Hourglass coffee maker cold-brews your joe, very slowly
By Alan Brandon
September 28, 2009
If you like your coffee hot, strong, and fast, then the Hourglass coffee maker is not for you. Another topsy-turvy coffee brewer, the Hourglass uses cold water to reduce acid and improve the taste of your coffee. The catch? It takes 12 to 24 hours to brew your cup of joe.
The Hourglass is “powered by cold water and time” says the manufacturer. Instead of hot water flowing through coffee grounds for a few minutes, the Hourglass uses cold water and steeps the coffee overnight. The result is a concentrated coffee extract that you mix with hot water (or cold water for iced coffee). The manufacturer claims their coffee maker produces an extract that is 69.6% less acidic than hot-brewed coffee, and claims that the reduced acid gives the coffee a smoother, less bitter taste.
Like an AeroPress, the Hourglass doesn’t use electricity. To brew with the Hourglass, you combine 2 1/4 cups of coarsely ground coffee beans with 3 1/2 cups of water in the brewing chamber. The coffee brews by infusing with the water for at least 12 hours. For stronger coffee, let the grounds steep for 24 or even 48 hours. When the infusion process is complete, flip the brewer over and the extract drains through a reusable stainless steel filter and into the extract chamber. Each batch yields about 16 oz of coffee extract. According to the manufacturer, the same beans can be reused for a second brew cycle with no loss of flavor.
The extract is not simply espresso, but a concentrated coffee essence. To serve, mix some extract with hot water for traditional coffee or cold water for iced coffee. The extract can be kept in the included “Bean Kanteen” carafe and stored in a refrigerator for up to two weeks.
The Hourglass coffee maker is available now for USD$69.95.