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)
- Heat water; preheat V60 and mug
- Pre-moisten filter, add coffee, and tare scale
- Shake V60 to level coffee bed; make small indentation in center of grounds
- 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
- Reset timer
- 0:00 – 0:10: Pour up to 100g total (40% total weight)
- Hold kettle for the remainder of the brewing process
- 0:20 – 0:30: Pour up to 150g total (60% total weight)
- 0:40 – 0:50: Pour up to 200g total (80% total weight)
- 1:00 – 1:10: Pour up to 250g total (100% total weight)
- 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.