Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Drip, Drop, Drip, Little Coffee Showers - Using a CorningWare 8 cup Drip Coffee Maker

I love me some coffee...  I adore coffee....  I love coffee so much that I collect coffee brewing paraphernalia.  I adore coffee so much that I work in a Coffee/Bakery shop.  I swear, coffee literally runs through my veins.  All this espresso exposure has given me a new appreciation for various extraction methods and how they can bring out the best, or the worst, in coffee.

Truth be told, aside from a beautifully freckled shot of espresso marked ever so lightly with foam (a real Macchiato), my favorite brewing methods, in order of deliciousness, are Siphon (Vacuum Brew), French Press, Moka Pot, Drip, and Chemex (which is technically drip, but a manual process with a thick paper filter)

Sadly, Corning never made an espresso machine.  While I have seen designs for one, they never actually produced a Siphon brewer, though companies like Silex and Cory contracted with Pyrex for their flame resistant glass parts.  They never tried to copy the Moka Pots from Italy either, though they did mold the glass for the Chemex brewer, again from Pyrex glass, but it was still not CorningWare.

Luckily, aside from the Percolators which Corning is famous for, they decided to make some additions to their successful line of teapots.  Thus it was that the P-104 (6 cup) and the P-105 (8 cup) were partnered up with Pyrex Glass water globes with stainless steel plate and basket attached to the bottom to form a semi-manual drip coffee mechanism.

Tis a thing of beauty if you ask me.  Not that Corning's Percolators aren't pretty... I have 5 of them, but everyone knows how to use a percolator.  I still use one when I go camping. (though I will admit my dad has this interesting Coleman drip coffee maker thing that sits on the Coleman stove and somehow it drives a pump that moves water up a tube and drips it over the grounds into a pot, just like an auto-drip, but without electricity.  It still blows my mind.)  But, I am digressing.........

So how does one go about using one of these things?  Well, let me give you a run through.

This particular set consists of a P-105/P-118 teapot that is technically 8 cups as in 2 quarts or 64 oz... The Pyrex glass globe is marked as 8 cups, however, the cup measurements on the globe are actually 5 oz "coffee cups" so what you end up with is about 40 oz of finished coffee, which is really about "6 cups" if you measure them as 8 oz.  Did that make sense?  There is a stainless steel basket that screws to the bottom of the globe to hold the coffee grounds, and a black plastic Water Flow Control Valve that prevents the water from flowing into the grounds prematurely. (this piece is REALLY important)  These above globe parts can be used with any of the P-105 teapot regardless of pattern. (though I am not sure how many different patterns were printed on the 8 cup P-105 teapot)

So, let us begin...  First, fill the teapot with fresh, clean, cold water and place it on the stove over medium-high flame.


Place a thermometer (any kind will do) into the pot so you can monitor the water temperature.  First rule of good Coffee is clean equipment, second rule of good Coffee is fresh clean water at the right temperature.  The water should be about 203-207 degrees and absolutely positively never ever any hotter than that, or your coffee will be over-extracted and bitter. (This is the same as for French Press)

Once the water gets to about 150-170 you can begin with the assembly of the rest of the brewing mechanism.

First, wet the grounds basket with water. (this will prevent some of the finer grounds from sifting down into your brew, though it doesn't stop all of them)

I usually use 1 slightly rounded Tablespoon of Auto Drip grind per cup of coffee I am brewing.  Thus, to make a full pot it takes 8 slightly rounded Tablespoons of Coffee. (This is Peet's Major Dickenson's Blend)

Rinse the Globe with hot water to condition it, though it is made of Pyrex, and perfectly safe to pour 207 degree water into, but I like to at least heat it up slightly so the water in the globe stays at about 202-205 while brewing.

Screw the filter basket onto the bottom of the water globe.

OK, grab the Water Flow Valve.....  This little chunk of black plastic is VERY important... I see a lot of these globes listed on eBay without this valve piece.

Place the Water Flow valve into the globe to prevent the water from filtering through the grounds prematurely. (you'll see what I mean in a little bit)

Now your drip mechanism is all ready to go.

When the water has reached 203-207, remove the teapot from the flame.

Pour the water into the globe up to the 8 cup mark (the black plastic Water Control Valve keeps the water IN the globe and not all over the counter)

Pour any extra water into the sink.

Using the built in handles at the top of the water globe, move the globe onto the hot teapot.

Tilt the Water Flow Valve to one side to break the seal and lift it out of the globe, allowing the water to begin trickling through the Coffee grounds and into the CorningWare Teapot. 

I cannot stress the importance of the Water Flow Valve enough.  While it's true, that you could set everything up and simply pour hot water from a different kettle into the mechanism and let it drip through, the CorningWare teapot the coffee is dripping into will not be hot. (unless you heat it up as well)

That is the key to success with the CorningWare Drip Coffee Maker, heating the water in the teapot heats up the pot itself and, being CorningWare, it holds on to that heat during the drip cycle, assuring you a piping hot cup of coffee that is between 190 and 200 degrees when all is said and done. Which is still PLENTY hot.... Hot enough for a Law Suit, as McDonald's found out.


It will take about 4-6 minutes for the water to drip through the grounds... and what you are left with, is a pot full of deep, dark & rich elixir.

Yes, I know, it's not technically 8 cups... But the globe "cup" markings are "coffee cups" being about 6 oz instead of 8oz, so you end up with about 48 oz of coffee.  Any more and the bottom of the basket would be setting in the liquid and that would lead to over extraction and a bitter, muddy flavor.  

mmmmmmmmm I really wish you could smell this right now.

And THAT, my friends, is how to use a CorningWare Drip Coffee Maker.  The 4 cup globe and 6 cup pot are similar in execution... The water flow valve is designed a little different, but the premise is the same.  Because the filter basket hangs down into the teapot, you can really only make about 4 cups of coffee with the 6 cup teapot.

Where is your CorningWare??
~~

2 comments:

  1. I own the smaller one that makes six cups. Found it in a thrift shop with its lid. Not the brewing part, but that's okay. I use mine for heating my coffee water and for warming up some coffee. I have been making my coffee in the clear carafe that came with my never used Kenmore automatic coffee maker.
    All that being said, how do YOU clean your Corning pots? Vinegar and baking soda?

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    Replies
    1. It depends on what the coffee pot is made of. (I collect coffee brewing paraphernalia as well as Corning Ware)

      For glass pots, you can usually use just white vinegar diluted in a with water (about a 25% solution) and then rinse.
      For plastic component drip makers - the same 30% Vinegar solution and run a drip cycle, then run 3 drip cycles of plain water to rinse.
      For Lexan plastic pots (ie. Bodum Vacuum maker) I use an actual descaler called Dip-It (When I can find it)
      Corning Ware pots (if they are REALLY dirty) Simmer a 10% Bleach solution on the stove and let cool over night before rinsing.
      Stainless steel pots - just wash with soap and water - then rinse
      Aluminum - Not sure because I don't own any aluminum pots... Coffee is acidic and reacts with aluminum.

      Ceramic/porcelain - I use Oxyclean... Sometimes as a paste when they are really dirty and need hand scrubbing. Normally I just add some to the water and run a brew cycle then rinse.

      Hope that helps a little bit.. :)

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