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it's a disservice to point out a flaw in a trendy brewing method?


That's fine if you're discussing in on a forum like coffeed with other professionals. We've seen the Chemex and Clover and even press pots subjected to a ton of non-flattering scrutiny on such forums.

But we'd like to think influential folks within the 3rd wave coffee movement - or whatever you want to call it - would be more encouraging regarding alternative options for home brewing that don't cost a ton of money.

After all, if the point is to get more people buying better coffee, then offering tools that allow those coffees to shine moreso than what can be accomplished with a typical consumer drip machine should be a goal.

Again, it's letting the perfect be the enemy of the good/great.

Maybe we're alone in that opinion, but we don't think so.

scott rao

Rich, was this really necessary?
You took my answers to a journalist, which is second-hand information, and you decided to criticize my opinions. (This is not to imply that she misquoted me, but that had you been there to experience my answers and her questions, you might see this differently).

So now I've done a "disservice" to the specialty coffee industry? Last time I checked, those of us who push the envelope and constantly seek ways to satisfy our nearly-unsatisfiable palettes are doing the industry a service long term. Plus, I spend countless hours educating people about making coffee, both in my consulting businesses, and book writing, and also for free, answering several emails everyday.

You're picking on the wrong guy.

As for your lack of technical knowledge about what I was talking about, I'd be happy to discuss that on coffeed or wherever.

P.S. Anyone who thinks an Abid out-brews an auto drip simply doesn't know how to use an auto drip properly.

Scott Rao


First off, thanks for taking the time to post. We're hoping that if you look at our context, you'll get a better understanding of why we're a bit bent out shape.

If you and Anthony both read the last three paragraphs again, the "disservice" was not in criticizing a specific brewer, because we (and you) know that any brewer/methodology can be improved upon and/or that methods can be adapted to personal taste. We said as much in the original post.

Rather, the "disservice" was in not acknowledging that said brewer - regardless of any flaws - offers a significant improvement in taste (and price) over the appliances the vast majority of consumers are using this minute.

A little credit to go along with the criticism.

We know you do a lot for the industry. We use your book in training (and thanks again for the replacement). And I'm personally grateful that you invested time in working with me on discussing drip brewers while you were on vacation. That was unexpectedly over and above the call of duty.

For the record, we do appreciate folks like you who do push the envelope and publish their findings (whether we agree or not). No argument there as we often end up the beneficiary and more knowledgeable.

At the same time, shops like our that don't have a fully-equipped laboratory or world-renowned baristas behind bar and just want to try to elevate coffee and educate consumers to whatever level we can with our limited resources - how do we or our customers benefit when tools that provide obvious improvements in coffee enjoyment over the traditional airpot/urn type of service are consistently pooh-poohed by experts because they're not perfect?

There are quite a few folks in our industry who seem to take glee in throwing the baby out with the bath water. You just happened to appear in an article that was focused on something we're quite happy with, thus the scapegoating, if you will.

We too can find flaws in every single brew method we've been exposed to. But even with those flaws, we can put out better coffee with those tools than we can with an airpot. We think that's progress.

We're not looking for a war here. In the bigger picture, we're both on the same side. As I mentioned to someone else on Twitter who had a different (and less flattering) take on your response, our issue is not that you've changed your opinion since we spoke last February. It was simply the context of those opinions within the article. And I believe you when you say I might have a different understanding had I overheard the interview. Maybe my gripe should be with China.

But if you're now suggesting (as it would seem by the comment above) that a $20 Mr. Coffee or a $40 Krups/Braun can do as good a job brewing coffee as the manual brew methods mentioned in the original post, please elaborate. You can post the science to support that opinion here or we'll link to wherever you want to post that info.

We're not talking $265 Technivorms. We're talking about the under $100 popular electric drip brewers that most people have in their homes (notwithstanding that 4 of the top 10 best sellers on Amazon are K-cup/pod single-serve brewers). Because those people are our customers and they seem to really enjoy what we're serving via our brew bar. They're the ones who matter because without them, we starve.

As for your alternative Abid method (and my lack of technical knowledge, as you put it), I did not get a chance to try it, but I will on Friday. If we like it better, we'll use it. The only thing we're married to is the best result in the cup we can achieve with what we've got to work with.

We hope to see you at CoffeeFest in NJ or in Anaheim.

scott rao

i'm pretty offended and bewildered by your blog post. again, you seem to miss the critical point that you are absorbing second hand information and then judging me on it. to insult me publicly (you did; you directly stated that i have done a disservice, among other things) was uncalled for.

china asked me if we still use the abid. i said no.
she asked why. i told her. what exactly was i supposed to say?

it's a journalist's job to tell both sides of a story. she chose my comments to rightly highlight the flaws in the abid (those that you seem blissfully unaware of; the temperature drop is not "a few degrees". it is, in fact about 15 degrees from the kettle water temp to the average slurry (and therefore extraction) temp. further, your methodology guarantees uneven extraction, sour/sharp coffee, minimal extraction of caramel sweetness, and prob a max extraction of 17-18% if you're lucky.

finally, you are completely incorrect about the abid being superior to an average consumer drip brewer. my $50 home brewer extracts at a steady 200F, extracts more evenly from the coffee bed than the abid does, and improves the taste of the coffee due to several factors too technical to discuss here (and clearly too technical to interest you). no skill required.

my goal is to help people learn to make better coffee. and i spend a lot of my personal time helping people, like i once regretfully tried to help you.


a) What home brewer are you using? Our entire staff is now interested in this. Maybe we should be selling them.

b) Some pretty low blows there.

c) If I'm missing your point regarding the journalism, you're certainly missing ours. I guess we're not going to settle that one.

We're not scientists, but we're certainly not hacks - you might be surprised just how much technical detail we can digest.

Yes, we've measured 13-15F difference between the pour and end of dwell time, which is still around 180F and about 175F after drawdown (measured in serving cup). And we accounted for as many factors as we could without owning an ExtractMojo in deciding on the current method - which has morphed a few times as more baristas used it and reported their experiences.

We're all happy with the results. So are customers - many of whom have pretty decent palates. It's a tasty cup and a methodology that's repeatable.

Could it be improved upon? Of course. What we don't have here is time and resources for testing everything we think of. At some point we have to say, "Ok, we're running with this." But we're trying your methodology because that's what we do.

I can understand you being upset at me. Everyone we've heard from so far have read what I wrote and interpreted it exactly how we meant it and not how you took it. You and Anthony seem to be the only ones who are interpreting some kind of character assassination from what we posted. Meantime, there's no mistaking what you think of us/me.

End of the day, we'll still recommend Cafe Myriade to people heading to Montreal. And we'll still recommend the book and you as a trainer. None of the above changes any of that. It's really not personal from this end.

And we sold 17 Abids today. So thanks for that.

Adam G

Wow this is really entertaining. My bells and whistles cusinart just died on me, won't turn on. So now I want to go the manual pour over method. I was wondering about the Hario V60 vs. the beehouse vs. the melitta vs the Clever blah blah blah!

From what I have read online and confirmed from this great site, is the Clever is the way I will go. I am FAR from an expert but the Clever really intrigues me.

Rich, do you sell the bamboo filters?, and do you think they are better then the unbleached? AND are they #4?

Also I know from doing my studies, I need to get a burr grinder and please don't cringe, but can I get one for my needs, which are 1-2 cups a day for the range of $100-125.00?


Adam in NJ


Good grinders in that price range would be the Baratza Maestro and Capresso Infinity, both right around $100. Keep in mind neither will do espresso or Turkish, but if you don't need a really find grind, you're good to go with either.

Melitta #4 bamboo filters should be available in most larger supermarkets. They're about $4 for a box of 80. But any #4 will work - just rinse it with really hot water before brewing and you'll lose most any papery taste.

As far as Abid vs. Hario V60, both make very good brews (at least in our opinion!). We feel the advantage for the home user with the Abid is that it's more flexible - you really can alter most any variable to your taste, especially steep time. And it's more forgiving to technique because the coffee is fully immersed.

As the V60 doesn't have a valve stopper, the water starts flowing through almost immediately. But, you can play with grind/dose and pouring tempo to slow down/speed up the brew time. There's a bit of art involved in becoming really good at it.

That said, we'd definitely go with the V60 over the Beehouse or Melitta due to the design and the size of the drain hole - it's big enough where it'll never plug up and stall on you. We've tried three hole drippers and have not been as satisfied as we are with the V60.

Sorry about the Cuisinart and glad you're entertained (we were thinking it's gotta look pretty sophmoric and petty to a non-industry type). Hope you find the brewer/grinder combination that works for you.


Great Recipe ! Thank you for sharing with us..I love coffee and almost drink 2-3 cups everyday. I will surely try your recipe..

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