What’s in your brewing water?

UPDATE: Because we don’t have room for an in-line water treatment system, I’m all in on by-the-gallon coffee water solutions. Since late-2016, I’ve been using Third Wave Water for all my coffee and espresso water needs, both at home and on the road. To manage the costs, I am buying in bulk. I backed the

[SOLD] New old stock Cona size D

Some lucky visitor to the CoffeeBOS shop on Etsy is going to go home with a mint-condition Cona vacuum coffee maker. This is a chrome-plated 1.1-liter model (Size D). I had to cut the original seals on the interior packaging in order to takes photos of this brewer. It is 100% complete and has never

Workshopping: Vintage wooden coffee grinder restoration

Vintage wooden coffee grinders speak to me, especially European models manufactured in the 1930s through the 1950s. These are interesting objects from an industrial design perspective. The materials—mostly beech wood, but also cherry wood and walnut—also appeal to me. And, best of all, quality grinders built during this period have good manufacturing tolerances, and often have useful life left in

Replacing a siphon funnel seal

A rubber funnel seal will last for decades. However, a siphon only works well if it is able to pull a vacuum. So I decided to replace the funnel seal on a 38-year-old vacuum coffee maker—whether it needed it or not—as directed by the vendor’s service department. Step 1: Place the funnel face down on a non-slippery flat surface. Use

Step by step: polished immersion brewing

Cupping is an industry standard process used to evaluate coffees. Just add hot water to ground coffee at a set ratio. After waiting a few minutes, break the crust, skim the oils off the surface and start slurping. Polished immersion brewing follows these same basic step, then adds a “polishing step,” during which the coffee is decanted

Get on board with the Cona Model A/B

The Cona brew board listings on the CoffeeBOS shop on Etsy use a Model C brewer as a frame of reference. That’s because the Model C/D brewers, which are still in production today, share a common base. While vintage Model A or B brewers have a smaller base, all four models share the same spirit lamp. So the diameter of

How do you like your BOS?

When I started riffing on the SolarBOS name, I did let the founder of the company know. It appears that one good homage to balance of system (BOS) components inspired another.  

Coffee cherry soda

Coffee cherry soda is a perfect pick me up on a hot afternoon. Cascara is the dried fruit of the coffee cherry. To make coffee cherry soda, you simply brew up a cascara concentrate for the fridge, which you can mix with sparkling water on demand for a delicious and refreshing spritzer. Coffee cherry tea tastes vaguely like

Boiler pressure gauge with cooling tower

NOSHOK is one of many vendors that provide liquid or air filled pressure gauges suitable for tuning up your Olympia espresso machine’s pressurestat setting. (Their products are available through McMaster-Carr.) As explained in an application note on the NOSHOK website, process temperature can negatively impact pressure measurement accuracy [emphasis added]: Temperature Influence: For every 18 °F (10 °C) shift

In praise of the “big group” Penney portafilter

At some point in the 1980s or ’90s, Olympia began manufacturing a 54mm group for its heat exchanger espresso machines, which otherwise have a 49mm group like the Cremina manual lever machines. One nice thing about this larger group is that it will have better temperature stability as compared to the smaller group. For example, Richard Penney’s 54mm NEWD