“That’s a really good cup of coffee.”
It was a simple statement from a friend. The night before we had been talking about what happens when good design meets function, and him being a computer engineer, we had plenty to talk about. But what sparked his interest the most was when I started talking about Eva Solo’s Cafe Solo.
The Cafe Solo is a simple glass carafe built on the simplest way of brewing coffee. Add coarse ground coffee and then pour water just off the boiling point over it. Stir, insert a top that includes a V-shaped mesh filter that sticks into the neck, wait four minutes, and pour. It works much like a press pot, but without any pressing. On first glance, however, it looks like an old fashioned milk bottle with a tin hat wearing a neoprene ski jacket. It’s a little bit funny looking, like a re-imagined water pitcher to leave on the table during a fancy brunch.
The beauty of the Cafe Solo, however, is the slope of the carafe. When you tilt it to pour, the coffee grounds settle in the corner and don’t move up the neck, making the mesh V-shaped filter negligible. Because of this, the Café Solo simulates the type of extraction you get from a cupping, where the grounds just sit at the bottom. It’s a total immersion brewer, and there’s no other method that makes a cup quite like it — rich, full, sweet and delicious.
Charles, the Coffee Educator at Millenium Park, likes to call it “idiot proof.” What he means by that is that it has the least chance for manual error when brewing out of all of the brew methods Intelligentsia supports. There’s no pouring technique like on a Chemex, and there’s no need to practice your butane burner skills like on a siphon.
As I explained this to my friend while giving a demonstration as he sat at my
counter at my house, he apologized for continuing to ask questions about coffee and what I was doing with the Cafe Solo since it’s something I probably have to do during the week when at work. The thing is, he had nothing to apologize for. In fact, even if he wanted to, he probably couldn’t have gotten me to shut up about that thing.
The thing I’m most excited for when I have a day off of work? Spending my morning drinking coffee on the couch from my Cafe Solo with my dog. And most of the time, it’s so good, I have to make another.