Zeke’s Holiday Roast MMXXIII V60

  • Beans: “Holiday Roast MMXXIII” (Mexico/Uganda)
    • Medium roast (4/8)
    • Roaster: Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast date: 12/19/2023
    • Purchase date: 12/22/2023
  • 20g coffee / 300g water (1:15)
  • JX: 23-24 (69-72 clicks)
  • Water at 95°C
  • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover

12/24: I tried these for the first time yesterday at grind setting 20, and it tasted like I could go a little bit finer, so I went with 19 today. Interestingly, I didn’t notice much bubbling during the bloom phase either day. I’m not sure why some beans tend to bubble a lot, while others don’t. I’ll have to read up on that. In any case, this turned out pretty good. I may try some minor tweaks (a little bit finer grind, and/or hotter water) just to see how they affect the flavor, but this definitely works as-is.

12/28: A little bitter this morning at grind setting 19 with 300g water/20g coffee. Could be that the beans needed to degas. Could also be that the larger brew volume led to more extraction. Will try a 300g cup at setting 20 the next time.

12/30: 300g at setting 20 was good this morning. I’m wondering if the beans were too “fresh” on 12/24 and needed to outgas a little bit. The only difference is that I brewed a larger cup today. I’ll probably stick with this setting for a bit and see how the next few cups taste.

1/1/24: A little bit of bitterness creeping in at 20 today. Still not a bad cup, but I feel like there’s room for improvement. Try 21 next time.

1/5: Setting 21 still had a slightly unpleasant bitter flavor to it on 1/3, so I tried 22 today, and it was a reasonably pleasant cup. I suspect that 22 or possibly 23 will end up being the best setting, but I still have a lot of beans to experiment with.

1/6: Setting 23 was a very good cup, but I think it might be even better at 24. Recent experience with these beans as well as Zeke’s Hippie Blend have me wondering if I should tweak my starting grind setting for brewing light- and medium-roasted beans with the V60. I’ve typically started with setting 20 (2 rotations on the JX), but maybe I should try starting somewhere like 22-23 (or even coarser) instead. I still have a good amount of both beans, so it will be interesting to see what grind setting I ultimately end up at.

1/12: The past several cups have been really good at grind setting 24.

1/23: I’ve been using grind setting 24 for the past couple of weeks, and while the cups are generally good, I’ve felt like the last few could have been better. Hard to put my finger on it, but I’m wondering if it has something to do with the cooler ambient air temperature affecting the temperature of the brew water. As an experiment this morning, I brewed a single 300g cup using my size 2 plastic V60, instead of my usual size 1 ceramic V60. I kept everything else the same (grind setting 24, water 95C, same pourover procedure), so the dripper was the only difference. This cup tasted quite different than my recent cups, though. It was similar to earlier cups that I brewed using finer grind settings — not quite bitter, but a little bit over-extracted. Plastic is a much better insulator than ceramic, and even though I preheat the ceramic V60, I’m wondering if it’s still sucking too much heat out of the brew water. I’m curious to try this experiment again, although I’ll need to use different beans, as I only have 16g of these left.

1/24: I brewed the final 16g at grind setting 23 with 250g of water. This was not a stellar cup, but I think I figured out what was going on with my ceramic V60: the preheat water from my insta-hot tap is not as hot this time of year, so the V60 isn’t getting as hot, and the brew water is losing more heat. Usually, the insta-hot gets the V60 hot enough that it’s uncomfortable to handle for too long, but today, I noticed that it’s not getting that hot any more. The insta-hot tank is mounted under the kitchen sink, which is unheated and poorly insulated, and I doubt that the thermostat is all that precise, so the water in the tank likely isn’t staying as hot as it does during the warmer months. Today, I preheated with water from the kettle instead, and it got the V60 much hotter. I can’t put a finger on what was wrong with the coffee, but it may just have been the strength (1:15.6 vs my usual 1:15), or possibly that it was over-extracted, or possibly both. Too bad I don’t have more beans to experiment with, but I did get a lot of good cups out of these.