Depending on your favored brewing method, it can be difficult making high-quality coffee consistently. So, perhaps you struggle to get the perfect flavor in your pour-over, or you want to find a way to make a great-tasting coffee but with fewer grounds.
One possible solution could be the Tricolate coffee brewer, a unique device suitable for any home barista regardless of experience. This hands-on Tricolate review will examine the pros and cons of the brewer, so you’ll have a good idea of whether it’s the right one for you.
What Is A Tricolate Brewer?
The Tricolate is a filter coffee brewer designed and built in Australia. Many pour-over coffee brewers have water bypassing issues, which the brewer seeks to solve by producing coffee with a high extraction.
Tricolate brewer automates the flow rate and agitation to reduce the risk of channeling, thanks to a well-thought-out design, promising to produce consistent and beautiful coffee easily.
The first thing to strike you about the Tricolate is its unique design – it’s a cylindrical brewer with a dispersion screen at the top.
The Tricolate coffee brewer is built from clear plastic. However, while this admittedly looks cheap, it is Tritan plastic, which is stronger, clearer, more scratch-proof and dishwasher resistant than other plastic-built coffee makers. Meanwhile, there are three colors – clear, amber, and blue.
What Sets Tricolate Apart From Other Devices?
Not surprisingly, the Tricolate isn’t anywhere near as aesthetically pleasing as many other brewers, such as the Chemex. However, if you can get past the look, several elements make the Tricolate stand apart from others. After all, this is a brewer designed for performance rather than aesthetics. Thankfully, it delivers in many ways.
No Bypassing Brewing
Water bypassing is common in many drippers, especially cone-shaped ones, including the Hario V60 and Chemex.
Bypassing is when brewing water above the coffee bed escapes through the gap between the paper filter and the ridges of the brewer’s interior wall, meaning it has minimal contact with the grounds. Once that water drains below the level of the grounds, it offers nothing in the extraction process, which leads to a lower extraction rate than that offered by other pour-over brewers.
The Tricolate has a cylindrical brew chamber and a flat filter at the base. This means that all the water must first contact and then pass through the grounds, leading to better extraction. Not only that, but the precision pouring accessories ensure even extraction for every particle.
The chamber is large, at 80mm in diameter, while the vertical walls greatly increase the surface area, reducing the depth of the coffee bed for a given dose. This lets all coffee contact with water, resulting in a far more even extraction.
As to what a better extraction offers, you will find it means you can use less coffee but still enjoy a robust flavor, which is preferable depending on the roasts or beans you’re using.
Consistent Coffee Taste
Many elements affect the final flavor of the coffee, including brewing temperature, grind size, ratio, agitation, and brew time. In addition, when brewing a pour-over, other factors come into play to affect the extraction, including pouring height, speed, and flow rate.
The thoughtfully engineered shower head controls the pouring to disperse water evenly at a fixed and steady flow rate. Of course, if you’re using the same beans and grind size, your coffee will be the same every time. It also means that you won’t need a gooseneck kettle for accuracy while using the Tricolate, thanks to the shower screen.
Overall, it’s a precise brewing system that removes water bypassing and guarantees accuracy, resulting in a higher extraction and more consistent results.
Ease Of Use
Brewing coffee using the Tricolate is significantly easier than other pour-over coffee makers as it’s a finely tuned brewing system.
The shower head offers a consistent height and flow rate, eliminating uneven input. That means you can simply pour in your boiling water and let it take care of the rest. After doing so, the water will optimally drop onto the coffee bed at the best temperature. As we mentioned earlier, you won’t need a gooseneck kettle or any other pouring technique to achieve the same results each time. In short, the design means that water bypassing will be eliminated, and so do many brewing variables.
Cleaning the Tricolate coffee brewer is also straightforward. After use, simply empty the grounds and give it a rinse. To clean it more deeply, you can remove the filter to access the harder-to-reach parts.
Overall, the Tricolate is one of the easiest brewers to use and maintain.
What’s Included In The Box?
The Tricolate brewer is packed well in a black carry case with a Kraken design on the lid, adding a unique design element.
The brewer also comes with 100 paper filters, manufactured in Germany, with a more consistent pore structure and promise to leave less paper taint on the brewer.
Tricolate vs Other Coffee Brewers
Tricolate vs AeroPress
Technically, AeroPress and other flat bed brewers alike have already solved the water bypassing issue. Originally, the AeroPress was designed to make very robust coffee in a short time by applying pressure.
However, it is a versatile coffee maker, and some coffee enthusiasts use a Melodrip to turn it into a smaller version of the Tricolate coffee brewer. While this is fun and useful to try, the AeroPress has a smaller surface area and filter size than the Tricolate, which can affect the extraction rate and, ultimately, the flavor.
Tricolate vs Hario V60
The Hario V60 is the most popular pour-over dripper. However, inexperienced baristas often make inconsistent coffee because of the uneven input, as you need a steady hand to maintain a steady flow rate while pouring. There is also the bypassing issue to consider, meaning a 1:15 to 1:18 coffee-to-water ratio is best for the pour overs, which equates to more coffee for a similar extraction to the Tricolate.
Regarding flavor, we conducted some blind tests and still preferred the Hario V60 coffee on some tests as they’re more complex and aromatic – a timely reminder that high extraction doesn’t always lead to better coffee.
Value For Money
The Tricolate is not a cheap brewer and is more expensive than the Hario V60, Kalita Wave, and Chemex. However, you can save money elsewhere.
For example, you won’t need a gooseneck kettle with the Tricolate, whereas you will for the others. Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll use less coffee with the Tricolate, so you’ll save money over time. So, you can make an 8oz cup of coffee with only 10g of finely ground coffee. However, using another dripper for the same size cup of coffee, you’d need around 15g of finely ground coffee.
You can attempt many recipes with the Tricolate, but this one is well worth trying.
- 1 Tricolate coffee maker 1 piece of paper filter
- 1 Kettle
- 1 Kitchen Scale
- 15 grams coffee grounds medium fine grinds
- 270 grames boiling water
- Weigh out 15g of coffee and grind them a little finer than you would for pour-over.
- Drop in your paper filter and pour boiling water to flatten it.
- Put the grounds into the brewing chamber and shake it to level out the grounds.
- Attach the shower head, and you're ready to brew. Pour in 30g of water, swirl it and leave it to bloom for around 45 seconds. This ensures a flat brew bed, saturating all the grounds to assist extraction.
- Pour in the remaining water, swirl again and leave it to drain. Depending on the coffee roast and grind size, this will take around five minutes.
- Enjoy your drink.
The Tricolate may not be the most aesthetically pleasing coffee brewer, but if it’s all about the performance for you, it’s a coffee maker that’s well worth considering.
While the Tricolate coffee brewer is more expensive than many other pour-over makers, it makes more efficient use of your coffee, saving you money in the long run. Not only that, but it’s incredibly easy to use, meaning you won’t need professional barista skills to make great coffee, and you can save more money as you won’t need to buy a gooseneck kettle.
It’s debatable whether the coffee the Tricolate produces is better than the Hario V60, but it offers plenty of room to experiment. If you want pour-over coffee without the waste and without the technique needed to master the craft, the Tricolate is an excellent option to consider.