I have a bit of a thing for nonelectric coffee makers. The French press I bought a few years ago brings me endless delight — plunge! — as does the Bialetti Moka pot, whose stovetop hissing I’ll never mistake. I prefer manual brewers not just because they produce a more distinctive cup, but because they’re extremely fun to use, like toys for adults. But the device that most excites me lately is the Neapolitan flip coffee pot, which I acquired last month from the MoMA Design Store (though, of course, you can find it at Amazon, too). It is the weirdest coffee maker I own. I love it.
The flip coffee pot, so named for its popularity in Naples, even though it’s a French invention, is a three-part gadget that seems implausible. Basically, you fill the bottom portion of the pot with water, add your grounds to the middle filter, screw on the top, and set the thing to a flame. When it boils, you flip the whole pot over (that little lid with the handle up top comes off), so the hot water seeps through the filter and into the empty chamber, which has a spout. Then you remove the emptied part and you’ve got yourself a little pot of hot coffee. That’s it.
I’ve been using my flip pot for a month now, and I’ve grown quite fond of it. Here’s what’s special about it: It makes the perfect amount of coffee for one person — I know it says six, but it makes about four cups’ worth max — and produces a clean but concentrated cup. The texture doesn’t get as muddy as French-press coffee, and its a little less intense than Moka coffee, which can sometimes get overwhelmingly strong. I’d recommend it to anyone who works from home or enjoys a Sunday a.m. cup. It will, I am sure, make the mornings extremely fun.
More Strat-approved manual coffee brewers
If you like pour-over coffee, consider the Osaka brewer, which writer Caitlin M. O’Shaughnessy introduced us to: “The key is the insanely fine-meshed (it’s laser-cut), stainless-steel filter that doesn’t absorb any of the oils the way a paper filter does. It also has a smart cork lid to keep the whole thing piping hot.”
The new Soma brew bottle, which is a coffee maker and travel thermos in one, won an award for best new product at this year’s Speciality Coffee Expo, and Strategist writer Maxine Builder enjoys it a lot: “The glass thermos itself has a nice heft to it as well, closer to the feel of a ceramic mug than a travel mug, and the metal filter is easy to remove from the casing and clean out. I plan on keeping this one at my desk, so I can make pour-over coffee in the office with minimal mess.”
The best way to make cold-brew coffee, incidentally, is manually, and Claire Chan, owner of the Elk in the West Village, told us about the Toddy system: “The container and filters not only make our lives easier, but it also produces a very consistent product.”
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