Wednesday, October 25, 2006


at last we're getting somewhere with the foodies

"after dinner a couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me for a cup of coffee. and that's when i realized i had no earthly idea how to make one.

i'm 51 years old and i've been cooking seriously for more than 25 years. i've written two cookbooks. i can make fresh pasta fine as a silk scarf and a consommé that sparkles like a mountain stream. yet i didn't know how to make a really good cup of coffee."

finally, a foodie -- and espressohound -- who admits they know nothing about beautiful specialty single-origin estate coffees and basic brewing rules. as they say in recovery, you can't get better until you admit the problem.

humility towards the beauty of the single-origins has long been a battle-cry for those of the so-called "anti-espresso" camp, those who feel the current emphasis on better espresso beverages has overshadowed the single origins in the specialty world. no doubt they are encouraged by this article.

however, i have to say that i still think the author's not quite there. for example, i think he's brewing too weak and too cold.

that he attributes the "earthy" of his java brew to the device -- the french press or cafetiére -- instead of to the characteristic of the beans themselves is an issue as well. altho' as long-time readers know, the brewing method does highlight different aspects that are inherent in each bean.

i'm also happy he's using a chemex. good start!

while the author brews at 190-200, i think it would be better to brew at a water temperature of 195-205. that's the scaa standard.

and instead of the useless and too weak 2 tablespoons coffee to 8 oz. water, he should use the brewing control chart.

that is, for one cup coffee, i think he should use a minimum of .25 oz fresh-ground, fresh-roasted coffee to 5 oz. water, or 7 gr coffee to 148 ml. as an espressohound, he'd probably actually prefer it stronger.

his too-weak brewing ratio is probably why he describes the kenya aa as "sour" instead of piquant, which is the classic term for it on the scaa flavor wheel.

still, it's a great start overall! would that all foodies could do well and travel so far! all espressohounds too!

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posted by fortune | 8:16 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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