October 13, 2014
We sold out of the HandyBrew many months ago. In the meantime, we have been in close communication with the manufacturer (the folks who also make the Clever Coffee Dripper) as they put a lot of effort into creating a new model. It's now back in stock with a new look and improvements that will make an even better HandyBrew brew.
The HandyBrew now comes in two sizes. 500ml (small) and 1L (large). The small is good for one or two servings and the large is good for about 3 servings. Even though the large model has "XL" printed on the side, we decided to just call it "Large" and the 500ml model "Small".
The original HandyBrew was made with BPA-free plastic. This new model is BPA-free as well and the plastic is the same material used to make the Clever, which is great because it has a little more "bounce" and will definitely resist cracking and breakage a lot more. We would still like to remind you to be careful with the feet. The feet keep the stopper plate elevated so if you happen to break one, you will have to find a way to prop up your brewer so it doesn't tilt and drain all over you counter. They are designed to take a beating but nothing (especially plastic feet) are indestructable.
The original stainless steel HandyBrew filter worked fine but would bend if you put too much pressure on it. It let a lot of sediment through but this was OK since we felt it produced the same cup qualities as a french press. The filter has fin-like reinforcements going up to the post that make it very rigid. The lower screen is made of the most dense mesh we have seen in a metal coffee filter. This, combined with the upper screen containing larger openings, filters out the very fine coffee particles that the old screen would allow through. After brewing coffee, open up the filter and you'll see what we are talking about. There will be a little sediment sitting inside that got past the upper screen but was stopped in it's tracks by the lower screen. The result is a cup with a medium body but not a lot of sediment...like a clean french press brew. Replacement filters will be in stock soon.
The HandyBrew comes with simple instructions. They say to fill it with water first, add ground coffee and stir. If this sounds backwards to you, you aren't alone. We'll explain...during the time when the manufacturer was testing different versions of the filter, they had created one that worked well but would clog every time. Adding coffee after the water totally solved the problem...no clogging...and little to no sediment in your cup. Another filter (the current version) was produced after this that allows for the traditional "coffee first, then water" technique...but the instructions remained. So with that said, you can experiment and see which method is better for you.
Is Sediment a Bad Thing?
Sediment is not bad (nor good). If you like french press coffee or coffee brewed with an Able Kone, with a lot of body, thicker sweetness and hints of cocoa powder, your cup probably has some sediment in it...you'll know when you get to the bottom and there's a little coffee mud in the last few drops. If you like thin-bodied coffee with floral and tea-like notes brewed with a paper or cloth filter, the HandyBrew may not be for you.
Is it Worth the Sticker Shock?
HandyBrews are much more expensive in comparison to Clever Drippers and the last generation HandyBrew, probably due to all the prototype production, research and testing that have gone into this product. We think every detail has been well thought out and it brews an excellent cup...and you don't have to buy paper filters.