La Vandola, a 100% costarican brewing method

Translated by Karen M. Pratt.  

In a cupboard full of brewing methods, it’s easy to realize that this subject is diverse and also international. We can find north american methods, lots of others made in Japan and designs that come from Nordic countries, all of them coffee lovers, just a few producers. That’s why, today I wanted to talk to you about a brewing method designed and made here in Tiquicia: La Vandola.

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Like I mentioned on my first post about brewing methods, the chorreador is one of our costa rican classics. It is our oldest method and it is part of the inspiration on which the Vandola is based.
The other part, according to its creator: Minor Alfaro, is a material used by our ancestors: clay. After that it comes all the barista’s precision.
La Vandola takes its name after the bandolas or branches of the coffee plant (that’s what we call them in Costa Rica) and it was created in 2015. “I wanted to design a brewing method that was less complicated to prepare than others, to be able to use it at my coffee shop.” Explains Minor who is an experimented barista.
At his coffee shop Kaffa Café in Coronado, we could see the Vandola at work. “This method has its similarities with the Kalita Wave or the V60 but it has its own identity. Since it’s made of clay it allows us to keep the coffee warm up to 30 minutes after it has been prepared.

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The practicality that Minor was searching for is obvious. The Vandola is all one piece, it has a handle to serve with more facility and it can be used with a Chemex filter or a V60’s. Also, its appearance has character and beauty. Now let’s talk about flavor.
Minor recommends to use a medium grind (see more details in the video below), pre-brewing and brewing slowly. The coffee aroma comes put of the cone and a small valve allows the oxygenation of it. The result is a cup with very defined taste and sweetness.
Even though the Vandola was recently born, it has become quite the traveler; even internationally. “Some have taken it to countries like Panama, Chile, Switzerland and United States”, says Minor.
This is the challenge for us as costaricans: let’s look for this national brewing method (they have at Minor’s coffee shop, they use it and of course other places sell it, like Barista schools.) Besides its excellent results as a method, we are left with a good taste in our mouths from being able to put together our coffee and a costarican professional way to taste it.

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