Without a doubt, my longest standing love affair is with coffee. I can actually remember my first sip ever! I was eight, and my dad had dragged me to a seminar at his work. Bored and feeling rebellious, I snuck a styrofoam cup of Folgers from an ancient percolator parked at the back of the lecture hall. I was initially dubious about the taste, but once I paired it with plenty of powdered creamer and as many stale shortbread cookies as my pockets could hold, that lukewarm brew made an otherwise lame afternoon pass quite nicely indeed. As my palate and as coffee trends evolved, I dabbled in flavored beans, the French press, cafe au laits in mugs the size of mixing bowls, and fancy store-bought lattes that begged the question, “Would you like some coffee with your sugar?” By the time I started dating Ivan, I’d settled into a stovetop espresso habit and was quite happy with my daily cuppa. One morning, though, Ivan introduced me to his brewing method of choice: the pour over. And I realized that my twenty-five years as a coffee drinker had all been leading up to that very moment. In an instant, I was hooked on the clean, drinkable body and nuanced flavor experience of perfect pour over coffee.
In the four years since, Ivan and I have exclusively brewed pour over coffee at home. We’ve always done it by hand, with a gooseneck kettle and a glass carafe. And while we undoubtedly prefer it to any other method, the hand pour over certainly isn’t foolproof. It requires patience and precision, neither of which I’m particularly inclined towards at 6am. In my haste to get my java fix, I heat the water too hot and scald the beans. I use too many (or too few) grinds. I pour my own cup before the brewing is complete, leaving Ivan with the watered-down seconds. And worst of all, I keep the leftovers warm on the stove, resulting in burnt, syrupy sludge that I wouldn’t serve to my worst enemy. Yet I’ve resisted the idea of an automatic pour over coffee maker, thanks to some misguided snobbery about automatic coffee machines (memories of that first sip from the ancient percolator, perhaps?). But then, Brim asked me to take their 8 Cup Pour Over Coffee Maker for a spin. We plugged it in, prepped the water reservoir, measured our grinds, and were ready to go. With the press of a button, it was like we had discovered the joys of pour over coffee all over again!
Of course before we could even get that far, we had to grind our beans. A cup of coffee is only as good as the grind on the beans that brew it, and that’s where the Brim Conical Burr Grinder comes in. Its mechanism’s gentle operation yields less heat than regular grinders to preserve the coffee’s aroma—you don’t want to heat the beans before the water hits them, after all!—and it’s settings yield grounds up to a 90% precision of your selected grind size. With 17 precise settings for your desired brewing technique, there’s no guesswork for bleary-eyed early birds like yours truly. Just the perfect grind for the perfect cup of coffee, every time.
As for the Brim 8 Cup Pour Over Coffee Maker, it truly is a work of genius. Whereas regular coffee makers—and lazy schmoes like me—burn away delicate flavor notes by using too-hot water, the Brim brewer offers a consistent temperature to result in ideal extraction. What’s more, most brewers over-extract the grounds with a too-long contact time between 12 and 14 minutes. Brim, on the other hand, times the brew process to brew within 8 minutes. A specially designed pulse technology evenly distributes water over the coffee bed to achieve the perfect bloom (aka that highly sought-after bubbling up of grounds and water to release gasses, a sign that you’re doing your pour over correctly). The Brim 8 Cup Pour Over Coffee Maker has the option of a reusable stainless-steel filter, which I prefer to paper filters for environmental reasons. And finally, it has a post-brewing “keep warm” temperature of 176°F, so your coffee stays hot without compromising taste. No more burnt, syrupy dregs!
In a small kitchen, counter space is at a premium, so it really is a testament to how much we adore this machine that I decided to carve out space for a permanent brewing station—with our Brim coffee maker as the centerpiece! Its sleek, stainless presence nicely complements our kitchen’s modern design, and with the addition of a few favorite mugs, a couple canisters of beans, and some vintage creamers and sugar pots, I’ve now got myself a veritable shrine to my favorite beverage. Both my kitchen and my morning routing have gotten a serious upgrade—and my deep, abiding love affair with coffee is stronger than ever!