The original premise behind FrankOne, a Kickstarter-backed coffee maker that just became available for regular purchase, was that the frothy bubbles sitting atop cups of coffee and espresso are the source of a lot of bitterness, and to remove them would be to reveal the sweetest, brightest cup of coffee. Period. The bubbles — called crema — are no longer the primary focus. Cold brewing is. Here’s what you need to know about a very fresh take on making coffee.
Brand-New Brewing Technique
FrankOne, which can brew traditional hot coffee and cold-brewed coffee, works by setting the device on top of a mug or larger cup, filling it with coffee grounds, pouring the appropriate volume of water in and pushing a button. More technically, it’s sort of like an automatic Aeropress. The primary difference being the Aeropress requires one to push by hand, where the FrankOne does this electronically.
Many of today’s new brewers are updates on older brewing methods — a la Kalita’s December Dripper, Fellow’s Pour Over or the wealth of typical drip machines that arrive every year — but FrankOne is a legitimately new take on the coffee brewer. It shares similarities with an Aeropress, yes, but works electronically (making it much easier to use) and it’s extremely fast.
Quicker Cold Brew
“We didn’t think about it at the time, but it works perfectly for [cold brewing],” said engineer and FrankOne designer Eduardo Umaña. “It’s able to take a 12-hour process and do the same thing in four or five minutes.”
FrankOne brews with a high-pressure vacuum that drags water down and through a bed of coffee. Because traditional cold brewing relies on soaking grounds in static, room temperature water, it typically demands 8 to 12 hours to brew. Using its patent-pending vacuum tech, the FrankOne brewer is able to mirror the thicker, heavier body created by cold brew’s abnormally long brewing process in just 5 minutes (“body” is measured in total dissolved solids, or TDS).
Designed in Colombia
Despite its rich history of producing some of the world’s highest-grade coffees, Colombia hasn’t been a hotbed of coffee brewing innovation. Umaña’s FrankOne brewer is the first Colombian-designed brewer on the market, and it’s named after Colombian national hero Francisco de Paula Santander. The design process took more than two years and went through several hundred prototypes.
The FrankOne brewer is available for purchase on its site now for $120. Use code GEAR to slice 10 percent off that.
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