Stagg X pour-over review, experience

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
Acavia

#1: Post by Acavia »

Note: I typically brew ~22g to 25g coffee at 17:1 water ratio. For people who do smaller brews and/or lower water ratios, you might not have some of these drawbacks.

First, I did not find a coffee, that I had brewed 8 days in a row with a Kalita Wave 185 glass, better when brewing with Stagg X. My first Stagg X brew was the same - I am certain I would not be able to blindly tell you which was which between it and Kalita Wave brews. The other Stagg X brew was a little more bitter than the Kalita brews which never had bitterness.

Coffee would have to be noticeably better for me to want to use the Stagg X because in my experiences it is much more cumbersome. Perhaps these are only my negatives and others do not have them, or overcame them.

Negatives for me:

1. Size - too small for consistent brewing for medium to large pour-over brews.

25g of coffee is pushing it, and is either its limit or above its limit. With 25g of coffee and 17:1 water ratio, I can easily do a two pour after bloom method with a Kalita Wave 185 and a 02 V60. With a Stagg X one would have to do three pours and that is to very top and almost full draw-down between them.

That opens brews up to inconsistency in my view and harder to control kettle temperature. I keep my kettle temperature at 209F for my Kalita and V60 brews. It is easy to do, even using a stove as heating source, since the workflow of two pours is so consistent with both - I know exactly when to place and remove the kettle with consistent timing of my pours with both. This opens up the Stagg X brews to inconsistency and gives away its heat retention advantage since the kettle temperature is harder to control.

2) More involved work flow - small size makes the provided funnel necessary to pour coffee grinds into it.

Having to use the funnel to put your grind into it is awkward to me. You have to remember to place the funnel over it before taring you scale, or your measurement of coffee grounds would be off. You could weigh your coffee grounds first but some of the grind will likely stick to the container holding your grinds so that would not be accurate for the grinds poured into the Stagg X.

3) Folds of filter compress inconsistently likely causing inconsistent brews.

(I used Kalita Wave 185 filters in it that many reviewers recommend for it. Perhaps the more expensive and thicker Stagg filters would not do this.) When pre-heating/rinsing the filter and dripper before brewing, some of the folds of the filter collapsed. Sometimes one, sometimes more. This leads to a inconsistent inner area. I guess you could press all of them down for consistency, but that would be very involved, making the workflow even more complicated.

4) Small size makes spinning between pours or at end (i.e. the Rao spin) hard to do.

With its small size, and faster drain, it is very hard for me to do a spin between pours as the water is near the top and will slosh over the sides of the filter causing massive by-pass and possibly putting grit into the brewed coffee. Not being able to spin, likely lowers extraction and increases risk of channeling.

5) Does not fit regular carafes well.

When I placed it on my Hario carafe that I easily use for both Kalita Wave and V60, I could tell it would not work because it made a perfect seal around the carafe's lips lower than the spout so there would have been a vacuum issue pushing against the exiting water from the brew, so I had to improvise placing the Stagg X into an empty V60 02 and then placing that setup on the carafe.

So in using the Stagg X one would have to improvise as I did which would make it more cumbersome, or get the Stagg carafe which is expensive and from reviews I read it does not sit level every time, or get some kind of brace, like the V60 olivewood brace, to place around bottom of Stagg X to use it with other carafes easily.

Ejquin

#2: Post by Ejquin »

I've been using the Stagg X almost exclusively for a while now, and I like my brews better than other pour over devices, but there are some modifications you need to make in my opinion. I use a dispersion screen at the bottom to prevent the filter from sagging into the holes. Also, I use the Stagg X filters but I press down the folds to suction them to the sides. This is definitely more involved, but it makes the brew better, so I deal with it. There are people who have used V60 filters and forced them in, but I prefer folding the Stagg filters. Also, I've seen people fit the cafec trapezoid filters in with a little additional folding.

Finally, I use more pours. I do the bloom and then 4 additional pours. More pours will equal more extraction generally. The problem with most other brewers is they aren't insulated so you lose a lot of heat with repeated pours. With the Stagg, it's insulated and you can take advantage of that by using more pours. Also, having a kettle with a hold feature like the Stagg kettle helps because you can just place the kettle back on the base in between pours and it will heat up.

I do agree it is tougher to swirl unless you can find some other base to put it on. I put my whole brewing contraption on a lazy Susan and use that to swirl.


So, yeah, it takes some work and modifications to get the best out of, which I get many people wouldn't want to put up with. But, if you are willing, I think it's great.

Acavia (original poster)

#3: Post by Acavia (original poster) »

Ejquin wrote:
So, yeah, it takes some work and modifications to get the best out of, which I get many people wouldn't want to put up with. But, if you are willing, I think it's great.
I would if it made noticeably better coffee, but it has not so far - I know I would not be able to pick it out of a blind taste test. I might try more pours to see if better.

Going from Kalita Wave to it was shocking in amount of effort it took. Something I noticed, that I do not see other mentions, about the Kalita Wave coming from daily V60 brewing, is how easy a Kaliat is to use. Just being able to take a filter out and plop it into a Kalita Wave, versus taking a V60 filter out, pressing its seam down and opening it and having to make sure the bottom opens up after pressing down the seam, is a big boon for the Kalita Wave. The Stagg allows that also but adds so many more steps.

Acavia (original poster)

#4: Post by Acavia (original poster) »

Ejquin wrote:I've been using the Stagg X almost exclusively for a while now, and I like my brews better than other pour over devices
Do you feel confident you would be able to pick it out of a blind taste test from other brew methods? That question might seem argumentative but I am sincerely wondering if it is that noticeable for people who like it.

Ejquin

#5: Post by Ejquin »

Acavia wrote:Do you feel confident you would be able to pick it out of a blind taste test from other brew methods?
I think so. I sometimes will switch back to V60s for a bit and I taste the difference. I measure extraction and I know I get higher extractions consistently with the Stagg, which to me is mainly due to the flat bottom resulting in less bypass and the insulation leading to higher slurry temps.

Acavia (original poster)

#6: Post by Acavia (original poster) » replying to Ejquin »

What extraction percentages do you get between V60 and Stagg X?

Ejquin

#7: Post by Ejquin »

With the stagg I like the brews around 21% - 22% generally (that's with no adjustment for moisture or CO2). Those are really good tasting. With the v60 When I get to 21 ish those brews taste astringent.

Acavia (original poster)

#8: Post by Acavia (original poster) »

Do you know a carafe to use? Although it works, I do not like using the Stagg X in a Chemex as it is bulky, and the Stagg X seals around all my other carafes. Does it fit any traditional carafes?

Ejquin

#9: Post by Ejquin »

No, that's an issue. You can peel the rubber gasket off the bottom of the stagg which gives you some more room to swirl, but it's not enough to swirl effectively with most carafes unless you find something to sit the stagg in above the carafe like the olive wood v60 holder you mentioned before.

daustin777
Supporter ♡

#10: Post by daustin777 »

I use the Stagg X with Hario carafes. The fit is perfect. I use the insulated carafe as well as the glass carafe.

Also, I use a mesh at the bottom of the Stagg.

I haven't tried it yet but some people are using v60 filters in the Stagg. https://coffeeadastra.com/2020/12/09/br ... x-dripper/
David Austin