Sunday, September 27, 2020

Virtual Café

I try to learn something new about coffee every day. Friends who grow coffee or are otherwise involved in the coffee industry often help to make this happen -- as do those who have studied coffee with me. Sometimes they recommend a new café or ask me a question to which I do not know the answer. Most recently it was a coffee alum sharing this video and asking "what is this contraption?"
I had never seen one of these, but told her that it is similar to a vacuum press. These are more popular in Japan than in the U.S., though I do have one. It is shown in somewhat improper use in the 1961 "This Is Coffee" video that I show in my classes. But this is clearly more complicated -- on my second viewing I realized that it is, among other things, a steampunk variant on the usual model.


To learn more, I decided to find the café online. For a while, my endeavors were quite confusing. Eventually, I learned that the cafè is an extension of an elaborate persona developed by the barista shown above. The Dungeons & Dragons reference is not immediately clear, but to those whose misspent youth included countless hours gathered around graph paper "dungeons" and rolling dice, the elaborate nature of this faux café does seem a reasonable outgrowth of the game. 

I don't think we I can replicate this coffee, though I'm sure one of my industry friends will tell me if I can. Meanwhile, the virtual tavern is a delightful place to visit for wit and insight on many topics. 

Lagniappe

As I was closing some of the many open tabs in my browser, I noticed that my search for "vacuum press" has also revealed the name of this contraption. It is a balance syphon coffee maker and it is available from a certain global retailer. I will see if it is available elsewhere before I decide whether to add one to my fleet of coffee makers.

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