‘Tis the season for home coffee gear.
Yesterday, we followed up on Blue Bottle’s announcement of a slick-looking new brewing device, the designer moka pot. Today, we have have the Chemex Ottomatic, an automatic brewer for one of the world’s most enduring manual brewing devices. Credit Sprudge with bringing the Ottomatic to light, after the device reared its minimalist matte gray head on Chemex’s website yesterday without fanfare.
These are strange times in home brewing, and Chemex’s Ottomatic fits what might be categorized as semi-manual: Rather than a machine mimicking manual processes from start to finish, as we’ve seen a whole lot of, a user’s existing manual brewing device, the Chemex, fits into the schema of the mothership device, the Ottomatic. For proper operation, it requires at least a basic manual brewing tool kit — including a grinder, a scale and cleaning supplies — yet the lion’s share of the brewing comes down to the push of a button. Here’s more from Chemex on how it works:
- Simply fill tank with water until desired level is reached and replace tank cover.
- Following normal Chemex® brewing instructions, place a filter in the top of the carafe, put one rounded tablespoon of coffee for every 5 ounce cup of desired brewed coffee into filter cone.
- Place carafe onto heating element and adjust so that the open filter is located below the sprayhead.
- Switch the power button to the on position. The small bar found on the base of the Ottomatic® will light up to indicate the brew is in process.
- The Chemex® Ottomatic® coffeemaker will then brew your perfect cup of coffee.
- When the light changes from red to white, the tank will be empty and the the last drops of coffee will be extracting into the carafe. – Remove and dispose of the filter. Fill your mug. Enjoy.
The critical step in there is, “The Chemex Ottomatic coffeemaker will then brew your perfect cup of coffee.” How so? Chemex has introduced what it is calling “Greedy Cup Sprayhead Technology,” designed to evenly wet the coffee bed through each stage of the brewing cycle (a pre-infusion cycle is automated). Other specs include water heated from 197.6F to 204.8F, while the heating plate maintains brewed coffee at 176F and 185F. The machine fits all existing sizes in the manual Chemex brewer line.
Time will tell with whom this product resonates, but it certainly adds to the growing number of brewing products fit for home and commercial applications that are blurring the line between by-hand-brewing and automated brewing.