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Minimalist Coffee: A Must-Own Simple 30-Second Brew Cup System for the Beginner

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture
Brew fast and easy with handheld coffee brewer.

Discover how you can brew good coffee in just 30 seconds using a new handheld brew cup system. In addition, see how two double-espresso commercial drinks compare against each other in a taste test.

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I rarely get excited about anything on a Monday. Which is why I really, really need coffee in the morning so that I don’t get mistaken for a corpse. But, today is different.

Today, I saw a news post from Roast magazine that grabbed my attention and got the gears spinning in my head even before my first cup of coffee. The post is about a new type of minimalist coffee brew cup that could not be easier to use or a faster way to brew a good cup of coffee at the espresso level.

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The product is called the “SteepShot” brewer and is the brainchild of inventor Ari Halonen. The SteepShot is based on simple physics: add very hot water to ground coffee in a specialized handheld container; seal to allow pressure to build and the coffee to undergo a full immersion 30-second steep; and then, invert the SteepShot over a mug and carefully allow the pressure to release carrying with it the coffee extract through a filter directly into your mug.

The SteepShot is advertised to produce a well-extracted brew in just 30 seconds provided you apply the correct amount of a medium to fine grind of bean. Users are provided with basic guidelines, but are encouraged to experiment on their own to discover what works best for their palate and what they desire in a coffee.

According to Roast magazine, the SteepShot meets the needs of users interested in learning about brewing at its most basic level that will produce a good cup of espresso level coffee.

“I always have thought of the SteepShot as a versatile tool for everyone, simplifying brewing and making the art of brewing easier, and easier to understand,” stated its inventor for the magazine.

Currently, the simple brewing device is available through the Norwegian coffee company Tim Wendelboe.

Tim Wendelboe is a Norwegian coffee professional who is well-known for his award-winning coffee brewing and namesake espresso bar. The espresso bar is both a training center and a micro roastery in Oslo where Tim Wendelboe imports, roasts and sells only high-quality coffee beans with an emphasis on light roasted beans and fresh brewing. You will not find tea or sodas in his bar. Only coffee with no additives other than sugar and milk.

And just as importantly, the menu is ever-changing so that customers can experience something new with each visit.

“We try to challenge out customers’ habits, and help them explore what coffee can be, not what they think it should be,” says Mr. Wendelboe in his espresso bar website.

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How to Use the SteepShot

Tim Wendelboe recommends starting off with 14 grams of finely ground coffee and 200 grams of boiling water with a brew time of 30-60 seconds. He describes the difference in taste between 30 and 60-second brew times as “clarity of a shorter one” and “the body and depth of a longer time” respectively.

Two Important caveats is to be sure that the water is boiling or nearly boiling hot when adding it to the ground coffee; and, never, ever, release the pressure with the SteepShot upright or you are sure to have a hot mess on your hands and risk of burns on your skin.

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The SteepShot is available on the Tim Wendelboe website and is currently priced at $68.03 USD plus shipping. Although for some odd reason the website lists the product price at $85.04, at checkout the actual price shows $68.03.

Instructional Video: The SteepShot Coffee Brewer

A More In-Depth Instructional Video: Start to Finish Guide on Using the SteepShot Coffee Brewer

Double-Espresso Canned Commercial Coffee Drink Taste Test

Double Espresso Comparison

As a continuation of comparing canned commercial coffee drinks, this time I am pitting Starbucks “Doubleshot Espresso” against High Brew Coffee’s “Double Espresso.”

Both coffees are recommended to be chilled before drinking. The Starbuck’s brand is advertised as espresso-brewed whereas the High Brew is advertised as cold-brewed. Caffeine-wise, both drinks are nearly equal and provide about two cups of coffee worth of caffeine: The Starbucks drink is listed online at 125 grams of caffeine; whereas the High Brew can label lists a range of 130-150 milligrams of caffeine.

However, when it comes to sugar content, the Starbucks drink is 6.5 fluid ounces with 18 grams of sugar at 140 calories. But the High Brew drink is significantly lower at 8 fluid ounces containing only 6 grams of sugar at 50 calories.

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Taste-wise, I was surprised by the High Brew brand. The flavor was fully coffee in taste, just under a full roast quality. I felt like that I was actually drinking coffee and without the tinny taste common in canned drinks. The Starbucks drink was typical Starbucks—although I do like salted caramel on occasion, this one was waaaaay too sugary. So much so, that the coffee was lost in the caramel.

So, my recommendation between the two is that the lesser-known High Brew brand from Austin, Texas easily beats out the Starbucks in both taste and calories. Enough so, that I would make it my backup/wakeup while-driving drink to keep in the cooler while traveling.

Timothy Boyer has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. For 20+ years he has been employed as a freelance health and science writer. Timothy continues writing about science with a focus on the connection between coffee and healthy living. For continual updates about the benefits of coffee on your health, you can also follow Timothy on Twitter at TimBoyerWrites.


Years in the Making, The SteepShot Finally Flows Into the Market” by Howard Bryman for Roast magazine.

Tim Wendelboe business website

Image courtesy of Tim Wendelboe and photographer Dorothee Brand