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Interview: Ask Alan Adler About Flying Toys and the Perfect Cup of Coffee 76

Posted by samzenpus
from the ask-me-anything dept.
When he's not lecturing at Stanford or NASA, Alan Adler is working on brewing the perfect cup of coffee and engineering flying toys. His AeroPress is one of the most popular coffee brewing systems available and one of his Aerobie Pro Rings set the world record for the farthest thrown object at 1,333 feet. Alan has agreed to sit down and answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.
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Interview: Ask Alan Adler About Flying Toys and the Perfect Cup of Coffee

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  • Aerobie Drones? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday December 16, 2013 @01:46PM (#45705363) Homepage Journal

    After reading the article about the Aerobie setting a world record as the farthest flying thrown object in human history (uber-neat, BTW), I wondered: Do you think there's any way that such a design would work as a small drone platform? Perhaps something that can be thrown from the hand, then perpetuate flight at least semi-autonomously?

  • Cafestol? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday December 16, 2013 @01:59PM (#45705483) Journal

    I love french press coffee, but drink paper filtered drip because cafestol [wikipedia.org] present in coffee oils increases blood cholesterol. Unfortunately, those coffee oils are delicous so I lose a lot of the flavor as well.

    I see the Aeropress is a french press like device, but uses paper filters. Doesn't using a paper filter remove most of the flavorful coffee oils you'd get from using a french press? If the Aeropress lets more of those oils through, does it also let more cafestol through?

    Graphs with scales labeled in the appropriate units and measures of uncertainty(error bars) would be highly appreciated.

  • by MonkeyDancer (797523) on Monday December 16, 2013 @02:04PM (#45705533)

    The Aerobie Pro Ring is one of the best skill toy inventions ever created.
    Can you tell us about the physics and engineering challenges that you had to overcome to break the world record?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16, 2013 @04:53PM (#45707553)

    I believe before this decade is out America should produce a device that shoots water through coffee at a controlled temperature and pressure. I believe it should be possible to disassemble and clean it much as you would a firearm. I believe it should cost less than $100, and be manufactured here. I don't care if the robots that manufacture it are made in China; but I want it made here for quality control purposes and I want the beverage contact surfaces to be stainless steel or some other metallic surface that doesn't contain lead, plastic, or other questionable materials. It should use no consumable items other than coffee, water, and fuel. I should not have to buy another one after just a few years. It should show up in antique shops 100 years from now, like the counter-mountable meat grinder I saw a few months ago.

    Milk frothing is not a requirement. Milk is for children.

    I don't think I'm asking too much, and yes, the "I believe" format of this request is a take-off on Kennedy's Moon speech.

    Do you think it will ever be possible to do such a thing?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16, 2013 @05:58PM (#45708301)

    Question: Have you considered a modified Aeropress that uses a lever to press the hot water through such that a true espresso extraction with real crema would be possible. Would a stock Aeropress be able to with stand the 12 bars of pressure .....any thoughts or research you've done on this topic would be interesting. Thanks!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16, 2013 @05:59PM (#45708313)

    Do you think there's a possibility of making a version of the Aeropress out of something other than plastic? I love my Aeropress but often wonder whether pouring near-boiling water into a plastic tube every day is all that healthy for me. (I've got one of the old blue-tinted ones; I suppose I should look into whether the colour change in the newer models was due to a move away from BPA plastic...)

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