Test Drive: Hoop Coffee Brewer

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We report on our recent experience trying the Hoop Coffee Brewer, which won an SCA Best New Product Award at last summer’s World of Coffee event.

BY TANYA NANETTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT

Photos by Tanya Nanetti

At the last World of Coffee, held in Athens, Greece, at the end of June, I had the opportunity to attend the SCA Best New Product Awards, which, through different categories, reward new products that represent the best in quality and value to the industry.

Among the five different categories honored this year, one of the most interesting products was the Hoop Coffee Brewer, a radial infuser created by Ceado (an Italian company famous for its high-quality coffee grinders) that won first prize in the Consumer Coffee Preparation and Serving Equipment category. The brewer looked so different from anything I had seen or used before that I was absolutely hoping to one day have the chance to try it.

The opportunity finally came a couple of weeks ago, during a visit to my hometown of Bologna, Italy.

Alessandro Galtieri pours into the Hoop at his café, Aroma.

As I usually do on these visits, I kept a couple of hours free to visit my friend Alessandro Galtieri at his café, Aroma. I knew that, as happens every time, he would surely have something exciting for me to try—maybe a coffee from a newly discovered roastery, or an unusual coffee origin, or a new geeky dripper.

With some surprise, I discovered that Alessandro’s new “toy“ was just what I had been wanting to try for months: the Hoop Coffee Brewer! I took the time to learn all I could about it, starting with a quick review of the basics.

The Basics of Hoop Brewing

Alessandro presented the Hoop as a no-bypass coffee brewer, basically an appliance in which—thanks to the absence of an “escape route“ for the water—almost all of the water used for brewing passes through the coffee bed. This provides an immediate benefit: a higher extraction (as much as 25-26% without a hint of astringency) or, simply put, the ability to achieve the same result in the cup using much less coffee.

Hoop is a no-bypass brewer: All the water used goes through the coffee bed, allowing for even extraction.

Not bad for a device consisting of three simple components: a flow tower and an outer ring (both made of durable BPA-free plastic, easy to clean and long-lasting), and a Hoop paper filter (replaceable with a same-size AeroPress paper filter).

Soon it was finally time for us to try out the Hoop, following the basic instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Brewing Instructions

First you put the paper inside the outer ring, screw in the flow tower with the outer ring, wet the paper filter, then put the Hoop on a container (a jar or mug is perfect). Then, add ground coffee (in our first attempt, 20g of medium-coarse coffee) inside the flow tower. Pour hot water (we used 300ml) inside the outer ring, and wait for all the water to go through, which should take about five to six minutes.

All very simple.

In these five or six minutes (time that you can devote to other activities), the water will pass evenly through the coffee bed, thanks to the 12 side holes in the bottom of the flow tower, ensuring an even extraction. In fact, thanks to the symmetrical design, all the water will filter through the coffee with the same amount and force, reaching the paper filter only after completing its journey through the coffee.

Room to Experiment

But—and here is the kicker—the Hoop is the kind of brewer that can be used to experiment, producing an endless array of techniques. Until Aroma’s closing time, we simply played with the device, trying out all the different recipes that came to mind. A 30-second bloom before pouring the rest of the water? A shorter ratio to brew something similar to what you can get from a Moka pot? A “grandma-approved“ method of simply brewing two tablespoons of coffee with a cup and a half of boiling water?

The main thing we learned from our experiments: It’s hard to mess up brewing a coffee with the Hoop Coffee Brewer.

We did checks, verifications, and experiments with different grind sizes, temperatures, doses, and ratios. The different trials led us to one conclusion: It is difficult to brew something totally wrong with the Hoop. Sure, sometimes the result is simply pleasant, but many times, it is perfectly delicious.   

The Hoop reminded me of one of my favorite brewers, the AeroPress, because the Hoop brewer is also indestructible, lightweight, and easy to use and clean.

All in all, the Hoop Coffee Brewer turned out to be just what was promised: a fun and easy way to brew delicious coffee. It can give you a tasty cup without too much effort, but at the same time will entice you to experiment.

The Hoop Coffee Brewer will be a welcome addition to my backpack for my next adventure!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the coffee machine (or visiting some hidden corner of the world), she’s busy writing for Coffee Insurrection, a website about specialty coffee that she’s creating along with her boyfriend.

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