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Cona conudrum

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:50 am
by Tongle
I inherited this Cona beast (2 pints of coffee......crikey :shock: ) from my dad but have no instructions. I get the basic principle but in the absence of a Hasbean guide can anyone help with amounts, grid and/or technique?

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Re: Cona conudrum

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:07 pm
by easylife
Different people have slightly different techniques, and you may want to experiment a bit to find your own "sweet spot".

Suggest you start with a grind close to drip. Water to coffee ratio about 16:1

The process works best when using the full capacity of the brewer, so that's a lot of coffee in the one you have - you can get away with a lower volume, but easier if you buy ALL the Cona sizes then you don't have to compromise :lol:

Fill the bottom bowl fairly close to the top - say about 3-4 cm below the neck, but it isn't too critical.

The bowl will be OK directly on the gas hob - provided you don't "ding" it on the supports.

Heat the water.

At this point opinions differ - some folk put the ground coffee in the top straight away, and fit the top bowl - this is what Cona suggest. Others wait to fit the bowl until the water is pretty close to boiling. Others wait until the water has migrated to the top before adding the coffee. Whichever technique you use, do not disturb the filter rod at all after adding the coffee. If you get even small amounts of grounds under the seat of the filter, it won't filter properly.

The principle is that the pressure created in the bottom bowl forces the water up into the top. It doesn't empty completely. At this point drop the heat to the point where it just maintains enough pressure to keep the water in the top and gently swirling around with the coffee.

You may want to give it a careful stir, but don't move the rod.

At the point you want the brew to stop - opinions vary greatly - say between 2 and 4 minutes - drop the heat.

As the bottom bowl cools,a partial vacuum forms and sucks the coffee back down. The glass filter is designed to let the coffee pass but hold back the grounds.

It's simpler than it sounds, but glass filter rods can be a bit finicky, and you do need a good consistent grind (not too much dust) for it to work properly.

It's worth the effort because in the opinion of a lot of people - including me - it is the best way to brew coffee.

Re: Cona conudrum

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:36 pm
by Tongle
Wow...thanks for the very detailed response......much appreciated.
I did also get a reply from Cona themselves who suggested a similar approach but not in as much detail.

The Cona seems to make a LOT of coffee and as I am the only one in the house who drinks it I could be on a caffine overdose for a week here!

So I've bought some cheap beans from the supermarket to experiment with so at least I don't feel like I wasting anything getting the method right.

Re: Cona conudrum

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:05 pm
by easylife
No problem - always happy to add a user to the Cona fraternity 8)

If you like the brew it produces, but it's far too much volume, you could do worse than keep an eye on the 'bay for a model C (1 1/2 pints) or - less common as they aren't made any more - a model B (1 pint) or if you're very very lucky - even a Model A (also not made now) which is 1/2 pint.

The model A is often my breakfast brewer. Just right for a good mugful.

The C's go for about £45 - 55 but you may be lucky and get one for less. The B''s generally rather more, and the A's are now very hard to find and expensive if you do find one.

Even though you will probably see all these as the stand version, they can equally well be used on the hob, as they have a flat base.

Cona's were and still are very popular in Germany - some were made there - so it's worthwhile searching outside the UK. France is another option - also manufactured there - but mostly they come with cloth filters.

Provided the glass is intact and not chipped, there's very little else to be wrong with a used version.

Re: Cona conudrum

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:24 am
by RolandGlew
Hope you're enjoying the Cona! I've never had a chance to play with one, but love my Hario Syphon which has a paper filter instead of the glass one. Just as an FYI there is a Has Bean Guide which is based around my method - very much a brew method you can explore different options with though!

Big thanks to easylife for the top tips - the challenges of a glass filter where what convinced me to go for Hario in the end, despite not looking as good and being rather smaller in volume than the Cona. Would still love to add a Cona to my collection one day!