I’m getting to the end of the bag of dark roast coffee beans that I bought in Shepherdstown this past May. I have been using this recipe with them for the past week or so, and it produces a consistently good cup, but maybe just a tiny bit weak at 1:13 (which I find interesting, because the original recipe has a ratio of 1:16.5). Just as an experiment, I decided to brew it with 20 grams of coffee to 200 grams of water, or 1:10. I used around 58-60g water for the initial pour-and-swirl. The result was very bold and very good… probably the best cup I’ve brewed with the beans. I have enough left to make one last cup at this strength, but now I’m wishing I had more!
This experience begs the question of why I need to use so much coffee to get the taste I like, when almost every recipe I see uses less coffee per volume of water. It could be because the coffee is maybe a little past its shelf life. It could also be a dark roast phenomenon. I remember reading or seeing somewhere (I suspect it was a James Hoffmann video) that there’s less “good stuff” to extract from dark-roasted beans, so you have to grind them more coarsely and brew at lower temperatures to avoid extracting “bad stuff”, but this can result in a weak-tasting cup at low ratios. The recommendation was to use more coffee for a bolder taste, and that certainly mirrors my experience. However, there are a lot of “dark roast” specific AeroPress recipes floating around that use fine grinds and rather low ratios of coffee to water. I’ve tried a few of them, and they all taste weak to me, so I’m wondering what I’m missing. Maybe I just like bolder-tasting cups than most people? Who knows. In any case, I’m going to keep brewing dark-roasted beans like this until someone tells me what I’m doing wrong. 😀