Saturday, 11 February 2017

Joyful Coffee with Java Maestro

We have been using the French Press to make coffee for many, many years. In the beginning we bought ground coffee from the supermarket #horror. Finally we invested in a coffee grinder nearly two years ago and were amazed at the taste difference. We also started buying coffee beans from The Coffee Magazine’s Discover Great Coffee Club and from coffee roasters in our area eg. Lineage.

The next step in our coffee making progress was buying an AeroPress as we needed a quick and easy system for making a cup of coffee for one person. Morning and evening we use the French Press and I make coffee in the AeroPress during the day.

I have always been a cappuccino person and was never interested in trying any other methods or types of coffee. Late last year I decided to spread my coffee wings and test out the other coffee types. These are the coffee types I have now had : Cappuccino, Macchiato, Mocha, Flat White, Chemex, Siphon and Cortado.

I had yet to have a Pour Over coffee and I was finally forced to find out about this method of making and enjoying coffee by Java Maestro sending me their stainless steel pour over coffee dripper to review. 



The first thing I had to do was go to my favourite coffee shop – Lineage – for a lesson on how to make the perfect Pour Over. It was a busy Tuesday morning but barista Kgune Dlamini was willing and happy to help me with my request. I had my Java Maestro stainless steel pour over coffee dripper with me.

He set up the Hario ceramic pour over dripper that they use in the shop and explained to me the ratios needed to make a correct cup of coffee. For every 180ml’s of water 10 grams of coffee must be used. They are very technical and use a drip coffee scale to weigh everything out. The coffee grind must be medium. The Hario pour over dripper uses filter paper and the coffee grinds are placed inside. Water is poured over the grinds with a pour over kettle until the grinds are completely wet. The grinds are left to “bloom” (fast release of gas that occurs when hot water hits coffee grounds) for 30 seconds. After that time is up Kgune used the pour over kettle to slowly pour water over the grounds. It is done slowly so as not to make too many bubbles. The water is also poured in a circular motion making sure that all the grounds are covered. Once he had reached the final volume of water needed per weight of coffee he stopped pouring. The coffee was then ready to drink and enjoy. He poured it into small glasses and I drank it just like that – no milk! No sugar! If someone had said to me a year ago that I would be drinking and enjoying coffee without milk and sugar I would have laughed at them.

After removing the Hario ceramic pour over dripper he did the same process with the Java Maestro stainless steel pour over dripper (no filter paper necessary). I will say that he was very impressed with the results from the Java Maestro and I thought that it was the better made coffee. I compared the results from the Hario to the Java Maestro and the coffee was clearer and tasted better from the Java Maestro (no I am not saying this since I was sent the Java Maestro). The coffee had a clearer and sweeter taste to it. That is what my taste buds were telling me.

Ceramic Hario and the Stainless Steel Java Maestro


Now that I knew how to make a pour over coffee I had to see about making it at home. I don’t have the fancy scale, stand or pour over kettle and was very interested to see how the coffee would turn out. I was also interested to see how it would compare to the French Press and the AeroPress.

I decided to follow the instructions on the Java Maestro box and use the included stainless steel scoop to measure the required coffee. Firstly I rinsed out the coffee dripper with hot water and then I added two level scoops of ground coffee and levelled it out in the dripper. We have a kettle that can be adjusted to a certain temperatures and I set it to 90 degrees. I slowly poured the hot water over the grounds until they were completely wet and then left it for about 20 seconds. Then came the fiddly part of slowly pouring the water from the kettle over the grounds, and making sure that I kept pouring the water over the grounds in a circular motion. What is great about the stainless steel coffee dripper is the gap at the bottom. This allowed me to see the level of coffee in the cup (since I was judging by eye and not volume) and I was able to stop adding water. I left enough space to be able to add milk and the dollop of cream that I love. The coffee dripper was very easy to clean. I banged out the wet coffee grounds into our bowl for compost and then quickly rinsed out the dripper and left it to dry. I could then sit and enjoy my first cup of pour over coffee made at home.






In the past few days I have found myself reaching for the Java Maestro instead of the AeroPress when I want to make a cup of coffee for myself. It’s not that the Java Maestro makes a quicker cup of coffee (all the slow pouring). It’s because I was a bit tired of having to put the AeroPress together in order to make a cup. What could be easier than putting the Java Maestro onto a cup, adding the coffee, pouring the water and then rinsing when done. With the AeroPress I have to make sure a filter paper is in and the plunger rubber is wet before adding the water. After making the coffee (which is super fast) I then have to dismantle the AeroPress and I rinse it out.


Comparisons :

French Press            : Able to make 2 cups of coffee
                                : Brews for approximately 4 minutes
                                : Sometimes ground coffee granules can get through if the filter is not on properly
                                : Rinse out and let dry

AeroPress                 : Makes 1 cup of coffee
                                : Make sure filter paper is in properly
                                : Super quick coffee making
                                : Dismantle, rinse out and let dry
                                : Filter papers can be used at least twice before adding to the compost

Java Maestro            : Makes 1 cup of coffee
                                : Allow coffee to bloom for 20-30 seconds
                                : Takes about 2 minutes to pour through water (this depends on how slow you                                            pour)
                                : Rinse out and let dry


Conclusion :

I was very impressed with the ease of use of the Java Maestro stainless steel coffee dripper and it is great to have another method of making and enjoying coffee.


Please note that I am an “at home” user and not a coffee professional. To a coffee connoisseur and professional my method of making coffee would horrify them. The whole point is to make and enjoy coffee the way that you like it.



Java Maestro features :

.               Premium, laser cut 18/8 food grade stainless steel filter
.               Eco-friendly, durable and reusable ultra fine stainless steel mesh
.               Dishwasher friendly or easy manual clean
.               Portable and easy to use anywhere
.               Fits most cups, mugs and thermoses
.               Built in cup stand
.               Includes a stainless steel coffee scoop/bag clip


If you are keen to buy one for yourself you can find them on Yuppiechef and Takealot.com 
They are also available to buy from Truth Coffee and Terbodore Coffee


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