Brew Notes (again)

  • Beans: Lost Dog “Mocha Sidamo” (dark roast)
  • 20 grams coffee, 260 grams water (1:13 ratio)
  • French press
  • Gooseneck kettle
  1. Preheat French press
  2. Heat brew water to 85°C
  3. Coarse grind (JX setting: 3 rotations + 4 clicks or 94 total clicks)
  4. Start timer and pour at the same time
  5. 60 second bloom (including pour time)
  6. Stir a few seconds until grounds settle
  7. Steep 6 minutes

I never thought I’d get to a point where I drink more than one cup of coffee a day, but lately I’ve been drinking two (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) mainly because I’m experimenting with so many different beans and recipes to find out what I like. I have had these beans for a couple of months, and I think I tried them in the French press soon after I bought the bag, but I didn’t take any notes here about how it turned out. This is my “standard” French press recipe, with the temperature knocked down to 85 for dark roast.

Two observations: #1, this was not nearly as strong-tasting a cup as the light roast that I brewed in the French press yesterday with the same parameters. It was good, but I bet it would be better at 1:11 or even 1:10. Next time, I’ll try using less water for a smaller but stronger cup. #2: With the lower initial water temperature and the long steep time, it wasn’t a very hot cup. It will lose even more heat if I brew with less water. I read somewhere where there’s less to extract out of dark roasted beans, so it may be that 6 minutes is longer than it needs to steep. I may try cutting back to 5 or even 4 minutes, to see if it has any noticeable effect on the finished product. I could also try a slightly higher initial water temperature (say 90°).

I think I am running up against one of the drawbacks to the French press — it’s not ideally suited to brewing single cups, because the long steep time leads to a lot of heat loss. This is not a huge deal if you start with boiling water, but starts to become an issue with lower initial brewing temperatures. So, I might want to stick with light to medium roasts with the French press. All the same, I think I’m going to eventually try these beans with 200 to 220 grams of 90° water and 4 to 5 minutes steep time, just to see how it turns out.