Sunday, July 31, 2005


chock full o' arabica

for the first time in a little bit, i've had a moment to get back to tackling the chemex. i'm still trying to get great coffee out of it.

oren has suggested that i need a grind that looks like chock full o'nuts. well, the burrs on my 1999 saeco 2002 could be worn out, or maybe i just need to do a visual re-check on what a chock grind really looks like!

with that in mind, i wandered down to my local low-end grocery and -- can you believe it -- actually bought a can of ground chock. i choose the 100% colombian so that i knew i was getting an all-arabica coffee, at least.

while there i also picked up another product i'd heard a lot about, the chocatal, a strange blend of so-called "estate" coffee (hey, if it is an estate coffee, why won't the company tell me which one?) and cocoa nibs! this product is intended for the cafetiére but i tried it in the chemex anyway, since it was out. . .

ok, so using 48oz. water to 3oz. ground chock, the chemex finished brewing in 9 mins. 30 seconds. the brew wasn't overextracted, but of course it wasn't drinkable either -- i mean, we are discussing chock here.

i did actually sip some, and it seemed plausibly colombian (it bears scaa 2nd v.p. mary pettit's juan valdez logo and so has to pass her logo enforcement cupping program), but it just had a nasty aftertaste that reminded me of hot pennies. yuck.

this wacky chocatal brewed in the same way took 11 mins. 30. the aroma of the coffee did have a slight chocolate thing going on, but it wasn't really detectable in the brew -- so that was a waste.

the package suggested drinking it with sugar and cream, and that did seem to bring out a stronger chocolate flavor, but honestly, i've had harrars that are more intensely cocoa than this stuff.

what i learned from this experience is that the grind that is closest to chock on my saeco is about "6.5" or "7," meaning my previous attempts with grind had all been waaay too coarse, and that those people telling me i should be brewing 48oz. coffee in the chemex in 4 mins. were frankly day-dreaming.

with this in mind, i will tackle another pot of chemex if i have time tomorrow morning. if i can't get joy then, i'm definitely ordering a new set of burrs for the grinder to see if that's the problem.

oops! must run to preheat the pizza stone!

posted by fortune | 2:25 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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