Danilo Lodi talks about manual coffee extraction systems

May 24, 2021

Danilo Lodi, Dalla Corte Coffee Pro from Brazil and official judge of the World Coffee Events since 2011, talks about manual coffee extraction systems.

“Based on the third wave of coffee scenario, I find that the most popular manual extraction system is the V60, a tool designed and produced by the Japanese company Hario. Its V shaped structure is a perfect 60 degree vortex, hence the name. It’s easy to find in coffee shops to make filter coffee, I’d say that most coffee shops have it. It’s one of the most popular brewing systems outside espresso, followed by Aeropress. I often see Chemex as well - an hourglass-shaped glass jug similar to a decanter - and Kalita, a coffee dripper from a German manufacturer.

For home users, I would say that the most popular preparation method is moka - the Italian coffee maker - followed by French press and the Japanese Melitta filter.

In producing countries, it’s very common to use cloth filters. In Latin America people use it a lot both at home and at coffee farms, I personally grew up making a lot of coffee with this method. And even a few coffeeshops like to serve coffee this way, but it's not very common.

All of these brewing systems bring different results into the cup, which is incredible because you can grab the same coffee - and this is something I do - and you can make an espresso, a French press, then a V60, a moka, sometimes an ibrik, a chemex… and the resulting cup is always different. "

Are there any official competitions for all these methods?

"Yes, there are competitions for every brewing method, but I really love the World Brewers Cup. It’s a competition focused on manual brewing, where competitors can use any form of manual brewing. I've seen people using V60, syphon, chemex, Aeropress... any system can be used to get the best out of coffee. Competitors can also bring innovations never seen before, it is truly amazing!

There are two rounds: the preliminary round where everyone uses the same coffee and grinder (they can only adjust grind-size) and choose their preferred extraction system. It’s a blind test, so the cups are brought to the judges who don’t know what method was used, they only judge whether the coffee was well extracted. The second round is the open presentation, in which contestants choose their coffee, their water, whether they want to use a different grinder, their brewing method, and they explain their extraction system to the judges. It will be this system, with that water and with that coffee that will bring the full experience into the cup, it’s a very fascinating competition. "

What are some interesting recent innovations?

There is one I really like called Gina, it looks like a V60 with an elongated neck, and you can use a valve to control pre-infusion. It was used by 2018 World Brewers Cup champion Emi Fukahori from Switzerland and  it’s a great extraction tool.

Another interesting one I saw at the last World Barista Championship in 2019, it’s called Origami Dripper. It’s in the shape of an origami, folded but made of ceramic, I like that one a lot too.

The one I found the most fascinating, was when I judged a competition in the Netherlands and the competitor used something called Trinity ONE. It's not very common but I like it because it’s very consistent, I think it’s the most consistent out of all manual brewing systems. It has a sort of portafilter, which is actually a valve that can be opened or closed, and in the top part there’s a piston that slowly goes down with gravity, and because of that weight extractions are consistent.

Some people create their own extraction methods and you can sometimes find them in coffeeshops. In some cases I happened to ask what it was, and the answer usually is that a friend of theirs came up with that brewing system and you can only find it there... people are trying to be creative and I think it's amazing that they are starting to test other ways to make coffee.

What do you think people are trying to achieve when creating a new extraction system?

I think the trend is trying to be more consistent. We are talking about manual extraction, it’s very hard to produce repeatable results. There’s an increasing tendency to be more consistent by using scales, measuring in grams rather than milliliters, using kettles that have good temperature control so that it can be as accurate as possible when brewing.

Danilo Lodi talks about manual coffee extraction systems