jaybar Senior Member Joined: 13 Sep 2011 Posts: 107 Location: Brooklyn Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012, 12:37pm Subject: Options for Brewing a single Mug that are forgiving of pour technique?
I really love my 8 cup glass handle chemex and use it for 20-24 ounces. There are himes, however that I wish to brew MUCH less coffee. By much less I mean enough to fill an 11 ounce mugh and leave 1 ince at the top. I am not sure my 8 cup chemex is the best option for making a final brew of 9-10 ounces. Given my eyesight and eye-hand coordination, I have ruled out Hario as requiring two exacting a poor (I tried) . I am looking for a reasonably tolerant device. I have the Kalita 185 and that is definately much more tolerant than the Hario, but I wonder if it can only brew 10 ounces? I like methods with a 3-5 minute brew time.
Here are some possibilities that have come to mind:
1) Kalita 155 2) Continue to use the Kalita 185 for rather small batches 3) 1-3 xup Chemex 4) Some type of non-plastic drip cone
I am atrracted to both Chemex and Kalita in that I have used them with good results.
Any thoughts including other possibilities I missed.
oktyone Senior Member Joined: 26 Apr 2012 Posts: 26 Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012, 3:02pm Subject: Re: Options for Brewing a single Mug that are forgiving of pour technique?
I'd say an Aeropress or a Clever, but since you prefer non-plastic you might consider the the german porcelain Walkure Karlsbad or Bayreuth brewers, not only are they beautifully made out of ceramic, they don't even require paper or metal filters, the top portion of the brewer includes a water difuser that allows for a forgiving pour technique while evenly saturating the coffee and a filter mesh made entirely out of the same ceramic as the rest of the brewer, i like them, but since they only recently have been imported to the U.S, you'll find it hard to find pre-given brewing instructions or parameters, but if you like experimenting it should be pretty cool, they come in different sizes, the smallest one being for one cup.
Intelligentsia sells some of them on their website, so does SeattleCoffeeGear and most recently Prima Coffee, they're a bit pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion.
Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012, 10:18pm Subject: Re: Options for Brewing a single Mug that are forgiving of pour technique?
Like most are saying, use the Clever. I have one with a gold filter. Works awesome; brew tastes very similar to french press.
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674
Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 8:08pm Subject: Re: Options for Brewing a single Mug that are forgiving of pour technique?
Most of the Melitta filter based drippers (BeeHouse, BonMac...) are ceramic, pretty forgiving and make a very good cup. I would recommend steering away from the size 1 as it is nice to have a little extra room and that size gives no headroom at all.
Stick to your guns and stay away from methods that brew in plastic, nylon and silicone, whether you taste it or not it is there.
I'd recommend steering away from the Espro FP as it uses silicone rings around the plunger. I personally can taste silicone when it's in the brew as well as when I'm using a travel mug using silicone rings to seal the lid. I have a beautiful Nissan Thermos mug I bought for $27 that I cannot use due to the coffee passing the silicone rings and adding a bad off flavor (which I highly doubt is merely a flavor, but rather chemicals leaching in the coffee). It's a shame, I otherwise love that mug.
Posted Mon Jun 18, 2012, 8:16am Subject: Re: Options for Brewing a single Mug that are forgiving of pour technique?
IMO, what you're looking for is something that's as forgiving as a full contact brew, but operates like a pourover and without plastic contact.
That's a tall order - steep and release brewers, well, there's only one on the market, Abid Clever Coffee Dripper. Very forgiving, very versatile. Plastic housing and silicone seal.
Manual pourovers are finicky methods to make coffee - better with bigger batches. I find I'm more consistent if I'm measuring to the overly detail oriented +/-0.05g. They are very sensitive to what seem like very small variations in the amount of coffee and brew water.
However, you already have a Kalita 155 - so do your own steep and release brewer. All you need is a Pyrex (or equivalent) measuring cup as your "contact brewer" (they hold heat VERY well, for nice brewing temperature profile). Alternatively, you COULD get away with a mason canning jar, so long as you don't shock it with boiling water.
You'd brew like this:
Decide on your brew ratio (I recommend 16g water / g of coffee, or 6.25% of brew water as the coffee) Decide how much coffee you want.
Coffee you want (in grams) = Dry Coffee * (Brew Water Ratio - Absorption) Most pourovers average Absorption ~2.
Dry Coffee (grams) = Coffee you want / (Brew Water Ratio - Absorption) = Coffee you want / (14)
If you want 280g of coffee (about 9 1/2 oz give or take):
280/14 = 20g of coffee, so you'll need 320g of hot brew water. You'll get about 280g of coffee but with this method your strength will taste best if you get around 1.23% or so.
Preheat the pyrex cup. (or not, your choice). Tare scale and add desired coffee. (20g) Tare scale and add desired water at desired temperature. (320g) Start timer. Stir in the bloom (not whisk, just pat, wet and stir it in). Stir occasionally but stop stirring ~1 minute prior to end of contact time. At the end of timing, transfer contents from pyrex measuring cup to the pourover device on your cup of coffee. This portion depends on the desired results:
-If you gently pour off just the top and leave the last settled grounds in the pyrex cup, you'll get less clarity, more oils, and great body. -If you stir the whole shebang just before you pour it in and put all the grounds in too, you'll get better clarity, potentially more fruits and brightness, and decent body but not as much as before.
A couple of things you might run into:
If you grind too fine, then the dust will migrate quickly to the filter and clog it. This will also happen if you use a whirlyblade, regardless of the grind average size. If the filter clogs, it will take FOREVER to drain.
I'd recommend you start with a french press grind from a decent burr grinder and slowly migrate to finer as you tune the brew. This should reduce the chances of filter choking.
A good place to start is 3 1/2 minutes.
------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------- Le café doit être noir comme le diable, chaud comme l'enfer, pur comme un ange, et doux comme l'amour.
"There is no right answer with coffee. There is only the elixir in your cup at the moment you partake."
"...I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind;..." - Lord Kelvin RECIPES thread => http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/machines/585708
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