12 Sep 2018
Today I used 3.3 tablespoons of grounds. The rest of the parameters are still fixed: burner at 5, lid open, T Joe’s Arabica, etc. Time to drip was 4:16” and time to finish was 4:46”.
I do get the slight impression that these single-teaspoon increments might not be enough to produce observably different flavor profiles…
I definitely got more flavor today than I bargained for. I thought the Express might have trouble pushing all the water through the filter with so few grounds, which I’ve seen before, and that I was going to end up with a watery cup. Not so though, as I ended up with all the characteristic flavors of the roast, they just weren’t delivered in any particularly bold, exciting, or notably delicious way.
The cup held this character all the way down; I didn’t notice any deterioration in the flavor or aftertaste as I got into the second half of the mug. If anything, where in the past some brews have gotten bitter and tart for the cooler second half, this one has only gotten more mild.
Minimal grounds dust at the bottom, decent, inoffensive aroma, yet nothing terribly impressive or exciting. For me, the quality of this brew harkens back to some of my initial logs, before discovering the wonder of burner setting 5. 6.75/10.
I feel a little conflicted about where I want to take this. On the one hand, it would be good to know how low I really can go in terms of grounds volume, but on the other, I have serious doubts about finding any hidden local maxima lower in this particular axis; I am trying to find the ideal Express cup, not just perform a casual, aimless grid search.
I may make the game-time call tomorrow morning to reverse this decision, but I’m saying tentatively that I’m going to start heading back up the grounds volume scale. Today I used 3.3 tablespoons, yesterday 3.5, so tomorrow I’ll try things out with 3.7 (~3 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons).