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December 4, 2010

The Kone

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Below, Oliver Strand's November 30, 2010 New York Times review:

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Of all the shiny objects I saw at WTF Espresso Bar, a tricked-out coffee shop that opened last month in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the gadget that caught my eye was a filter cone made out of perforated stainless steel [top]. It was sitting in a Chemex brewer, which looked significantly more awesome when equipped with a metal filter that could draw blood. It was a Kone, a reusable filter developed by Keith Gehrke of Coava, a small-batch coffee roaster in Portland, Ore.

The Kone is a beautiful object, simple and stark. More to the point of the design, the coffee it makes is rich and full. The filter is cleaner than a mesh basket, and the photochemically machined holes let oils that would be absorbed by a standard paper filter flow through. It gives you the control of a Chemex and the tannic cup you get from a French press: a Frenchmex.

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Whether you like it is a matter of taste. For most of my adult life, I was a French-press partisan. But in the last few years I’ve been experimenting with different filter methods, and now I’m accustomed to drinking coffee with bright, floral flavors. When I started using the Kone last week, it was strange to find such an aggressive coffee sitting in my Chemex. It was like pulling the top off a bamboo steam basket and encountering a piece of grilled meat.

The Kone was introduced just this month, and there are already 900 orders. It’s an impressive number for a supergeeky coffee gadget introduced by a two-person company with no history of product development that manufactures the Kone entirely in the United States: Ohio steel, formed and welded in Connecticut, is distributed through Oregon.

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Which is one of the reasons why it costs $50. It’s pricey (by comparison, seven boxes of 100 Chemex filters cost $52.50), but the Kone is less about appealing to a sense of thrift than about playing with the latest gear and seeing where it takes you.

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$50.

"CAUTION: the edges and tip of the kone may be sharp."

December 4, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


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Comments

25 years ago, I sat in Walt's tiny gourmet coffee shop while he taught me the intricacies of coffee brewing. Walt stocked steel filters then -- and gold filters, too. Nothin' new here.

Posted by: antares | Dec 4, 2010 7:43:02 PM

A variation on the standard French strainers (there are dozens of them) see, http://bit.ly/gT4X8V

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Dec 4, 2010 12:51:37 PM

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