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Thread: The Fundamental Things Apply.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    The Fundamental Things Apply.

    This from Alan Frew at Coffeeco, a lot of common sense stuff here, should be compulsory reading for neophytes.

    May 2018 Newsletter


    Fundamentals are an often overlooked aspect of brewing coffee. I get
    a fair bit of correspondence from non-customers, usually from
    overseas, asking for solutions to brewing problems. In most cases
    the problems come down to mechanical failures in coffee brewers or
    ignorance of some fundamental aspect of brewing.

    I thought it would be worthwhile to go over some of the simpler
    things that can cause problems, starting with good quality fresh
    roasted beans (of course). You can store beans in a sealed
    container for about 2 weeks, in anormal fridge freezer (-4C)
    for 4 to 6 weeks, chest freezer (-18C)for 3 months and dry ice
    temperature (-78C) for up to a year.

    Then comes grinding, and I'd say about half of all the problems I
    see are grind based. One of the most common espresso problems is
    simply not adjusting the grinder when the beans change, either by
    type, season or roast level. A slightly lighter roast needs a finer
    grind; slightly darker a coarser grind. Filter brewers can be more
    forgiving, but some of the latest models require precision grinding,
    as does the Aeropress.
    The least grind sensitive brewing methods are plunger and syphon,
    because it's easy to adjust the brewing time to accommodate grind
    variations. That's another fundamental rule, the finer the grind the
    shorter the brewing time, with the exception being middle eastern
    coffee brewed in an Ibrik.
    Finer grind equals greater surface area equals faster extraction. Of
    course, with filter brewing a finer grind may slow down the passage
    of coffee through the filter, lengthening the extraction time, which
    is why precision is needed. Overextraction leads to undesirable
    bitterness.
    Temperature is the next fundamental variable. My personal preference
    is a water temperature between 88C and 92C, regardless of process,
    but again dependant on roast level. In my experience, very dark
    roasts extract best around 88C, but very light "Scandinavian"
    roasts can require up to 96C to get a drinkable result. Remember,
    this is the temperature of the water as it first contacts the ground
    coffee, and things will immediately get cooler. This is why I like
    Coffee Syphons so much, and all my "final" cupping for the specials
    is done with syphon brewed coffee.
    Once you've standardized the grind, the temperature takes care of
    itself, allowing you to adjust the brewing time as necessary.
    The final fundamental is origin, i.e. where is the coffee grown, and
    where did it originate. There is a new book, The Coffee Atlas of
    Ethiopia, by Dr. Aaron Davis and his Kew Gardens UK team which gets
    down to the DNA level of the origins of coffee. In his words,
    "Ethiopian Arabica DNA diversity has a distinct geographical
    pattern, which, in combination with the diverse local climates of
    each origin, yields a cornucopia of flavour profiles.. It became
    clear that there are many unique and interesting flavour experiences
    that are hardly known outside Ethiopia, and that there are several
    origins barely touched upon, if at all, by specialty coffee
    providers."
    bosco, simonsk8r, bigdaddy and 1 others like this.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    71
    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Good read, even for those eith a few coffees under their belt

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