Introducing the PUCKPUCK from Espresso Parts—the simple and easy way to begin making slow-drip cold brew at home.
BY JOSH TAVES
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos by Josh Taves
Cold-brew coffee has firmly solidified itself as more than a fly-by-night trend in the specialty-coffee industry. And it’s pretty clear why.
From a customer standpoint, cold brew’s heavier extractions and variety of serving styles are certainly appealing. From a production point of view, cold brew requires very little labor and equipment to execute consistently and deliciously. Serve it hot, cold, concentrated, diluted, with milk or without, and give your customers a whole new way to experience coffee.
Cold brew is sweeping over the home-coffee enthusiast market for these same reasons. With a regular old French press (or even just a jar and piece of cheesecloth), you can open the door to a wide variety or flavor profiles and brew coffee that’s ready to drink every morning with minimal effort. Coffee geekery abounds with very little equipment investment—a rarity in today’s world.
But what happens when you get bored of your old French press cold-brew setup and want to explore different ways of achieving your frigid fix? There’s a new device available in the United States from Espresso Parts called the PUCKPUCK that is at the ready to help you out. Released late in 2017 through a Kickstarter campaign (which met its goal of £8,000 almost three times over!) from the UK design firm Two at Six, the PUCKPUCK is a simple disk-shaped brew valve that is designed to sit on top of your AeroPress.
In conjunction with the optional water reservoir, the PUCKPUCK turns said AeroPress into a slow-drip cold-brew tower. The PUCKPUCK gives you the opportunity to cheaply and simply upgrade your home coffee setup, and provides you the opportunity to explore the clean, crisp flavors that can come from slow-drip cold brew.
I recently got the opportunity to test the PUCKPUCK, and it quickly earned its place in my brewing equipment collection. The PUCKPUCK is simple when combined with its easy-to-use iPhone app, which helps you dial in your recipe and flow rate.
Here’s how it works: Place your paper filter and coffee in the lower chamber of the AeroPress like you normally would, then attach the PUCKPUCK to the top of the AeroPress. Fill the reservoir with water and ice (or use your own water bottle), and you’re in in business.
Setting the flow rate is easy: Every time you see a drip, simply tap the screen of your iPhone while the PUCKPUCK app is open. The app gives you a real time drips-per-minute calculator, a green light when you hit the desired rate, and even some encouraging words along the way. You can adjust the PUCKPUCK brew valve to drip faster or slower based on feedback from the app to achieve the desired flow rate. When you see that little green light, just walk away, and in two-and-a-half to three hours, you’ll have almost a half-liter of delicious cold brew ready to drink.
Even the clean-up is a snap! Just toss the filter and grounds from your AeroPress in the compost, give the contraption a rinse, and you’re good to go.
I really enjoyed trying a few different ratios of coffee to water, ice to water, grind settings, and coffee styles, and learning to dial in my slow-drip game. Overall, the PUCKPUCK provides a very easy way to expand your home cold-brewing ability and opens up doors to a hands-off brewing method that whips up some pretty tasty coffee. That’s a win all the way around in my book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Taves has been working in the coffee industry since 2006 and has worked as a barista, trainer, quality control director, profile roaster, and green buyer. He lives in Colorado and enjoys taking advantage of all the great adventures the Rocky Mountains have to offer. He is also the inventor of the Rattleware Cupping Brewer and a 2017 U.S. Barista Championship finalist, so he knows his way around lots of different coffee gadgets.