Over the last 15 years, I have had so much coffee brewing gear move through my house it’s unbelievable. I really think I helped Gumtree become successful in the early days. I like to say that I’m an enthusiast, so its ok to buy every new brewing gizmo that celebrity coffee ‘A’ listers have told me to buy. Really though, it’s because I am dissatisfied with everything that I have purchased in the past. So here I am, a decade and a half of home coffee brewing under my belt, unhappy with the coffee that I make at home.
This isn’t the biggest problem for me though, when I arrive at work I have thousands of dollars worth of the latest gear to brew coffee with and a huge range of coffee to choose from. Recently though its been starting to eat at me, I had some friends come over and so fired up the espresso machine. My problem is that I don’t really drink espresso much at home, I really prefer having espresso based drinks in cafés and I find that they get pretty messy for a quick cup before work. This means the grinder wasn’t close to being dialled in and I didn’t have enough milk in the house for the number of guests that wanted flat whites (everyone!). So there I was, the coffee expert, serving a bunch of coffees that can politely be described as ‘inconsistent’.
Then tragedy struck, I broke my plunger. I honestly wondered what I should do next, I even considered throwing in the towel and not having coffee in the house (my wife wasn’t really keen on that idea). The solution hit me pretty hard, we were talking equipment for our stand at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo and I saw that we had a couple of Marco Bru F45Ms in stock at the roastery. I decided to grab the small batchy machine as my home brewing device – and what a massive difference it has made to my home coffee. Genuinely life changing.
The Bru is super fast and easy to use, it’s a manual fill batch brewer that plugs into a standard 10A socket. Use is simple and, like any percolator, stick to the ratio of 60g per 1Litre of water and you can’t really go wrong. Just place the batch brewer filter paper in, add your filter roasted coffee, switch the power on and you’ll have a batch done in a few minutes.
The first thing that you need to know about the Bru is that it’s bigger than most batch systems, probably too big if your kitchen is in an apartment or you struggle with bench space. It comes with 2 x 1.8L pyrex jugs to brew into and has a separate heating element on the top if you want to have coffee stored in both. The advantage is the output. If my wife and I are having coffee, it will easily do a 600ml batch for both of us without losing quality due to a shallow bed depth. If you have a few people over for breakfast (when we’re allowed to do that again), you can brew 1.8L of batch ready to go which is enough for about 8 cups of coffee. If you use the heating element on the top, you can keep up to 3.6L of batch hot though – so 16 cups ready to go!
Its ability to scale up is really handy, I’ve paired it with the Baratza Encore and catered the coffee for breakfasts and birthdays without an issue. One kids birthday party was at brunch o’clock and had 60 tired, thirsty parents attending. The Bru didn’t miss a beat and I didn’t have to spend the entire party locked in the kitchen making coffee and cleaning up is super easy at the end – a win all round!
Its ability to scale down is a little more difficult though, so if you’re a house with only one coffee drinker then check out the Moccamaster Classic, they also come in a range of funky colours.
I’m lucky enough to still have my espresso machine on the counter for when I need to dive back into a few espresso based drinks, but if you’re like me and want a delicious coffee, fast, without too much messing around (or mess around!) then a batch system is for you.