03 Sep 2018
It’s the first day with my express, so I’m going to make my coffee today in the most basic possible way:
I’ve read about all sorts of tricks, like preheating the water in a separate container, warming up the top chamber, etc., but today, I want to start at the bottom so there’s nowhere to go but up.
For heating it up, I set my gas stove to 4 (on a scale from 2-8, with lo/ hi on either side of the numerical scale). In total, this morning, the Express spent 5’27” on the lit burner.
After the Express cooled, I gave it a thorough rinse, and wipe-down with a paper towel. The little user guide (which I also inherited from my mom) seemed wary of dish soaps in general, and their potential effects on the metal. So, unless something happens that desperately calls for a good scrubbing, I think I’ll stick to this clean-up procedure.
The coffee came out quite dark today, and I could smell a pretty strong bitterness. It certainly doesn’t taste bad or too bitter. Unfortunately, I’m not quite snobby enough (yet) to have the full vocab needed to precisely describe this cup, but in the meantime, I’ll say it was a 5/10. Drinkable, not un-enjoyable, but lots of room for improvement.
I’ve read that the bitterness I experienced this morning can come from the beans getting too hot. I don’t think I heated up the water too fast (5 minutes to boiling for that small volume seems like plenty), so I think it must be either the fact that I allowed it to boil in the first place, or that I didn’t pull it from the burner fast enough.
I’m going to test against the latte hypothesis tomorrow by brewing the coffee with the Express’ lid open. That way, I can see when the top chamber is sufficiently full and pull the Express from the burner no later than that. Maybe this will also help reduce the amount of thick grounds-sludge I had at the bottom of my mug this morning.