06 Sep 2018
To continue my experiment in the factors of bitterness, today I inverted day 2’s brew: full filter compartment, lid-open brewing. (All the other factors, like bean and grind, stove temperature, etc. have been controlled for).
Total time to coffee was about 8:36”, and it took almost exactly one minute for the top chamber to fill up. I’m glad I was there watching, because I pulled the Express from the burner just before the little coffee explosion at the end of the brewing.
The fuller filter compartment really makes a difference in how flavorful the brew comes out; I feel like I’m really tasting that Arabica bean for the first time this morning.
When I brought the mug up to my face, the aroma came to greet me from quite a distance. It had that character I typically find to be unique to dark roasts, that I can only describe (imprecisely, maybe even inaccurately) as fruity. Again, I don’t have all the vocabulary to really pin it down.
While the coffee was hot, it had a strong, full body, and a flavor which matched the aroma. However – and again, this I feel is something I usually notice in dark roasts – as it cooled, the mild nutty bitterness that I was kind of enjoying somehow deteriorated into a concentrated tanginess (maybe this is what I meant by “fruity” earlier) that I’m not so big a fan of.
Overall, pretty strong performance from the Moka Express today. While I’d rate the initial quality of the brew a little higher, the bitter, tangy flavors I was left with for the second half of my mug will drag the rating down today to a 6/10.
I should note that, probably as a result of the extra grounds, I ended up with more grounds-sludge than any day prior. This won’t affect the rating for me, since I don’t drink those last sips, but I though I’d note it for the sake of being thorough.
While I enjoyed the strong flavor that I first got out of this mornings brew, there seems to be a high risk for ending up with something over-concentrated. I filled the filter compartment pretty much to the top today, so I think I’ll back off on that a little in the future.
Since I’m now familiar with the effects of grounds volume and lid setting, I want to move on and fiddle with other properties. Tomorrow, I’ll modulate temperature: I want to see how going from setting 4 to 5 or 6 affects brewing time and final outcomes.