Coffee Cup
"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved

Coffee Cup
My First Pour Over Experience

Thursday, May 27, 2010

      If you drop by my place and see my espresso bar you will easily realize that there is little motivation to delve into other coffee making methods. Since I received my Vibiemme Domobar Super I have given away a couple of "economy" drip makers that we had around the house, and if memory serves, I have pulled out the press pot maybe once in the last three years. Easy decision— should I make a thick, rich delicious espresso or gritty, bitter cup from the press? A bit of exaggeration, but the point being made should be clear.

      At the recent SCAA exhibition in Anaheim I received a Melitta "Ready Set Joe" pour over cone and paper filters. The device itself was familiar to me, but I had never actually made use of one. This one is made of plastic, and I generally try to avoid using plastics with hot food preparation. The design of this one is pretty good otherwise. It has a ridge on the bottom surface that lessens the chance of it sliding off the coffee cup, and there is a cut out area in the base that acts as a "viewing window" so you can see the level of the coffee in the sup without lifting the cone.

      Like I stated above, I have an espresso set up worth as much as my car so there has been little motivation to use a $3 plastic cone. But that recently changed. I have been doing a lot of investigation into roast levels, having test-roasted over seven pounds of coffee over the last three weeks (over and above my normal consumption). Some of it was light roasted (in the "City" range, after first crack, but well before second). Becasue I wanted to taste test my roasts, and a roast that light is not pleasing as an espresso, so I pulled out the pour over.

      The ease of preparation is evident immediately: I ground two measures-full in my Baratza Virtuoso, guessing at the necessary grind setting, lined the cone with one of the unbleached paper filters, and put the grounds in the filter. While that was being prepared, water was brought to a low boil in the microwave. The brewing is simply a matter of pouring the hot water over the coffee, and giving it a stir to make sure that all the grounds were sufficiently immersed and extracted. Do a repeat pour and a full cup of coffee is ready. Clean up is simple- dump the spent contents of the cone into the trash and wash out the cone... and then drink a delicious cup of coffee.

      For these recent tests I have been roasting Colombian Huila Monserrate water processed Excelso from Gen-X, and brewed this way it makes a delicious cup of coffee. So much so that I am going to try a very light roast, taken to just the very end of first crack and about ten more seconds or so and see how that turns out. I also have some Brazilian coffee that I am going to try. This method of brewing avoids the over extraction that is the greatest drawback of percolator methods, and pour over can be used anywhere that hot water can be produced. This makes it a perfect method for use in an office where the coffee available is usually a product that should require an EPA license and registration as a hazardous material.

      In the meantime, if you have not tried this method of brewing, and particularly if you roast at home, I highly suggest giving it a try. There are various ceramic and glass devices available. Just Google for "Pour over cone."

Coffee Cup
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