Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Coffee Verdict #1

Some months back I embarked on the Coffee Quest to find which brew methods would give me that perfect cuppa. Obviously, the Great Work is nowhere near completion, but I can give you the following preliminary finding:

1. Percolator = French Press.

Yep, in terms of flavor, the famed French Press is good, but it delivers about the same richness and complexity as an old-school Mad-Men style percolator. Coffee ritualists might find the process of using the French Press more gratifying than the percolator - boil, wait, pour, wait, stir, wait five minutes, slooooowly press down - but the flavor is similar enough for Yours Truly to score them equally.

2. Dark roasts and African beans over Latin American and Indonesian/Malaysian beans.

Obviously, this one is mere personal preference. But to me, the Colombian and Indonesian beans have a sourness or fruitiness to them (which I'm told indicates acidity). I don't care for that. I like the more bitter (but not burnt-Starbucks-bitter) taste I've found in dark roasts - especially Trader Joe's Bay Blend, which is now my go-to.

HOWEVER - In my occasional obsessing about coffee, I stumbled across this column on Gizmodo, which suggests that sourness is the result of under-extracting coffee, and bitterness comes from over-extracting. Could it be that these beans are simply not quite right for the one-size-fits-all instructions you find on the side of the box that the coffeemakers come in?

Time will tell!

PS - Needless to say, I grind my own. With a burr grinder. Coarse grind for both. So let's eliminate that variable here and now.

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