This Portable Coffee Machine Makes Cold Brew in Four Minutes Flat

Taveesaksri, iStock / Getty Images Plus
Taveesaksri, iStock / Getty Images Plus

If you've ever made cold brew coffee at home, you know that though it's an easy process, it takes a long time. Like, really long. But what if your craving for a refreshing glass of iced coffee wasn’t immediately dashed away by the realization that, if you wanted cold brew, you would’ve had to start making it at least 12 hours ago?

With the G-Presso, you’ll never have to feel that disappointment again. The innovative coffeemaker, available now on Kickstarter, uses a gyro-pressed extraction method to transform your water and coffee grounds into summer’s hottest cold drink in an impressive four minutes flat.

All you have to do is add coffee grounds (a fine grind will create a bold, intense flavor, while a medium grind will give you more mild coffee) and up to five cups of water. Then press the power button on top of the machine and watch the G-Presso work its magic.

Here’s how it does it: The porous container with the coffee grounds inside spins rapidly, while the water above filters through it. The pressure created by the centrifugal force releases the coffee’s full-body sweetness and flavor in a fraction of the time it would take for that process to happen on its own. Your coffee will also be topped with a rich crema, similar to what you see on top of an espresso shot (which you don’t normally get with regular cold brew).

You might think that such a fast-paced, energy-filled process would generate a lot of noise, but the developers at Camfron Co. wanted to make sure they didn’t ruin your tranquil summer mornings (or afternoons) with a buzzsaw-esque whirring, so they created a noise-blocking silicon pad for the G-Presso to sit on.

The G-Presso is powered by three AAA batteries, making it perfect for bringing to a friend’s house, on vacation, or anywhere else you might need a cool, caffeinated pick-me-up but don't have room for a full-on coffee machine. For cold weather or frigid apartments, you can certainly opt for hot coffee instead—just use boiling water.

But you don’t have to limit your choices to cold or hot coffee. The G-Presso comes with a milk whisk that magnetically connects to the detachable control stick from the water container, giving you the ability to froth your way to the latte of your dreams.

Prices for the G-Presso start at $64 (which includes one machine, one extra basket, and 90 grams of ground coffee) for August delivery. You can view additional buying options on Kickstarter.

While you wait for your G-Presso to arrive, check out some other home-brewing coffee hacks here. And if you plan on drinking a lot of cold brew this summer, you may want to invest in a tumbler and reusable straws to make your coffee addiction a little more eco-friendly.

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Really Fast Food: The 10 Fastest Drive-Thru Restaurants

booker5m/iStock via Getty Images
booker5m/iStock via Getty Images

Drive-thru restaurant service is getting slower—at least, that’s what a study from QSR Magazine seems to suggest.

According to data gathered from 1503 visits to fast food restaurants around the country, drive-thru service in 2019 takes about 20 seconds longer than it did in 2018. From the time customers pull up to the speaker to the time they arrive at the order window, they spend an average of 255 seconds waiting for their food.

That could be due in part to the rise of mobile ordering, QSR reports. Many fast food chains are still grappling with how to best incorporate mobile orders into their regular business plans. On top of that, menu items are getting more inventive, more high-quality, and more complicated for employees to prepare.

“We know we’ve got very complex menu items, and our guests are demanding those, so we have to make sure that the engine that we build in our kitchen is able to execute them in a very efficient way,” John Kelly, the chief operating officer of Arby’s, said.

That said, here are the 10 speediest fast food restaurants in the United States, ranked by average length of service.

  1. Dunkin’ Donuts (216.75 seconds)

  1. Wendy’s (230.38 seconds)

  1. Burger King (235.48 seconds)

  1. Taco Bell (240.38 seconds)

  1. Carl’s Jr. (240.51 seconds)

  1. KFC (243.73 seconds)

  1. Arby’s (263.46 seconds)

  1. Hardee’s (266.34 seconds)

  1. McDonald’s (284.05 seconds)

  1. Chick-fil-A (322.98 seconds)

The Gooey History of the Fluffernutter Sandwich

bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

Open any pantry in New England and chances are you’ll find at least one jar of Marshmallow Fluff. Not just any old marshmallow crème, but Fluff; the one manufactured by Durkee-Mower of Lynn, Massachusetts since 1920, and the preferred brand of the northeast. With its familiar red lid and classic blue label, it's long been a favorite guilty pleasure and a kitchen staple beloved throughout the region.

This gooey, spreadable, marshmallow-infused confection is used in countless recipes and found in a variety of baked goods—from whoopie pies and Rice Krispies Treats to chocolate fudge and beyond. And in the beyond lies perhaps the most treasured concoction of all: the Fluffernutter sandwich—a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and, you guessed it, Fluff. No jelly required. Or wanted.

 

There are several claims to the origin of the sandwich. The first begins with Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere—or, not Paul exactly, but his great-great-great-grandchildren Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Massachusetts. Both siblings were highly intelligent and forward-thinkers, and Amory was even accepted into MIT. But when the family couldn’t afford to send him, he founded a Boston-based company in the 1890s that specialized in soda fountain equipment.

He sold the business in 1901 and used the proceeds to buy the entire east side of Crystal Street in Melrose. Soon after he built a house and, in his basement, he created a marshmallow spread known as Snowflake Marshmallow Crème (later called SMAC), which actually predated Fluff. By the early 1910s, the Curtis Marshmallow Factory was established and Snowflake became the first commercially successful shelf-stable marshmallow crème.

Although other companies were manufacturing similar products, it was Emma who set the Curtis brand apart from the rest. She had a knack for marketing and thought up many different ways to popularize their marshmallow crème, including the creation of one-of-a-kind recipes, like sandwiches that featured nuts and marshmallow crème. She shared her culinary gems in a weekly newspaper column and radio show. By 1915, Snowflake was selling nationwide.

During World War I, when Americans were urged to sacrifice meat one day a week, Emma published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow crème sandwich. She named her creation the "Liberty Sandwich," as a person could still obtain his or her daily nutrients while simultaneously supporting the wartime cause. Some have pointed to Emma’s 1918 published recipe as the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter, but the earliest recipe mental_floss can find comes from three years prior. In 1915, the confectioners trade journal Candy and Ice Cream published a list of lunch offerings that candy shops could advertise beyond hot soup. One of them was the "Mallonut Sandwich," which involved peanut butter and "marshmallow whip or mallo topping," spread on lightly toasted whole wheat bread.

 

Another origin story comes from Somerville, Massachusetts, home to entrepreneur Archibald Query. Query began making his own version of marshmallow crème and selling it door-to-door in 1917. Due to sugar shortages during World War I, his business began to fail. Query quickly sold the rights to his recipe to candy makers H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower in 1920. The cost? A modest $500 for what would go on to become the Marshmallow Fluff empire.

Although the business partners promoted the sandwich treat early in the company’s history, the delicious snack wasn’t officially called the Fluffernutter until the 1960s, when Durkee-Mower hired a PR firm to help them market the sandwich, which resulted in a particularly catchy jingle explaining the recipe.

So who owns the bragging rights? While some anonymous candy shop owner was likely the first to actually put the two together, Emma Curtis created the early precursors and brought the concept to a national audience, and Durkee-Mower added the now-ubiquitous crème and catchy name. And the Fluffernutter has never lost its popularity.

In 2006, the Massachusetts state legislature spent a full week deliberating over whether or not the Fluffernutter should be named the official state sandwich. On one side, some argued that marshmallow crème and peanut butter added to the epidemic of childhood obesity. The history-bound fanatics that stood against them contended that the Fluffernutter was a proud culinary legacy. One state representative even proclaimed, "I’m going to fight to the death for Fluff." True dedication, but the bill has been stalled for more than a decade despite several revivals and subsequent petitions from loyal fans.

But Fluff lovers needn’t despair. There’s a National Fluffernutter Day (October 8) for hardcore fans, and the town of Somerville, Massachusetts still celebrates its Fluff pride with an annual What the Fluff? festival.

 

"Everyone feels like Fluff is part of their childhood," said self-proclaimed Fluff expert and the festival's executive director, Mimi Graney, in an interview with Boston Magazine. "Whether born in the 1940s or '50s, or '60s, or later—everyone feels nostalgic for Fluff. I think New Englanders in general have a particular fondness for it."

A Fluffernutter sandwich
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

Today, the Fluffernutter sandwich is as much of a part of New England cuisine as baked beans or blueberry pie. While some people live and die by the traditional combination, the sandwich now comes in all shapes and sizes, with the addition of salty and savory toppings as a favorite twist. Wheat bread is as popular as white, and many like to grill their sandwiches for a touch of bistro flair. But don't ask a New Englander to swap out their favorite brand of marshmallow crème. That’s just asking too Fluffing much.

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