Did I get duped with the Blue Bottle Dripper?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
dsc106

#1: Post by dsc106 »

I saw it recommended online, and some people were talking about how it produces a different cup quality than a Kalita wave. Opening the Blue Bottle manual, it seems like a lot of BS pseudoscientific hyperbole about their work with physicists to make water draw down to maximize sweetness, etc.

Thing is, the darn thing looks just like any other flat bottom dripper. I know subtle changes in geometry and flow can change brews. But after modifying my wave with a mesh screen, it seems like the differences are much more pronounced by changing recipe variables and technique than slightly different shape of the dripper itself. And, it seems that any such differences in one flat bottom dripper with roughly equivalent flow rate could be replicated by changing the recipe in another dripper. I don't see how the ribbing on the sides could make that significant of a difference?

Well, I haven't played around with it a ton yet, but this was just initial impression. I don't want to be that guy with 20 drippers. It seems like one flat bottom (i.e. kalita wave), one conical (i.e. v60 or chemex), a few immersion brewers (filtered, unfiltered, and pressurized filtered - that is: clever, french, aeropress, respectively) covers the gamut of techniques?

Is a beehouse really so different from a kalita and a blue bottle?

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Acavia

#2: Post by Acavia »

I felt same way about a Stagg X versus glass Kalita - no difference in brew, except in the case of the Stagg X the workflow was much more tendinous and unenjoyable.

Shojin

#3: Post by Shojin »

I haven't tried the Blue Bottle Dripper, but I did get a Hario Switch last week. I was hoping to address some of the shortcomings of the Technivorm Cup-One, with a view to selling it. I was also expecting to be undecided or disappointed; I'm not an expert and manual pour-over has always seemed like more of a faff than I can be bothered with as my standard way of making coffee.

However, I am surprised. I have not made one bad cup of coffee with the Switch, even with mistakes in preparation. And when I do everything correctly it's very noticeably better than the Cup-One. I had adjusted my ratio to 1:18 with the Technivorm, as per their suggestion, from my default starting point of 1:16.6, after finding the coffee a bit harsh and overwhelming. I had thought that this was a great improvement until I tried the switch at both ratios and realized that this 1:18 advice is possibly due to the poor extraction from the Technivorm. 1:16.6 in the Switch and even coffee varieties that I thought I just didn't like are turning out great.

So, if you want yet another option, maybe consider a combination immersion/pour-over like the Switch or Clever.

DamianWarS
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by DamianWarS »

dsc106 wrote:I saw it recommended online, and some people were talking about how it produces a different cup quality than a Kalita wave. Opening the Blue Bottle manual, it seems like a lot of BS pseudoscientific hyperbole about their work with physicists to make water draw down to maximize sweetness, etc.

Thing is, the darn thing looks just like any other flat bottom dripper. I know subtle changes in geometry and flow can change brews. But after modifying my wave with a mesh screen, it seems like the differences are much more pronounced by changing recipe variables and technique than slightly different shape of the dripper itself. And, it seems that any such differences in one flat bottom dripper with roughly equivalent flow rate could be replicated by changing the recipe in another dripper. I don't see how the ribbing on the sides could make that significant of a difference?

Well, I haven't played around with it a ton yet, but this was just initial impression. I don't want to be that guy with 20 drippers. It seems like one flat bottom (i.e. kalita wave), one conical (i.e. v60 or chemex), a few immersion brewers (filtered, unfiltered, and pressurized filtered - that is: clever, french, aeropress, respectively) covers the gamut of techniques?

Is a beehouse really so different from a kalita and a blue bottle?
I've always considered getting the blue bottle dripper but when I take time and look at the brewer I wonder what's really different in it and end up thinking it's just another nuanced flat bottom with no real difference in the cup. Nuanced geometry has less of an impact when using pleated flat bottom filters. the ridges on the walls won't accomplish much as pleated filters are already raised off the walls. the bottom ridges will help raise the paper off of the flat bottom which will help drawdown but can be accomplished with any flat bottom brewer with the addition of a mesh cut out and the mesh would probably work better. the hole size doesn't have a lot of impact either (big or small) if the bottom of the filter is raised off of the flat bottom. so I don't get it and it seems to be just a brewer branded for their cafes that you can purchase and the hype is probably around the cafes then superimposed over the brewer... but I've never been to their cafes either it's just speculation. I'm sure their brewing technique has a greater impact on the brewer standing out among other flat bottoms.

braxtonjens

#5: Post by braxtonjens »

I've had a BBD for almost a year now.
I dedicated myself to learning how to use it, and learning it's ins and outs.
It took a bit, but I've been getting some incredible brews with it.

I can share my technique and recipes if you want.


What I can say is when you get it down it is like (excellently executed batch brew from a cafe.) these brews have big body, sweetness and clarity.

Also, disregard the brewing technique and recipe that blue bottle says in the little booklet with the brewer.
“Coffee is always a good idea”
LMWDP #617

jdrobison

#6: Post by jdrobison »

I've been using one for quite a while, as well, and would be interested in comparing notes. I use Kalita 185 filters. My recipe is 22/375, 5 pours spaced apart by 30 sec (first pour/bloom is actually 45 sec), the final pour at 2:45 drawing down completely by 3:30. Results are very good but always looking for more clarity.

braxtonjens

#7: Post by braxtonjens »

I use the kalita 185 filters as well.

My typical brew is 22/350-370.

I've had some stalled brews when I first started brewing with it. My issue was the "rao" ? Spin for the bloom, and in between pulse pours like I do on my v60.

The pouring pattern is inspired by April coffee.

(Note: stir bloom gently with spoon, no Rao swirl until drawdown of brew + 2-3 vertical taps. )

15g: bloom 50g (30-45), 1st pour to 150 (by :45-1:00), 2nd pour to 250 (finish @1:45-2:00). 50 grams circle pour, 50 grams center pour. TDD= 2:45-3:15. Grind @ 1R- 1R+3N

20g: bloom 60g, 1st pour to 180g (120/180), 2nd pour to 300g (240/300). 60 grams circle pour, 60 grams center pour.

22g: bloom 60/66g, 1st pour to 150g, 2nd pour to 250g. 3rd pour up to 350-370g, 50 grams circle pour, 50 grams

25g bloom: 75g, 1st pour to 225, 2nd to 325g, 3rd to 425g. Use same grind setting to start dialing in as 22g recipe. TDD=3:30-3:45
“Coffee is always a good idea”
LMWDP #617

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dsc106 (original poster)

#8: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Thanks for sharing, Braxton!!

Have you compared your BBD technique to Kalita 185 SA with mesh (or ceramic version) at all? Do you think the brewer is responsible for your success by doing anything unique?

PS what grinder?

zefkir

#9: Post by zefkir »

I like the Blue Bottle dripper, to me it's a Kalita without the random clogging you can have with them. It doesn't do anything revolutionary, but it's a solid offering.

BaristaMcBob

#10: Post by BaristaMcBob »

I have Chemex, Kalita, Hario, and a $1.99 plastic dripper from the hardware store. The coffee from these are all the same to me. I mostly use the Chemex because it's cool and iconic. But I'll use the others if someone just wants one cup. All these guys are fighting hard for market share. They all have BS pseudoscience marketing claims. Frankly, they can claim whatever they want as there is no onus to substantiate anything. We all know that the coffee industry is full of BS pseudoscience.

Here's what impacts the taste and aroma of a cup of drip coffee in order of significance IMHO:
the beans
the grind
the water:coffee ratio
the water temperature
paper*
pouring technique*

*The last two items probably have some theoretical impact, but who really can tell?

So, if you're happy with the Blue Bottle dripper, then all's good. It looks like a very nice dripper. But, if you thought you were going to get coffee that was superior to other drippers...well, lessons learned I guess :)