Verona St Julien’s Breakfast Blend

  • Beans: Julien’s Breakfast Blend from Verona Street Coffee (Dubuque, IA)
    • Origin: Central America / Indonesia
    • Roast level: medium to medium/dark (3/5 per web site)
    • Purchase date: 3/20/24 at Hy-Vee Grocery Store in Omaha, NE
  • AeroPress in hotel room:
    • 1 heaping AeroPress-sized scoop beans plus “a little more” (18-20g)
    • JX Grind Setting 20 (60 clicks)
    • Prismo with 1 paper filter and metal filter
    • Heat water to boiling in microwave
    • Start timer and pour enough to wet grounds
    • Stir and let sit for 45 seconds
    • Top up to about 1/2″ below top of AeroPress chamber
    • Stir front to back 5 or 6 times
    • Steep until 3:00
    • Stir front to back 5 or 6 times
    • Press slowly
  • AeroPress with measurements:
    • 18g coffee
    • 250g water at 95°C (ratio 1:13.9)
    • 50g initial pour
    • Everything else same as above
  • Tasting notes: roasty, smooth, full-bodied

I bought a 12oz bag of these beans at the beginning of our NCAA Tournament trip to Omaha. There was no roast date listed on the bag. The web site lists the origins as Central America and Indonesia, and the roast level as 3 out of 5. I’d definitely call this a medium/dark roast, based on the appearance of the beans (dark and oily), as well as the aroma and taste. My first cup at grind setting 15 was bitter, so I backed off a half turn to 20, and the subsequent cups have been pretty smooth and tasty, in spite of inexact brewing parameters and hotel room tap water. It will be interesting to compare when I get home and try them with the V60.

3/26: I brewed an AeroPress cup at home today, using the same technique I used at the hotel, with more precise measurements (see above). The flavor and strength were similar to the hotel room cups, but I think it was slightly better overall, probably due to higher brewing temperature and/or better water quality (filtered vs straight from the tap). I may end up just brewing all of these beans with the AeroPress, as I like how the cups are turning out, and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

3/31: For the past 2 or 3 days, I’ve been brewing 300g cups with grind setting 20, 21-22g coffee, and 250g brew water at 95C (about the max that will fit in the AeroPress) and then diluting with 50g of bypass water. The cups have tasted similar to the earlier ones I’ve brewed, so this seems like a good way to get a larger cup.

4/8: I brewed my last 12g of beans with 120g water (1:10) using the same AeroPress recipe I’ve used all along, except I skipped the bloom step and just poured all of the water at once. I really liked the result — it was strong, rich, and smooth, and just about the right amount. I think a larger cup would have worn out its welcome — kind of like an imperial stout, a little bit of really strong coffee goes a long way. I’m not sure how widely available this brand is at retail outside of Nebraska/Iowa, but I’d certainly buy it again.