagram.
In short, the Immerset is intuitive to use, offers maximum versatility and consistency in brewing by addressing several variables collectively with one device.