Reinventing Coffee: A Visit With Coava & Their Kone Filter

Reinventing something elemental — your morning cup of coffee, for example — takes creativity, tinkering and imagination. Matt Higgins and Keith Gehrke of Coava Coffee, have spent the past seven years honing their skills in the coffee industry and dreaming up their innovative (and ridiculously good–looking!) brewing equipment. Their Portland, Oregon coffee shop is gorgeous and the baristas intensely knowledgeable. Let's learn how to brew the perfect cup of joe!

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Matt and Keith have developed a new way of brewing coffee. Prompted by the desire to make a Chemex carafe and paper filter system more sustainable and better tasting, they invented a stainless steel filter, the Kone. Think of the metal of a French press merged with the single–cup brewing method of a Chemex carafe. It's not mesh though, as the French press is; it's perforated steel — making it very easy to clean.

With this elegantly designed tool, a sweet cup of coffee is minutes away. And when I say sweet, I'm using the term literally — usually, I prefer my coffee with a splash of cream, but this cup was so smooth, rich and balanced in flavor, it required nothing but a pause from conversation and my eyes to widen. I had to stop the chitchat to take in this marvelous beverage. Could this be the moment I stopped taking cream with my coffee? I believe so.

With the same idea in mind, they recently developed a perforated stainless steel disk filter to be used with an Aeropress. Both items are available to order online.

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I also had the good fortune to have Devin Chapman behind the brew, an award-winning barista who practically melted my heart, his passion for coffee was so strong. All the staff at Coava, and Matt and Keith themselves, have a relaxed, humble, 'this is just how we do' vibe going on. Tasting their coffee, using this equipment — it's an artful, delectable experience. So stream-lined and fantastic. We are fortunate enough to have Devin talk us through brewing a cup of coffee, using both the Kone and the Aeropress filter. And yes, if you're wondering, I bought a Kone to add awesomeness to my mornings!

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Two Ways of Making Coffee: The Chemex/Kone & The Aeropress

Kone

  1. Measure out and grind 25g of freshly-roasted beans to appropriate fineness (just a bit finer than typical pour-over particle size).
  2. Heat water to appropriate temperature (between 195º-205º).
  3. Place grounds in KONE and level grind bed.
  4. Using proper water–delivery device (kettle... this is important) slowly pour correct amount of water over grounds (400g). Total pour time should be between 1:30 and 2 minutes. Total extraction time should be between 2:30 and 2:45.

Aeropress

  1. I begin brewing as usual by preparing water and grounds. I boil water on the stove and transfer it to a spouted kettle.
  2. Grind coffee beans a little coarser (than Kone method), closer to the grind size used for french press.
  3. Place the Aeropress upside down with the chamber resting on the seal of the plunger and place the grounds at the bottom of the chamber.
  4. Slowly pour the water over the coffee until the chamber is full, using a circular motion to make sure that all the grounds are wetted in the process. Immediately twist the filter cap with the disk filter onto the top of the chamber. Make sure the disk filter text is facing up in the filtercap. Wait 1 minute.
  5. Flip the Aeropress, with the filtercap facing down, over your cup.
  6. At 2 minutes and 30 seconds, slowly press the press the plunger to push the coffee through the filter. This should finish in roughly 3 minutes and produce roughly 8 ounces of coffee.

Thanks Coava for the excellent coffee and showing me the new brewing equipment!

Visit Coava's Site: Coava
Read about Coava's Winning Baristas: Meet Portland's New Barista Champion

Related: Slurp Loud and Proud: Stumptown Coffee Cupping in Portland, Oregon

(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)