June 28, 2017

Can New Brewing Tool Control Agitation & Increase Cleanness?


Every so often, a new coffee tool comes along that could challenge how we think about brewing. Take the Melodrip – this tool sets out to alter how we perceive agitation and cleanness. It’s still in the beta stage, but we decided to find out a little more about it.

Why Is Agitation Important?

Agitation refers to moving the grounds around during brewing, often with a spoon or simply through pouring technique. Many people swear by it, because coffee brewing is all about extraction. This is the process of getting soluble coffee compounds out of your roasted and ground coffee to create a tasty beverage.

But the thing is, different flavours are extracted at different points in the brew. First, you’ll get the sweet or acidic notes (which is why underextracted coffee can taste sour). Later on, you’ll get the bitter notes. So if some of your coffee grounds extract more than others, you’ll have uneven extraction and inconsistent flavour profiles. To a certain degree, uneven extraction is inevitable; the goal is really to be as even as possible.

Agitation can cause the grounds to have more even amounts of contact with the water. This should lead to a more even extraction and better coffee. It will also usually accelerate extraction.

However, like all coffee-brewing concepts, it can also get more complex the more you look at it.

Melodrip states, “Kettle-pour agitation is essential, but only when skillfully applied.” They argue that it causes more insolubles, which they refer to as “nasties”, to end up in your final cup. This is because insolubles are also distributed by the agitation. They can be as small as 1 nm, so most filters will not be able to keep all of them out of your brew.

What Is The Melodrip?

The Melodrip is designed to give you a cleaner cup by keeping out more insolubles and allowing you to have greater control over agitation. It’s still in the beta testing process (you can sign up to be a tester via their website).

You can see it in action in the video below. It controls how the water drips into the coffee, creating a “sprinkle effect”. This will lead to a more gentle pour and les intense kettle agitation. Notice, however, that the brewer doesn’t avoid agitation – they also use a stirring stick during the bloom.

SEE ALSO: What Is Coffee Extraction? & Other Key Brewing Concepts

How to Use The Melodrip

Want more info on how to use the Melodrip? Their video guide breaks down the process, giving tips at every stage. Notice how closely they hold the Melodrip to the coffee bed. This will shorten the fall of water, making it an even gentler pour with more controlled agitation.

SEE ALSO: Why Should Your Coffee Bloom? A VIDEO Experiment

So what are your thoughts? Would you use this tool? Do you think agitation leads to too many insolubles? Let us know!

Feature photo credit: Melodrip via YouTube

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