Coffee ☕️

A good tasting coffee makes all the difference.

Essential equipment

Invest in these:

  • Scale (0.1g precision)
  • Brew kettle with precision thermometer (I use Fellow Stagg)
  • Coffee canister (I use Airscape)
  • A good burr grinder (I use Niche Zero, or Comandante when travelling)
  • Aeropress

Dialing

When coffee tastes bad, change one or more of these factors. It may take several attempts to get it right.

  • Grind size
    • Get a good burr grinder! 1
  • Water temperature
    • higher for light roasts; lower for dark roasts
    • even a +/- 5f adjustment can make a difference
  • Coffee to water ratio
    • I generally do not vary this, and keep it fixed at 10:100g.
  • Change to a new coffee matching your preferred flavour in the flavour wheel 2

Generally speaking, you mainly want to vary grind size and/or water temperature.

Brew methods

How I typically make coffee:

Inverted Aeropress recipe

  • Invert the Aeropress
  • Add 10g 3 of coffee (grind about 10.1g, to account for grinder retention)
  • Water temp at 175f-194f (depending on beans)
  • Start timer; pour about 40g; and stir until ~25 seconds
  • Pour rest, total 100g.
  • Brew until 1m 25s
  • Press for ~30seconds (don’t push; use gravity from arms)
  • Add ~35g of hot water to brewed coffee.

If you use fresh coffee with your preferred flavour profile, and select the right grind size and water temperature for those beans - expect this method to consistently produce a great cup of ~125g of rich coffee (from 10g beans) that is equivalent in strength to what the Québécois call café allongé.

Kalita Wave 155 recipe

TODO: This recipe is usually not successful (probably because I tend to use espresso blends?).

  • 10g of coffee
  • 185-194f water temp (depends on beans)
  • 35g pour, wait 35 secs.
  • Pour rest, total 135g. Wait till water comes through.

Bean reviews

Legend: <water-temp>f; <comandante-grind>c. All measurements are assuming the “Inverted Aeropress recipe” above.

iDrinkCoffee beans

Ongoing review of beans from iDrinkCoffee, my preferred supplier of beans due to consistent freshness.

CoffeeTasteNotesGrind notes
Monsoon MalabarSmokey👍180f; 17c (35c+185f in Kalita)
Brazil SantosChocolate👍190f; 15c (32c in Kalita)
Sweet Blue, Daterra FarmsChocolate👍190f (or 185f); 14c

Cafe Smith

A local cafe chain I have been trying.

Learnings / experimentation

  • More coffee doesn’t impact sleep when fasting during the day (ie. OMAD close to bed time)
  • Eating (creamy) butter in between cups helps ‘reset’ taste receptor.
    • Though eating a meal is ideal.
  • Roast coffee myself
Footnotes
1.
If getting a manual hand grinder, note the the way of grinding may matter.
2.
I enjoy flavours towards chocolate/sugar side of the spectrum, which tends to come from medium to dark roasted coffee from certain regions (like Brazil Santos).
3.
10g appears to be the minimum required to make a good cup. 7g did not work out well for me.
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