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#1
(This post was last modified: 07-02-2024, 12:17 AM by GoodShave. Edited 1 time in total.)
I thought I would start a running Journal of my coffee journey as I explore different equipment, recipes, and beans.

Today's brew was Blacksmith Coffee Roastery (Lindsborg, Kansas) - Swedish Mellanrost beans using the Varia FLO dripper using the Kurasu basic recipe with a Kalita 185 filter and the Varia FLO 'Medium 1' screen.

The FLO dripper came with three screens (Kurasu logo screen that some refer to as 'fast_2', 'medium_1' and 'slow_1').
I also purchased 'fast 1' , 'medium 2', 'slow 2', and 'slow 3' since there was a deal on buying five or more items from the Varia website.

I had been using the Kurasu logo screen since it was installed by default and been using the 4:6 video that I found to be the most useful video on the topic with examples and expected flavor output.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YYOWBCd4zo)

I found several settings that I enjoyed using the 4:6 method with this brewer, screen, filter and beans.

However, when I found the Kurasu basic recipe, I decided to try it out. It used the 'medium' screen which I would assume was the 'medium 1' screen that came with the brewer. 

With today's brew, the draw down was 2:09. I was surprised it was that fast since it was a 'medium' screen. Most of my 4:6 method brews with the Kurasu logo screen had a draw down time between 2:19-2:34 (though I did have one brew finish at 1:57). When I wet the filter, I use a chopstick to press the wet filter into contact with the screen to make sure there is good contact between the two so that the flow rate is influenced by the screen.

Depending on how full I fill my Oxo Pour Over Kettle, it can be challenging to balance the pour speed vs. pour height. I am sure that causes a good amount of variation in the draw down times. The pour height affects agitation/extraction.

Today's cup was excellent and I was surprised to get such a tasty cup on the first day with the new recipe. The flavor and mouth feel were excellent.

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#2

Scentsless Shaver
Oakland, ME
I hear the rabbit hole calling me, with new items to look up and check out! Sounds like a great cup of coffee was made this morning. How do you like the OXO kettle? I have the Bonavita kettle, as I have had 2 Bonavita auto drip coffee makers that were very good. I see that the OXO is getting some attention (I watched a couple of kettle reviews and one that, to the reviewer's surprise, had the Oxo beat out the other constestants!

Glad to have you in the Journals!

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- Eric 
Put your message in a modem, 
And throw it in the Cyber Sea
--Rush, "Virtuality"

Overloader of brushes, Overlander fanboy, Schickhead, and a GEM in the rough!
#3

Just Here for the Shaves
Williamsburg, KY
Welcome to the Journal section GoodShave

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This post by Dave in KY mentions views and opinions expressed and makes it known that they are "those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of DFS or any other member, agency, organization, employer or company."  Big Grin
#4
(07-02-2024, 12:40 AM)Dave in KY Wrote: Welcome to the Journal section GoodShave

Thank you so much!

I appreciate it.
#5
(This post was last modified: 07-02-2024, 03:44 AM by GoodShave. Edited 1 time in total.)
(07-02-2024, 12:34 AM)MaineYooper Wrote: I hear the rabbit hole calling me, with new items to look up and check out! Sounds like a great cup of coffee was made this morning. How do you like the OXO kettle? I have the Bonavita kettle, as I have had 2 Bonavita auto drip coffee makers that were very good. I see that the OXO is getting some attention (I watched a couple of kettle reviews and one that, to the reviewer's surprise, had the Oxo beat out the other constestants!

Glad to have you in the Journals!
Thank you so much for the warm welcome!

When I was making the leap from French Press to pour over, I decided to get a pour over kettle but wanted a temperature control kettle so I didn't have to wait for water to come off boil and I wanted to hold the temperature so if it took longer to get the grinds in the brewer that I was not stressing that I was losing the water temperature I wanted. I decide to pick up the Brewista Artisan goose neck kettle since it could pour fast (for making tea) but I could install an optional silicone plug into the kettle if I wanted to restrict the flow. 

After a while, I wanted to explore slower pours and felt the bulk of the Brewista and the shape of the goose neck/spout tip might be keeping me from pouring as slow as could, so I picked up the Timemore Youth Pour Over kettle. That had a different neck and spout tip, was light and small so it was great for slow pours, but it is designed to be used with hot water source (it is not meant to be used on a stove to heat the water). So I found that even with pre-heating with boiling water twice (once to initially warm the kettle while prepping the brewer and once with brew water after the brewer was set), the hottest water I can have in that kettle was 94C (201.2 F). For some recipes, that is not hot enough. So I thought about having a second electric goose kettle so I could have a fast pouring version for tea but a slow pouring version for pour over coffee. (I found it was a hassle to keep installing and removing the silicone plug in the Brewista kettle as other family members also use the kettle for tea).

Then one day after using the Brewista kettle for over three years, the temperature settings went crazy. I had no idea what temperature I was going to get no matter what settings I used! I sent an email to Brewista to see if I bought another base for the kettle if it would work (since my all black kettle with black handle was not available anywhere). I was not able to make coffee at that point and several days passed with no reply from Brewista, so I dug into my kettle research notes and looked around again and saw that the Oxo was getting good reviews and it was on sale at the time on Amazon for $77, so I thought I would buy it in the mean time (not knowing if I would hear back from Brewista or not). With Prime shipping, I had  the kettle before Brewista replied (four days later). Brewista suggested I descale my Artisan kettle even though there were no indications of scale build up (since I use Zero Water filters). I did descale the kettle with vinegar and water with no change. However, when I ordered the Oxo, I bought some citric acid as reviews said it was just as efficient as the Oxo recommended cleaner but much less expensive. On a whim, I descaled the Artisan a second time but using citric acid and the Artisan kettle was working like new! So now I had two working electric goose neck kettles.

I did slow pour tests with all three goose neck kettles to see how slowly I could pour 100ml of water with an unbroken stream. The Oxo (without flow restriction) was slower than the Artisan with the flow restriction plug inserted or the Timemore Youth Pour Over kettle. The Brewista (with silicone flow restrictor installed) finished at 0:47, the Timemore finished at 0:54 and the Oxo finished at 1:10. I probably should have repeated the test more than once, but that was enough for my curiosity.

The Oxo could allow me to pour fast (as with the Hario Mugen recipes where you pour 300ml of water in 15 seconds) or pour very slowly. No need to insert a plug to pour slowly. With kettles like the Stagg EKG, you have no option but to pour slowly which doesn't work for fast pour recipes or tea. (You can take off  the lid and pour out of the top of the kettle but you will not have much control of the flow). So the Oxo works well for a wide range of pouring needs. It is heavier than the Brewista Artisan but that weight comes from the thick walls which also allow it to hold its temperature better than the Brewista Artisan. The Brewista Artisan looks nicer and has some nice controls but the Oxo handle is more comfortable to use and is less expensive than the Brewista Artisan (and the Stagg EKG for that matter). Also, the Oxo base takes up less counter space than the Brewista Artisan base. So from a functionality standpoint, the Oxo has become the primary goose neck kettle for me know and the Brewista Artisan is in storage as a backup. 

I do miss the timer on the Brewista that I could start at any time. For the Oxo, you can only start the timer after you heat water to a set temperature (no way to use it as a stand alone timer). I do like that I can put the Oxo kettle back on the base and it not stop the timer (on the Brewista Artisan, the timer is cancelled if you put the kettle back on the base). So I would say the Oxo is worth trying if you ever have to replace the Bonavita (though I have heard those are good kettles too). If the Oxo kettle died, I would seriously consider buying it again.

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#6

Scentsless Shaver
Oakland, ME
(This post was last modified: 07-02-2024, 11:53 PM by MaineYooper. Edited 2 times in total. Edit Reason: video; question )
That was a very informative post. I have not tried timing myself for 100ml pour, but I may. I have had the Bonavita kettle for almost 4 years, according to Amazon! (I would have sworn I bought it 2 years ago, but time flies, as they say.) It doesn't have a timer, but I use a Greater Goods digital scale and it has a timer. I will admit I don't play with the timer much except to start just before I pour the first pour.

Something I am doing differently now, since seeing that 4:6 post, is to re-zero the scale at the start of each pour. Previously, I had been using James Hoffmann's method from a year or two ago of blooming with 50g for 30-45 seconds, then doing a 10-sec 50g pour every 10 seconds. That is the method that I have been using for close to 2 years now. Hoffmann states this is a pulse method. 


So that is the method I have been using, grinding with a Timemore Chestnut hand grinder, set to a grind that is more medium/fine. What I was changing was the starting water temperature. I purchased Hoffmann's How to Make the Best Coffee at Home and in it, he recommended different temps for different roasts. But nothing really changed how I was tasting the roasts. For example, darker roasts still tasted full bodied, but the nuanced flavors were not highlighted. And lighter roasts still tasted sour, not bright. This 4:6 method really has my curiosity piqued to buy a light roast and play around with it!

I also do a bit of French press coffee, using a smaller (400mL) Bodum. Again, I tried Hoffmann's unique (to me, anyway!) method of using a press and have had some great mugs of coffee. 

https://youtu.be/st571DYYTR8

What is unique is how long. Basically 4 minutes to bloom, stir, and let sit for at least 5 more minutes. Then carefully remove any floating particles, and barely depress the plunger below the water's surface, then pour and enjoy. My cups have been very good and surprisingly low in the "fines" that one typically associates with French press coffee.

I checked out Blacksmith Coffee and the Swedish Mellanroast reads like something I want to try! I will most likely order a bag unless you think it isn't worth the shipping. Thanks!

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- Eric 
Put your message in a modem, 
And throw it in the Cyber Sea
--Rush, "Virtuality"

Overloader of brushes, Overlander fanboy, Schickhead, and a GEM in the rough!
#7
(This post was last modified: 07-03-2024, 03:49 AM by GoodShave. Edited 1 time in total.)
MaineYooper  It sounds like you have everything you need to make some great coffee!
Thanks for listing your gear. I will have to check those out.

I like Hoffmann's better 1 cup V60 recipe. It has generated the most consistent results for me, though some days I struggle to get a good cup from my V60s. The more consistent I get with my pour, the better my V60 results will be (at least to my thinking).

I have re-zeroed (or tared) the scale for some recipes but more often than not, I just make myself a list of the total I should hit at each pour so there is one less thing for me to do during the brew process (especially with complicated recipes).

You probably have already seen this, but this is the follow-up video for Hoffmann's better 1 cup V60:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5WQ1sZzW4o

That Hoffmann book is great! I read that one and his World Atlas of Coffee as well.

The Lance Hedrick's video below suggested water temperature and coffee to water ratios based on roast:
Coffee to water ratio:
Light roast: 1:17
Medium roast: 1:15/1:16
Dark roast: 1:14/1:15

Water temperature:
Light roast: 95-100c
Medium roast: 90-95c
Dark roast: 85-90c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG5Tc8MR2_4

I have found that changing grind size will get you where you are wanting to go quicker than changing water temperature. Water temperature guidelines are helpful starting place, but if your grind is too fine, raising the temperature will make a bitter brew. Likewise lowering the temperature of too coarse a grind will give you under extracted coffee. That said, a given brewer may also allow allow you to use lower temperatures than you would expect for a given roast level as well. I am still experimenting with temperature and grind size combinations and extracting more flavors from the beans. I usually get the grind size going so that the coffee is not under extracted nor bitter, then I may fine tune the extraction by changing the water temperature. I think also, there is a lot of variation among coffee roasters as to what constitutes a 'medium' roast  in my experience. One person's medium is another person's medium-dark (or medium light for that matter). So I keep a running list of brewer/recipe/coffees (including roast levels) with water temperature and grind settings so when I try a new coffee, I have a starting point with a similar coffee. I then adjust the grind size and water temperature based on the actual roast level of the bag of beans I am using (which may not match the listed roast level on the roaster's website).

I have seen a video somewhere or read a entry somewhere that one approach is to change your grind size to hit the finish time specified in a recipe. A finer grind will slow the flow rate while a coarser grind will speed up the flow rate. Of course the type of beans you have could throw off those finish times.

Lately I have been playing with the water to coffee ratio. That adjust the coffee strength/body as well.

I found when I was first getting into pour overs, I was grinding way too coarse, so I was missing a lot of the flavor. I wound up getting a Brewler so I could better match my grind size to what a given recipe specified (if they give it in microns). Here is a site showing grind sizes with the Brewler. This website is also helpful if you don't have a Brewler as it has pictures of various grind sizes. Depending on how consistent of a grind your grinder can produce, you may want to adjust your grind setting to reduce fines.

I enjoy French Press as well. I have a few different sizes in case I have company drop by. I am really intrigued by that Hoffmann recipe you posted. I have only tried it once in the past and it came out bitter, but I will have to try it again. I have tried several different recipes but I don't usually brew that much coffee at one time. I do have Planetary Design 'Double Shot' French Press mug which was my main brewer for years. I would add grinds and hot water and run out the door with it. It would brew on my commute to work. It has a compartment to store a second dose of ground coffee so I could make a second cup later.

I have been using my French Press for making cold brew lately. Though I did run across a video somewhere showing how French Presses can be handy in brewing loose tea as well.

I thought this was a thought provoking video on French Press:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJc42z4Gpdg

My wife was traveling and picked up the Blacksmith Coffee Roastery (Lindsborg, Kansas) - Swedish Mellanrost beans as a souvenir for me, so I don't know how much they charge for shipping since she picked it up in person. I was asked which beans I wanted to try from that roaster and that one seemed a safe bet. They had a few others that looked nice as well. I really didn't need extra coffee at the moment as I had too many bags on hand already. I had my AirScape canisters full and received two extra bags I was not expecting (bringing me up to 5 bags). So I definitely didn't get the Mellanroast when it was the freshest. That said, I did think it was a tasty coffee but I am finding different recipes and brewers pull out different tasting notes.

I did make a note of Jim's Organic Coffee that you mentioned in your journal. What do think about their beans?

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#8

Member
Ca, USA
The observations of the changes created by the different pour options with this 4:6 method mirror my own independent experience. Without scientific measurement, they remain theoretical and the changes might be due to something else or magical thinking, but I tend to think they are more right than wrong. I do have the means to take actual measurements, but I find that is only valuable for gauging consistency so I am not attributing a change in flavour to the wrong thing. There is certainly something there to play with that will produce a change in the finished cup, regardless of causation. I have always tried to keep my bloom short and my second pour is in line with what he is doing. I do two additional pours as I don't really like a single pour any more, this is recent change for me. Three is a bit much, but it might be worth experimenting with anyway.

Aaron

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#9

Scentsless Shaver
Oakland, ME
Hey Good Shave thanks for another post "packed full of jam!" I will need to read it carefully tomorrow as it is already past my bedtime, ha ha! But read it I will!

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- Eric 
Put your message in a modem, 
And throw it in the Cyber Sea
--Rush, "Virtuality"

Overloader of brushes, Overlander fanboy, Schickhead, and a GEM in the rough!
#10
Today's brew was Blacksmith Coffee Roastery (Lindsborg, Kansas) - Swedish Mellanrost beans using the Varia FLO dripper using the Kurasu basic recipe with a Kalita 155 filter and the Varia FLO 'Medium 1' screen.

Here is that basic recipe (which is hidden in the bottom of this page):

    Coffee beans: 13g
    Hot water: 200g
    Grind size: Medium
    Disc: Medium

    Pouring Flow
     0:00 50g
     0:30 100g
     1:00 150g
     1:30 200g
    Finish around 2:10〜2:30

As the coffee cooled, this became a very tasty cup! The berry came in full and the chocolate came in full as well. This means not only will Kalita 155 filters work, but by extension, I can use the April and Timemore flat bottom filters if I want faster flows. The Varia website recommends Kalita 185 filters which is what I was using up to this point. The 185 and 155 filters work identically for this recipe since I am not using that much water and do not have any risk over over flowing the shorter 155 filter.

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