08 Sep 2018
In light of yesterday’s difficulties, I made sure to be extra meticulous to get everything right this morning. And I believe it payed off.
Today I filled the chamber up most of the way, giving the top of the pile of grounds about a quarter inch to breath under the top chamber. I also brewed with the lid open and the stove set to 5.
The latter of these parameters seems to have been responsible for today’s blazing brew time (relatively speaking): 4:22” to start dripping and 4:45” to completion (though I really should have pulled the Express from the burner a few moments earlier, since I got another explosive spurt of coffee at the very end, which landed all over the stove).
Today’s brew was a success. It’s perhaps the first cup I’d choose again if I could simply pick the exact flavor from a menu.
In spite of the mild aroma, the body still has the fullness that characterizes this Arabica blend. What I feel distinguishes the flavor today from my past brews is balance. The bitterness is only there if you look for it, and finally the nutty, “coffee-y” flavors can take center stage. A firmly enjoyed cup o’ joe. 8/10.
My guess is that at lower temps (read: longer brew times) the bitter oils from the grounds had more time to seep up into the top chamber and darken the flavor of the coffee. Not so today though, as the brew time clocked in well under half of some previous observations (and this is just from bumping the burner up one notch).
Just because we had success today doesn’t mean we can stop tuning our brew! I’m still looking to complete my exploration of temperature, so tomorrow, I’ll crank it up one more notch, from 5 to 6 on my gas range.
I’ll continue to bump it up, one notch at a time, until scores start to decline again, at which point I’ll consider the temperature parameter fully explored. At that point, I’ll have to move on to more exotic tweaks, such as pre-heating the water, top chamber, and even mug. I’m sure the internet will suggest a bounty of options.
To recap, we’ve (fully) explored the effects of the volume of grounds, and whether or not the lid is open during brewing, and are currently investigating how stove temperature affects flavor. With the burner setting fixed at 4, here are the results of the finished investigations:
|Lid Closed||Lid Open|
Each of the above ratings links to its corresponding post (except this one, in bold, since you’re already here).