The Gabi Master A dripper has been around for a couple of years now. In 2016 the Gabi Master A was introduced to the coffee market and created a miniature revolution. Why? Because The Gabi Master A made it possible to brew with a consistency like never before.
READ THE UPDATE BELOW THE VERDICT!
The Gabi Master A: Background information.
At the end of the 19th century, Emperor Gojong was said to have become an aficionado of coffee since he first tasted coffee at the Russian Pavilion at Aguan Pacheon. That coffee was called Gabicha by the local people and the word has never left the Korean culture ever since.
100 years after coffee has been introduced in Korea, Korean coffee technology has developed a lot. With the development of The Gabi Master A, a unique coffee drip mechanism was introduced to Korea in its 100-year coffee history.
The reason behind the creation of The Gabi Master A is a simple one; the people behind the dripper wanted everybody to enjoy drip coffee, even the people who are just beginning to discover the drip coffees. But how would that be possible when there are so many variables in brewing pour-over coffee? The pouring technique, water temperature, the ratio, grind size etc. It was time to take away some variables that are really hard to control as a beginner: the even wetting of the coffee, the pouring and the extraction of the brew. In cooperation with Glowbeans, The Gabi was developed into a dripper that will do all of the things mentioned above. The development of The Gabi Master A dripper began in 2013 and was finished in 2016. Although this dripper is a huge hit among the users, the dripper is not as widely known as for example the Aeropress etc. Time to change that.
The Gabi: How does it work?
The Master A is a dripper that consists out of 4 elements:
1: The Multi
2: The filter cup
3: The water dispersion device
4: The water chamber
- The Multi is a ring that supports the dripper when placing it on top of a pitcher, glass etc. The surface contains a couple of air vents that will prevent the dripper from forming a vacuum inside the container.
- The filter cup is somewhat the same as a kalita and uses the same filters. This is cup will hold the filter and ground coffee and has two holes in the bottom to let the coffee through.
- The water dispersion device is where the magic happens. This device has 16 equally divided holes that will disperse the water evenly, equally and with the same speed so the coffee grounds get wet evenly.
This also ensures that there is no channeling, nor over/under extraction of one part of the coffee,
- The water chamber is a 150ml chamber that will let the water flow into the dispersion device through one hole. The way the chamber was developed will prevent the water from flowing into the dispersion device too fast.
The Master A dripper is a pour-over dripper that uses nothing more than gravity and ingenious technology to create a consistent brew over and over. The way it works is this:
The water that you pour into the water chamber (max. 150ml at a time) will slowly fill up the water dispersion device. A chamber that contains 16 carefully placed holes through which the water will drip onto the coffee grounds in the filter cup below. The streams of water will wet the grounds in such a way that every part of the coffee grounds will get the same amount of water per second throughout the brewing process. The filtercup will then let the water flow into the coffee container, creating a super sweet and clean brew.
The Gabi: The testing.
When taking the Master A out of the trendy white package you will find it inside a modern arty case. This hard plastic case looks a little like a diamond and is especially designed to store the dripper when packed properly. Take a good look at how the dripper is packed since there is only one way to get it back inside the plastic casing. unfortunately there were no filters inside the package in my case, but that could have been bad luck on my end. After taking it out, it’s time to set up the dripper. Place the elements on top of each other, starting with the multi and then make your way up: filter cup (put the filter inside and rinse it), dispersion device, water chamber. It is now time to brew!
The Master A and the recipe’s
The Gabi Master A comes with several recipes in the manual that you can try out. To try these recipes is fun and will make you familiar with the drippers mechanics. There are 4 recipes that range from super strong to light. What stands out when you read the recipes is the time of brewing. It will take you about 3 to 4 minutes to get brew out of the Master A. Don’t worry, this will in no way affect the brew in a bad way.
After trying out these recipes you can experiment with your own recipe’s. The fun part of The Gabi Master A is that the only thing you need to worry about is the grind size, ratio and in a way about the temperature. The water temperature will be cooler when the coffee drips into the container because of the delayed brewing time the dripper ensures. I recommend starting at 96 degrees Celsius when brewing.
Brewing with the Master A
After setting up the brewer and putting the ground coffee in the filter I was ready to brew. When looking at the set-up I noticed that blooming would be a thing I needed to work around. I decided not to bloom and start brewing like the recipe said. It worked like a charm and I finished brewing at 3.50 sec. What I tasted was nothing short of amazing. The brew was clean and super sweet and I wonder what it would have been like if I bloomed the brew beforehand. I have brewed with the dripper on a regular basis now and each and every time the brews are amazing. The one and only downside I could find about The Gabi Master A: blooming.
One downside of the Master A: Blooming.
I’m a guy who likes to have control over the variables. So weight and time are one the most important things in brewing to me. When setting up the Master A, you will get a certain weight on your scale. This is the total weight of the Master A assembled with the ground coffee. In order to bloom, you will have to take off the water chamber and dispersion chamber. Now you will have a negative weight on your scale. In order to bloom, you must remember the negative weight and add e.g. 30gr water for blooming. start the timer, stack the water chamber and dispersion chamber on top and you should have a plus 30gr on the scale. This isn’t high science but it’s a little troublesome to do. nothing more, nothing less.
The Gabi Master A: The verdict.
There is a lot to say about the Master A dripper and most of it is purely positive. This dripper is so forgiving that even a beginner can brew great coffee right from the start. There is no need to worry about channeling, pouring and believe me, even the time of brewing is hard to screw up. The design is great and the materials used are all environmentally friendly. The cleaning of the dripper is also super easy, just rinse it off.
The only downside (if you can call it that) is the measuring of the weight if you want to bloom the coffee beforehand. Granted, the coffee tastes great without blooming, but it still tastes better if you do.
As a purist I might even say that brewing with The Gabi Master A is a little boring…but is that even a bad thing?
I am really amazed at the creativeness behind this brewer and I salute The Gabi/Glowbeans for their creativity.
If you’re looking for a great brewer, one that will give you a consistent good brew over and over…this is it.
Update on the verdict:
Although the above mentioned review is still a review that I fully support, things have come to light due to recent events. Things that I feel I need to tell you BEFORE you buy this product.
While I was using the Gabi Master A dripper for a review, a crack appeared all the way through the brewer. This rendered the brewer totally useless.
This happened when I poured in water of 93 degrees celsius and it appeared out of nowhere. There was nothing wrong with the dripper before that.
I contacted Gabi and explained them about the sitaution. They told me to go to the seller of the dripper (as is usual). The seller then told me that Gabi said that this was NOT, and I repeat NOT, a fabrication error and that there was NO warranty. I tried contacting Gabi but they would not respond to my complaint, not even Anthony Kang (CEO of Gabi).
Thew dripper was only 9 months old and as soon as I posted about this situation on social media, it appears that there were more people suffering from this exact same problem. A crack along the dripper. One follower told me he was already on his third brewer without replacement.
So BEFORE you consider buying the Gabi Master A dripper, ask yourself if you want to spend roughly 30 to 40 Euro’s/Dollar on a dripper that can break at any given moment…and will not be replaced! For me, this was the first and last time I will ever brew with the Gabi Master A Dripper. So if you would ask me if I would recommend buying this brewer…I would tell you I wouldn’t be able to do that.
Did you suffer from this problem as well? Leave a comment in the comment section below!
Wow.. that’s one way to kill off a product. I have watched a review about the master B and just visually in the video saw the cracks.. (see here: https://youtu.be/6p5ZAQ_bhgA?t=32 around the holes). Seems pretty obvious that this is an issue with the materials used.
It wouldnt have been the case if they just aknowledged the design flaw. Im not the only one who experiences this flaw, as you pointed out yourself, so thats why Im so harsch on this brewer. Mind you that the brewing results are still very, very good!
Thanks for this revealing description of this coffee brewing system. Although I have brewed with this device without cracking or breakage (as of yet) I have found another flaw, and that is with the filters. The replacement filters that I recently purchased through Amazon (an labelled as Gabi filters) have been changed (in two ways actually):
1) the filter is larger so it no longer fits well inside the Gabi receptacle
2) the filter is more flimsy so that it buckles and collapse during the brew
This second flaw is very serious in that the original premise of the Gabi has been undermined with this updated filter….and the resulting taste has be undermined.