• Beans: “Guatemala (Single Origin)” from Rise Up Coffee Roasters (Easton, MD)
    • Roast level: Medium
    • Origin: Guatemala (Asociación Chajulense, Quiché)
    • Roast date: 3/26/24
    • Purchase date: 4/9/24 at Green Valley Marketplace in Elkridge, MD
  • V60:
    • 21g coffee / 300g water (1:14.3)
    • JX: 20 (60 clicks)
    • Water at 95°C
    • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover with slow pour

I brewed my first cup of these on Sunday afternoon (4/14), using grind setting 20, and it was really good. The flavor was great with no bitterness and low acidity. Just as an experiment, I nudged the grind one “click” finer on Monday morning, and another “click” finer this morning (Tuesday), but those cups did not taste as good — not bitter, but just lacking the flavor of the first cup. I returned to setting 20 this afternoon, and it was much better. I have a hard time believing that such a tiny adjustment to the grind made such a big difference in taste, but I guess anything is possible. It will be interesting to see how subsequent cups turn out.

Black Acres Lexington Market Blend

  • Beans: “Lexington Market Blend” from Black Acres Roastery (Baltimore, MD)
    • Roast level: looks like lighter end of medium*
    • Origins: Mexico Mico de Noche, Organic Colombia Sierra Nevada
    • Tasting Notes: Cherry Cordials, Praline, Rich Chocolate
    • Purchase date: 3/22/24
  • V60:
    • 21g coffee / 300g water (1:14.3)
    • JX: 19 (57 clicks)
    • Water at 95°C
    • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover with slow pour; draw-down finished around 2:50

Cathy picked this bag up at Lexington Market (surprise, surprise). The web site says it is a dark roast, but I think that may be a mistake — the beans have a tan to light brown coloring, with no oils visible on the surface. To my (admittedly amateur) eye, they look like a light to medium roast. In any case, I’ve been brewing them like a medium roast, with good results so far. I made my first cup 2 or 3 days ago at setting 25, but it tasted weak. 20 was an improvement yesterday, and 19 was a little bit better still today. It had pretty good body with a definite hint of cherries and a mild bit of acidity.

4/8: For the moment, 18 appears to be the best grind setting. It seems to bring out most of the chocolate flavor, which complements the fruitiness nicely and results in a nice, well-balanced cup. I tried it at 17 (slightly finer) but did not like it as much — it seemed to have a bit less sweetness and a bit more acidity. It will be interesting to see if I need to tweak things as the beans age, but I may go through them quickly, as I don’t have any others at the moment.

4/9: I decided to brew a cup with my ceramic size 1 V60, which I had not used in a while. I kept everything else the same, and I used my old tried-and-true preheating method of sticking a Fernco cap on the bottom of the dripper and filling it with water from the kettle. I pre-moistened the filter at the same time. Later in the day, for comparison, I brewed a second cup with the plastic size 2 V60. The first big thing I noticed was that with the ceramic V60, the water drained down a lot faster. It was finished by around 2:30, vs. 2:50-3:00 for the plastic V60. I’m not sure if this is because of the different geometry of the dripper, different filters (size 1 vs size 2, but both Hario brand unbleached paper filters), or something else. The cup brewed in plastic was better than the cup brewed in ceramic: the former had more flavor and body, and while the latter wasn’t bad, it was a little bit thinner, likely because the faster drain-down led to less extraction of the grounds. I’m curious to see if this is more related to the size of the V60, or the material, but to determine that, I’d need to buy a plastic size 1 V60. In any case, with the ceramic, it might make sense to use a finer grind to try to slow down the brew a little bit. I’m fine just sticking with the plastic, but I have a lot of size 1 filters to use up.

4/14: I used the rest of these up this morning. Like the beans I bought in Morton a month or so ago, I had to start grinding these finer to keep the cups from getting weak. I finished up at grind setting 15, and at that setting, the draw-down finished at around 3:00. The last few cups were still pretty good, if not quite as good as the first few cups.

LnB Organic Fair Trade Peruvian

  • Beans: “Organic Fair Trade Peruvian” from Leaves ‘n Beans Coffee (Peoria Heights, IL)
    • Roast level: medium
    • Purchase date: 3/9/24
  • V60:

Started these off at grind setting 29, only because that setting had been working well with the beans I just used up. It wasn’t bad, but had a very slight hint of acidity. I tried it a little bit finer at 28, and got a really good, smooth cup. I then tried 27, and it wasn’t quite as good, so I went back to 28, and I think I’ll stay there for the time being. Compared to my past few bags of Zeke’s, these beans are similar in that they grind pretty cleanly and don’t leave much residue in the grinder, but they take several seconds longer to draw down.

3/17 (Happy St. Patrick’s Day): acidity creeping in at 28 this morning, so this afternoon, I tried 26, which is the finest I’ve ground these so far. It was very good at this setting, so maybe finer is the right idea after all. I definitely felt the caffeine in this cup, so maybe 1:14.3 is a little too strong, though. FWIW, the draw-down finished at around 2:45-2:50 at this setting.

3/19: After 2 days of really good cups at setting 26, both cups today tasted weak and watery. I don’t think anything changed WRT water temperature, ratio or my brewing technique, so I’m not sure what happened. I guess I’ll try it finer tomorrow morning.

3/20: Adjusted grind to 24 this morning, and I think it was a little bit too fine, as it was starting to taste bitter. It will be another 6 days before I brew these beans again, but when I do, I’ll try 25. Could be that 25-26 is good, and I just need to adjust the ratio as the beans age, but I won’t know for sure until next week.

3/26: Setting 25 was not an improvement today. The cup tasted weak and lifeless. I haven’t changed anything WRT technique or recipe vs 10 days or so when I was getting fantastic cups, so my only conclusion is that the beans must be getting past their prime. I think I’m going to switch to AeroPress and see if I can get better results with immersion.

3/27: My usual AeroPress technique at 1:14 (ish) and grind setting 20 yielded a thin-bodied cup, which makes me suspect even more that the beans have degraded. I’ve been storing them in a Fellow vacuum canister, but haven’t been terribly impressed with these canisters, as they seem to slowly lose their seal over several days. I’ve moved the beans to a mason jar, because at least I can be confident it’s airtight. I tried pourover again today with grind setting 25 and a stronger ratio of 1:12.5 (24g coffee / 300g water) and it was better, but still tasted a little bit acidic/under-extracted. I’ll probably keep the strong ratio and start slowly adjusting the grind finer to see if I can get any improvement, or if it just starts getting bitter.

3/28: V60 at grind setting 24, 24g coffee and 300g water was a huge improvement over the past few days. The only thing of note is that I pre-wet the filter with water from the insta-hot tap, which I hadn’t been doing recently, but I doubt that made a huge difference. I could probably go a little bit finer still with the grind, but this was a good start. I don’t have many of the beans left, though.

4/2: Brewed the last of these (all except for about 7-8g) at grind setting 25 and 24g/300g. I didn’t check these notes ahead of time, and forgot that I had most recently been using grind setting 24. Probably not much of a difference either way. Today, I made a point of trying to slow down the water flow rate by pouring as slowly as the kettle would allow. The result was a pretty good cup.

4/7: I had 7-8g of beans to use up, so as an experiment, I ground it really fine (JX setting 10) and brewed it with 90g water (roughly 1:12) at 95C using my go-to AeroPress method (bloom with around 15g water until 0:45, top up to 90g, stir 5-6x, steep until 3:00, stir 5-6x again, press slowly) and although the cup cooled off quickly due to the low volume of water, it had pretty good flavor and body. I was surprised that it wasn’t bitter. So, these beans seem to like a really fine grind, at least after they age for a few weeks. There’s at least an outside chance I’ll try them again the next time I’m in the Peoria area, though I’d say more likely I’ll try something else from the same roaster, just for the sake of variety.

Zeke’s Snow Day Blend

  • Beans: “Snow Day Blend” from Zeke’s Coffee (Baltimore, MD)
    • Source: Bali Blue Krishna (Indonesia) / Tanzania Peaberry
    • Roast level: medium (4/8)
    • Roast date: 2/19/24
    • Purchase date: 2/27/24
  • V60:

Similar story to pretty much everything I’ve been brewing with my plastic size 2 V60 lately: I started too fine, and am slowly adjusting coarser in an attempt to make the coffee not taste bitter. This was starting to taste pretty good at 28 today, but could maybe go a couple more clicks. I think that my rule of thumb for light to medium roasts is going to be to wait until 10 days to 2 weeks past roast date, and then start with a grind setting of 28 to 30.

3/11: I brewed my first pourover with these in 9 days, using grind setting 29, and it was quite good. I’ll keep this setting for the next few cups, and see how it goes.

3/14: Used these up today. This has been one of my favorite blends from Zeke’s. Once I got the grind setting dialed in at 29, every cup was very consistently good. I also brewed several cups with the AeroPress while out of town, and those cups were good too (if not quite as good as the pourovers) in spite of inconsistent water temperatures and bean/water ratios.

Orinoco Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

  • Beans: “Ethiopia Yirgacheffe”
    • Medium roast
    • Roaster: Orinoco Coffee & Tea, Ltd. (Jessup, MD)
    • Roast date: Unknown (best by 10/28/24)
    • Purchase date: 2/20/24
  • 20g coffee / 300g water (1:15)
  • JX: 30 (90 clicks) for V60; 13 (39 clicks) for AeroPress
  • Water at 95°C
  • Recipe: Single Cup V60 Pourover, Light/Medium Roast AeroPress (TBD)

Taking some time to get this dialed in with the V60. I started at grind setting 20, and it was way too bitter. I brewed a couple of cups around 25/26, and they were less bitter, but still lacking. I backed off to 30 today (2/23) and it was the best cup so far, but seems like it could be better. The V60 drains really quickly at this setting: it is mostly finished by 2:30.

For AeroPress, I used this recipe with 250g water, 17g coffee, and grind setting 13. The flavor was good, but it was a little bit lacking in body, so I’ll start nudging it finer.

2/24: Brewed AeroPress with grind setting 12 this morning, and it was unpleasantly bitter, which kind of surprised me, given how it turned out at 13 yesterday. This afternoon, I brewed V60 at setting 29, which seemed a little better than 30. Will try at 28 tomorrow.

2/25 (morning): (V60) bitterness creeping in at 28. Seems like 29/30 may be the best setting. Could this be an issue with the beans being too “fresh” again? I wish I knew the exact roast date..

2/25 (afternoon): Went back to setting 29 with V60, and it was the best cup I’ve had to date. The only difference from yesterday afternoon’s cup was that I stirred the grounds with a spoon during the bloom phase instead of swirling.

2/27: Even 30 was bitter yesterday!! 32 was better today, but thinking 31 might be the sweet spot (today, at least 😀). This was the first time I had ever used a setting coarser than 30. These beans are behaving similarly to the last two bags of Zeke’s beans that I started brewing just a couple of days after the roast date. This lends credence to my theory that they may have been too “fresh” when I started brewing them.

3/1: I never quite figured out how to get a consistently good cup with these beans with the V60. However, I brewed a very good cup with the AeroPress this morning: 17g beans to 240g water (around 1:14), Prismo + metal and paper filters, 95°C water, JX grind setting 15 — pour 50-55g, stir, bloom until 0:45, top to 240g, stir 4x, steep until 3:00, stir 4x, press slowly. This cup was full-bodied and strong, with good flavor. That was the last of the beans, but noting this as a good starting point for when I eventually buy more of them.

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.

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 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.

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.