Cona Vacuum Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!
These are intended as a "starting point" for
the respective type of brewing. Ultimately, you will figure out the best
and most convenient ways to use these brewing devices, so please remake,
twist, turn, distort, decomplile, torch, grind and brew these instructions
to suit your own needs!
Cona brewing is a wonderful visual experience that just happens
to result in perfect coffee. While these instructions may make it sound like
it requires a lot of time and dedication, after several uses you will
find it is only slightly more laborious than other brewing methods, but much more fun!
Please note that because of the design of the vacuum brewers,
there is always a small amount of water that does not ascend to the funnel.
This means that brewing less than the full capacity of the brewer makes more
diluted coffee. Match the brewer capacity to the amount of coffee you think
suits your needs! The D Size Cona is best for most folks, but if you
consistently brew for one person, consider the B size or the C size.
Cona Vacuum Brewing Method
Fill the spirit lamp with denatured alcohol. This is commonly
sold in hardware stores, paint stores, camp stores, marine supply stores,
and gourmet food stores. It is also called "camp stove alcohol".
In Cona instructions it is called "methylated spirits". Liquid
Sterno is denatured alcohol, but is more expensive generally (this is not
the same as the gellatenous Sterno from self-contained tablelamps / catering
warmers). Sterno will generally not burn hot enough to work properly.
Place the wick and wickholder in place. Allow some time for
the wick to absorb fuel. (I get about 6-8 uses from one filling of the lamp,
so you do not have to refuel every time you brew!)
Put the spirit lamp in place and the funnel (top glass globe)
in its aperture on the stand. Fill the bowl (bottom globe with handle) with
hot or boiling water to within about 1/2 inch from the base of the neck. Make sure the outside of the bowl is dry. (Note: You
can start with cold water but the process will take much longer.)
Place the glass drainer (the filter) into the funnel , making
sure it is loose. Put the required amount of evenly gound medium to fine
coffee (--fine but WITHOUT powder!--) into the funnel. Standard SCAA brewing
ratio is 7.25 grams per 6 oz water. I have used the same fine, even grounds
for filter coffee in the Cona without producing any sludge in the cup. If
you chose to use coarser grinds, compensate by allowing longer
infusion when the coffee and water are together in the funnel.
When the water in the bowl shows the very first sign of coming
to a boil, place the funnel into the bowl and snug the rubber gasket into
the bowl neck with a small twist to ensure an air-tight fit.
When all the water, with the exception of a small amount which
must remain in the bowl, has been drawn into the top, wait 45 seconds to 1 minute for
the coffee to infuse. Some people like to give it a stir with a spoon. If
so, don't bump and dislodge the drainer / filter.
Place the snuffer on the lamp.
When all the coffee has drained into the bowl, remove the
funnel with a slight twist. Place it in the aperture on the stand, serve
up your wonderful coffee ...you earned it!
- There are other techniques that involve allowing the water to rise completely to the top and then adding the coffee. There are YouTube videos of vacuum brewing techniques, some of which can get pretty elaborate! Vacuum brewing is often as much about the show as anything - though we tend to focus on how good the coffee is.
*Please note that the bowl and handle are not microwave safe! Do not try
to reheat the coffee in the bowl as there are screws in the handle that will
cause it to melt! We do usually have a few extra handles on hand to sell
as replacements in case this does happen...
Cona parts are available from Sweet Maria's!
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