Another brew video in our long running, and long paused, brew aides. There were some requests in the comments to do an Aeropress demo, so we listened - thank you sir and/or madam for watching the other videos. The Aeropress is pretty much the best travel brewer we know of; it's lightweight, virtually unbreakable, and usually produces a better cup than other road coffee options. Again this video reflects 'an' approach not 'the' approach.
The other great thing about the Aeropress is how egalitarian it is as a brew device. The price point is very accessible and there are almost an endless number of recipes and techniques you can find online. Then there's the whole inverted versus right-side up polarizing discussions.
If you ever get the chance to watch an Aeropress competition, it's probably the most fun competitive coffee event we've witnessed. Sprudge has a write-up of the Dutch Aeropress competition with recipes and winners and we have photos of the Aeropress competition we hosted in the shop last year.
A little tale about 'flash' brewed iced coffee. All the complaints and criticisms are true, but when it works with the right coffee it's delicious. We use a KONE 1 or 2, but adjustments to grind could be made in order to use a straight up chemex paper filter.
An overview of immersive brewing with the Eva Solo/Cafe Solo. Big bow to Thumbcat Media. Another great production.
A little context in an effort to underscore that the parameters in this video series are not forever parameters or even parameters that work with all coffee and all levels of roast. But instead starting points, mainly with respect to Sump roasted coffees, for developing a rigor, method, and discipline for making coffee.
Video No. 1: Particle Size
The first in a series of 5 videos regarding brewing guides/thought palettes. These are not intended as Walter from The Big Lebowski might say as "drawing a line in the sand," but instead coffee contextualization or jumping off points for developing a brewing tool kit. This first video discusses the importance of particle size (of the ground coffee) relative to brew methods and the resultant cups. We'll release a video weekly for the next 5 weeks. We hope you find something useful in them. Big thanks to http://www.hannahradcliff.com and Edward Calvey for their time, energy and skills in putting it all together.
Video No. 2: Brew Methods (a subset)
This one focuses on different brew methods without a lot of the specifics for actually brewing them (some of which will be in later videos). This is more of a discussion on the 'why' of picking a particular brew method. Again, not bright line rules, but suggestions for developing a brewing vocabulary, toolkit, and a Tao. Enjoy. (All mistakes, errors, omissions and misstatements lie with the videographer -kidding, they are ours alone.)
Video No. 3: French Press and French Press-like (and also thus marks the moustache twirl intro).
This time a little more focus on a specific brew method (or style of brewing -immersive). Again, not lines in the sands, but lines of suggestion. With these methods, I think it's important that you DO NOT 'set it and forget' as the 'great' Ron Propeil once said; and also to not over agitate the 'system' when 'pressing' or decanting. It's okay that a little coffee 'slush' stays behind too. There are of course variations on the French Press that skip over the press -they are not discussed here; and if you must know our current favorite immersion method is the one that employs the Eva Solo.
Video No. 4: Hario V60
A method (not 'the' method) for brewing a Hario V60. There are many, many such guides on the inter-webs so look around and adopt the one that gives you the best cup on a consistent basis. A lot more detail on this method can be found at http://www.saucemagazine.com/blog/?p=.... In general, because we roast light -it's important to get the dosing of the coffee to water ratio correct -or at minimum pay attention to it. So a tighter coffee/water ratio will increase the body slightly -so something like 1/15 to 1/13 depending on how heavy you want the weight of the coffee mouth feel-wise. This method mirrors a classic drip, but with more control over the final cup (as say compared to an auto drip pot. It's not as clean as a Chemex, but usually lighter than say a Bee House, Bonmac or Malita -which we find tends to lend the cup slightly more body.We chose this method often in the shop because it can be done relatively quickly and it seems less prone to do-overs.
I think thematically you should notice from this series is that you need a scale and that you need to pay attention to whichever brew method you chose. That should ultimately be the take home message. Pay attention, weigh and let your palate push you further and to better brews.
Video No. 5: Chemex
The last one of this 5 video series. We want to thank Hannah Radcliff and Edward for shooting and editing this series.
We would like you to view the series as a brewing arc and as a framework for your own coffee discovery and exploration. We see these specific recipes in the French Press, V60 and Chemex videos as starting points, much like the initial conditions in a game of Clue. These are baseline parameters (and ones we rely on often in the shop) for brewing, just like in the game of Clue there are baseline clues for starting the game, which after some iteration, the Who of Who Done it and with What and Where are discovered.
For instance, assume there exists an equation that defines an 'excellent' cup of coffee. Further suppose that equation looks something like:
Amount of Coffee + Amount of Water + Amount of Surface Area + Water Temperature + Type of Water + Brewing Device + Type of Bean + Degree of Roast + Date of Roast + Amount of Time = Excellent Cup
Then these videos are the beginning of a discussion of such an equation, wherein you start at x and iterate to y and then to z and then to x' by varying a single variable and observing what each change creates, ultimately letting your senses drive you to your ultimate end (provided you interject a health dose of social consciousness -like treating people fairly (whether farmers, baristas, etc.) in sourcing your beans, as well as considering the environment (recycle) around you (tangent feeling I know).