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26
Oct

NextLevel Pulsar Brewer Review - Is It Just Another Dripper?

0 commentPost by : Jasmin Tétreault
NextLevel Pulsar Brewer Review - Is It Just Another Dripper?

Elevating coffee with the NextLevel Pulsar Brewer

The coffee brewing universe is always in a state of evolution, with new methods and devices continually pushing the boundaries of what's possible. Currently, a concept is making waves: no-bypass brewing. Forget your traditional pour-over setups; this trend, revitalized by geeky coffee circles and YouTube aficionados, is about gaining control. Behind the Pulsar is a small yet ambitious Kansas-based company called NextLevel Brewer Co.

Overview of the NextLevel Pulsar Brewer

Setting the stage for the Pulsar is NextLevel's initial triumph, the LVL-10 brewer. Now, with the insights of Jonathan Gagné, the Pulsar aims to elevate this even further. The NextLevel Pulsar introduces advanced water control. With its chamber separate from the bed and a true "no-bypass" design, this brewer aims to redefine coffee extraction.

The quality of the build is immediately noticeable; it simply feels better than most drippers out there. Its TPE base, though available in white, can stain over time—but that's a small price to pay for its benefits (the black one is fine). The Pulsar features a unique valve system that allows an unprecedented level of control over flow rate, further expanding your brewing options. 

NextLevel Pulsar

What is No Bypass Brewing?

In coffee brewing, bypass is when water leaks through the filter's wall above the coffee grounds. Conversely, no-bypass brewing designs mean that all the water flows entirely through the coffee bed.

The Science Behind the NextLevel Pulsar Brewer

Co-developed with Jonathan Gagné, an astrophysicist who specializes in coffee science, the Pulsar refines the no-bypass brewing methodology. It features an innovative chamber specifically designed to lock the filter into place, thereby ensuring a full, unobstructed flow of water through the coffee grounds.

The valve opens up an array of possibilities for how you brew your coffee. While it doesn't offer consistent flow-rate adjustments, it serves as an on/off switch that can create various combinations of immersion and percolation. This allows for immense versatility, letting you use almost any grind size you prefer.

Brewing with the NextLevel Pulsar

The Pulsar stands out for its control features, including a valve that enables a more efficient steeped bloom. This design versatility opens the door to limitless brewing combinations.

Pulsar Benefits

  • Flow Control: Achieve complete control over agitation and flow rate, and retain water during the blooming phase effortlessly.
  • Diffused Pouring: The specially designed dispersion cap guarantees uniform wetting of coffee grounds.
  • High Versatility: With its valve and "no bypass" feature, the combinations of immersion and percolation are limitless.
  • No Water Bypass: Control your coffee strength with brew ratios, eliminating guesswork.
  • Heat Retention: The thermal stable plastic and dispersion cap keep the slurry temperature high.
  • Tea Brewing: Yes, it's even good for 'steep-and-release' tea brewing!

NextLevel Pulsar Paper Lock

NextLevel Pulsar Recipe

The Pulsar shines with its adaptability. You use pretty much any grind size and optimize your brewing method for enhanced extraction accordingly. For those after a crisp, acidic cup, the recipe using a 1:17 coffee-to-water ratio is your go-to.

Recipe Details

  • Dose: 20g of coffee
  • Water for Brewing: 340g
  • Final Beverage Size: 295g
  • Grind Size: 800 – 1,000 microns

Brewing Instructions

  1. Preparation: Use a dry filter and place it in the brewer. Close the valve and add your coffee grounds.
  2. Start: Initiate the bloom phase by pouring 60g of water over the coffee grounds, ideally using the Wet Weiss Distribution Technique (WWDT) for uniform wetting.
  3. 0:30 – 1:00: Open the flow valve to begin the brewing process.
  4. Pouring Technique: Target the center of the cap and execute multiple pours. The aim is to maintain a water column height between 3 and 1 centimeter above the coffee bed. Continue pouring until you reach the total water volume of 340g.
  5. Total Brew Time (TBT): Aim for a brew time between 4:00 and 5:00 minutes, adjusting depending on your coffee and grind size.

While this recipe serves as a good starting point, the beauty of coffee-making is in the experimentation. From my tests, a shorter bloom makes for a clearer cup while a longer bloom makes for a sweeter cup

NextLevel Pulsar Brewing

What Is The Difference Between Pulsar and LVL 10?

The NextLevel Pulsar, with a 7.7cm inner diameter allows you to brew less coffee than the 9.5cm LVL-10. The Pulsar also features a flow control valve for immersion brewing and uses TPE material with vanes for filter support, unlike the LVL-10’s hexagonal insert. The new Tritan cylinder marks volumes up to 400ml.

Final Thoughts

The Pulsar from NextLevel is designed for those committed to no-bypass brewing methods. It offers flexibility in design and is constructed with high-quality materials. While the valve's precision could be improved, it remains an excellent brewing device

No-bypass brewing is more than just a trend; it's a substantial step forward in the coffee brewing game. And with devices like the NextLevel Pulsar Brewer, it's clear that this brewing method has a bright future.

If you are interested in the Pulsar, it is available for you in our store.

NextLevel Pulsar Brewer - Variable Flow-Rate Dripper $89.00

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NextLevel Pulsar Brewer - Variable Flow-Rate Dripper

With the help of astrophysicist Jonathan Gagné, NextLevel developed a new brewer, the Pulsar. Jonathan suggested adding a variable flow-rate valve as well as several other small modifications to the LVL-10!