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Video and review of the Coffee Catcher for your French press

After my recent post about the Coffee Catcher, a kitchen gadget designed to speed up your cleaning of your French press coffee press pot, the people from Kaffeologie, who make the Coffee Catcher, contacted me to see if I wanted to try one out.  Since I’m an avid French press brewer, and I’m always up for trying new coffee equipment, I took them up on their offer.

The Coffee Catcher arrives in a very well done, low profile box.  It consists only of a somewhat weighty, circular screened insert that you drop down into your French press carafe, and a metal key or hook that you slide into two holes in the insert that you use to pull the insert (and your spent coffee grounds) up and out of your French press.    It’s a very simple design, but the construction feels solid.  This is not a flimsy device.

When ordering a Coffee Catcher, you must designate whether you want a small, medium or large version, and their web store provides measurements of each device.  I’m glad I checked the measurements.  My French press that I use regularly on weekends at home is an off brand version that I won at one of those Christmas parties where you can steal gifts from other people.  It’s done me well over the past few years, and it holds about 20 ounces of liquid.  I’ve discovered that’s an odd size for French presses, and when I tried to find a Coffee Catcher to fit it, I discovered that small was too small, but the medium was too big.  I also have a 34 ounce Bodum French press at the office that I use on occasion, and as I measured it, I realized that the Coffee Catcher sizes are designed to match the Bodum French press sizes.  This is wise as Bodum is probably the most popular brand of French presses on the consumer market, but it also helped me realize that all French presses are not created equal and are not made in standard sizes.  My Bodum French press fits the medium Coffee Catcher perfectly, so I ordered that version and took the office French press home for my testing (and will probably leave it there).

Using the Coffee Catcher is simple.  You drop it down into the glass carafe, and then line up the slots with the pouring spout on the French press.  By lining this up, you can know which direction the slots are facing when they’re covered with coffee grounds.  Then, you put your dry grounds on top of the Coffee Catcher and make your coffee as usual.   Once you’re done brewing your coffee, and you’ve poured the liquid out of the French press, you remove the French press screen to get access to the Coffee Catcher.  You stick the key/hook down into the grounds and slide its metal  prong through the two slots in the Coffee Catcher, and then you lift the Coffee Catcher and your grounds out of the French press.  The process was very simple, and as soon as the grounds were out of the French press, they were easily dumped in bulk into my compost bin.

I created the video above (that I’ve posted on YouTube, Vimeo and other services) to show the basics of using the Coffee Catcher.  One thing to note is that what you see in the video is truly my first use of the Coffee Catcher.  I’d never used it in action before, and it was very simple.  Second, just because I’m proud of it but also because it affects the video, I shot the entire video on my iPhone 4, edited it using the iMovie app on my iPhone, and uploaded it completely via the Pixelpipe app.  It was a really cool and speedy process, but it also explains why it took me a second to get my Coffee Catcher key into the slots — I wasn’t even looking down into the Coffee Catcher but instead got the key into the slots using only one hand while watching through the iPhone screen.  That’s evidence of how easy this gadget is to use.

The people at Kaffeologie say that the Coffee Catcher also removes some bitterness from the French press brewed coffee.  I’m not sure about that, although it brewed a great cup of coffee.  I did notice that the Coffee Catcher captures some of the dregs of the brew underneath, and you can see the thick remaining liquid under the Coffee Catcher when I remove it in the video.  The Kaffeologie people are experiment with using the Coffee Catcher for a vacuum-like brew dispersion and such, so keep track of what they’re doing if you’re really into the finer methods of brewing coffee.

As for me, I’m a fan of the Coffee Catcher.  I’ll continue to use it.  Some critics laugh and say, “Why use a Coffee Catcher when you’ve got a spoon?”  But honestly after using it, I really enjoyed one big swipe that removes all of the grounds at once versus scraping with a spoon.  Yes, that may be parsing, but it was very simple and convenient.  Don’t forget — we are in the 21st century, and back in the 1950s, they promised us this kind of convenience in the future, so I’m going to take what I can get.

You can buy the Coffee Catcher via the Kaffeologie web store, and it ranges in price from $15.95 to $21.95. I’m an Amazon.com fan, and I also found the Coffee Catcher available for purchase at Amazon.
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