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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > I need it strong...  
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 7:56pm
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

dear god, I didn't realize how much I appreciated a very well conceived Subj line...
Sorry, ... what were we speaking of again?...
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 178
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 1:32am
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

jpender Said:

For the simple reason that I don't own one.

Posted September 16, 2013 link

As far as reasons to not use a French press go, that's got to be top of the list ;-)

Measured the Sowden water temp at fill up, in the vessel, 91.5C when grinds were added, dropping to 90.8C when combined.

For the FP & Sowden I don't typically secondary filter (I use to do it all the time with the FP), so I can see that mouthfeel would be reduced.

EDIT: Perhaps a few more seconds waiting after the boil would have been better today (a tad hasty with the thermometer) & a "C" or so less, acidity is up on yesterday's brew & a little less sweetness.
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Brandi
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Sep 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 5:54am
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

Wow! Who knew this post would inspire such debate!!!???

Thanks for the suggestions.  I got out my Aeropress and I discovered that by using the inverted method, I can make a lovely cup of coffee at work with little mess and quickly.  I would still kind of like to try espresso machine with ESE pods, but I have discovered that you cannot make your own.  What I thought was a pod maker actually makes pods for the Senseo machine.  There is a method to make pods by folding down regular coffee filters.  I may try it this weekend, but honestly, I'm really excited about the Aeropress.  The inverted method rocks!
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 178
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 6:35am
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

Thanks for reporting back Brandi, the Aeropress is hard to beat for clean, convenient, one cup brewing.
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 9:14am
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

John, Mark, Steve: brilliant study material. Thank you for the insights. Congrats Brandi!
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 699
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 2:06pm
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

MWJB Said:

For the FP & Sowden I don't typically secondary filter (I use to do it all the time with the FP), so I can see that mouthfeel would be reduced.

Posted September 17, 2013 link

I use a coarse metal filter in the Aeropress most of the time. I used it with the mason jar brew just to remove any larger particles in the decanted fluid.

MWJB Said:

Measured the Sowden water temp at fill up, in the vessel, 91.5C when grinds were added, dropping to 90.8C when combined.

Posted September 17, 2013 link

Thanks for checking that. It appears that the mason jar (which by the way isn't different from any other glass jar) had comparable temperatures.

Last night I brewed four more cups, all with an Aeropress.
The basic recipe was 20g coffee, 220g water, LIDO 1.5, 1-2 min steep, brief stir at start and end, Able Disk filter.

1) Standard method: 93C water added to the coffee -- delicious.
2) Coffee added to 96-97C water -- not bad but there was a distinct bitterness that lingered.
3) Coffee added to 96-97C water but no stirring at all -- again, a bitter note that could not be ignored.
4) Standard method but with 96-97C water added to the coffee -- harsh, bitter, undrinkable.

I didn't preheat the AP and the water was a couple of degrees cooler than the mason jar before I added the coffee in (2) and (3). So I wonder why I got bitterness in the AP but not in the mason jar. One difference was the strength -- the mason jar coffee was weak, about 1.0% TDS, whereas these coffees (samples taken but not yet measured) were likely about 1.7%. Could the bitterness be present but less apparent at lower strength? Or is it simply that there is variation brew to brew that I can't see when doing each test only one time?

I don't know, and I wish I understood this better.
But at least I know how to make a cup of coffee I really like.
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 178
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 3:30am
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

Interesting stuff...

Yes, I suppose that any bitterness in the brew could be exacerbated by a high TDS? Bitterness is not something that regularly features in the Sowden & FP brews...a lack of sweetness, increased acidity, a little stewed flavour right after pouring as you get near the bottom (I attribute this to suspended solids, as it subsides/disappears with a little rest).

Earlier in the thread, I did exclude - conveniently for me ;-) - Aeropress. Mainly because my 22% dissolution steeps have been in a "pour on/pour off" steeped brewer. The Aeropress drains through the bed, bottom first - if there is stratification, you're going to get a different 'cut' of the yield, for a given level of dissolution? Just a theory...

I tend to brew in the Aeropress at much lower ratios (55-60g/l inverted steep, 60-65g/l & coarser for non-inverted), finer grind than 1.5 on the Lido (this is the lowest range for Sowden, for me) & longer steeps...but, again, I have not really had success with very long steeps in the Aeropress, nor with inverted steeps of 2min range. As with the Sowden & FP, I plunge when taste dictates, rather than at a specific steep time. I have found it hard to hit the same level of sweetness as Sowden & FP. I could joke that if a given steep time, specifically, were so critical to ensure a perfect brew, we would be more interested in which clocks & timers people were using, instead of grinders & brewers ;-)

Interesting that you have also noticed a difference in bitterness, regarding water first vs coffee first into the brewer.

In all cases you have outlined, any bitterness can't be attributed to "overextraction", with regards to the average TDS/yield of the cup. Though, for whatever reason, there could be off flavours from localised overextraction? I would expect more like 1.10%TDS to 1.20%TDS from the mason jar brew.

Keep doing what works ;-)
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 699
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 12:52pm
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

MWJB Said:

Yes, I suppose that any bitterness in the brew could be exacerbated by a high TDS?

Posted September 18, 2013 link

Surely at some dilution the bitterness would go away. I wish I'd tried diluting one of the 1.7% brews down to 1.0% just to see. I'd try it later but I'm growing tired of wasting good beans on experiments that produce bitter tasting coffee.

MWJB Said:

Earlier in the thread, I did exclude - conveniently for me ;-) - Aeropress. Mainly because my 22% dissolution steeps have been in a "pour on/pour off" steeped brewer. The Aeropress drains through the bed, bottom first - if there is stratification, you're going to get a different 'cut' of the yield, for a given level of dissolution? Just a theory...

Posted September 18, 2013 link

So your hypothesis is that the bitterness I tasted might be in the coffee surrounding the grounds?

You also suggested earlier that some off-flavors ("carbony/irony/blood/charred") may go away with longer steeps. If I had insulated the Aeropress and allowed it to steep longer would the bitterness have vanished?
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 699
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 12:57pm
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

MWJB Said:

Interesting that you have also noticed a difference in bitterness, regarding water first vs coffee first into the brewer.

In all cases you have outlined, any bitterness can't be attributed to "overextraction", with regards to the average TDS/yield of the cup. Though, for whatever reason, there could be off flavours from localised overextraction?

Posted September 18, 2013 link

The hotter water brews measured only marginally (~0.5%) higher in extraction. The slurry temperature ended up the same either way. My guess is that the short exposure to hotter water in the latter method extracts enough of something unpleasant to ruin the coffee. Maybe this is a reason to switch to adding the coffee to the water. Are you the only person who does this?

MWJB Said:

I would expect more like 1.10%TDS to 1.20%TDS from the mason jar brew.

Posted September 18, 2013 link

That range of strength would result in a dissolution of between 19.5 and 21.3%, short of the 22% you led me to expect.

So why was I so far from 22%? Is my LIDO way out of calibration compared to yours? Or is the coffee I'm using a lot less extractable? What could account for such a large difference, with you getting 22% while I got 18%?

MWJB Said:

Keep doing what works ;-)

Posted September 18, 2013 link

Of course. The magic recipe approach. I still hope, perhaps in vain, to understand it better.
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MWJB
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 178
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Rocky, Lido, Porlex, Hario...
Drip: Not enough room to list...
Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: I need it strong and I need it fast and neat.
 

jpender Said:

The hotter water brews measured only marginally (~0.5%) higher in extraction. The slurry temperature ended up the same either way. My guess is that the short exposure to hotter water in the latter method extracts enough of something unpleasant to ruin the coffee. Maybe this is a reason to switch to adding the coffee to the water. Are you the only person who does this?



That range of strength would result in a dissolution of between 19.5 and 21.3%, short of the 22% you led me to expect.

So why was I so far from 22%? Is my LIDO way out of calibration compared to yours? Or is the coffee I'm using a lot less extractable? What could account for such a large difference, with you getting 22% while I got 18%?


Of course. The magic recipe approach. I still hope, perhaps in vain, to understand it better.

Posted September 18, 2013 link

No, adding grinds to the water is a common technique with a syphon...admittedly, when I first saw it I thought it a mere affectation.

I grind much finer for FP than for the Sowden (which is 1.7 turns out on the Lido, 55g/l, 1.14%TDS would be my target).
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