I FINALLY, fully understand it, love it and recommend it.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself, however, so let’s start at the very beginning. For those readers who just can’t wait for the payoff, here is a link to the product in this review.
Cold Brew technology in not new technology. I had a cold brew product more than 10 years ago, but it failed to excite the masses and ultimately failed in the marketplace. One of the reasons for its demise is because the brewing took many hours. That cold brew device was a simple passive dunk tank.
This one is different in every way and that’s a good thing. The category has caught the attention of the public, coffee bars and grocery retailers. But have you checked the prices of each can or bottle of cold brew coffee beverage? It must be nice to not blink at spending as much as $5 or more for just ONE.
Then came the opportunity to try this gadget and I started from scratch again.
**WHY COLD BREW IN THE FIRST PLACE?**
Some studies suggest that cold brew coffee is less acidic than conventional hot brewed coffee, yet with the same caffeine jolt, or lack thereof if decaf is your choice.
DIY cold brew at home allows users better control of the water to grounds ratio as well as the total amount brewed in each batch. Whether making one cup or five, this modern cold brew machine gets the job done in as little as 10 minutes and up to about 45 minutes at the Extra Strong setting. No matter what the setting is, I think most readers will agree that it is the aroma of the whole or ground coffee beans wafting about that makes us love coffee. Having this experience at home or in the office makes us happy.
Getting just right results is more art than science. It’s up to the taste of every consumer, and it has taken several months for me to figure out which whole bean coffee at what grind setting at the Costco machines works best for my palate. When I wasn’t drinking coffee on a daily basis after moving to my new place, I gave away my effective under-$40 Mr. Coffee burr grinder.
The first hurdle I had to overcome falls in the category of unrealistic expectations. I continued to encounter fine grounds at the bottom of the Water Chamber. Could this be right? The marketing materials did not show grounds!
I asked my company contact about it. Without definitive information, I continued to press for answers. The hours of my own research turned into days, then many weeks of back-and-forth emails, not to mention what I spent in my pursuit of coffee that produced minimal residual solids in the bottom of the Water Chamber. I’ll make it easy for you, so please continue reading my story.
I purchased bags of both pre-ground coffee and bags of whole beans that I proceeded to grind in Costco’s machines after purchase. Costco’s assortment provided many options.
Also tried was a bag of excellent coffee provided by the agency that set me up with this machine. Starting with whole beans, the coffee was first ground to optimal size, then sent to me. Quite delicious! Look them up and try this coffee.
I also tried a few others, including a favorite from Peet’s, and then I found one at Costco with a label indicating it is for cold brew coffee. At under $5 San Francisco Bay Cold Brew coarse ground coffee proved to be the best yet, so I bought half a dozen. Unfortunately, this product is no longer carried at Costco, so I lucked out, but it is still available online in smaller bags and at higher cost.
Realistic expectations informed me that some amount of solids is NORMAL! I wish I did not have to go through the learning curve. More on the amount of solids later.
Let’s get on with it.
**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
- Shine Kitchen Rapid Cold Brew Coffee & Tea Machine with Vacuum Extraction Technology
- Coffee & Tea scoop
- Cleaning brush & Tool
READ the manual and follow along until you get the hang of how to be successful. I’m more of a coffee guy than a freshly brewed tea from leaves guy.
Setup is supremely easy. Plug it in. Lift the Chamber Lid. Pour in the freshest, cleanest, best tasting water available. Fill to the line indicating how may cups are to be brewed. Using the supplied scoop, add the amount of coffee into the open Filter Basket. Screw on the lid. Place the closed Filter Basket into the Water Chamber making sure that the Filter Basket’s tube is in its place.
Close the lid over the Water Chamber so it snaps into its closed position. Select the preferred strength and press the button twice. Magic happens while the brewing is going on, which takes from as little as under 15 minutes for Light brew with a cup or two, to about 45 minutes for Extra strong with five cups.
**WHAT IS THE PROCESS?**
First, what it is not. It is not a dunk tank, wherein the coffee (or tea) passively comingles with water to create the cold brew.
This is smart tech using vacuum extraction. See the top of the filter cap, with the downward pointing piece at the rear? Now, see the back of the Water Chamber where the assembled Filter Basket fits into the Water Chamber. That downward pointing piece is a hollow tube. Water from the Chamber is drawn in and forced through the Filter Basket as if vacuuming the water through the grounds and out through the holes in the filter. This process loop is repeated until the preset amount of time has passed for each brew strength setting from Light, Medium, Strong and Extra. Then the machine beeps to alert the user to completion of the cycle.
Next, the locking lever must be moved from locked to unlocked, at which time the contents of the Water Chamber are transferred using the same brew route into the carafe below, through its own little filter that sits atop the carafe. After a final forced vacuum extraction from above, another series of beeps signals an end to the cycle.
With the release lever in the unlocked position, open the lid and the Water Chamber with the Filter Basket can be removed as a unit.
Let’s have a look at the manual.
Now that you have seen how it creates its COLD BREW, it’s time to . . .
**PUT IT TO THE TEST**
- Videos tell the story
- Complex, repeatable, flexible
At the outset, I indicated that I would make it easy for you. And yes, it really is that easy and complex at the same time. Easy to have fun with the settings and with trials of different coffees and both repeatable and flexible depending upon the desired end result.
As for the grounds that remain in the bottom of the Water Chamber as well as what may have passed through the carafe filter and into the carafe, I have learned to simply go with that flow. It’s part of the process. Nothing more. Noting less.
My favorite daily coffee maker, the Shine Kitchen Cold Brew machine by Tribest, currently $130, is worth your time and attention as a gift for yourself because you deserve it or for anyone.. Cold brewed coffee and tea may be enjoyed cold or hot.
Every day after brewing I pour the cold brew from the carafe into a large cup and store one or two deep in the fridge. When I’m ready to enjoy it, I add some milk and heat it in the microwave oven. Perfection every time.
Let me know what YOU think! Send an email or post to my social media through the links below the review. And as always, thanks for reading.
“We warrant to you, the end-user customer, who has properly registered for warranty upon purchasing a new Shine Cold Brew Machine that the new Shine Cold Brew Machine will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of 1 year from date of purchase when purchased in the United States. Warranty length may vary when purchased in other countries to conform to the legal requirements in those jurisdictions. This warranty is valid only if the purchase was made through an authorized Tribest reseller. All warranties are void when purchased through an unauthorized reseller”