At the time of writing, late May 2013, the Impress brewer isn’t yet available in stores.
I got mine because I chipped in through the crowdsourcing site Kickstarter, and was just one of thousands of people who made the creation of this brewer possible. My contribution earned me one of the first of these brewers to come off the production line.
I’m glad I did, for a couple of reasons. First, because I like the idea of supporting small startup entrepreneurs who have good ideas, but not much funding. And second, because I really like this brewer.
As you can see from the video, the Impress is basically a press pot or French press.
But there are some key differences.
First, the filter screen is much finer than what you’ll find on a traditional press pot. This means no sediment in your final brew, and more flexibility in the coarseness of the grind you choose to use. While in a traditional press pot you use a coarse grind, with the Impress I have been using a medium grind, the same as when I brew with a drip brewer.
Second, with the Impress the plunger is also the cup. This is totally different from other press pot designs and was perhaps the key insight that gave birth to this idea. “Instead of trying to balance the filter screen at the end of a thin metal plunger rod, let’s balance the screen across the full width of the brewer.”
The result is a plunger system that is much more balanced and stable. When you press down to filter out the coffee grinds, the plunger goes down very smoothly and easily. As you can see in the video, I did it with just two finger tips.
The Impress is not only a press pot, but also a coffee mug, or travel mug. It has a silicone lid with a sipping hole on one edge and three small ventilation holes on the opposite side, just like with any other travel mug.
As a travel mug - whether you want to take it in the car or out into the garden - it excels because the dual-walled outer vessel combined with the inner plunger cup results in amazing insulation. Actually, in some circumstances I have found the insulation to be a little too good, making me wait impatiently for the coffee to cool down to drinking temperature.
Over all, I like this brewer a lot. And, just as importantly, I love the coffee it brews. I have tried it with a few different beans now. As with any brewing system, you have to get the proportion of water to coffee grinds right. And you have to get the immersion and extraction time right. That done, you get a very clean, bright brew.
If you can't find one locally - and you probably can't - you can get the Impress coffee maker at Amazon.
About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…