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Coffee makers

WHAT KIND OF COFFEE PREPARATION IS THE BEST FOR HOME BARISTAS?

There are two main coffee preparation methods: Espresso and Filter made coffee. Other methods of coffee preparation are pod options, capsules, instant made or Turkish coffee.

In my opinion, filter made coffee brings the best final results. Easy preparation methods such as instant coffee and capsules can offer interesting flavour experiences, but in my opinion they are more flat. They are missing depth, don’t have a good aftertaste and most of the time the flavours and aroma are similar. It’s like drinking fruit juice, made from syrup. 

Turkish coffee, Photo by Ahmed Aqtai from Pexels

Turkish coffee

The coffee can have nice and intensive flavour results and a rich body. However, drinking it regularly on a long term basis, might have a bad effect on your health. 

Moka pot
in Mix kaffee, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Moka pot

The Moka pot brew method can yield interesting results if done right. In my point of view, this method is a good low-cost and easy compromise between the filter and Espresso preparation options. I especially love the sensual aroma experiences of the Moka pot. What I don’t like is the fact that steam pressurized boiling water is forced through the ground coffee, which almost always creates one main flavour: bitterness. 

Sipohon (vacuum) coffee brewer, Photo by Omar Rodriguez from Pexels

Siphon brewer

Another well-known way to prepare coffee is the fancy looking vacuum method (siphon brewer). The iconic Moka pot coffee maker functions on the same principle, but with the siphon brewer coffee-lovers can also enjoy the excellent visibility of the coffee brewing process. 

I wouldn’t buy the siphon brewer to prepare my coffee drinks at home. Due to the materials and design, vacuum coffee makers tend to be more expensive than other types of coffee makers.  Moreover, compared to other brewing methods, the process with a siphon coffee maker is also more complex. 

In the coming blog, I will be more in the details describe the positives and the negatives, between “Filter coffee” and “Espresso coffee”.

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Drop of flavours

BEFORE ALL ELSE: AFTERTASTE

What is “Aftertaste”?

After swallowing a mouthful of coffee, every one of its elements mingle together, forming what’s known as the aftertaste. Needless to say, the aftertaste is very important. In many cases, it’s what makes a particular blend so unique. Post-imbibement, sip complete, we’re set to ask the magic question. “What does this remind me of?”

And other questions always follow. “Just what notes are present here?” Acidic? Sour? Bitter? Sweet? Umami, perhaps? Or even salty. Often, it’s surprising.

The next consideration must concern the dominant flavour present. Is its balance true and does the aftertaste, too, change? 

The final questions relate to texture. How is the mouthfeel aftertaste? For how long does it last precisely?

Black coffee

So many things to ponder:

Acidity can be crisp and bright, or mellow and clean.

The sweetness can be pleasant . . . or overpowering.

Excessive bitterness will prove discomforting. It can create a slight scratchy feeling as you swallow. Subtlety is the key.

Coffee brewing

Can you adjust the aftertaste?

During brewing, you can adjust almost everything! That said, the aftertaste is particularly tricky. Often times, this is a matter of the roasting technique, but water and coffee bean quality are other factors.

The longest aftertastes are those of espresso drinks and those made with mocha pots. To improve the aftertaste of filter coffee, you can slightly over-extract the coffee, or use a lower ratio. But the best way, as I’ve discovered from my experiences, is to simply use higher temperatures for the coffee brewing. If you spring for this approach, however, be sure to grind your coffee beans less. Otherwise, the coffee can turn out poorly.

One way to achieve a very long, pleasant aftertaste is via the “Slow Drip” method. This involves brewing coffee for a longer period, but without adding much water. For this method, you need a lot passion and a little extra time. This can take ten minutes or more, depending on your coffee beans. The final product is syrupier and creamier, leaving a longer aftertaste on your palate and in your throat.

Cup of coffee and glass of water
Cup of coffee and glass of water

Other things to try . . .

Before enjoying coffee, you can drink or wash your mouth with softer water.

Coffee’s aftertaste can be enhanced by pairing the beverage with particular foods. For medium-dark beans, I recommend cheese . . . but that’s just one example.

Soul aftertaste = memory

If the coffee was good, it might create a memorable aftertaste that will not only leave some hints in the mouth, but also on your soul. You will remember it for a long time and it might motivate you to find a similar experience again.

In my soul I have a couple very nice aftertastes, which I remember until now. They motivate me to continue to discover new magical coffee drinks. Some of my coffee memories were created during the time when I started to be passionate about coffee.

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French Press

FRENCH PRESS COFFEE BREWING

French Press coffee brewing is one of the easiest preparation methods. Many people all around the world use this unique brewing device not only to prepare delightful coffee, but also tea.

However, compared to other filter preparation methods, the French Press brews coffee that could a less healthy option for some people. The reason for it is that its metal filter doesn’t filter out the cafestol. Cafestol is a substance that may cause the rise of the body’s LDL, bad cholesterol.

French Press
french Press

I recommend

to consider filtering the final French Press coffee drink one more time with a paper filter. Moreover, lighter roasted coffee beans tend to be healthier than darker roasts.

The French Press preparation

is a fully immersion brewing method. The final taste of the coffee is heavy, dense and the flavours are more complex. The flavours are balanced and don’t change much each time you take a sip. French Press coffee drinks usually don’t offer many flavour surprises. But, for the morning coffee, when you are still more sleepy, it might be the perfect option.

My way of making the French Press

French Press
Photo by Pratik Gupta from Pexels

An important decision to make it is amount coffee to be used.
How many tea spoons or grams of coffee you will use, will depend on the size of your French Press.
Usually I use the ratio 1:14 (coffee:water). For the 1:14 ratio I will use 14 grams of medium coarse grinded coffee and 200 grams of 90 ℃ hot water.
Steps:

  1. Pre-heat the French Press.
  2. Pour 30 grams of water into the French Press and add the coffee grinds
  3. Mix the coffee grinds with the water by swirling the French Press, just make a few circles
  4. Wait for 15 seconds – and smell the bloom
  5. Pour the rest of the water (up to 200 grams) into the French Press
  6. Wait for 3 more minutes (Wait even 1 minute longer, if you are using coffee beans grown at a lower altitude.)
  7. Press and pour all the amount into a mug.
  8. Gently swirl the coffee around in tiny circles in the mug and wait for three minutes.

Some people do the mistake of leaving the final coffee drink in the French Press, using it as a server, instead of using another mug or container. If the coffee stays with the grinds in the French Press, the extraction process will continue. As a result, the last sips of the coffee will be rather bitter and sour.

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IMG 20180416 092057

ESPRESSO TIME

Espresso

I noticed that many coffee-shops in Europe – including some famous ones – offer shots of ‘Espresso’ that are in fact ‘Ristretto’ shots. A Ristretto shot has approximately half of the size of an Espresso shot. These coffee-shops should correct their menu to avoid misunderstandings between the baristas and their customers. After all, who wants disappointed customers?

Continue reading ESPRESSO TIME

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Kalita wave dripper

FILTERING OUT POOR FILTER CHOICES

Use Cone (Hario V60) or Flat-Bottom Dripper (Kalita, Melitta, Brewista)!

Often times, it’s a difficult decision choosing the right filters for your dripper. Many people give the matter very little thought . . . but this can be a mistake. If you’d like to make an informed decision, read on, as I’ll share my top picks.

The Hario V60’s cone shape and singular, large hole make it easily recognizable. Its conical design results in a consistent stream of water running towards the hole, carrying coffee grinds, like sediment down a miniature waterfall. In my opinion, it’s easy to use, and the final taste is clear and bright.

Hario V60  dripper
Coffee brewing – Cone shape dripper

The main disadvantage is its dripper being quite thick, which can affect the bloom. Furthermore, if you don’t pour in the water correctly, you run the risk of washing away finer parts of grind and blocking the mechanism. By adjusting the water temperature and grinding level, these obstacles can be nonetheless surmounted.

The flat-bottom dripper is a common alternative that allows coffee to drip into the cup. These drippers can have one big or three small holes, and their shape isn’t as sharp as cone models. The bed is thinner but holds the same amount of coffee as their counterpart, which is handy at the bloom stage. Hot water will not remain in contact with the coffee grinds for as long as cona shape drippers either.

The bottom flat also named Kalita wave filter

Control over flavour is achieved by the speed at which one pours water, the temperature of that water, and the consistency of the grind. At the base of flat-bottom drippers, the coffee can stay in contact with water for a longer duration, which helps to release more sugar from the coffee grinds. In my experience, the resultant coffee is more complex. Moreover, you can use fine or coarse grinds to suit your needs.

In conclusion . . .

If you want to make fast but nice-tasting coffee with stronger sharpeners and a clear taste, go for cone-shaped drippers.

If you like experimenting with coffee—creating a novel cocktail of flavours—go for flat-bottom drippers. The final cup tends to be more complex, better balanced, and sweeter.

As for me? I created my own way. I designed an earthen dripper in the pottery studio. It uses flat-bottom filters, but the dripper doesn’t have a sharp shape and features a single hole at center. The best of both worlds as they say!  

Hario V60
Drops of coffee from Hario dripper, pour-over – Cone shape
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DOES DAYLY LIGHT AFFECT FRESHINESS OF COFFEE BEANS?

Coffee beans and light.

Light changes everything…

The stored coffee beans affect :

  1. Air
  2. Moisture
  3. Heat
  4. Light

Continue reading DOES DAYLY LIGHT AFFECT FRESHINESS OF COFFEE BEANS?

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Hario V60

HARIO – AN INSPIRING JAPANESE COMPANY

HARIO – History and Philosophy

The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company. -Masaaki Imai, a Japanese organizational theorist and management consultant

Continue reading HARIO – AN INSPIRING JAPANESE COMPANY

HARIO – History and Philosophy

The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company. -Masaaki Imai, a Japanese organizational theorist and management consultant

Continue reading HARIO – AN INSPIRING JAPANESE COMPANY

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cafe chemex coffee 6659

CHEMEX AND HOW TO ADAPT REGULAR MELITTA FILTER FOR CHEMEX

Take care of all your memories.

For you cannot relive them.


Bob Dylan

The first time we saw a Chemex was in the spring 2014, inside a small coffee shop in Casco Viejo, the historic district of Panama City. We were curious about this object. It reminded us of a laboratory apparatus. We were instantly attracted by its simple, elegant design.

Continue reading CHEMEX AND HOW TO ADAPT REGULAR MELITTA FILTER FOR CHEMEX
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Roasted coffee beans

TWO IDEAS FOR BETTER “COFFEE LIFE”

Mindful Coffee Moments: Grinding Coffee Beans

The mortar and pestle are ancient grinding utensils and historically closely associated with creating medicine. They are effective tools to prepare ingredients and to bring out aromatic and essential oils in a natural way.
In the Ethiopian culture, coffee preparation is a mindful ceremony during which the beans are ground with a mortar and pestle. It’s a long ritual, a time of contemplation and a process that is not performed quickly.

Continue reading TWO IDEAS FOR BETTER “COFFEE LIFE”

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WATER TEMPERATURE AT COFFEE BREWING

Water temperature

The water temperature plays a crucial role in the brewing process and affects the aroma and flavours of the final coffee drink.

Coffee grounds are filled with various oils, acids and chemical compounds. There are soluble and insoluble particles. The soluble particles affect the aroma and flavor and the insoluble particles contribute to the body of the coffee. Continue reading WATER TEMPERATURE AT COFFEE BREWING

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