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Coffee - The Joy of Cooking

This page is a draft of notes on Coffee. I try and write about new beans I try for fun, as well as some of the coffee gear I use.

Equipment

Grinder

We currently use the Hario Mini Mill coffee grinder. A full grind provides enough for two aeropresses, or about four cups of French press.

To adjust the grind level, pop off the top, screw in the nut until tight. Then slowly unwind the screw, counting the clicks for the type of brew you want.

TypeClicks
Aeropress6 - 8
French Press12-14
Pourover10

Fellow Prismo

The Prismo is an Aeropress add-on that yields a more espresso-like shot. For easy cleaning after use, pull back on the aeropress to pull the grinds out of the Prismo (source). We have yet to get a crema with the fellow prismo, but it does change the taste and shape of the brew.

Coffee Sock

The coffee sock is a handmade reusable cotton pourover filter. Ours vits the hario v60.02. Notes for care from the package:

  • Each pack lasts about 1 year and replaces approximately 500 paper filters

  • Pre-usage: boil in fresh water for 10 minutes. rinse well.

  • Usage:

    1. Set in pourover equipment

    2. Add measured coarsely ground coffee

    3. Bloom grounds, shortly after boiling water.

    4. Thoroughly wet grounds with a circular pour, keeping grounds slightly submerged until desired amount of water is used.

    5. Remove filter when cool enough to handle.

    6. Discard grounds

    7. Rinse filter thoroughly.

    8. Hang filter to try

  • Cleaning (roughly 2x a month):

    1. Rinse thoroughly

    2. boil once or twice for 10 minutes

    3. rinse until water runs clear.

Beans

These are my personal notes on different coffee beans I've tried. I've also tried to make note of the origin, tasting notes, etc. I make no claims about my competencies in describing or understanding the flavours of coffee.

De Mello

I received a sampler pack of 10 different kinds of De Mello Coffee from a kind soul in the middle of November 2020. This package is what inspired me to start documenting my coffee experiences. I hope to get better at describing coffee as well as to build up a database of beans to re-try.

Costa Rica; Arleen & Maria

Notes: Green Apple; Clementine; White Chocolate
Region: Tarrazu, Costa Rica
Process: Honey & a bit of natural
Altitude: 1700
Date: [2020-11-21 Sat]

Did I just have good fortune with my Aeropress brew, or is this coffee simply one that makes my esophogus feel like part of a well oiled machine? From the notes (green apple, clementine) I thought it would be more fruity; but frankly at this point, I don't think I know what "fruity" means with a coffee. It's more wood than fruit. Tastes great! Looking forward to the next cup.

Ethiopia: Naga Singage W

Altitude: 1950
Notes: Orange, Pineapple, Mango
Process: Washed
Date: [2020-11-21 Sat]
Region: Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia

First sip feels creamier and richer than The Arleen & Maria from this morning (not in a better/worse way). I can't sense any fruit yet, or in the aftertaste. This coffee is being paired with reading + a nice chair and a post run snack. I quite like it, and would like to have some chocolate with it.

Gentleman

Process: Natural Bourbon & Typica (?)
Date: [2020-11-22 Sun]
Notes: Rich, Smooth, Dark Chocolate
Region: Brazil Pocos De Caldas
Altitude: ?

So this is a dark roast eh? I've definitely had a dark roast before but now that I'm looking at the package and drinking and thinking and writing about it, I feel like I'm really cementing a mental association with a dark roast. I suppose I don't have it that often either; the closest thing to it is the decaf Dark Horse beans we have.

This seems like an ideal coffee on a foggy day where a wet-cold would make me want to stay in and read. So far this is my favouritie of the De Mello sampler pack.

Deadman Walking

Process: Natural Bourbon & Typica (?)
Date: [2020-11-29 Sun]
Notes: Full body, Smooth, Dark chocolate
Altitude: ?
Region: Brazil Pocos De Caldas

Another dark roast! I think I like them more than I realized. So here's the thing. I got a Fellow Prismo as a gift recently. So now there are a new set of variables that I don't quite know how to account for; I'm not sure I can say too much about this bean without really trying a regular aeropress too. I mean, it tastes great. The first sip was definitely smooth, but there was no crema (yet). From some light research, it takes a few tries to get good results.

From the packages, I saw yet again that this bean is "Natural Bourbon & Typica". Still not knowing what that was, I decided to look it up:

Typica

Typica coffee is one of the earliest and most important coffee varieties, having been around for centuries and engendered numerous others. Notable Typica varieties include Java, Maragogype, and Timor Hybrid (more on that last one in a little bit).

You’ll find this plant being farmed in Central America, Jamaica, and Asia. The WCR label it as low-yield, high-quality, and susceptible to rust and pests. It’s often described as having a clean, sweet acidity.

Bourbon

A natural mutation of Typica, Bourbon is a high-quality, medium-yield coffee known for its sweet taste. It has, however, low resistance to leaf rust, coffee berry borer, and other diseases and pests. It’s commonly grown in Burundi and Rwanda, as well as throughout Latin America.

Why should you care about Bourbon? For the same reasons why you should know about Typica: its early appearance in the coffee variety tree means it has also engendered numerous others. It’s also a fairly common plant celebrated for its good quality.

So, I think this perhaps means this bean might be a mixed blend?

Other than that, I shouldn't have added water onto the Prismo brew; it ended up being a bit too thin when it was already pretty smooth out of the gate. Finally, I feel like I've noticed that dark roasts grind more easily in my manual grinder.

Honduras San Jancito

Region: La Paz
Process: Typica & Bourbon (washed)
Notes: Eucalyptus, Lime, Papaya
Altitude: 1700
Date: [2020-12-01 Tue]

Is that Eucalyptus I'm tasting? I don't know. There is something sort of "woody" about this coffee, so maybe that's it. Made this one in the Aeropress and am pretty into it. Nice to have a lighter roast after the last two dark roasts (but one that isn't very fruity).

Zumachi

Process: Sugar cane decaf
Region: Tolima, Colombia
Altitude: 1200-2000
Date: [2020-12-06 Sun]
Notes: Bron sugar, apple cider, white grape

I'm back in Toronto. I went for a run with a friend today and it was frigid. I still haven't figured out how to layer properly for winter running. When I got home I showered and made some poached eggs. Now I'm having the Zumachi. It's sparkling and chocolatey and fuzzy and some other stuff, certainly too. It's sugar cane decaf processed, but I can't speak to that. I do feel a similarity to Apple cider, but not in the tasting notes so much as the associations with winter, and a warm drink on a cool brisk day.

Ethiopia Naga Singage

Notes: Raspberry, Blackcurrant, Tropical
Process: Natural
Altitude: 1950-2150
Date: [2020-12-17 Thu]
Region: Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia

A new bean! I forgot I had this to look forward to last night. I often look forward to my morning coffee by the time 8pm rolls around - it's some kind of inside joke at this point (now an outside joke for those reading this). It was tricky getting up out of bed this morning; it is just so absolutely dark in the mornings (and the evenings) now that it's December.

I could smell the fruity notes in the coffee as I brewed a pourover this morning. At first it was subtle, but as I picked up the pour-over cone/carafe I must have unsettled the grinds (they were still dripping) and a much stronger smell rose up. It took me somewhere summer-y and warm where the air was not thick or muggy.

Oh wait, I just poured my first cup. I can smell the fruit-y smells from here. I have not experienced this before.

First sip is good with a bit of fruit taste afterward. Sort of reminds me of the smell of certain herbal teas. Fruity coffees usually feel thinner to me, but I don't know if this is quantifiably the case. Could be a lighter roast thing?

Anyway, I'm off to practice some french and maybe to let this coffee transport me somewhere warm when I'm ready to be distracted.

Brazil Matuto

Altitude: 1250
Region: Minas Gerais
Notes: Roasted almond, peanut cookie, brownie
Date: [2020-12-12 Sat]
Process: Natural

Two new beans in two days! I am lucky this week! I mistakenly took too much out of the freezer so, rather than put it back in, I've got a few beans on the go. This one is definitely more earthy and ... metalic? (ah if only I could see a coffee-fanatic's face when I use such poor descriptors...). Metalic isn't a bad thing. I think I am trying to describe something that is more angular; a rigid outdoor bench in a park rather than a swing on a swing set? This coffee is an outdoor bench with woodchips below it. How's that?

The notes are appearing after I take a break between eager sips. Maybe I taste a light surfacing of peanut butter but I'm not sure. I also put in too much water on this make - using a pourover that is. It's certainly different than the Naga singage I had yesterday.

Dancing Goats

Date: [2020-12-15 Tue]
Process: Natural
Altitude: 1200
Notes: Milk chocolate, vanilla, dark cherry
Region: Minas Gerais, Brazil

I may have watered this one down this morning, half awake from a bad sleep. I could smell the chocolate notes when I was grinding the bean the night before. I think I am starting to associate chocolate-y coffees as ones that I should make with the aeropress (especially the fellow-prismo), because it yields a thicker cup than a pour over. We do pour overs in the morning because it's convenient to make coffee for more than one person (especially when one is half asleep too.)

Right now, the dancing goats tastes somewhat bitter and rounds out after a few seconds. I think I will have to come back to this on a second cup today or tomorrow and try and write something a bit more succinct (when I am awake).

Butterfly Kiss

Date: [2020-12-21 Mon]
Region: 85% Ethiopia sasaba; 15% Ethiopia Naga Signage N
Process: Natural
Notes: Cranberry, Cherry, Grape
Altitude: 1200

I think this might be my favourite less-traditional of the De Mello pack. I'm not quite sure how to read the indications on the package regarding origin, as it is labelled somewhat differently than the other beans. The grinds smelt buttery, but I am lying my head down on the table trying to think of how I might describe the actual brew. It feels more acidic than usual in aftertaste, maybe even a bit burnt. Immediate thick citrust heat on the throat on sipping. While I don't put milk/oat milk in my coffee in the first place, I can't see that fitting in well with this bean.

It's getting close to Christmas - a 2020 restricted-by-covid christmas. My heart goes out to those who are feeling hurt, confused, uncomfortably re-arranged, or pained by this very different year.

xo, wt.

A Aracelly Robles

Date: [2021-01-10 Sun]
Notes: Passion Fruit, Cranberry, Lavender
Region: Frailes, Costa Rica
Process: Semi-Washed
Altitude: 1600

I'm back on the Demello grinds. I ordered more after the first sample pack finished. I thought I would be getting all the same beans, but it appears some new ones might have made it into the mix. At least, this one is new. I think I may have even noticed that it tasted new. Two minutes ago I took a sip, got up to fetch the little package of beans. On my way to get it, I thought that the aftertaste was a bit smokey.

I'm marking this one with a priority flag, as I would like to come back to it sometime and try it again - I am less into fruity coffees, but I think this one deserves to be revisited with a few different methods of brew on a larger bag.

The Sovreign

Region: ?
Notes: ?
Process: ?
Altitude: ?
Date: [2020-12-30]

It's 6:25. I made my morning coffee with a coffee sock, a cloth filter. The Demello is all gone, and we've got a bean from down the street from us in Toronto. I was starting to get used to how the Demello mini packages had so much detail - as I was filling out the properties for this bean, I was a bit disappointed to not know where it came from, other metadata etc. On the other hand, it's a good reason to ask the proprietor when I next go to the cafe down the street where the beans come from.

This bean is rustic. It reminds me of an old ship that had been grounded in a field that I climbed on once when I was a high school. Also, because of the term coffee "*sock*", I'm sort of thinking of this brew as having been filtered through an old gym sock. Great. My thoughts are rather jumbled and I am not quite awake yet (perhaps this is evident).

I don't notice much aftertaste in this brew; a shape put on a table to be looked at and then taken away completely (whereas other beans-as-shapes would morph after their initial sip). It might as well be two in the morning.