How to Decide which Coffee Maker or Machine is best for your Coffee Truck!


French Press

The french press is a pretty easy concept. It's a screen on a stick that is placed in a cylinder to hold the coffee down so you don't pour it into you cup. The coffee sits in the water the whole time, so it really has a chance to interact. You get a much bolder cup of coffee, with an occasional grind. The negative part, besides a little grounds in your coffee, is that they don't really make large french press. 32 ounce is pretty standard. Also, they get cold pretty fast and they tend to bitter if not consumed right away.


These things are pretty cool. They're a combination of a french press and a filtered machine. Basically, there are two cylinders. One cylinder is on top the other. You pour your coffee and water into the bottom cylinder. Just below it is a filter. Once the coffee steeps, you push on the top cylinder and it pushes the water through the filter and into your cup. It's pretty sweet because you get the immersion of a press, but the filter of a drip coffee. A few negatives: They don't keep your coffee warm. The only commericial machine I was able to find ws the Bunn Trifecta, which starts at 5k. And I'm not sure on the brew time in the commerical aspect, but I couldn't see this being a fast process.


Cones come in a couple of different flavors: Chemex, Hario v60, ceramic pour over. The concept is pretty much the same. You place your filter in a cone over your cup/pot of coffee and pour hot water into the cone. A few ways you can screw this up: Grind (too course or too thin) and extraction time (too long or too short). When done right, the coffee here is amazing. When done wrong, the coffee is junk.


Drip coffee is any automated coffee maker which boils the water with a heating element and disperses the coffee over a filtered cone for you. This is what most of us use for coffee. Some pour the coffee into a pyrex glass while others will pour into thermos carafes. Some come with hot plates, some don't. Some come with inline water connections, while others have a chamber that has to be filled. A few notes here. Hot plates are notorious for burning coffee, so if you go that route, be mindful of your coffee needs. You most likely will have to brew 64 ounces at a time. So this is not for slow times.


One of the coolest tends I've seen lately is the cold brew trend. Cold brew is a pretty simple process: Take ground beans, place them in cold water and leave them there for a long time. Now, why might someone do that? The theory is that the cold brew process doesn't release as much acids into the coffee and make it bitter. I gave it a try this summer and I have to agree. Also, I released it to my clients and they seconded the idea. I know of some people that do these at farmers markets and have no electric equipment: Just the bean and water. Once the bean has been submerged in water, you'll have to filter it, unless you want grinds in your coffee. Some people use the Toddy system, some use the french press. I can't vouch either way. Both work fine. It's a nice way to brew coffee on a summer day.