Introduction to the Uber

Meant to cross post this on here after posting on SQM blog but forgot.  Notes I should now add:

1.  My initial offset opinion could be wrong, by about 0.5C closer to display. This doesn’t affect findings on stability or repeatability – it is just numbers.

2.  I will brew coffee in the next video.

3.  The video isn’t 13:20 long, it is about 7 minutes.  No idea why vimeo thinks differently!

Continue reading “Introduction to the Uber”

Videocast #4 – Stovetop/Moka Pot

I wanted to tackle a tricky brewing method for this videocast, and it will probably cause some debate – people saying that I am using it wrong etc etc…

I wasn’t trying to recreate espresso with the little brewer – I just wanted to find a way to use it so it made clean, sweet and tasty coffee with no bitterness or astringency.  It took a while and I ended up grinding coarser than even I expected.  There aren’t a lot of good brewing guides around for stove top brewers – but credit to the Stumptown one for ideas and inspiriation.

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Final Quick Post on the whole French Press thing

For people who have e-mailed and asked about the press pots in the video I can only advise you to visit amazon where they are way, waaay cheaper than anywhere I can find them (including Bodum’s wholesale department……)

Bodum Columbia 0.35l Tea and Coffee Press – Stainless Steel

Easily the nicest one cup press pots out there, and actually worth the money at £20….

(I miss the asides function of the old blog layout!)

More on the French Press Technique

After the last post there was a bit of discussion about this method.

One big question was:  “Why break and then skim?  Why not just skim?”

This seemed like a pretty good question to me, so today I decided to do a few quick tests.

I took two identical presses, the same dose of coffee, the same brew water, temp and time and then after 4 minutes broke and cleaned one, and just cleaned the other.  I then tested out the TDS in each cup of coffee.

A TDS meter is useful, but limited.  It will tell you how much is dissolved in the water and nothing more.  Here I wanted to see if one cup was stronger than the other.  It turns out one was – and by quite a significant percentage. 1

The broken and stirred cup was stronger, usually by around 0.2%.  This doesn’t sound like much but when you do the maths backwards you find that it is a swing of about 3% of the ground coffee solubles extracted into the cup.

I want to do some more tests on this, and I want to do some blind cupping of it as well.  However it would seem that if your grinder produces a lot of fines, and when making press coffee it seems to easily overextract then I would just skim, opposed to breaking and skimming.  It could be that a different dose and steep time could yield better results.  I am waiting for Mark Prince’s article on his press technique because I know that while he skims but doesn’t break he does use different parameters.  It may be that one style might highlight a certain coffee better than another, who knows – I am just interesting in learning more about all this.

  1. It should be noted that I haven’t done this experiment enough times for it to be seriously useful – if anyone out there with a TDS meter wants to contribute then please do!  ↩︎