Another Monday

  • Beans: “Cold Brew Blend” medium roast (Guatemala/Colombia) from Local Coffee Roasting Co. in Roxana, DE
  • JX: 2 turns plus 6 clicks (Grind setting 22)
  • 90°C water
  • 13 grams coffee / 180 grams water (about 1:14)
  • One new paper filter (pre-moistened)
  • Recipe: 13g that makes you happy (inverted: add 30g water, stir 5x, top up to 180g at 0:30, stir 5x, flip at 1:30 and press very slowly, finishing at 2:30)

First stab at brewing a (hot) cup with these beans in the AeroPress. This is a recipe I’ve used quite a few times before, but recently, I’ve been using more coffee than the recipe calls for, in an effort to get richer-tasting cups. Based on my experience with pourover, I think there should be a way to achieve this without using so much coffee. Today, I went back to a 1:14 ratio, which is what the recipe calls for. According to my notes, I have previously used a JX grind setting of 24 or 25 (around 2.5 turns) every time I’ve brewed this recipe. For today’s cup, I went with 22, which is a lot finer, and similar to what I’ve been using for a lot of my pourovers. This cup was not bad overall — it still was not quite as rich as a pourover at the same ratio, but it wasn’t weak, either, and had no bitter or sour notes. One thing I have noticed with these inverted AeroPress recipes is that after steeping for a while and then flipping, a bunch of coffee grounds frequently end up stuck to the plunger. I could prevent this by briefly stirring right before flipping, or by flipping immediately after the initial stir and letting it steep in the “standard” orientation. I might try one or both of these next time, just to see if it makes any difference.

I had a fairly routine bike commute to the office this morning. I woke up at 5:30 to another pre-dawn deluge, but it cleared out of the area in time for me to get out of the house on time. I have found that 7:20 is the absolute latest I can get rolling if I don’t want to deal with foot and bus traffic for the nearby middle school. If it had rained much longer, I likely would have ended up telecommuting. The Patapsco River was running higher and faster than I had seen it all summer, and a lot of the little feeder streams were really raging. The areas to the west of us have gotten hammered with rain over the past few days, and this morning’s downpour hit those areas as well.

Update (9/12): I brewed the same AeroPress recipe again, slightly finer (grind setting 21) and I flipped right after filling to 180g and stirring. It made no discernible difference. If anything, it tasted slightly weaker — again, not unpleasant, just lacking in body. I did notice that, while the plunger started out clean, grounds started getting stuck to it as I was plunging. So, it appears that the issue isn’t that they get stuck there during steeping, but more so that they just accumulate there while plunging. Seems like this would be unavoidable, and given that the finished product wasn’t an improvement, there’s no need to use a different technique from the recipe. I may try one more AeroPress experiment with these beans (not sure exactly what yet) and then I’ll just switch back to pourover to use them up.