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FAQ - ARCA - Coffee brewing with the X-Tract system.
What is the ARCA X-Tract-Brew?
X-TRACT-BREW is a simple way to brew a proper cup of coffee without paper filters. The extraction method is a "non-forced extraction" or full-immersion brewing process, comparable to making tea or professional “coffee cupping”.
What kind of coffee grounds should be used with the ARCA X-Tract-Brew?
To begin with, we suggest using middle/medium ground coffee, then experiment with coarser or finer grounds to determine what you like best. The filter allows you to use any size of grounds, even espresso.
How much coffee should I use?
Our recommendation is to use one full teaspoon for each cup but of course you can adjust to suit your personal preferences.
How hot should the water be?
Bring the water to the boil, wait a few seconds to let it cool and then pour over the ground coffee.
Does the coffee pot get hot?
The handle is hollow and will not get hot. However the body does get hot.
There is no mark for the water level to be shown, why?
Because a mark wouldn’t be accurate as the volume of the coffee grounds differ. We control the amount of water that goes into the coffee by measuring the water supply into the kettle or by using a scale. Some people told me they have put their own marks on the glass jug by a simple marker.
Why should the grounds be stirred once the hot water has been poured into the pot?
To make sure all the ground coffee is loose inside the filter and not stuck along the walls of the filter. This way you may notice that you have to add additional water.
How long do you have to wait before serving the coffee?
You need to wait a minimum of 4 minutes to allow extraction and get the optimum taste. You will soon determine your preferred brewing time after using the coffee pot a few times.
When do I take the filter out?
With ARCA X-Tract-Brew there is no need to take the filter out until you are ready to clean it.
Why doesn’t the coffee continue brewing and get stronger if you leave the filter in the pot?
This is the uniqueness of the system. The temperature controls the brewing and extraction. The coffee will continue to brew below 85°C degrees but not enough to significantly spoil the brew.
Why doesn’t the coffee turn bitter?
The coffee does not turn bitter in the ARCA coffee pot since the soluble parts of the ground coffee are not forced out into the drink as they are when using a French press. Also, unlike the drip brewing process, after a short time the coffee does not continue to brew.
How do you clean the ARCA?
Simply shake the grounds out of the filter, and rinse the filter and pot under the tap. Use a detergent and very hot water if necessary. Of course you can clean all parts in the dishwasher.
Is the ARCA X-Tract-Brew dishwasher safe?
Yes – it is glass, porcelain and stainless steel. All in the best quality.
Can the ARCA be microwaved?
No! We decided to close the handle of the jug in order to have it more comfortable when drying. So it’s not allowed to put the jug into the microwave.
Are there spare parts available for the ARCA X-Tract-Brew?
Yes – all parts will be available as spare parts.
Why is the ARCA X-Tract-Brew eco friendly?
Because we don’t use paper filters or any other disposable material such as capsules or plastic. The product will serve you a lifetime, even if you might care for a new filter or lid. So much more to say about that….You’ll find a lot on our webpage.
From what material is ARCA X-Tract-Brew made?
The pot is made from borosilicate glass, the lid is high quality porcelain with a chrome knob and a silicon rim which holds the lid to the filter. The filter is made from (18/8) stainless steel outside and a stainless steel mesh inside.
Are the materials foods safe?
Yes, a laboratory for food safety has tested the materials in accordance to European & FDA standards.
Will I receive further tips on how to brew my coffee in ARCA or how to use it?
Yes, your ARCA comes with instructions for use in three languages English, German and French. In addition, you’ll always be welcome to ask questions via our homepage www.carlhenkel.com or write an e-mail directly to Kirsten and Jürgen: [email protected]
May I use the ARCA on a warmer / candle stove top?
Yes, if you have liquids in the jug. Don’t let it run dry, than the pot may burst.
May I use my ARCA outdoors or for camping?
Yes, we do that very often. You may want to keep the box of the ARCA for protection during travel.
May I use my ARCA for Tea?
Sure, many people do that. The design is intentionally made for coffee and the filter is very narrow. But you may do it. We are offering a special filter for tea which may be a good investment if you want to use your ARCA for both, coffee & tea.
How do you compare ARCA X-Tract-Brew versus paper filter and coffee press methods?
The paper filter drip coffee system specifically recommends the use of ‘paper filter grind.’ Another big negative with this method is that the paper filters ‘over filter’ and some of the best tastes and precious oils remain trapped in the paper itself and thereby limiting the taste of the final beverage – all filter coffee tends to taste the same... the grind size is also specific for paper filter system otherwise, if the grind is too course the water drips through too quickly resulting in under extraction, if too fine the coffee blocks the filter and nothing gets through.
The French press or push pot system is an infusion method. The ground coffee is put into a jug, usually glass; water, at the right temperature, is poured over. Following infusion time, a plunger is pushed down the glass cylinder to trap the ground beans and keep them out of your cup. This method specifically recommends the use of coarsely ground coffee: fine grind will block the filter and pushing down of the plunger will be very difficult or impossible and a blocked filter can also cause a broken glass if pushed too hard. A secondary problem with this method is that the plunger, if pushed too hard which is often the case, will squeeze the unwanted 10% bitterness out of the coffee bean.