Rise Up Organic House Roast AeroPress

  • Bean info and V60 pourover notes
  • 16 to 17g coffee to 250g water (around 1:15)
  • Prismo with metal and paper filters
  • Grind setting 12 14
  • Water temperature 95C
  • Add coffee, start timer, pour 45 to 50g water
  • Return kettle to base, stir to wet grounds evenly, and bloom until 0:45 (I just left the stirrer in the AP for this step)
  • Top to 250g water and stir front to back 4 or 5 times, finishing around 1:15
  • Cover and steep until 3:15
  • Stir front to back 4 or 5 times again
  • Press gently, finishing around 4:30

This is pretty much the same technique I used with Zeke’s Hippie Blend (a light roast) recently, except I stirred instead of swirling during the bloom step, and I also steeped it about 45 seconds longer. This cup was not bad, but tasted slightly over-extracted, so I’m probably going to want to grind the beans a little bit coarser next time. I’m thinking about trying setting 14.

2/8: I’m almost out of the beans, but noting for posterity that setting 14 was pretty good. I didn’t steep quite as long (maybe until 3:05) but doubt that made any difference.

Rise Up Organic House Roast V60

  • Beans: “Organic House Roast” (Medium roast)
    • Roaster: Rise Up Coffee Roasters (Easton, MD)
    • Origin: Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Sumatra
    • Roast date: 1/4/24
    • Purchase date: 1/24/24
    • AeroPress notes
  • 20g coffee / 300g water (1:15)
  • JX: 18 (54 clicks)
  • Water at 95°C
  • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover with size 2 plastic dripper

I started at grind setting 20, then tried 19 (still a little acidic) and then went to 18, which was an excellent cup. I’ll keep it there for my next cup.

2/1: The last couple of cups at 18 have been really good. Quick technique notes: I am brewing into a ceramic mug, which I am not preheating. To preheat the plastic V60, I put the filter in it and then run some water from the insta-hot tap over it, then swish it around to wet the entire filter evenly. During the initial pour for the bloom, I also run a little bit of water down the sides of the filter to wash off any coffee grounds stuck there. For subsequent pours, I pour in slow spirals, into the bed only, avoiding the sides.

2/6: Not sure what’s up, but I have been having a run of weak, acidic pourovers over the past few days, with both these and some other beans. While grind setting 18 initially gave me several pretty good cups, the past couple have tasted under-extracted. Today, I went to setting 16, and it was better, but still not quite up to snuff with the cups I initially got at 18. Nothing has changed with my brewing equipment or technique, and I don’t think there’s been much variance in the brewing temperature. Could it be related to bean age and/or storage method (bag vs vacuum canister)?

2/9: Used these up today. I had 26 grams left, so I brewed a larger cup with 400g water using the two cup method I have used in the past, pouring to 250g after 50g bloom, and then topping up with the remaining 150g. I went back to grind setting 18. While this cup was not quite as good as my first few cups, it was better than my more recent smaller cups, and on par with the cup I brewed in the AeroPress yesterday. The common thread here is more immersion time — the V60 takes longer to draw down with more water and more coffee. Maybe the beans just need more time to extract as they get further past roast date.

Orinoco Sunshine Serenade V60

  • Beans: “Sunshine Serenade”
    • Medium roast
    • Roaster: Orinoco Coffee & Tea, Ltd. (Jessup, MD)
    • Roast date: Unknown (best by 9/5/24)
    • Purchase date: 1/16/24
  • 20g coffee / 300g water (1:15)
  • JX: 19 (57 clicks)
  • Water at 95°C
  • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover

This is a local roaster that I hadn’t tried before, as the coffee isn’t sold at the grocery store down the street, although it looks like I might be able to find it at Giant or Safeway. I picked this bag up at Martha’s Cafe in Arbutus. Oddly, the bag doesn’t list a roast date, but only a “best by” date. I brewed my first cup on Wednesday 1/17 at grind setting 21 or 22, and have since adjusted to 19. This morning’s cup was still a tiny bit on the acidic side at 19, so I’ll try 18 next time.

1/23: Continuing an experiment I started this morning, I brewed a cup exactly the same as yesterday (300g water at 95C/20g coffee/grind setting 19), except I used my plastic size 2 V60 in place of my ceramic size 1 V60. This cup was much better than yesterday’s! It tasted well-extracted and nicely balanced. It seemed like the drawdown took a little bit longer than it did with the smaller dripper, but I’m not 100% sure. It seems more likely that the water lost less heat through the plastic V60 than it does through ceramic. This gives more credence to my theory that the method I’ve been using to preheat my ceramic V60 isn’t as effective as I would like. I also still suspect that the room air temperature plays a role, as I’ve noticed a drop-off in brew quality with the ceramic V60 as we’ve gotten into the colder days of winter. I might try compensating by bumping the starting water temperature a few degrees higher the next time I use the ceramic V60; or, I could just stick with the plastic V60 going forward. For starters, I’m going to try it with a light roast tomorrow.

1/25: Kept everything the same as 1/23 (with plastic V60) and got another really good cup. Just for the record, I left the timer on during the drawdown, and it finished around 2:55. I’m now even more convinced that my recent V60 issues have been caused by heat loss through the ceramic due to my preheat water not being hot enough (see note here from 1/24). For comparison, I may try brewing my next cup with the ceramic V60, preheating with water from the kettle instead of the insta-hot.

1/28: Tried today with the ceramic size 1 V60. I preheated the V60 with 95°C water from the kettle, which got it quite hot. Everything else was the same as 1/23 and 1/25. The first thing I noticed is that, as I had noticed earlier on, the drawdown was a lot faster — it was completely finished by 2:30 or 2:35, which is a full 20 seconds faster than with plastic. While the cup tasted OK, it lacked the sweetness and complexity of the cups I brewed with plastic. The obvious conclusion here is that the faster drawdown time is affecting the extraction, so maybe that’s a bigger factor than heat loss through the ceramic. I’m not sure what’s causing the difference, as geometrically, the size 1 and size 2 V60s are very similar. The ridges on the plastic V60 are more defined than on the ceramic, so maybe that has something do do with it. It could also be the filters, but I’m using brown tabbed filters with both, which (other than the size) are outwardly identical. I suppose I could try using a size 2 filter in the size 1 V60, and see if there’s any difference in drawdown speed. This also makes me want to buy a plastic size 1, just so I can eliminate the dripper size as a variable. In any case, I’ll likely be brewing the rest of these beans with the plastic dripper.

2/1: I’ve ended up going a good bit finer with these, brewing today’s cup at grind setting 17.3 (52 total clicks). This seemed to bring back some flavors that had been missing from the previous 2 or 3 cups. The only other difference was the method I used to preheat the plastic V60 — instead of preheating the mug first and then pouring the water from the mug into the V60 (with filter), I just ran some water directly from the insta-hot tap over the V60 and filter. I doubt this would make a big difference in taste, but just noting it for the sake of completeness.

2/2: Tried grinding at 17 this morning, and it seems like that was too fine, as the cup had a touch of bitterness.

2/4: Tried a little coarser (19) and increased water temperature to 97. Under-extracted and watery. I’ve gotten good cups at 19 previously, so I’m not sure what happened with this one.

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.

Rise Up Winter Warmer Pourover

  • Beans: “Winter Warmer” medium roast (Indonesia)
    • Roaster: Rise Up Coffee Roasters (Easton, MD)
    • Roast date: 11/23/2023
  • Initial:
    • 18g coffee / 250g water (1:13.8) (A little too strong)
    • JX: 20 (60 clicks) (Occasionally bitter)
  • Best:
    • 16g coffee / 250g water (1:15.6)
    • Also works well with 20g coffee / 300g water (1:15)
    • JX: 21 (63 clicks)
  • Water at 95°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 50g of water to bloom, then return kettle to base
  4. 0:10 – 0:15: Gently Swirl
  5. 0:45 – 1:00: Pour up to 100g total (40% total weight)
    • Hold kettle for the remainder of the brewing process
  6. 1:10 – 1:20: Pour up to 150g total (60% total weight)
  7. 1:30 – 1:40: Pour up to 200g total (80% total weight)
  8. 1:50 – 2:00: Pour up to 250g total (100% total weight)
  9. 2:00 – 2:05: Gently swirl
  10. Drawdown should finish somewhere around 2:30-2:40

This was pretty good from the get-go. I used the same recipe that I have been using for Rise Up Organic Maryland Coffee (also a medium roast, but sourced from Central America) but made it a shade stronger, using 18g coffee vs 17g. I think I prefer the flavor at this strength, but definitely wouldn’t want to drink more than 250g at a time, else I’d be bouncing off the walls. 😀

12/4: 17g (1:14.7) had very good flavor without tasting overly strong, but I’m still feeling the caffeine afterward. Might be that this is the ideal strength, but I’m going to try at 16g next time to see how it turns out.

12/11: Tried 17g at grind setting 19 (slightly finer) just as an experiment, and was not crazy about it. It just tasted a little “off”. I wouldn’t expect it to taste much different from setting 20, so maybe the water temperature dropped too much during brewing, or something was off with my technique. I’ll have to decide what I want to do for the next cup. I could continue playing around with grind settings just to see what happens, or I could bump the water temperature a couple degrees higher, or I could just go back to what has been working up to today.

12/13: Went back to grind setting 20 this morning, and brewed 300g water with 20g coffee (1:15), pouring 60g at a time vs 50g. For some reason, 300g seems to taste “better” than 250g in some way I can’t quite put my finger on. I’ve noticed it with other light-to-medium roasts as well, when brewing larger quantities of coffee using the pourover method.

12/18: I seem to be getting cups that are alternately good and alternately bitter/over-extracted. Yesterday was in the former camp, but today was in the latter. Maybe it’s time to try a slightly coarser grind and/or slightly lower water temperature. I’d like to get a little better consistency out of my last few cups from this bag, so I have a starting point for the next time I buy these.

12/19: Tried grind setting 21 today for the first time, and it turned out very nicely, in spite of me having spilled the beans all over the place prior to grinding them. 😮 The cup was smooth with no hints of yesterday’s bitterness. Seems like at setting 20, it was more sensitive to very small variations in water temperature and/or brewing technique. Hoping that 21 will produce consistently good cups. I’ll find out over the next few days. It’s also worth noting that my past several cups (going back a week or so) have all been 300g water with 20g coffee.

12/24: Used up the last of the beans. I brewed several 250g and 300g cups at 1:15.6 and grind setting 21, and they all turned out good. Updated the recipe for posterity.

Zeke’s Harvest Moon AeroPress

I had not used my AP in a couple of months, so I decided to dust it off today:

  • Beans: “Harvest Moon” medium roast (Indonesia/South Asia)
    • Roaster: Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast date: 10/30/2023
  • JX: 2 turns (Grind setting 20)
  • 96°C water
  • 15 grams coffee / 200 grams water (1:13.3)
  • Two paper filters, pre-moistened
  • Recipe: An AeroPress Recipe by Tim Wendelboe
  1. Set AeroPress up in standard orientation and rinse filters
  2. Add 200g water to AeroPress
  3. Stir 3 times back to front
  4. Insert plunger and pull up to stop dripping
  5. Steep for 60 seconds
  6. Remove plunger and stir 3 times back to front again
  7. Insert plunger and press slowly

This recipe is actually very similar to one I tried back in September with a different batch of medium-roasted beans. According to my notes, that cup tasted “thin bodied”. Today’s cup, however, was pretty good. Here are the main differences:

  • 95°C water in Sept., vs 96° today
  • One paper filter in Sept., vs 2 today
  • Grind setting 18 in Sept., vs 20 today — September’s was slightly finer
  • Beans 10.5 weeks past roast date (vs 2.5 weeks)

The single biggest difference here was bean freshness. It’s possible that September’s beans may have been starting to get a little stale. Anyhow, I’ll probably try another cup using these beans with this recipe, and see if it turns out similarly to today’s.

I’m hoping to work the AP back into my “rotation” a little bit more frequently, as I’m considering using it as an option for making coffee while traveling. The idea would be to dial a recipe in for a light to medium roast, figure out the quantities of water and coffee used (to eliminate the need for a scale), and pre-grind enough beans for my trip. Then I would pack the AeroPress and ground coffee, and in theory, all I’d need at my destination would be a way to boil water.

11/22: After a slightly bitter cup a couple of days ago, I dropped the water temperature to 90° today and the resulting cup wasn’t bad. Setting 20 is on the coarse side of the “AeroPress range” on the 1Zpresso grind chart, so I might try it a little bit finer next time, just to see what happens.

11/25: I’m currently still at 90°, which seems to work well. Yesterday, I used grind setting 19, and today I tried 18, both of which have been good, with today’s maybe slightly better, although the difference is subtle, and as I’m tasting the cups 24 hours apart, also could be somewhat subjective. I think I’ll just keep nudging it finer and finer until it starts to taste over-extracted, at which point I’ll know it’s making a difference. 😀 I do think that I should probably start using an insulated mug when brewing at lower temperatures this time of year, as today’s cup cooled off very quickly in my ceramic mug, in spite of my having preheated it.

11/26: I think we are finally hitting the point of diminishing returns at grind setting 17. It was still a reasonably good cup, but with a slight hint of bitterness. So, the ideal setting would seem to be 18, or possibly one of the two positions between 18 and 17.

Two Cup French Press

I have brewed mostly single cups of coffee in the French press, which, while it works, is better suited for something like the AeroPress. Today, I brewed a larger batch, which turned out pretty good:

  • Beans: “Harvest Moon” medium roast (Indonesia/South Asia)
    • Roaster: Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast date: 10/30/2023
  • 40 grams coffee, 520 grams water (1:13 ratio)
  • French press
  • Gooseneck kettle
  1. Preheat French press
  2. Heat brew water to 95°C
  3. Coarse grind (JX setting 30, or 3 rotations)
  4. Start timer and pour at the same time
  5. Pour 100 grams or so of water and return kettle to base
  6. Swirl to get all the grounds wet, and bloom until 1:00
  7. Top up to 520 grams of water and stir slowly a few times
  8. Steep for 6 more minutes, plunge, and pour

This recipe is kind of a testament to the fact that it’s hard to screw things up with a French press. I bet it would taste good with or without a separate bloom, with or without stirring/swirling, and regardless of total steep time (within reason). 6 minutes seems to be long enough to get good extraction without letting the coffee cool down too much.

11/21: This recipe tasted a little bitter this morning. Maybe try dropping the water temperature to 90°.

Zeke’s Harvest Moon Pourover

  • Beans: “Harvest Moon” (Indonesia/South Asia)
    • Medium roast (5/8)
    • Roaster: Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast date: 10/30/2023
  • 18g coffee / 250g water (1:13.8)
  • JX: 2 rotations (20 on the grind chart / 60 total clicks)
  • Water at 95°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 50g of water to bloom, then return kettle to base
  4. 0:10 – 0:15: Gently Swirl
  5. 0:45 – 1:00: Pour up to 100g total (40% total weight)
    • Hold kettle for the remainder of the brewing process
  6. 1:10 – 1:20: Pour up to 150g total (60% total weight)
  7. 1:30 – 1:40: Pour up to 200g total (80% total weight)
  8. 1:50 – 2:00: Pour up to 250g total (100% total weight)
  9. 2:00 – 2:05: Gently swirl
  10. Drawdown finished around 2:55

I bought this bag yesterday at the grocery store, after using up the last of my bag of Zeke’s Market Blend. While both are labeled as medium roasts, visually, these beans are not as dark as the Market Blend beans. I decided to start off with the recipe I’ve been using for light roasts, with slightly cooler water. This is the exact same recipe I used initially with the Market Blend, which was good for the first cup or two, but required tweaking thereafter. We’ll see how it goes with Harvest Moon, but this afternoon’s cup tasted perfectly fine. I think this might be the first time I have brewed with beans from Asia, and they definitely have a uniquely different flavor compared to Central/South America and Africa.

11/6: Yesterday’s cup had a very, very small tinge of bitterness, which is one of those things where it really didn’t detract from the flavor, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to see if I could eliminate it. Tried today with a slightly coarser grind (63 clicks) and while it did eliminate the slight bitter taste, it made the cup a little bit weaker. I’m going to go back to the original grind setting. If the bitterness becomes problematic, I can either try the coarser grind with a little bit more coffee (say 1:13) or bump the water temperature down 5 degrees or so.

11/7: Brewed 500g this morning using the 2-cup recipe with 36g of coffee at grind setting 20 and 65-70g initial bloom water. Turned out pretty good. Once again, I think that brewing with the larger volume of water leads to slightly better-extracted coffee. (11/9) Second batch brewed like this was good as well, but seemed on the strong side.

11/10: Brewed using my starting recipe (pre-11/6) with one modification: I used 99°C water to bloom and 90°C water to brew. Yes, I’m sick (again) and my senses of taste/smell are accordingly blunted, and yes, I also burned my tongue, but from what I could tell in spite of all that, this turned out pretty good. It had no discernible bitterness, and seemed pretty smooth and balanced. I’ll try another cup like this soon.

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.

Zeke’s Market Blend Pourover

  • Beans: “Market Blend” (Ethiopia/Guatemala)
    • Medium roast (5/8)
    • Roaster: Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast date: 10/2/2023
  • 17g coffee / 250g water (1:14.7)
  • JX: 2 rotations (20 on the grind chart / 60 total clicks)
  • Water at 95°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 50g to 60g of water to bloom, then return kettle to base
    • 16g coffee → 50-55g water; 17g coffee → 55-60g water
  4. 0:10 – 0:15: Gently Swirl
  5. 0:45 – 1:00: Pour up to 100g total (40% total weight)
    • Hold kettle for the remainder of the brewing process
  6. 1:10 – 1:20: Pour up to 150g total (60% total weight)
  7. 1:30 – 1:40: Pour up to 200g total (80% total weight)
  8. 1:50 – 2:00: Pour up to 250g total (100% total weight)
  9. 2:00 – 2:05: Gently swirl
  10. Drawdown finished around 2:55

I picked this bag up last night at the grocery store, after using up the last of the beans I bought in Minneapolis. I brewed my first cup with what has become my go-to starting pourover recipe for medium roasts. It turned out pretty good. It probably helps that I really like dark chocolate, as that was the most prominent flavor I noticed. If the cups consistently turn out like this, I don’t think I need to spend much time tweaking the recipe. As the weather gets cooler, I might want to start thinking about preheating my mug (or switching to an insulated mug) when brewing with water below boiling, so the coffee stays hot a little longer, and I’m not tempted to drink it too quickly.

I noticed that the grocery store also carries beans from Rise Up Coffee Roasters, which is based on the Eastern Shore. I may try one of theirs after I finish my other bag of Zeke’s, which is getting pretty low.

10/12: The same recipe tasted a little bitter this morning. This afternoon, I made another cup using a coarser grind (JX setting 25, or 2.5 rotations), and it was better, but a little bit watery tasting. So, maybe the ideal grind setting is somewhere in between 20 and 25.

10/13: Brewed at grind setting 22 (2 rotations + 6 clicks). Maybe a little better than yesterday’s cup, but still a little bit under-extracted.

10/14: Brewed at grind setting 21 (2 rotations + 3 clicks) and also increased starting water temperature to 99°C. Not perfect yet, but moving in the right direction. Could be that medium roasts need a higher starting temperature with pourover than with immersion? I always preheat the dripper, but I’m sure the water still loses a fair amount of heat while sitting in there percolating. This will be even more noticeable when the air temperature in the room is cooler (e.g. winter).

Epilogue: I eventually figured out a recipe that produces consistently good cups. Synopsis: grind setting 23 (2 rotations + 9 clicks), ratio 1:13 to 1:14, 99°C water to bloom, and 81°C-85°C water to brew. So, my 10/14 hypothesis was wrong — cooler brew water, and a slightly stronger ratio, turned out to be the difference makers.