Combining the French press and pouring-over methods, while improving both, is the goal of a new coffee-maker being promoted by an outfit called Immerset. The device is a project by inventor Chic Kelty, and is designed both for commercial and consumer purposes.
The key innovation of the Immerset is a stainless steel valve that allows the user to control the grind and the cycle of water going through the coffee. The ABS plastic housing was designed with durability in mind as well as ergonomics. No parts jut out as they do in pour-over systems, adding extra safety to the process. Inside, a stainless steel screen prolongs contact with hot water and helps create a void between itself and the housing, keeping the external wall cool enough for the hands.
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Instead of pressing a plunger, the grinds are separated from water through the force of gravity. Because it uses a paper filter, there’s no limitation to grind types. Alternatively, reusable screen filters can be used instead of paper filters. The steel sleeve ensures flow even when coffee is made with very fine grinds.
French presses are very charming but they have their limitations. For one, they are limited to coarse grounds. Also, coffee does not come out super hot, as it tends to cool during the brewing. Finally, French presses are somewhat fragile, and tend to make a mess during cleaning. Pour-over coffee making devices usually have no integrated flow control – it depends on the person handling them.
Kelty is using Kickstarter to get his project off the ground. He adds that besides coffee, the device can also be used to make tea. To get an Immerset, backers can start with a pledge of US$35, adding $20 for shipping outside the US. Estimated delivery is May 2014, assuming the funding goal is met.
Chic Kelty shows how Immerset works in the video below.