For Thanksgiving, 2016, my family and I were invited to a local park to play in a series of two-hand touch football games. The old-timer adults won one, tied one, and lost one. Not a bad day of football. We were also asked to bring coffee for an unknown amount of people. We decided to pull the trigger on two Airpots to keep the coffee hot. They did a phenomenal job and held our coffee hot for about four hours outside in some really cold weather. For the price of about $30 a piece, they really cannot be beaten for serving large groups of people.
The pricey part of running Airpots on a regular basis is the batch brewer that brews coffee directly into the pots. I didn’t pull the trigger on one of those. Instead, I chose to experiment with running a stronger ratio in a French Press and adding more water to it. That didn’t quite give me enough coffee, so I added a pour-over on top of it and came out with a decent cup in the pot.
The Airpot. The Airpot holds approximately 2.1 liters, or 2100 ml, of coffee. That’s 75 ounces. Two of them hold 150 ounces total, and that should be enough for anywhere from 10-20 adults to have a cup of coffee each on a cold day. It worked out just fine for our group of over 20 adults, and I ended up drinking two cups. Not everyone likes coffee, but I’m happy I listened to my wife and made two coffee pots instead of one coffee and one hot cocoa. When in doubt, choose coffee.
The French Press. Mine holds about 800 ml, but it’s easier to make coffee with if I stay in the 700 ml range. I selected a coarser grind and chose a 10-1 ratio for my water-coffee. The plan was then to add an additional 700 ml of water and end up with 1400 ml total at a 20-1 ratio. I did that whole process twice, so each Airpot now had 1400 ml of coffee in it. The French Press makes a ‘dirty’ cup because it doesn’t use a filter to get the grounds out of what you drink. It uses a metal strainer, and you usually end of with a little bit of the ‘dregs’ in the bottom of your cup. Some coffee connoisseurs don’t pour out all the coffee from the French Press, leaving the dirtier portions in the press. I couldn’t afford to waste any coffee because I was making so much and in a crunch for time.
The Pour-Over. The Pour-Over uses a filter and delivers a much cleaner cup than the French Press. I figured that combining the two would make for a nice combination in the Airpot. It worked out just fine, as there were no dregs in the bottom fo the cups when we were done. The Pour-Over method demands more fo your attention throughout the brewing process than does the French Press. I used a 20-1 ratio and brewed 600 ml into a vessel. I did that twice, added it to the pressed coffee, and ended up with 2000 ml in each Airpot.
I was contented with filling up the Airpot to 2000 ml out of its 2100 ml capacity because I was running out of time to get to the park in time for the games. Overall, it was a great success. People loved the coffee. It was a great conversation started about specialty coffee in general and Orange Cactus Coffee specifically. I had three major concerns that were eliminated by the end of the day. The first was about doubling the water after brewing a 10-1 ratio to get to a 20-1 ratio. It was fine. The second was about combining different brew methods into the same batch. I couldn’t tell a difference. The third was whether the Airpot would keep the coffee hot. It did, and we had a great Thanksgiving Day. I just wish we could’ve won more games.
When you’re invited to bring the coffee to your next party, let me know what techniques you used to serve a large group of people.