Zeke’s Colombia Huila

  • Beans: “Colombia (Huila)” from Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast level: Light (2/8)
    • Roast date: 4/20/24 or 4/28/24 (second digit of day hard to read)
    • Purchase date: 5/2/24 at Green Valley Marketplace in Elkridge, MD
    • Process: washed
    • Tasting notes: Orange, caramel, milk chocolate
  • V60:
    • 21g coffee / 300g water (1:14.3)
    • JX: 18 (54 clicks)
    • Water at 99°C
    • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover with slow pour

I started these at setting 19 a couple of days ago, and it seemed like it needed to be a little finer, so I went with 18 today. This was a good cup. It will be interesting to see how I need to adjust things over the next couple of weeks. Some of it depends on the actual roast date. If it was 4/28, I expect I’ll need to tweak things quite a bit; if it was 4/20, probably a little less so. A couple of the bags on the shelf clearly read 4/28, so I’m wondering if mine is actually 4/28 also, with the bottom half of the 8 chopped off. But, it could also be 4/20. Who knows?

5/11: I have settled on setting 19 for my most recent several cups, and they have been fairly consistent, with some slightly better than others, but overall pretty good. I can definitely taste a hint of orange, as advertised, and the overall roastiness balances the acidity out nicely.

Zeke’s Love Roast No. 9 V60

  • Beans: “Love Roast No. 9”
    • Medium/Light roast (3/8)
    • Roast date: 2/5/2024
    • Tasting notes: Raspberry Wine
  • 20g coffee / 300g water (1:15)
  • JX: 20 (60 clicks)
  • Water at 99°C
  • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover
  • Drawdown finished around 2:40

This was a very good cup right out of the gate. It was maybe a touch on the strong side, but that’s not a bad thing. I don’t think I need to make any adjustments for my next cup.

I’m noticing a trend with pourovers where the cups start off really good when the beans are fresh, but then I have to start tweaking things (typically grinding finer) as the beans get further past the roast date. Sometimes, I end up switching to immersion (AeroPress). It will be interesting to see what happens with these beans. I’m storing them in a vacuum canister, which ostensibly should keep them fresh longer, but that doesn’t seem to have made a difference with other beans. Maybe I’d be better off freezing beans that I can’t use within a week. It might be fun to try buying a pound of beans, freezing half and storing the other half in a vacuum canister, and see if there’s any difference with how the cups taste after a couple of weeks.

2/12: Things here are going similarly to how they went with Zeke’s Holiday Roast. Both are light to medium roasts, and with both, I brewed my first cups just a couple of days after the roast date. Initially, the cups were very good at grind setting 20. Then, they started tasting bitter, and I had to adjust by grinding coarser. Today, I backed off to grind setting 25 (an extra half turn), and that did the trick — it was a good cup, similar to my first. I’m not sure what chemical process (out-gassing?) causes this phenomenon, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as I can adjust my process to account for it. In particular, at least in the case of light-to-medium roasted beans from Zeke’s, maybe I need to let them “age” until about a week past roast date, then start them off at grind setting 25 or so. In any case, it will be interesting to see if I need to make further adjustments as the beans get older. I have them in a vacuum canister, but they’re the only whole beans I have right now, so I’ll probably go through them kind of quickly.

2/15: Still making things coarser. I have worked my way to 27 as of this morning, 10 days past roast date, and it wasn’t bad.

2/16: The relentless bitterness is still working its way into my cups. Even 28 was bitter this morning, so this afternoon, I backed all the way off to 30 (3 full rotations), and that seemed to chase the bitterness, at least for now. 30 is the grind setting I typically use with the French press, but it was my first time grinding this coarse using the pourover method. It’s at the very end of the pourover range on the 1Zpresso grind chart. I’m curious if I’ll ever get to the point where I can go several days without adjusting the grind, but whatever the case, this has been educational.

2/19: I have used grind settings between 29 and 30 for my last several cups, and they have all been pretty consistently good. The beans are two weeks past roast date as of today. They’re the only ones I have right now, so they won’t last much longer. However, I’ve learned that for more consistent results, I should probably let lighter roasts “age” until about 10 days past roast date before I start brewing them.

Zeke’s Hippie Blend AeroPress

  • 16 to 17g coffee to 250g water (around 1:15)
  • Prismo with metal and paper filters
  • Grind setting 18
  • Boiling water (100C)
  • Add coffee, start timer, pour 45 to 50g water
  • Return kettle to base, Swirl AP gently, and bloom until 0:45
  • Top to 250g water and stir 4 or 5 times, finishing around 1:15
  • Cover and steep until 2:30
  • Stir 4 or 5 times again
  • Press gently, finishing around 3:30-3:40

This made a pretty good cup. It had no bitterness, and the body and flavor actually seemed better than the pourovers I have been making recently with these beans. I wonder if the cooler ambient air temperature this time of year is affecting the extraction of the pourovers.

I had been wanting to get back to occasionally brewing lighter roasts in the AeroPress, since I’ll likely be doing it a lot while traveling, where I won’t have precise control over the temperature of the water, or access to a scale. This seems like a good first stab. The recipe is very similar to what I’ve been using for dark roasts, but adds a bloom step. I used the scoop that came with my plastic V60 dripper to measure the beans, and also weighed them, and it seems that 16-17 grams translates to one slightly heaping scoop of beans. I’ll have to try this with a couple of different light roasts to see how much variance there is between them. Then, I’ll just need a way to eyeball the amount of water, and I expect that I can use the markings on the AeroPress cylinder for that. The Prismo definitely makes this easier, as it keeps the water from dripping out through the filter without the need to invert the AP.

1/21: I brewed the same recipe today with Zeke’s Holiday Roast (a medium roast) except I dropped the water temperature to 95C. It produced a perfectly OK cup that was neither better nor worse than my V60 cups. I have a feeling it would benefit from a little bit of tweaking, but as I’m almost out of the beans, I’ll likely just go back to V60 to use them up.

Zeke’s Hippie Blend V60

  • Beans: “Hippie Blend” (Sumatra/Peru/Papua New Guinea)
    • Light roast (2/8)
    • Roaster: Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast date: 12/11/2023
  • 16g coffee / 250g water (1:15.6) or 19g coffee / 300g water (1:15.8)
  • JX: 21 (63 clicks)
  • Water at 99°C
  • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover

I went ahead and created a page for the single-cup V60 technique I’ve been using, and going forward, am just going to link to that in lieu of listing all the steps out in every post (unless I end up doing something significantly different).

I opened this bag on 12/25, and brewed my first cup at grind setting 20. I then tried setting 18 (finer) on 12/26. Both cups were 250g, and both had a hint of bitterness. Per above, I used a coarser grind today, and brewed a larger cup at the same ratio. Today’s cup was not bitter, and had a mild, mellow flavor to it. This seems like an OK starting point, but I may tweak this a little further. It’s worth noting that grind setting 21 is still slightly finer than what 1Zpresso’s chart shows as the “pourover” range, but I’m worried that if I go any coarser, the V60 will drain too quickly and the coffee will end up under-extracted. This might be one of those cases where I get better results by brewing 2 cups’ worth at a time, or possibly using the AeroPress, to get a longer immersion time. In any case, I have an entire pound of beans with which to experiment.

12/31: 300g water / 20g coffee / grind setting 22 (66 clicks). Probably the best cup I’ve had so far. Well extracted with no bitterness. On the strong side.

1/2/24: Might want to nudge this a little bit coarser still. Try 23 next time.

1/4: Grind setting 23 at 1:15 (20g:300g) was a very good cup.

1/5: Another decent cup at 23, but once again, could be ever so slightly smoother. Try 24?

1/16: The best grind setting seems to be between 24 and 25 (72 to 75 clicks), weighted towards 25, as 24 has occasionally tasted slightly bitter. The drawdown finishes very quickly at this setting, but I’ve noticed that this is the case with almost all of the beans I’ve brewed from Zeke’s. They also leave very little fine residue in the grinder. Part of this is likely due to the grind coarseness, but I wonder if it also has something to do with moisture content in the beans, which could be related to how they’re packaged — unlike most beans I buy, Zeke’s do not come in sealed bags.

1/25: Brewed at grind setting 25, and preheated the V60 with 95°C water from the kettle instead of using the insta-hot (I kept it a little cooler than the 99° brew water to avoid burning my fingers). This led to a lot more extraction — so much so that the cup tasted bitter. At this point, I definitely think I’m on to something — I need to either be using a plastic V60, or preheating the ceramic V60 from the kettle instead of the insta-hot. As for these beans, I only have enough to make 1 more cup, and I’m going to try it with a coarser grind.

1/27: Used up the last of these — slightly on the strong side at 21g coffee to 300g water. I preheated with kettle water again, and backed the grind all the way off to 27. This was a better cup than 1/25, but still got a little more extraction than I would like. I’m kind of wishing I had more beans to experiment with, now that I seem to have sorted out my ceramic V60 preheating issue. It’s interesting that these beans, as well as the other bag of Zeke’s I recently finished, seemed to want a much coarser grind than most others I’ve brewed. I’m sure I’ll eventually get things dialed in a little better.

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.

More Pourover Notes

My AeroPress has been a little bit neglected lately, as I’ve been really enjoying the pourover cups I’ve been brewing with my bag of light roast beans. Both the pourover and AeroPress methods take about 5 minutes (start to finish) to brew a single cup, so going forward, I’ll probably be using both, depending on the beans and (to an extent) my mood. Two things I’ve learned over the past week:

  • With pourover, small adjustments to the grind size seem to have a larger effect on the finished cup than with the AeroPress. The first few pourover cups I brewed tasted a little bit sour and under-extracted, but at just a slightly finer grind (6 clicks on my JX), I’ve been getting fantastic cups.
  • When brewing single cups with boiling water, the coffee will cool to a drinkable temperature faster if I use a room temperature ceramic mug instead of an insulated Hydro Flask mug, so I can enjoy it sooner and without burning my tongue. 😀

Morning Notes

After alluding to it yesterday, I brewed a cup of pourover coffee this morning using this recipe, with the same beans and a slightly finer grind. I went back and forth over whether to try it coarser or finer, eventually settling on finer just because of how my earlier pourover cups have tasted. I used a setting of 18 on the JX grind chart, which is two rotations minus 6 clicks (54 total clicks). I think this was the right call. The cup had a little bit more fruitiness than the cup I brewed with the AeroPress, with more body to balance out the fruity acidity than my previous pourover cups. Now I’m wondering how fine I can go before it starts to taste bitter.

The weather was quite pleasant this morning, and the past several days have been dry, so I hit the trails and commuted to work through PVSP on my mountain bike. It was my third bike ride in 4 days. On the HoCo side of the river, I rode Belmont Trail to Morning Choice to Lewis and Clark to Garrett’s Pass, which is a route I take frequently. It was a great ride, except something stung me on my arm at one point. I am wondering if maybe I ran over an underground hornet’s nest, and one of them got me. If that’s the case, I’m glad I was moving fast (and I’m not allergic)!! We’re still in heavy summer growth season, but with a few exceptions, the trails I rode were not overgrown. Upper Soapstone Trail, which is on my route home, may be another story, so I’ll see how that is doing later this afternoon.

Pourover vs AeroPress

I’ve brewed the same light roast coffee beans with the same pourover method four times now, and the results have been fairly consistent — good cups that could probably be a little bit better. Today, for comparison, I went back to my AeroPress, using a recipe I had tried once before with these beans. Other than the brewing method, the main differences were that I used a slightly coarser grind with the AeroPress (2.5 turns on the JX vs 2 for pourover) and also a little bit higher ratio (1:14 vs 1:16.67). Both cups seemed good strength-wise. The AeroPress cup was stronger, but the pourovers weren’t thin or weak tasting. They did have more of a noticeable fruity/acidic taste than the AeroPress cup. I think, overall, the AeroPress cup was a little bit better, but I’m curious to see what happens if I try the pour-over with a different grind size. I’m just not sure whether to try it coarser or finer.


I needed to shift gears after using up the last of my dark roast beans this morning, so this afternoon, I decided to finally try making pourover coffee.

  • Beans: Local Coffee Roasting Co. (Roxana, DE) Breakfast Blend (Guatemala/Colombia) light roast
  • 15g coffee / 250g water (1:16.67)
  • JX: 2 rotations or 20 on the grind chart (medium — a little finer than what the chart shows as a pourover grind) Note — better a little bit finer at grind setting 18 (2 rotations minus 6 clicks)
  • Water at boil (100°C)
  • Recipe: A Better 1 Cup V60 Technique (see below)
  1. 0:00: Pour 50g of water to bloom
  2. 0:10 – 0:15: Gently Swirl
  3. 0:45 – 1:00: Pour up to 100g total (40% total weight)
  4. 1:10 – 1:20: Pour up to 150g total (60% total weight)
  5. 1:30 – 1:40: Pour up to 200g total (80% total weight)
  6. 1:50 – 2:00: Pour up to 250g total (100% total weight)
  7. 2:00 – 2:05: Gently swirl
  8. Drawdown should finish around 3:00

This went pretty much according to the script, except I maybe waited a little too long before the first swirl, and I completely forgot the second swirl. I will try to improve my swirling technique next time. To preheat my ceramic V60, I went downstairs to the workshop and found a rubber Fernco cap that was just barely large enough to fit around the flange on the bottom of the V60. I took the metal clamp off the cap, put the cap on the V60, filled the V60 up with water from my insta-hot tap, and let it sit while the brew water was coming to a boil. It worked great, and the V60 was nice and hot when it came time to use it.

I have to remember to let the cup cool for a little longer when brewing with boiling water, as I got a little impatient and burned my tongue. 😮 Other than that, I was pretty happy with how this turned out, especially for my first time doing pourover. The flavor and strength both seemed good. I’ll probably brew it exactly the same way next time. I’m curious to see how a coarser or finer grind affects the taste, so I may play around with that a little bit eventually. I hadn’t brewed these beans in about a month, so I’m also curious to try this AeroPress recipe again and see how it compares to the pourover.