Scott Bentley: Welcome to Adventures in Coffee, a podcast by Caffeine Magazine about the delicious, surprising and complicated world of coffee, brought to you by Ikawa Home and Siemens Home Appliances.
Jools Walker: Yes, we are here to serve you surprising coffee stories to open your taste buds and your mind, and inspire you to have coffee adventures in your kitchen.
Scott Bentley: My name’s Scott Bentley, I'm the founder of Caffeine Magazine. I'm a coffee nerd, pour over perfectionist, and I’ve got a freezer full of beans.
Jools Walker: And I'm Jools Walker, I'm a bestselling cycling author, a very proud east Londoner. I'm also a content creator on the side as well, if you wanted to know, and your very everyday coffee lover.
Scott Bentley: Now Jools, look. The other month we did a survey and you, dear listener, told us your coffee problems. And one of them I found particularly interesting. I’ll quote: “Finding the fine line between what will actually give me the best coffee setup. Like, will spending that extra amount on a piece of equipment actually make a difference that I can taste? Or is what I've got already good enough for me?”
Jools Walker: That was a thought that was shared by a number of people who got in contact with us. And you know what? I even got on the phone to one of our dear listeners, Rachel, to hear more about her coffee dilemma.
Rachel Lee: Well, I was trying to buy a machine for Christmas, and then when I was looking, I was thinking, well, do I actually need this bit? And do I need to spend another £50 for this bit? Will it take longer or… there's just so many choices, and trying to find something that will actually work for me, without spending too much.
Scott Bentley: It's a great question. And my goodness, God, this could get so, so very, very complicated.
Jools Walker: It can get very complicated, Scott, which is why we agreed that I should be the one figuring it out for Rachel, instead of you.
Scott Bentley: Good, great — I love this already.
Scott Bentley: Look, if I tried to answer this question, I would probably nerd out so hard, go down all the forums and rabbit holes, speak to 20 different manufacturers, and quite frankly, by the time I actually had an answer, it'd probably be a four-hour episode, and 99% of you would have switched off within the first 10 minutes.
Jools Walker: We love your coffee knowledge and nerdom Scott, but yeah, it was right for it to be me to go down this road for her. So, I kind of know someone who's done a lot of work on this already and got a little bit of help from coffee equipment expert and YouTuber, Lance Hedrick.
Scott Bentley: OK, Jools. How's this going to roll?
Jools Walker: So, what I'm going to be showing you, with the help of Lance, is what you're getting every time you jump from entry-level gear to mid-tier, to what Lance calls “endgame.” And by endgame, he means, like, prosumer, like, the very top end of the market. And we're going to be looking at this across hand grinders, electric grinders, espresso machines and filter coffee setups as well.
So, you know, it's the question: What does it cost to actually jump to the next level of quality? And what exactly are you getting for that extra money you're going to spend?
Scott Bentley: This sounds great, Jools. I can't wait. I might even kind of pick up a few bits of knowledge along the way too. But anyway, before we get there, let's have a quick word from our sponsors.
[Ad music begins]
Jools Walker: Now it's time for us to take a coffee trip with Siemens Home Appliances.
Scott Walker: Totes amazeballs, Jools. Where are we going today?
Jools Walker: Today, I am taking you to Mensur Abahika’s farm in Jimma in Ethiopia.
Now, this coffee's been roasted by friends of the show, Ozone Coffee Roasters.
Scott Walker: Tell me a little bit more about this coffee.
Jools Walker: I recently learned about how coffee is traded in Ethiopia and in a lot of African countries for that matter. Now for a long time, roasters were only able to source coffees in Ethiopia from a washing station.
Scott Walker: Yeah, and the washing station is different from directly from the farmer. A washing station is where farmers bring their freshly picked cherries and they start the processing of the coffee there.
Jools Walker: Exactly. So that meant, it was really hard to be able to taste coffee from a single farmer in Ethiopia.
So, you’d only ever really be able to taste a blend.
But Scott, the laws have changed a bit recently in Ethiopia, and now we can actually taste the work of Mensur Abahika himself.
Scott Walker: Now let's see what it tastes like on the Siemens EQ700.
Jools Walker: I'm going to tap in ‘espresso macchiato’ on the touch display on the EQ700, and we're going to have ‘strong,’ ‘60ml.’
Now, Scott, we've gone for a macchiato with this one. The reason being, it's a medium roast, and the fruity notes of it should really blend quite nicely with the milk.
Scott Walker: So, Jools, what I'm tasting here is I'm enjoying the fact that the milk is doing a great job of balancing out the more medium roasts that we've got here.
I'm also getting a little bit of fruitiness as well.
Jools Walker: Yeah. It's an acidic fruitiness for me. So, kind of like cranberries is what I'm getting from this.
Scott Walker: Yeah.
Jools Walker: And that was a coffee trip with Siemens Home Appliances.
[Ad music finishes]
Scott Bentley: So, Jools, you spoke to this dude called Lance Hedrick. Enlighten me — who is he, exactly?
Jools Walker: Let me introduce you to coffee nerd par excellence, Lance Hedrick.
Scott Bentley: You never par excellence about me, babes. You never say coffee nerd par excellence about me.
Jools Walker: Alright. Note, to producer man, James. Just cut and go straight to Lance, please.
Lance Hedrick: What's up everyone! My name is Lance Hedrick. I have been working in coffee for about a decade. I'm currently employed with Onyx Coffee Lab in Arkansas in the USA, and I do a lot of YouTube and other social media stuff when it comes to coffee education and the like.
Scott Bentley: OK, guys. Looks like he's got some cred. How did he get started in coffee?
Jools Walker: Well, this is actually quite interesting. Because back when Lance was 22, he was actually pursuing a very different path, and it was a path in postgrad academia.
Lance Hedrick: I always like to abstain from name-dropping, because it's utterly useless for the most part. But in this sense, it actually kind of helps if people are familiar with the early works of Slavoj Žižek or looking at neo-Marxist philosophers like Giorrgio Agamben, Louis Althusser, Alain Badiou. Looking at some of them and their handlings of the biblical figure, Paul, and his response to the Roman Empire in the early centuries, and how that can be replicated to a modern response to global capitalism.
Scott Bentley: Jeez, I mean…
Jools Walker: Right?
Scott Bentley: How many times have I told you to stop bothering clever people?
Jools Walker: Pulling on clever people's cloaks, that's what I've been doing. So it's a bit of a curveball here, because Lance is on the path, like the pure academia path. But then…
Lance Hedrick: I needed a flexible job, a job that would allow me to stay in the city where the person I was going to marry lived and commute to grad school.
Jools Walker: And then Lance ends up working for a local cafe in Arkansas.
Lance Hedrick: I learned to pour latte art. And I got really good at that pretty early on.
It got me a lot of attention. Someone finally convinced me to start an Instagram. So I started an Instagram, started posting latte art, and that's when I saw how big the coffee world was.
Jools Walker: This is when things really start taking off for Lance. He gets a massive Instagram following, and then he starts making YouTube videos. And in the videos he does really in-depth product reviews. Fast forward to today, he's got over 100,000 subscribers across YouTube and Instagram, and he really is just a one-man show.
Scott Bentley: Dude sounds busy.
Jools Walker: Very, very busy.
Lance Hedrick: I get most of my work done when my kids and wife are asleep, because I don't want to take away from family time.
So when my kids are home from school, I spend all my time with them until they go to bed. And then I stay up, I'll take a one hour nap after they go to bed. I wake up around 9 and then I'll work from 9 until 3 or 4 a.m.
Scott Bentley: Oh my God. I mean, I know what it’s like to have kids, but this guy’s drinking a lot of coffee as well, isn't he?
Scott Bentley: OK, Jools — let's crack into this. I have a lot of people asking me about electric grinders. So, let's talk about best bang for buck when it comes to things like electric grinders.
Jools Walker: Here, I would say there are three categories of grinder to look at. So, you've got entry-level, which is about £200. Mid-tier, you're looking at spending £500 to £1,000. And as Lance calls it, the “endgame” or “prosumer” level is £1,000 plus.
Scott Bentley: That's a lot of money for a grinder.
Jools Walker: Mmm, it's some spends. But, the first thing that Lance said is to actually avoid blade grinders at all costs.
Lance Hedrick: I’d never buy a blade grinder.
Jools Walker: OK, what exactly do you mean by a blade grinder?
Lance Hedrick: A grinder that has a propelling razor, essentially, inside of it. It's like a helicopter propeller. So it's got like the blade and you hold it down and all it does is just spin. So there's no way to control grind size, there's no consistency in it. It just kind of spins and crushes the coffee beans.
Scott Bentley: I know a lot of people that have gone with these as their first grinder. They are really, really cheap, but you really, really should resist them.
Jools Walker: So, this is why we say you should look to get a burr grinder.
Scott Bentley: That's right, deer listener. And, you know, think of a burr grinder a little bit like a peppermill. You’ve got these two pieces with serrated edges on them. They kind of rub together and they break down the coffee bean between them.
Jools Walker: So, now Scott, the biggest difference across all of these grinders — and we're talking from the £200, entry-level to the high, endgame, prosumer, 1,500 quid grinders — is going to be the strength of the motor.
Lance Hedrick: Power is very important, obviously, when you're grinding coffee. You're going to have high friction, you're grinding coffee, those burrs are really close together. There's going to be high friction. And so, the hotter that motor gets, the finer you go, essentially, it's all going to have negative effects on the lifespan of the motor.
So, the weaker the motor, the less the lifespan, essentially. So, they all have different rated lifespans. Though, whenever you have a more bulky motor, not only will you have a longer lifespan, but on top of that, when you have a higher wattage, you're going to be able to have more power going into those burrs, which will allow them to stay at a constant RPM than if they were to be a lower wattage motor.
So, what will happen is as you're feeding grounds into the burrs, the motor is pushing it. Let's say it's pushing the burrs at 1,200 RPM. But as the coffee comes in, because the motor is not that strong in a cheap grinder, that RPM is going to drastically decrease as the beans are causing it to slow down.
But, if the motor is really weak and it's causing that RPM to go up and then down and then up and then down, it's going to be having a cut rate that's very inconsistent for the beans.
Scott Bentley: Oh, I hadn’t thought of it like that, but I suppose that does make a lot of sense. Yeah, I’m down with that.
Jools Walker: Essentially the £200 entry-level electric grinders, you’re probably not going to be getting that much bang for buck. I mean, yeah, it’s cheaper, but Lance said you're at the risk of catching a disease.
Scott Bentley: Hm, disease? That’s odd.
Lance Hedrick: But just be aware that “upgrade-itis” is real. I've seen it bite many-a-people in the keister, and they have a lot of buyer's regret.
Scott Bentley: Oh, I get it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. “Upgrade-itis.” It's a fatal disease, especially for your bank balance.
Jools Walker: This is why Lance suggests, if you want to get an electric grinder…
Lance Hedrick: I try to always get people to kind of go to a, not necessarily a mid-range grinder, but somewhere in between beginner and mid to start.
Scott Bentley: I think that's pretty good advice from Lance. So, I'm guessing you really need to be looking at the £300-£400 mark.
Jools Walker: Absolutely.
Scott Bentley: OK, so look. What's going to happen if I go from the sort of £500 grinders and I'm doubling or even tripling my money — what am I getting for all that extra moola?
Jools Walker: Well…
Lance Hedrick: So, when you head up to these $2,000 grinders, they tend to have over 1,000 watts in their motors. They have a much longer lifespan, they're built with much higher quality parts, but on top of all that the burrs are much more expensive. In fact, in a 98ml grinder, typically the burrs that come in them cost themselves about $700-$800 — just the burrs.
Scott Bentley: OK, that does also make sense. So the burrs are going to be sharper, they’re going to be made of better materials, so that means they’re going to last longer. They're going to cut through the beans quicker, more efficiently. I guess that's going to impact on the clarity of your coffee flavours. But is it really worth that much more, Jools?
Jools Walker: Lance doesn't think so.
Lance Hedrick: There are diminishing returns, the higher up you go — big time diminishing returns. So, essentially what I tell people, unless you're kind of flushed with cash, those endgame grinders aren't super worth it. The difference in cup quality gets lesser and lesser as you go up.
Scott Bentley: This actually makes me feel really good, because my grinder, which I've been very, very happy with, costs 500-600 quid. So, I feel like I'm in the sweet spot. Yay for me!
Jools Walker: So, an interesting thing is, Scott, is that during the chat with Lance, he suggested some specific hacks that you can use, like buying a particular £300 grinder, and then changing out the burrs yourself with some custom burrs from Taiwan.
You can save yourself £500 and get the quality of an endgame grinder, like a prosumer one, by doing something like that. But it does get geeky. So, if you're interested, dear listener, we are going to put a link in the show notes to that video.
Scott Bentley: This is brilliant, Jools. I already feel like I want to go out and shop…
Jools Walker: Excellent.
Scott Bentley: Terrible… But look, what if I don't want to be so lazy and actually grind the beans myself? You know, I need to pump up my guns. These biceps need some workouts — I'll go for a hand grinder. What am I going to get with that?
Jools Walker: OK, other than the very interesting images of you working out in your kitchen, this actually does get quite interesting, Scott. If we were going to keep things simple, say that there are only two types of hand grinder that you can get. So, we've got an entry-level one between £20 to £80, and like the big prosumer endgame one, which usually starts at around £100 plus. Basically…
Lance Hedrick: Whenever you start at the lower end, the biggest issues are going to be that burr quality.
Jools Walker: And this, Scott, is a really big deal if you like light-roasted coffee.
Lance Hedrick: With a £30 hand grinder, if you're doing light coffees, you could break it in less than a year, because the density, yeah… the light roasted coffees have a much higher density than dark-roasted coffees.
Jools Walker: And even if they don't break, Scott, things aren't great.
Lance Hedrick: Those burrs are going to dull out quite quickly, because to get it that cheap, the machining process is very cheap, so it's not as precise. So you won't get as deep grooves.
Scott Bentley: I see these sort of cheap hand grinders in that early 30-40 quid sort of mark. And they always say that they've got ceramic burrs. I mean, they're good for what they do, but they're going to dull quickly — they're just not going to hold up for those really dense, lightly-roasted coffees. I mean, they'll crush all of the dark-roasted stuff.
Jools Walker: Here's the really cool thing about hand grinders, right. So when you move up a bit and you go to the £200 level of grinders, you're actually starting to get great value for money.
Lance Hedrick: Those $200 hand grinders are way above the $200 electric grinders. Like, there's no comparison. Once you get up to the $250-$300 range in hand grinders, you are essentially matching mid-tier electric grinders.
Scott Bentley: Oh, OK. I've got to say, I was always concerned. I was like, why would I spend the same amount of money on an electric grinder as I would a hand grinder? They can't be that much better. But that, I suppose, does make a lot of sense. So, it's really down now to the quality of the burrs, and a hand grinder is so much better at the same price point as an electric one.
Jools Walker: And the reason, Scott, that you're getting the quality of a mid-range electric grinder in an endgame hand grinder essentially boils down to the number and the complexity of the components, like the burrs you mentioned earlier.
Lance Hedrick: For $200, let's say there's a $100 profit margin. That's probably not true, but let's say there is, and let's say the same thing with the same profit margin for an electric. In the electric grinder, they have $100 to get their motor, to get their burrs, to get all of their parts together, to still make a $100 profit margin. But with a hand grinder, they have $100 to just focus on three pieces of body and then the burrs. So they can funnel in a lot more of their money to nicer burrs and a better alignment system with higher tolerances than with an electric grinder. So, those $200-$300 hand grinders can compete with those £800, mid-tier grinders, absolutely.
Scott Bentley: Essentially what he’s saying is if you don't mind a bit of elbow grease then, you know, get a hand grinder and you'll definitely taste the differences in your cup.
Jools Walker: By doing this, you can actually stave off the old “upgrade-itis” creeping in.
Scott Bentley: So, dear listener, I've got something I'd like to share with you.
I have these dear friends, they’re a company called Made by Knock, and they make these premium hand grinders worth over £100 each. They're basically made of metal, some very high quality materials, and they’ve very kindly given us three to give away to you. So, if you'd like to win one of these, come and join our Patreon — we'll put a link in the show notes — and we will choose three lucky winners that will get one of these hand grinders.
Jools, we’ve still got to talk about espresso machines. This is the big one, and filter coffee setups, as well.
But, before we get there, we should probably have a quick word from our sponsors.
[Ad music begins]
So, Jools, this is the real question: Can you roast like an expert on the Ikawa Home?
Jools Walker: Well, the other day, I actually roasted up a Panamanian coffee by Ninety Plus Gesha Estates. And I did it on the Ikawa Home using the pre-installed recipe that's on the Ikawa app. Then, I popped it into a little bag and shipped it to a castle in Wales.
Russel Elwood: So, my name is Russ and I am the owner-operator of the Jester’s Tower in north Wales.
We opened June 19th of last year.
Jools Walker: Oh, wow!
Russel Elwood: Before that, I… well, I am still, literally, a jester. Hence the name.
Jools Walker: You genuinely are a jester?
Russel Elwood: I genuinely am the official jester of Conwy, where the Tower is. And obviously, during the last two years, not a lot of call for jestering, really. People don't… not a frontline job!
You know, when jesters get bored, they buy coffee shops, it would appear. So…
Scott Bentley: You're kidding, Jools, right?
Jools Walker: I genuinely did send it off to Russell, who actually works in a medieval village in a castle.
Russel Elwood: We are literally inside one of the medieval towers that makes up one of the town walls.
Scott Bentley: So, OK; what does a jester think of your Ikawa-roasted coffee then?
Russel Elwood: That's really, that's really nice. I've got no idea what it is, but it's brilliant. The initial hit was definitely chocolate for me. And then quite fruity as well, red berries type stuff going on.
Jools Walker: And then I revealed who roasted it.
It was me.
Russel Elwood: Seriously?
Jools Walker: Seriously! I roasted it at home.
Russel Elwood: Oh my God. No way!
Jools Walker: Yeah.
Russel Elwood: Really? It's brilliant.
Scott Bentley: Jools, what can I say? You fooled an actual jester!
Jools Walker: Why, thank you. I take off my jangly hat to you. Now, if you want to follow Russell's cafe in Conwy in north Wales, we've linked the Jester’s Tower Instagram in the show notes. And you need to go and visit it because it is beautiful.
Scott Bentley: Roast coffee your way with the Ikawa Home.
[Ad music finishes]
OK, Jools, look. We’ve gone deep on the hand grinders. Now, hit me with some tasty espresso machines, babe.
Jools Walker: Buckle up Scott, you are in for a very, very interesting ride. Now, the first big question that we have to ask is: What is actually the floor, like the absolute minimum, you should spend for a quality beverage?
Scott Bentley: Yeah, Jools, look, we discussed this on a previous episode, “Home Espresso - The God Shot in Your Kitchen,” and the link to that will also be in the show notes. And I think I quoted at the time around £300. Was I right? Is that what Lance also thinks?
Jools Walker: Well, I actually took that piece of information to Lance.
So, I don't know, I'm thinking the entry-level, is that about £300 that we would be looking at for an entry-level machine?
Lance Hedrick: That would be the floor that I would recommend.
Jools Walker: Oh, OK.
Lance Hedrick: Yeah, that would be the absolute floor. When you get that low, you can do lower than that, but you're not really looking for quality coffee at that point. You're just getting an espresso machine to have one, essentially.
I want those to work, but they're so cheap that it's impossible to machine pieces for it that have any quality whatsoever in order to give you any type of stability or consistency.
Scott Bentley: He basically says what I said. I mean, for £300 you are really looking at getting secondhand or absolutely as cheap as you possibly can.
Jools Walker: The thing is, Scott, you can actually get quality espresso even cheaper.
Scott Bentley: Really?
Jools Walker: Yeah yeah yeah. There’s just one small catch.
Lance Hedrick: Unless you go the manual route. Which, it’s the same thing with grinders, since you're not dealing with a pump, you're not dealing with all that electricity, you can have a machine that will last longer because there's no electronic parts in it. You have these direct-lever machines made by, say Flair — the Flair NEO is like £100 or so. The Flair Pro 2 is like £220 or so. Both of those do an incredible job making espresso.
Scott Bentley: What Lance is kind of referring to here are those espresso machines that are fully manual. You put hot water in the top and you pull down these levers either side, and it pushes the water through. There's another version that I know you can get in the UK called the ROK. But, Jools, there must be another catch — in fact, I know there's another catch here, isn’t there.
Jools Walker: Yes.
Scott Bentley: I know you too well, Jools. What’s the catch?
Jools Walker: So the catch is: No milk frothing.
Scott Bentley: Of course. There’s no steam wand on them. Yes.
Jools Walker: No. So, dear listener, if you want a latte, you have three levels of espresso machine. So, we did discuss this in that previous episode about God Shots, as we said. The £300 entry-level; between £500 and £1,000 is mid-tier; and the endgame, as Lance says, is £1,500 plus. And Lance basically made the argument that the more you spend you get machines that perform more reliably because they have more sensors and they've got more boilers and the boilers are bigger, etc., etc.
Lance Hedrick: Where I see big diminishing returns is after about £1,500; that’s where you start getting massively diminishing returns. But the difference between a 500 and a 1,000, you're going to have multiple PID controllers in the 1,000 — hopefully, if you're buying a proper machine. Those are just going to regulate the temperature of the different elements, which is very necessary to be able to have a consistent shot.
Another big thing, your parts are going to go from plastic to more legitimate parts made out of metal — steel, aluminum, copper, brass, etc. So, you're going to have that switch from plastic to actual, heavy duty parts. You're going to have just a more robust build in general. You're going to have a more reliable pump. And the same thing with grinders, you’re going to have a more reliable motor on it.
Scott Bentley: So, I think the argument that Lance is making here is that as you hit the upper limits of this mid-tier bracket, this sort of £1,500 mark, you're getting good value for money.
But, Jools, look — we're still talking mid-tier stuff here, aren't we? And we’re in that £500 to £1,500 bracket.
Jools Walker: Yeah.
Scott Bentley: So, tell me then, what did Lance really have to say about really top-end stuff?
Jools Walker: Lance mentioned that the bang for buck keeps going up right until you hit about the £1,500 mark. Beyond that…
What are you looking at if you've got three grand to drop on a machine?
Lance Hedrick: If you've got three grand to drop, you're probably mostly doing it for aesthetics — let's just be real.
Jools Walker: A flex, it’s just a flex.
Lance was joking really. Basically, at the £3,000 level, you're going to be getting machines that are basically good enough for commercial use, that will last and give you many, many coffees. You know, they're going to look beautiful, and some of them will help you get even more geeky when you're adjusting temperature or pressure or flow rate, and the other espresso nerdom that is in that world.
Scott Bentley: It is a lot of money. But, you know, if you're really into that kind of stuff and geeking out, and you really want to have some stunning, miniature version of a commercial machine, that's your pride and joy in your kitchen, then, you know, knock yourself out.
Jools Walker: But, Scott, are you into those sorts of nuances? I mean, do you care about adjusting the pressure of your espresso machine? And can you taste the difference?
Scott Bentley: I'm not, and they take a long time to heat up. They use a lot of electricity. They're not for me. I'm mid-tier all the way. That's what I've got in my home. You know, a machine that costs about £700.
Jools Walker: Scott, my love, it's interesting that you say that, because before we actually finish up with espresso machines, Lance actually suggested a whole heap of hacks to basically get mid-tier machines to behave more like top-end prosumer or endgame machines. It got kind of technical, but basically it's about getting your hands dirty by adding sensors and controllers. So if you're into that, we've linked some of his videos into the show notes.
OK, Jools, look — I think we've kind of hit some of the big things, but we still haven't spoken about filter coffee, have we. So, bang for buck — let’s talk brewing filter.
Jools Walker: There are only really two big, broad categories when it comes to filter coffee, and that's whether it's an automatic filter coffee maker or a manual.
Scott Bentley: So yeah, when we talk manual filter coffee brewing, you can go from anything from a £5 plastic V60 cone, up to a 50 quid glass Chemex.
Jools Walker: So now, if you want to level up your filter brewing, you're basically looking at getting an automatic filter machine. This is basically where you grind the coffee yourself, pop it into a brew basket and the machine heats up the water and then brews up your coffee for you. And they can cost anywhere upwards from £150.
Scott Bentley: Is it really worth spending £300-£400 on a filter brewer?
Jools Walker: Well, Lance said, if you are going to get yourself an automatic filter brewer, you need to be prepared to do a bit of work.
Lance Hedrick: You can do an OK filter on most of these machines that are £100-£200, but you have to manually intervene.
What I urge you to do is weigh your coffee and weigh your water before you put it in. So that the water that's going through the coffee is around one to 16.
Scott Bentley: OK, so it’s your normal ratio that I would usually do: 31 grams of ground coffee, half a litre of water.
Jools Walker: Right. And then you put the brew basket into the brewer.
Lance Hedrick: Mostly, you're going to want to essentially turn it on, allow water to shower over it and then turn it off, pull it out, don't stir it, but just kind of fold in the water to ensure all of your pockets are wedded.
And then let it sit for like 30 seconds to a minute, and then just casually restart it. You're going to have a hugely different experience than if you just let it go.
Scott Bentley: My God, this sounds like a bit of work. I mean, this is meant to be an automatic brew, is it not?
Jools Walker: Yeah, but Lance did mention that the higher you go in price, up to £500, for example…
Scott Bentley: What? Stop the… 500 quid? I’ll get an espresso machine for that!
Jools Walker: Listen — you go up to 500 quid, the quality of the coffee actually gets better and better.
Lance Hedrick: So, you have a lot less plastic, you have a better heating module and you'll have a much, much better shower screen.
Scott Bentley: Dear listener, the shower screen is a thing that essentially distributes the water over the coffee bed.
Jools Walker: And Lance said that the more you spend the better it gets. And maybe even to the point where you don't even have to intervene and be folding the coffee in.
Scott Bentley: I mean, I think it's fair to say, if you're just brewing for yourself, you should probably not get an automatic brewer. Is that what I’m kind of hearing?
Jools Walker: Yeah, Lance pretty much said the same thing.
Lance Hedrick: Honestly, at that point, you might as well buy a pour over kit and really have control over what you're doing.
Like a kettle and a brewer, which is cheaper, overall. If you get like a £50 stovetop kettle and you get like a $10 V60 or something, and then boom.
Scott Bentley: If I'm hearing this right, what Lance is saying is if you're making a single cup of coffee for yourself, the best thing to do is just go full manual. It’s much cheaper and you have ultimate control. But if you're going to be brewing for multiple people — households, offices, anything like that — then probably you're going to want to go automatic.
Jools Walker: You are reading the room extremely right, yep. Single cup: manual. Multiple cups: automatic.
Scott Bentley: Well, Jools, thank you for going on this journey. Thank you for going and doing all the hard work. Well, I say you, I actually mean thank you very much to Lance for doing all the hard work.
But now, I think it's time to roll those credits.
Jools Walker: So, dear listener, please tell us what you want to know about coffee equipment.
Like, if you've got more questions, where you are on your journey and what your budget is, let us know by dropping us an email on email@example.com and we will try our best to help you out. And also, why don't you hop on Instagram and tell your friends about the show? Now, you can create an Instagram story from a screen grab and tag us all.
So there's me, @ladyvelo; Scott, @caffeinemag; and James, @filterstoriespodcast. And you know what we'll do? We will re-post it on Instagram.
Scott Bentley: Better yet, dear listeners, sign up on Patreon. Patreon is a platform where you can support the creators you love. And do you know what? It helps keep our lights on — and our mics.
Jools Walker: We would love to make the show completely ad-free so that we can spend more time making the show and less time hustling for cash.
Scott Bentley: So don't forget, we've also got these three Made by Knock grinders, each one worth over £100 each. And we've got three of these bad boys to give away to our Patreons — link in our show notes.
Jools Walker: Now also, you can come and see us at the London Coffee Festival, where we are going to literally shake things up by doing a live coffee cocktail showdown. If you're of a certain vintage and you know the film Cocktail, you can come and see Scott being the Brian Flanagan — my own Tom Cruise to come and make some cocktails with me.
And there is a link in the show notes. So please, check it out and come and see us.
Scott Bentley: This podcast was produced by James Harper, the creator of the coffee podcast Filter Stories.
Jools Walker: And he also wrote and plays that sweet piano music you hear in the background. And editing of the episode was done by Amedeo Berta. Now, Scott, what are we going to be exploring in our next episode?
Scott Bentley: I’ve been waiting for this one. We're talking greenwashing.
Jools Walker: Oh, this is going to be a juicy one, isn’t it. So, until then, dust off the credit cards, go and buy yourself some coffee equipment, take care, and we will see you again soon.