Saturday, April 01, 2006


the rwanda whatever

so yesterday peter g. of counterculture sent me some coffee, but apparently we're not sure just what!

anyway, i brewed some up today in the cafetiére, with a little trepidation.

lemme describe this coffee quickly: the beans show occasional tiny patches of oil, so i'm calling it a vienna-. i think this coffee is very fresh, despite the lack of a roast date, because it has that "just roasted, not settled" smell, which some people describe as slightly grassy or even kinda peanut-buttery.

i'd love a better descriptor for this, so please, dear readers, offer me one below. further, when the water hit the ground coffee, the slurry bubbled and hissed like a volcanic mud bath.

that much co2 tells me it ain't been outta the roaster more than 36 hours. needless to say, the bloom was massive and nearly overflowed.

devoted readers will recall i had a big chat with coffee chemistry guru carl staub recently. one of the gazillion topics he touched on was press brewing.

the scaa standard for press brewing, as set forth in the lingle brewing handbook, teaches press brewing at a coarse grind for 4-5 mins. and because i evangelize the scaa standards, that's what i say too.

staub, however, has a lot of data -- i don't think he's published this all, or at least i haven't seen it yet -- to suggest that grinding finer and plunging at 2-1/2 mins. might be better. how much finer?

if we accept the brewing handbook's definition of coarse or regular as "55% of it stays on size 20 & 28 mesh screens," then how much finer should we coffee lovers grind to hit staub's new sweet spot?

sadly staub didn't yet have a flat answer. "right now it's empirical," he said. sigh.

so dear readers, if you wanna try the staub press method, you'll just have to experiment with a grind at drip level or finer with any particular coffee until you hit upon what you like.

not much of an answer right now, i'm afraid. (oh, about those screens -- lots of coffee operations measure bean size and grind by shaking coffee through a series of stacked, graduated screens and seeing how much of what falls thru where. . .)

anyway, the dry grounds of this coffee are spicy and floral, and there's a definite milk chocolate aftertaste. but because the coffee is almost too fresh, i don't want to say too much about it right now.

the body! i'd call it medium, at the moment, but will reconsider this when i brew the coffee again tomorrow. . .

in unrelated news, broadband finally came to my house today. and because i have a fabulous mac os x machine, i just clicked one button to turn my firewall on.

that's all there is to it folks! here i am, in the 21st cent. at last.

and i must say that the dread time warner cable came on time, installed quickly, neatly and professionally. all i had to do was clear out my shoes so the cable could go thru the closet wall to the mac.

i was surprised at how painless the whole process was. good job, time warner!

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posted by fortune | 2:08 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 2 comments

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