www.bayawe.com Mindful Living with Coffee

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OUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO THE COFFEE EXPERIENCE

Flavors alone are only remembered for a short time. But once they’re connected with some other sensory or emotional response—some moment, person, place, or experience—we can remember the “coffee moment or experience” for a long time.
Emotions give even more weight to the coffee experience. Whatever feelings we have while drinking will have an impact on the respective memories. Moreover, the emotion(s) may have a strong connection to mindfulness—sometimes for bad but often for good!
A great cup of coffee should evoke emotions, just like a piece of artwork.

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What Are Emotions?

Based on medical terminology, emotions are associated with the nervous system. Once they’re activated by a situation, they bring about changes in our thoughts, feelings, behavioral responses, and sense of pleasure or displeasure.

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Emotions often manifest themselves in non-rational actions, and it can be said that emotions are a physical response to our feelings. It’s just as the tastes we experience in our mouth have a corresponding physical aspect: what’s known as “the mouthfeel.”

Function of emotions

The main function of emotions is to prepare a person for a reaction. Some can have a physical effect that isn’t pleasant—nervousness, distractedness, heat pressure, fast movement, shaking, and so on. Other times, pleasant effects are produced. These may include euphoria, the urge to sing and dance, and hot or cold feelings. It’s all about personality, and everyone reacts differently to the pressure of emotions.

Photo by Jacob Pilatoe from Pexels

This is what makes our life interesting. Life, in my opinion, shouldn’t run in one perfect line; it ought to have some curves. Sometimes, emotions can surprise us. They can put us in uncomfortable situations. They’re not always “fun,” but in the end, having crossed the finish line, we generally only remember the good times that we had.

Emotions are the spice of life and make us who we are.

Coffee moments make our life more mindful, allowing us to stop and appreciate what we have—more than a tasty beverage.

Don’t underestimate the impact of emotions during coffee moments.

Keep in mind that they’re an important part of the experience. If you’re able to talk about your feelings, you might be able to control your reactions more easily than those around you. Once you have the power to read your own emotions, you’ll be better equipped to read situations and the mental state of others, making you more empathetic. After all, far more can be communicated through emotions than words.

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Blue cup

FILTER VS. ESPRESSO

Filter coffee
Filter coffee

VS

Espresso
Espressos

Price

What is the big benefit of filter made coffee? The price of the equipment.

 If you want to prepare good Espresso drinks, you should invest money in the following equipment:

  • Espresso machine
  • Electric Coffee grinder
  • Tamper
  • Good filter pot
  • Nano filter basket
  • Softener

For the filter method you need the following brewing equipment:

  • Dripper
  • Paper filters
  • Kettle
  • Scale
  • Manual grinder
  • Thermometer 

Compared to the filter method, the final price of Espresso equipment can be up to 10x higher. Filter coffee equipment won’t take up a ton of space. It’s small and easily stored.

You can take it along on your travels without a problem.  

Time

A good benefit of Espresso preparation is that it takes less time to prepare than filter coffee. Time is money. If you consider to prepare coffee in a café, Espresso coffee drinks will make better profit than the filter preparation. 

But if you want to prepare coffee at home and if you are not a fan coffee cocktails, like cappuccino, latte.., the filter brewing method will bring you far more joy for much less money. 

Coffee flavours

Taste

Another benefit of filter made coffee drinks is that their aftertaste sensations can last for a long time, if done correctly. 

A coffee’s body (texture) and mouthfeel are mainly created by essential oils, but also sugars and plant fibers. 

An Espresso machine enables us to extract a great amount of essential oils. However, compared to filter made coffee drinks, the final drink has less flavour compounds over all. The Espresso machine gets out more oils because of the stronger pressure and heat. Since the contact between water and coffee ground is longer for the filter method, we can extract out more flavour compounds. Water always extracts the different flavour compounds in this order: fats and acids, then sugars, and finally the plant fibers. Because of the longer brewing time, the filter method enables us to extract more sugars as well. 

Ground coffee
Bayawe coffee dripper

Amount of grinded coffee

The current trend for Espresso drinks is between 18 and 20g of coffee grinds while using a coffee:water ratio of 1:2.  It’s called a Double Ristretto and it is also used as the basis for other coffee drinks. 

For filter coffee drinks, we can also use 18g of coffee grinds. However, in doing so the standard coffee:water ratio is 1:16. This means the same amount of coffee grinds will provide much more coffee. 

Water

When we work with an Espresso machine, we should use distilled water to lengthen the life of the machine. Distilled water has almost no mineral content and compared to natural water, more pricy. The lower the mineral content of the water is, the more available space for flavour compounds the water has. If water with a low mineral content is used for coffee preparation, the final drink is often over-extracted and bitter.  Water with a higher mineral content, on the other hand, has less available space for flavour contents. The final cup tends to be under-extracted. 

With the filter coffee method we usually use regular water which contains minerals. The flavour compounds of the coffee grind will complete the minerals of the water. 

Preparation

With a high-quality Espresso machine we can set up the pressure of the water coming out of the pump. We can set up the temperature as well. The set up can only be done before the brewing process starts.  Usually it takes a couple of (lost) coffee shots before the changes are implemented. 

With the filter method, we can change the pressure and water temperature also during the brewing process. 

Black coffee
Use your senses maximum

Result

In my point of view, filter made coffee drinks have a higher quality than Espresso drinks. Filter coffee drinks have more complex flavours and a longer aftertaste. 

The main benefits of Espresso drinks is the fast preparation time, but also the fact that we can use them as a base for other coffee drinks. 

Espresso drinks can be compared to cognac:  It’s a small amount of liquid made with pressure. The aromas and flavours are intense and the aftertaste is long. We drink Espresso shots faster than cups of filter coffee. We enjoy the aftertaste of the Espresso more than the taste and body.  

Filter coffees can be compared with wine. We usually fully enjoy the flavours in our mouth. We relax and meditate. The aftertaste of filter coffee can be also long, but not as intensive as the Espresso made after tastes.

I like to say that during the morning I sit and relax with a mug of coffee and during the evening I enjoy a glass of wine. 

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Life Is Too Short For “Bad Coffee”

This is a very common saying. In fact, I’ve used it myself on numerous occasions. But that was before I’d come to appreciate the Asian view on coffee culture—one that is far more liberal. In the East, people take a less pretentious approach than their western counterparts, and judgement is splendidly lacking.

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Does bad coffee truly exist? Today, I no longer think so. Just as the human population can’t be neatly divided into righteous and wicked subgroups, all coffee is unique, and there doesn’t exist a brew that’s devoid of some merit. In my opinion, life is dazzlingly colorful. There’s no place for black and (creamy) white assessments.

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Perhaps your personal preference is for sweeter, fruitier coffee, but that doesn’t mean that bitter coffee is bad. If you decide to patronize an establishment that serves a more burnt brew, it was your decision to go there, and you needn’t remark on their so-called inferiority. Simply look for the positives. (After all, there’s certainly a time and place for rocket fuel!) The same applies when someone makes you a coffee. To criticize their brewing skills would be ludicrous. And besides, just because it’s not your cup of joe, that doesn’t mean that I (or another) wouldn’t love it. Beauty is in the taste bud of the sampler, so let’s stay mellow!

If I don’t like a particular coffee, I will never again use the word “bad.” Diplomacy and specificity are key. There’s nothing wrong with stating one’s fondness for something or lack thereof, but why not go into detail in a constructive manner? (“I prefer a sweeter, stronger-bodied beverage.”) If a person isn’t too proud, I’ll even offer advice on occasion.
The point is: you’re not God, so don’t judge!

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What kind of coffee do I think is tasty?

I strive to offer coffee with an unparalleled variety of flavours. If you focus closely on your coffee drink, you’ll appreciate countless fruits, herbs, and tea flavours. This may include bitter, spicy, acidic and/or spicy components. Properly brewed filter coffee offers a perfect balance of flavours combined with an amazing aroma, texture, and mouthfeel.

Thanks as always for checking in.

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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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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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THE ART OF COFFEE DRINKING

There’s nothing quite like a fresh start

Coffee is not just a drink. It’s a wonderful sensational experience!
To fully appreciate the aromas and flavors of our coffee drinks, we should make it a habit to cleanse our mouths properly before taking the first sip.
What’s the best way to cleanse our palates?
There are many different ways. It all depends on us and our preferences.

Continue reading THE ART OF COFFEE DRINKING

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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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Coffee and camera

Why I Love Filter Coffee So Much

My first memorable experience with coffee was smelling the drink while I was in the kitchen with my mother. She’d put on a pot for herself or friends, and soon our house would be a cafe. The aroma still returns me to those soothing days of youth.

Later on, when I was a teenager, a friend inspired me to discover the magic of coffee more intimately. I tried chewing the beans, and their flavour was new to me—bitter but simply delectable.

Coffee bean
Coffee bean, on back is bowl with coffee beans

As an adult, I began to drink instant coffee and espresso regularly. Though I did appreciate both, nothing could match my love for filter coffee.     

Quality filter coffee offers an unparalleled variety of flavours.  If you focus closely on your coffee drink, you’ll appreciate tones of countless fruits, herbs, and tea flavours. Some components are bitter or spicy, others acidic or spicy. Properly brewed, filter coffee offers a perfect balance of flavours combined with an amazing aroma, texture, and mouthfeel.

Filter coffee may also be called coffee tea. Why? The method of filter coffee preparation is very similar to preparing tea—especially if you prepare coffee via a cotton filter or French press.

Coffee via cotton filter
Drom of coffee from cottom filter

This may spark your imagination: filter coffee can also be compared to alcoholic drinks. Pour-over coffee is much like wine. Both drinks are derived from a fruit and bring about similar effects. They put us in a comfortable mood and help to reduce stress. Both display a wide range of flavours, intense aromas, and varying textures. Think about that when having a cup!   

Sticking with this analogy, it might be noted that espresso drinks are more like brandy or cognac—caffeinated fruit-shots. Then, you have many variations of the cocktail: mixes with milk, flavoured syrups, sugars and even spices. What they create tastes little like coffee, which brings me to . . .

The Answer  

So, why do I favour filter coffee? Why do I love it so much? Because I like to enjoy the true flavour (including the aftertaste) of coffee. Likewise, I want the aroma and body—the mouthfeel. I want it all.

Espresso has a short, wild life. I prefer to enjoy my coffee slowly . . . using all of my senses.

Coffee enjoying
Coffee enjoyer
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ON COFFEE FARM – COFFEE FLOWERS AND COFFEE CHERRIES

Coffee farm

Smart coffee-farmers are also passionate bee-keeper! That way, they are making sure that plenty bees and butterflies are dancing around their coffee-gardens.

Fruitful work enables them to harvest excellent coffee beans. After all, they can also collect and enjoy delicious honey! Continue reading ON COFFEE FARM – COFFEE FLOWERS AND COFFEE CHERRIES

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GREEN COFFEE CLASSIFICATION

Overview

The evaluation and grading of green coffee beans is an important step in ensuring an excellent final cup of coffee. Only the finest quality coffee beans should be used for the preparation of extraordinary coffee drinks. Excellent roasting and brewing practices combined with poor-quality coffee beans will not create memorable coffee experiences. Continue reading GREEN COFFEE CLASSIFICATION

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