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How do you use your SwissGold one cup thing ?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:12 am
by phil2spill
Hi folks,

I was wondering whether anyone could give me advice on how to use these things (assuming that anyone does in fact still use one and hasn't banished it to that dusty cupboard in the corner along with the sandwich toaster and Soda-Stream since their Aeropress arrived :) )

I've had one for a few years but it only gets used when the espresso machine is unavailable and I've never really been sure I'm using it correctly. The problem is I seem to be miles away from the Golden Rules in order to be able to get anything out.

Eg, when using a swissgold filter (or other permenant basket) instead of a paper filter in an ordinary filter brewer, it's just the same as for the paper but with a slightly coarser grind. And I've seen reviews (eg @ sweet marias) that recommend using that same grind with the one-cup.

If I use that grind though, it just chokes and next to nothing comes through in any reasonable time. Which is even more strange when I am just using one scoop (~7 g) of coffee for the 250 mL of water that the one-cup holds. This works out to about half of the 55 g of coffee to one litre of water rule-of-thumb.

With no coffee in the basket, the water takes about 30 seconds to filter through, which seems quite long enough already to me to avoid the water in the hopper from cooling too much. Therefore the grind needs to be coarse to avoid slowing it down any further. But then using a coarse cafetiere grind will result in the coffee being under-extracted no ???

I'd be interested to know what amount and grind of coffee other TMCers are using with their one-cup, and how long it takes to come through. Thanky ta.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:21 am
by lukas
Sad nobody answered yet. I'll get my one-cup swiss gold soon and report back :)
An extraction of about one minute should be fine, though.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:34 am
by scook94
Hmmm, my extraction times were closer to 3 or 4 mins, I tended to grind relatively fine for drip though. Tasted okay to me, which is the main thing (Although as Phil guessed since I got my Aeropress I haven't used it!)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:49 pm
by bogner
I've used the one cup filter a little bit, but it's been hidden away in the back of my cupboard for 2-3 months now .. I couldn't quite figure out how to grind, somehow the taste I 'accomplished' was nothing near what I expected (or got with french press) - the same goes for my Swissgold filter for drip - I've gone back to french press and push-ups again ..

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:08 pm
by lukas
My Swissgold one cup plastic thing arrived today and I sure couldn't stop me from trying it out at 10pm. For a start, i tried a slightly finer grind than the french press grind I'm currently using (about 1 or 2 notches finer on my Gaggia MDF), which resulted in a very fast brewing time - definitly less than a minute for a small cup. The taste was weak, but very pronounced. I had a very clean (or clear?) cup, and my very first impression was: throw away your french press.

Let's see how it turns out in terms of taste in the next few days! Need to play around with it a little bit.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:12 pm
by phil2spill
Ah, thanks for the posts. It sounds as though most have had similar results to mine; maybe a bit better.

I've had a chance to try some different coffees and grinds since first posting. The biggest surprise is the difference between coffees in their extraction characteristics.

I'd previously been using south/central american beans, or espresso blends (also probably predominantly american). These gave the very slow flow rates at the finer grind settings. When using kenyan and kona, however, the flow rate is much faster at a given grind.

You expect to change the grind for different coffees for pumped espresso, but I didn't realise it also made a big difference for filter brewing.

Anyway, using these varietals, I've been able to use a finer grind and get a good extraction in a reasonable time. Mightyfine coffee when it works!

Looking forward to your results, Lukas.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 9:53 pm
by lukas
Glad to hear your coming along. I made bad coffee with it and I made very darn good coffee with it, just trying to find out the variables. I'll keep you posted :)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:06 pm
by Davec
I used to have one before my better half broke it. My method was to pour a little hot water in first to "wet" the coffee. Then after a short wait gently so as to not disturb the grounds too much to fill the container. I found this helped to prevent the "gusher" and the choke by grinding finer to stop the gusher. seemed to improve the flavour too.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:26 am
by lukas
The one-cup swissgold filter has some kind of spreader with 15 holes, so the water is spread out evenly and slowly on the grinds.

I don't know what to think about this filter, though. Using it for a few days now and experimenting a little with grind and dosing and such, I don't really know what to do with it.
The taste is mostly lovely, almost like normal drip coffee, but with a very clear cup and a really good taste. It just lacks something which I can't yet describe properly.
It could easily be that I'm too used to the french press, but I find finishing a cup made with the swissgold a bit of unsatisfying, yet can't really tell why - because the taste in itself is really good ... strange world.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:04 pm
by Bassclef
I find that interesting because I have a very similar feeling - pressed coffee I find muddy and icky... but then I will have a drip coffee and wonder "what's missing!?". I think that's proof that if I want a long one... go Americano!

Marc, topic Hijacker Extrordinaire (sorry!)

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:13 pm
by lukas
Nah, when I think sth is missing in a swissgold-dripped coffee and I normally do french press, I rather wouldn't go for americano. I imagine that there I would miss even more. But I've got a lack of working espresso machines and no aerobie, so I can't test ... but watch out for an update on this :)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:02 am
by Joris
Well, I have one of those 1cup Swissgold things as well, took it on a holiday wioth a Zass and a fresh roasted batch of coffee. I have tried it with fine ground coffee, medium (like fastfilter) and coarse ground. I used it with and without the water spreader. It takes quite a long time to make a cup and the endresult was indeed like drip but with quite a bit more aroma than drip with paper filters.

Compared to either French Press and Vacupot I think it lacks something as well. Dont know what though. I do think however I'll take my mokapot or presspot on holiday next time...

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:03 pm
by lukas
What I like about the Swissgold is the clean but not flat (like paper-flat) cup. But it needs a proper extraction time, about 2-3 minutes I think. That's why thay put the water spreader on it ...

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:08 am
by phil2spill
With vac and cafetiere both being 'steeping' methods, I wonder if they are maybe more tolerant of a wider grind range, whereas SG relies on the grind being right to get the right 'contact time' with the water -- too quick and you don't get the full flavour?

I wonder if SG is maybe design-limited in that it needs a long (2 mins+ ?) filter time to get the full extraction, but that leads to the water getting too cool. Or maybe the perfect extraction is possible, but it's on such a knife-edge for the grind-dose that it's very difficult to achieve. Kindof like espresso really . . . ;)

Anyway, think I'll keep mine for backup and for when staying away from home; nothing else is quite so compact and light to transport and easy to clean :)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:31 pm
by lukas
I don't have a problem with water getting too cool. At least I don't get those tastes in the cup. And it definitly needs the longer infusion time, finer grind helps this.