NEAPOLITAN BREWING: HOW TO BREW COFFEE WITH A NEAPOLITAN FLIP (OR DRIP MAKER)

A Neapolitan coffee brew maker is usually a single serving device. Many people confuse the Neapolitan Flip brewer with a stove top espresso maker.  Unfortunately you cannot make espresso drinks with this type of brewing device. The Flip Brewer, also commonly referred to as a Drip Maker, does not use steam to extract coffee under high pressure like an espresso machine. It works just as it’s named, with gravity pulling the water through the coffee beans.

The Neapolitan Flip Brewer is an all in one device that has three main parts: a water reservoir, a top filter attached by a screwing mechanism, and a carafe.  To use a Neapolitan you first put all the parts together and place the water reservoir over a heating apparatus like a stove burner.  Just before the water in the brewer starts to boil, the Neapolitan brewer is turned over allowing coffee to drip down.  When brewing coffee with this style, it’s important to use the right type of ground. The ideal ground for the Neapolitan flip brewer is a course ground; much like the type of ground you find use in most American coffee makers. Finer blends such as an espresso ground will cause the water to permeate slowly through the coffee.  This results in an overly strong (or even bitter) coffee as well as a lengthy brewing time. Neapolitan style brewing results a very intense coffee flavor as the lack of filter paper allows more of the natural coffee oils to stays in your cup of coffee.

Brewing Instructions:

1)      Take apart the Neapolitan Flip Brewer.

2)      Grind your beans coarsely in your coffee grinder.

3)      Unscrew the cap on the filter part of your brewer.  Place 2 tablespoons of coffee spreading evenly. Do not tamp, or press, down on the coffee.

4)      Most Neapolitan flip brewers have a small hole a centimeter or so from the top edge of the water reservoir. This allows water to escape preventing any water from touching the coffee grinds in the carafe.  You want to fill the reservoir with water about a centimeter below the exit hole to allow the water to expand during heating.

5)      Place the filter inside the reservoir.

6)      Screw on the part of the filter with the sprout.

7)      Place the Neapolitan brewer on a stove. If you are using a stove with a gas burner, keep the flames the same diameter as the brewer for the most efficient heating.

8)      Turn off the water if you begin hearing it boil. A simple way to tell if the water is hot enough keeping an eye on the exit hole. If you see a single droplet of water that means the water is plenty hot.

9)      Use oven mitts to grab the handle of the Neapolitan brewer. Flip over and allow the coffee to filter.

10)   When the bottom half of your brewer fills with coffee, you are ready to enjoy your coffee.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING COFFEE

Buying coffee is more difficult that it use to be. With the maturation of the coffee industry in countless countries, the world wide web bringing us more information, and all the new breeds of specialty coffees; buying coffee can be as confusing as purchasing for your first home.  It seems that there are as many coffee cultivars as good cheeses or good wines. To help you navigate this bevy of choices, below is a list of things you could consider when buying coffee. Out of the list there is one thing factor that stands supreme: Taste.

Taste

Taste should always be your first consideration because if you don’ t like the taste, chances are you will not drink the coffee. And if you won’t drink the coffee, why buy it in the first place? Buy coffee you like to drink and you can never go wrong. Do not rely too much on expert opinion as everyone’s taste buds are a bit different and be open minded with new . Try everything.

Aroma

What does the coffee smell like? Many of the world top chefs say that the smell of the food is almost important as the taste and this thinking should be applied when drinking coffee. With coffee, aroma should come a close second to the taste of coffee. With many coffees, you will have a hard time separating the taste and smell coffee.

Freshness

Coffee is not like wine. It does not get better with age. The best coffee roasters bid to get the finest and freshest crop. Make sure you do your part and try to buy their freshest offerings.  The importance of freshness is even more important if you home roast.

Genus

What plant type and cultivar is extremely important in selecting coffee. Generally speaking Arabica coffee is superior and that is why some specialty coffees trade at multiples of 25 times commercial coffees.

Roast

How the bean is roasted affects the flavor. Understanding what type of roast goes best with certain brewing styles, not the just bean cultivar, will help you avoid a bad cup of coffee. For example, any espresso type drink; that is, coffee extracted via high pressure water, has to be from coffee that roasted is a notch above a full/city roast. This type of roast is commonly called an “espresso roast” because it’s the minimum roast needed to avoid a bitter taste when extracting coffee under high pressure water.

One tip you should remember is most specialty coffees are roasted as a full/city roast. This roasts brings out the best flavor of the coffee without adding extra flavor notes and highlighting the acidity of the coffee. If you are trying different coffees, make sure you use the same roast to get a truly accurate flavor profile. And if you have control over the roast make sure it’s a full/city roast to get a true gauge on the natural flavor.

An in-depth explanation of roast can be found here.

Geography/Farm

Certain environments produce certain flavor characteristics. The best coffee is usually grown in higher elevations but it is important to remember geography isn’t everything. It is better to buy good coffee in an unknown region than purchasing lower quality coffee in a celebrated country such as Costa Rica. With that qualifier I do want to emphasize that regional differences affect the flavor of coffee greatly and the only the real way to know is to try them!

Social/Ethical Issues

Everyone has different value system. If yours placed great emphasis on environmental, social, or political concerns, by all means incorporate those beliefs into your choice of coffee.

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