Two-cup pourover

  • Beans: “Organic Breakfast Coffee” light roast (Ethiopia)
    • Roaster: Rise Up Coffee Roasters (Easton, MD)
    • Roast date: 10/12/2023
  • 32g coffee / 500g water (1:15.6)
  • JX: 2 rotations (20 on the grind chart / 60 total clicks)
  • Water at 99°C
  • Recipe: The Ultimate V60 Technique (steps below)

I picked up a size 2 plastic V60 dripper last week, and tried it out this morning. Until today, I had only used my (ceramic) size 1 dripper to brew a single cup at a time. I don’t have a fancy insulated carafe, so I brewed into a 16oz Hydro-Flask tumbler with a closable press-in lid. This worked well — the lid can be closed to keep the coffee hot, and when open, the coffee pours easily and without dripping. Also, the plastic V60 doesn’t need a lot of preheating, so there was no need for the Fernco hack that I use to preheat my ceramic V60. I just put the filter into the dripper and ran some water from the insta-hot tap through both.

My hand grinder only has capacity for about 20g of beans, so I had to grind twice. I did this by putting the grinder on the scale, zeroing the scale, grinding 20 grams, zeroing again, and grinding 12 more grams. I poured the beans directly into the grinder, but I think going forward, it will work better to pre-weigh the 30g all at once into a separate container. If I end up brewing this amount regularly, it might make sense to invest in a higher-capacity (electric?) grinder.

Here are the steps I used:

  1. Heat water; grind coffee; pre-rinse filter and pre-heat dripper
  2. Add coffee grounds to V60 and create a well or indentation in the middle
  3. Start timer and add 60g water (the recipe specifies to add 2x the coffee weight, but this seemed close enough)
  4. Swirl until evenly mixed and bloom for 45 seconds
  5. At 0:45, add water up to 300g total (60% total weight), finishing at 1:15
  6. At 1:15, pour the remaining 200g slightly more slowly, finishing at 1:45
  7. Stir 1x clockwise and 1x anticlockwise with a spoon (to knock grounds off the sides)
  8. Allow V60 to drain a little bit
  9. Swirl gently
  10. Wait for drawdown, which should hopefully finish by 3:30

The first thing I noticed was that, compared with my one-cup method, this method mantained a much higher water level in the V60 throughout the brew. With these beans at this grind setting, the drawdown finished at around 3:10. I then put the cap on the Hydro-Flask, preheated my ceramic mug, and poured myself a cup. If I were to compare, I think it turned out a little bit better than with the 1-cup method. It was definitely on the strong side, which makes me wonder if the extra water in the V60 is leading to better extraction of the beans. I think I’ll cut it back to 30 grams of beans next time. I’m also curious whether my experiences with this method will eventually lead to any modifications to my 1-cup method. I’ll see how things go after I’ve done this a few more times.

Crab Creek Paddle

This morning, I headed back to Homeport Farm Park (near Edgewater) to paddle, for the second time this year. The launch is along Church Creek, a small tributary of the South River. It also provides easy access to Crab Creek, another tributary just to the east. Being 30-35 minutes’ drive from home, this ordinarily wouldn’t be a frequent paddling location for me. However, back in 2020, I adopted a couple of geocaches along Church Creek, and have since placed several more here as well, so I typically come here once or twice a year to check on them. Today was another very mild day, with highs in the 70s. However, based on the forecast, this may be the last time this season that I paddle without a wet suit. I hit the water at 8:30am, and hardly anyone else was out. No other cars were parked at HFP when I arrived, or when I left 2 hours later. I saw one boat speed by on the South River, way off in the distance. There were a few sailboats still anchored from overnight. All in all, a pretty quiet morning on the water. It definitely pays to get out early, especially on weekends.

When I come here, I often start by heading upstream on Church Creek, but today, with a receding tide, I opted to head out to the river and paddle up Crab Creek instead. While I had paddled out to the mouth of Crab Creek before, I had never gone all the way upstream. The round trip was about 5 miles. It’s typical Anne Arundel County coastline, with lots of development, and a few natural areas mixed in, particularly around the shallow headwaters. The fall foliage is nearing its peak, and there were a lot of leaves floating in the water. It’s a great time of year to paddle. I hope to get out one or two more times this year, but we’ll see if the weather and my schedule will cooperate.

Saturday’s Run, etc.

I got back into the swing of things today with my first 10-mile run in just over 3 weeks. Actual total distance was 10.26 miles, which beats my prior distance record by a whopping 0.04 mile. I still hope to achieve my short-term goal of running the entire BWI trail loop (10.7 miles) by the end of the year. I could probably do it now, but would like to hit 10.5 miles once or twice before I commit to going over there and trying it. Barring illness and/or injury, I’m thinking second half of November might be a reasonable target.

On the coffee front, I disassembled and cleaned my hand grinder for the first time today. I bought it at the beginning of May, so I’ve had it around 6 months. I brush it off after each use, but it’s recommended to take it apart for a more thorough cleaning every few months. It’s fairly straightforward to disassemble and reassemble, and does not require any tools. The entire process took me about 20 minutes, and going forward, I suspect it’ll take 10 minutes or less, now that I know what I’m doing. I used the grinder about once a day when it was new, and twice a day more recently. The insides had a little bit of coffee residue on them, but it really was not all that dirty. I’m thinking I shouldn’t need to do this more often than every 4-6 months.

Today’s Run

I took a “long and slow” run today, covering 8.7 miles over an hour and 34 minutes. It was my first 8-miler in about 3 weeks. It’s nice to be completely over the cold that hobbled me for the better part of October, but my right hamstring is still stiff, and I’ve kind of resigned myself that it’s going to take a long time before it gets back to 100%. One thing I have learned is that it seems to help my hamstrings if I flex/engage my glutes while running, particularly uphill. Also, stepping up (e.g. onto a curb or sidewalk) is more comfortable if I use the glutes to kind of assist the hamstrings, so the latter aren’t doing everything. All of this seems to tell me that I need to be using more of my core muscles when running, to help prevent these overextension injuries. Granted, this specific hamstring injury resulted from tripping, and a strong core probably wouldn’t have prevented injury, although it’s possible that it might have helped prevent me from tripping in the first place. Of course, it also would have helped if I had been watching where I was going, instead of staring at my watch. Several lessons to be learned here for sure!!

Biking Report

I had originally planned to go kayaking this morning, but it was a little too cold for me to feel like venturing out, even with a wet suit. The forecast is showing a warming trend for the second half of the week into the weekend, so I may try to make something happen later in the week, although my schedule is a little tight. We’ll see. In lieu of kayaking, I decided to take a mid-morning bike ride around the airport loop. A geocache puzzle I solved this morning provided extra motivation, as the final cache location wasn’t far off the BWI Trail. This ride is a 23-24 mile round trip from home, which is about the same length as my round-trip commute to and from work. It was my first road ride in 8 days, and my first time riding my single speed bike in at least a couple of months. I used to commute with this bike regularly, but it does not have an easy way to mount a rack and panniers. Back in the day, I used a rack that clamped to my seat post, which I think I still have, but I was never a big fan of it. I suppose I’ll have to break down and use a backpack if I want to re-introduce this bike to my commuting rotation. But, I’m going off on a tangent.

The timing for today’s ride worked out well. I left after all of the area schools had started, and returned home before they let out. Traffic was manageable. Going forward, I’d like to try to work these kinds of rides into my schedule more often on weekdays, especially during times of the year when I’m only going to the office once a week. In particular, I think it’ll allow me to get out on my mountain bike more often during the winter months. On days when trail conditions are bad, I can do something similar to what I did today, either looping the airport, or maybe riding out to Columbia and logging a few miles on the CA paths.

Rise Up Migration Pourover

  • Beans: “Organic Migration” light roast (Nicaragua)
    • Roaster: Rise Up Coffee Roasters (Easton, MD)
    • Roast date: 10/5/2023
  • 20g coffee / 300g water (1:15)
  • JX: 2 rotations (20 on the grind chart / 60 total clicks)
  • Water at 99°C
  • Recipe: A Better 1 Cup V60 Technique (see below)
  1. Preheat V60, pre-moisten filter, add coffee, and tare scale
  2. Make small indentation in center of coffee grounds
  3. 0:00: Pour 60g of water to bloom, then return kettle to base
  4. 0:10 – 0:15: Gently Swirl
  5. 0:45 – 1:00: Pour up to 120g total (40% total weight)
    • Hold kettle for the remainder of the brewing process
  6. 1:10 – 1:20: Pour up to 180g total (60% total weight)
  7. 1:30 – 1:40: Pour up to 240g total (80% total weight)
  8. 1:50 – 2:00: Pour up to 300g total (100% total weight)
  9. 2:00 – 2:05: Gently swirl
  10. Drawdown finished around 2:45

This was the other bag I picked up in Ocean City, along with yesterday’s. The same recipe as yesterday’s produced a pleasant cup. These are rather large beans, and I ended up with about the same amount of “fines” in the grinder as I did yesterday. I brewed another 300g cup, mainly for comparison with yesterday’s. I think 300g is about the most coffee I can brew with either of these beans at 1:15 without overflowing my size 1 V60. Regardless, I’ll likely drop back to 250g going forward, as 300g is a little bit more than I want to drink most mornings.

11/12: The past few cups I’ve brewed have had kind of an off flavor to them. Can’t really pin it down as bitter or acidic, but whatever it was, I didn’t like it. These are large beans that leave a prodigious amount of “fines” stuck to the grinder, and for some reason, I had gotten into the habit of shaking/tapping the grinder to try to get as many of the fines as possible into the dripper. I suspect it was in the interest of not “wasting” anything, but I’m not sure why it didn’t immediately occur to me that this was going to negatively impact the flavor. Today, I brewed the above recipe with 250g of water (50g pulses) and 16g coffee (1:15.6) and did not shake the grinder at all, and the cup was much better. I think I will keep doing this going forward.

11/18: I brewed my remaining 27g of beans today with 400g of water. I used my 1-cup pourover method with size 2 plastic V60 and pulses of 80g water. Turned out quite good. After grinding, I’ve been gently shaking the grinder once or twice to make sure all the beans made it through, and then lightly tapping the bottom of the grinder 3 or 4 times without going overboard. This seems to get most of the properly-ground beans “unstuck” while leaving most of the “fines” behind. I’ve also been “swirling” pretty regularly lately, both pre-bloom and after finishing the pour.

Rise Up Organic Breakfast Pourover

  • Beans: “Organic Breakfast Coffee” light roast (Ethiopia)
    • Roaster: Rise Up Coffee Roasters (Easton, MD)
    • Bag #1 roast date: 10/12/2023
    • Bag #2 roast date: 5/14/2024; purchase date: 5/28/2024
  • 20g coffee / 300g water (1:15)
  • JX: 18-21 (54-63 total clicks)
  • Recipe: A Better 1 Cup V60 Technique (see below)
  1. Preheat V60, pre-moisten filter, add coffee, and tare scale
  2. Make small indentation in center of coffee grounds
  3. 0:00: Pour 60g of water to bloom, then return kettle to base
  4. 0:10 – 0:15: Gently Swirl
  5. 0:45 – 1:00: Pour up to 120g total (40% total weight)
    • Hold kettle for the remainder of the brewing process
  6. 1:10 – 1:20: Pour up to 180g total (60% total weight)
  7. 1:30 – 1:40: Pour up to 240g total (80% total weight)
  8. 1:50 – 2:00: Pour up to 300g total (100% total weight)
  9. 2:00 – 2:05: Gently swirl
  10. Drawdown finished around 3:00

New 12oz bag today. I picked these up in Ocean City, but my local grocery store also sells beans from Rise Up. Their main location is right off US 50 in Easton, so that might be the place to go to get the best selection and freshest beans.

This is the same recipe I had been using with my last bag of lighter roast beans from Zeke’s, and it also worked well with these. I brewed a larger cup this morning, but probably will stick with 250g water and 16g to 17g coffee for most of my cups. These beans produce more fines than the Zeke’s beans did, and as a result, the draw-down took longer. I swirled after the initial 60g dose, which I had not been doing with the Zeke’s. I’m curious if swirling vs not swirling makes any noticeable difference.

I bought another 12oz bag of Rise Up beans at the same time, which I’ll try tomorrow. It is also a light roast, so I am hoping I can use the same recipe for both bags.

11/18: Getting down to the end of these, and in case I buy them again, just noting that I have been brewing my more recent cups with 250g water/16g coffee (1:15.6) and grind setting 21. I had been noticing a slight tinge of bitterness occasionally at setting 20, which is not present at setting 21.

6/3/24: I have been brewing my second bag of these at grind setting 18 and 21g/300g, and the cups have been pretty good, with a mild flavor and a touch of acidity — pretty much what I would expect from a “breakfast” coffee.


Last week’s cold/URI is not 100% gone, but it has degenerated to the point where it’s no longer affecting my daily activities. The main thing I’m noticing now is that when I wake up in the morning, my head feels like it is in a vise. I’m assuming it’s some kind of sinus headache or whatever, but I’ve been knocking it down with ibuprofen, which works well enough. Yesterday, I commuted to work on my mountain bike, which (as I’ve probably written before) I love doing on school days. Other than a couple of new fallen logs along Garrett’s Pass and Soapstone Trail, it was a pretty smooth and enjoyable ride.

I ran on Tuesday and Thursday (today) this week, which puts me back on my regular running schedule. Both runs were about 7.75 miles, so I’m also getting back to my normal distances for weekday runs. My right hamstring felt stiff on Tuesday, but seemed improved today. My speed and cadence were also normal, so now I just need to get rid of this headache thing to fully put the cold behind me.

Zeke’s Market Blend Pourover (take 2)

Starting a new post for these beans, because this is a significant change from my original recipe.

  • Beans: “Market Blend” (Ethiopia/Guatemala)
    • Medium roast (5/8)
    • Roaster: Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast date: 10/2/2023
  • 18g coffee / 250g water (1:13.9)
  • JX: 2 rotations + 9 clicks (23 on the grind chart / 69 total clicks)
  • Bloom water at 99°C, brew water between 81°C and 85°C
  • Recipe: A Better 1 Cup V60 Technique (see below)
  1. Heat water; preheat V60 and mug
  2. Pre-moisten filter, add coffee, and tare scale
  3. Shake V60 to level coffee bed; make small indentation in center of grounds
  4. Start timer and do the following, finishing between 0:45 and 1:15:
    • Pour 50g of water to bloom
    • Return kettle to base
    • Lower kettle temperature by 20° or so by adding room temperature water
    • Bring kettle water back up to 81°-85°C
  5. Reset timer
  6. 0:00 – 0:10: Pour up to 100g total (40% total weight)
    • Hold kettle for the remainder of the brewing process
  7. 0:20 – 0:30: Pour up to 150g total (60% total weight)
  8. 0:40 – 0:50: Pour up to 200g total (80% total weight)
  9. 1:00 – 1:10: Pour up to 250g total (100% total weight)
  10. Wait for drawdown (30-60 seconds)

As with my last bag of medium roasted beans, I had been trying to brew these using a pourover recipe that works well for me with lighter roasts, with unspectacular results: the cups were occasionally bitter, occasionally weak/watery, and generally lacking in sweetness/complexity. I couldn’t quite get things figured out with my last bag, so I ended up brewing most of my cups in the French press.

Visually, these beans look pretty dark, and they are also coated with oil, which makes me think maybe I should try to brew them like a dark roast. The problem is, I had never tried a pourover with a dark roast. I found yet another James Hoffmann video where he covers this topic. The main takeaways I got were:

  • Bloom with near-boiling water, but brew with cooler water
  • Grind coarser, because we actually want to extract less from the beans than with a light roast
  • Corollary: extracting less at the same ratio as a lighter roast will result in a weaker-tasting cup, so use more coffee to compensate.

In practice: I started with a 1:14 ratio, and decided to shoot for a brew temperature of 85°, but I added a little bit too much cool water after the initial pour. As a result, the water took longer than the appointed 45 seconds to warm back up. I ended up blooming for an extra 30 seconds, at which point the water was at about 82°-83°. That, of course, pushed back the times for all of my subsequent pours, as well.

This cup was definitely a step in the right direction. It was better than any of the previous pourovers I’ve made using these beans. It had a nice flavor with no bitter aftertaste, and it seemed like a good strength as well. Next time, I’ll work on my water-cooling technique, and see how the next cup turns out.

10/23: After brewing several cups, I’ve found that this recipe works well with bloom times anywhere from 0:45 to 1:15 and water temperature between 81° and 85° (inclusive). Since the bloom time can vary depending on how long it takes to bring the water back up to temperature, I added a step to zero the timer after the bloom, to make it easier to keep the timing straight during the subsequent pours. I am hoping this will be a good starting recipe for medium to darker roasts.

10/28: Decided to try a slightly stronger cup this afternoon. I used 260g water and 20g coffee (1:13), which is the ratio I usually use for medium roasts with the French press. I poured 5 “pulses” of 52g each. It turned out great! I think that 1:13 to 1:14 is about the perfect range for these beans.

11/2: Used up the last of these today, exactly one month after roast date and a little over three weeks after I bought them. The last few cups were still good, but I think the beans were getting a little bit past their prime, as there was a small, but noticeable, drop-off in taste/complexity with the last few cups. I’ll definitely buy these again at some point, though. Just need to plan to use them up within a month of roast date.

Back on the bike

I rode my bike for the first time in a week this morning. I’m also back at the office for the first time in a week, and it’s been a week since I came down with this cold, from which I am still recovering. The ride went OK, but my stamina on hills is still not quite where I would like it to be. That should hopefully improve over the next few days. My next time on the bike will likely be Wednesday, and based on the weather forecast, it looks like I might be able to commute on my mountain bike.