04 Sep 2018
Let’s get to it. Today I used the same beans as yesterday, Trader Joe’s Joe medium roast coffee grounds, but a little bit less than yesterday; I left maybe a half centimeter between the top of the grounds and the lip of the filter compartment.
In addition to using less grounds today, I also brewed the coffee with the lid of the Express open. This seemed to make the water heat up significantly slower. After 8 minutes of no coffee, I turned the heat up on the stove from 4 to 6, at which point it only took a few moments for my beautiful brown brew to start pouring forth.
At about 85% full, there was a sudden explosion of coffee from the spout in the top chamber, spilling coffee all over the stove and signalling to me that the brew was ready. All told, it took just about 9 minutes exactly to go from stove on to coffee in mug.
The aroma today is certainly much milder than yesterday. I can say for sure whether that’s because of the slightly smaller amount of grounds I used, or because of my quicker reaction taking the coffee off the heat, or both. I can also taste the bitterness has taken a back seat to the other flavors in the coffee, especially compared to yesterday. I’m actually a little shocked at how different it tastes from yesterday’s cup. I have a hunch it must have been the slower heat up time (this brew spent 3 and a half minutes more on the stove).
I’d give this cup a 6.25/10. A definite step up from yesterday’s aggressive bitterness, but perhaps swinging to far in the opposite direction, towards mildness. There also seemed to be less sludge at the bottom of the mug. In fact, it was hardly sludge at all, more just dusty fine grounds.
I’m really interested in isolating which tweak was primarily responsible for the reduction in bitterness today: using slightly less grounds, or letting the water heat up longer by leaving the lid open. So tomorrow I’m going to use the same amount of grounds as today, but brew with the lid closed and see what happens.