Friday, January 29, 2010

The Second Best Use for Your Right Hand

The Skerton is Hario's mid level hand powered grinder. Its primary features are adjustable, conical, ceramic burrs and the $44 price point.

 
From Right, Skerton, Roman and Mini Slim.

At first glance, the grinder is shapely. The bean hopper is smokey polycarbonate plastic and its overall shape resembles an hourglass. In my hand it feels stout, in part due to the ground coffee receptacle, a ridged glass bowl that conjures mason jars and lantern globes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Herkimer's newly modified Synesso.


Herkimer Synesso Mod from pouredover on Vimeo.

In the lab at Herkimer Coffee in Seattle's Phinney Ridge neighborhood something exciting is happening. Using a timer, regulated line pressure and a pump bypass valve, a Synesso Cyncra has been modified for pre infusion brewing with variable pressure.

In stage one, the timer provides 4 seconds of 5 bar, regulated line pressure. The timer is easily adjusted, this was just a starting point. When the timer runs out, the pump receives full power but a bypass valve diverts a portion of the flow to the drain. Using about 7 bar, the bypass phase then leads to stage two.

Stage two is full pump pressure, approximately 8.5 bar. Based on visual cues the Barista goes back to bypass after just a few seconds.

The result was viscus, sweet, espresso with a huge amount fat to coat the mouth. Pure deliciousness.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Brief report; Thursday at the CEL



The Coffee Enhancement Lounge features common hours every Thursday.


According to their web posts, "The Coffee Enhancment Lounge (CEL) is Seattle areas' premier coffee lab." Visions Espresso Service's CEL is analogous to a coffee community centre. The CEL features commercial quality equipment in a an environment that is open, often free and can be booked for private use. The brain child of Sarah Dooley, a long time Seattle Barista and organizer, the CEL has also been the site of the ongoing Barista Round Table Meetings.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

PouredOver thought we knew how to make a Chemex, but, we were wrong.
PouredOver field trip; Hario USA.



"A smattering of Edwin's imports were on a table near the door. Roasters from Mad Cap in Grand Rapids, MI to Square Mile of London, UK have provided samples of their finished product."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Left, Square Mile Coffee. Right, Dunkin Donuts.

**Update** Yeah, okay, I get it... you think I was trying to compare the relative darkness and there are a host of issues with that. I was simply pointing out that they were in the same room. It's funny, come on.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Slayer bits on the table.

Matt and Brandon from the American Barista and Coffee School talk tech with Eric in the Slayer studio. 

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hand Pour Brewing, Me and the Hario V60:



I'm a die hard Chemex fan. There are a couple things about the V60 that have really captivated me including the spiral ridges, more on that below. It's not that hand pour is the greatest brew ever. I don't think it provides the cleanest cup or the most even extraction. I think even extraction is rubbish. Hand pour is an aesthetic and engaging practice that anyone can learn to enjoy. 

When I first got into Chemex brewing it blew my mind. I emailed Danger Dan straight away and we discussed the technique. Later, I of course saw the infamous James Hoffman video. James provides a fantastic base for understanding hand pour technique and my process is only slightly dis similar to his. If you haven't seen it, you should http://www.vimeo.com/2643633 Actually, I normally do it this way for customers.

I've been Hario brewing for a few months. I figured it's time to jot down my thoughts.

The spiral ridges along the side of the V60 allow air to move up and out as liqued flows into the cup. They aslo allow for brewed coffee to exit the filter all around, rather than just out the bottom. This combined with the large size of the aperture means extraction is controlled by grind and not the paper, the aperture or back pressure from below.

Another reason I lean toward the V60 over the Chemex is that I can remove it full of water. I like to keep the cone full of hot water throughout the brew. Not only does this keep all the grinds in the water all the time but it maintains more heat energy in the brewing chamber. I just pop the thing off and onto antoher cup. Removing a Chemex filter full of water is asking for it.

This is only one technique and there are many. The Japanese have been hand pour brewing for decades. Barismo recently published a post with several non English videos. 

I begin in the normal fashion by weighing out my dose. 60 grams per liter and plus minus a couple to taste or based on my experience with a particular roast. Select a grind that provides a total brew time of around 3 minutes and no more than 4. Because the V60 is not flow restricted like other pour over brewers, it's a little faster.  

Preheat all components and rinse throughly the paper filter. Be sure to fold the seam over. I have a clear plastic V60 and I can see water run right out the seam.

Water should be off boil, 92c or 198f.

After adding the ground coffee to the cone, use your finger to make a small depression, or a well, in the middle of the coffee bed. The well really helps new pourers to control this phase. Start your timer and pour in about 1 or 2 milliliters of water per gram of coffee. This should be just enough to saturate the bed. Pour from the centre out in rings. Avoid pouring onto the sidewall of the filter as this will cause bubbles. This is where a good kettle really pays off.

Letting the bloom carefully saturate the coffee bed helps to prevent dry spots and water channeling.

At this point there should be little to no dripping. Wait 30 seconds or about until the bloom deflates.

I don't put the entire operation on the scale. I use a volumetric carafe. Because the cone is full of hot water the scale doesn't tell us much.

Begin pouring again, in circles out from the middle until the cone is nearly full. Pause, don't over flow. Pour slowly right in the middle. Pour slow enough not to cause bubbles or churning in the brew. Repeat this part as needed to keep the cone full.

Watch your timer and when the time and volume come together, remove the cone. Normally by this point the top of the brew is white and thin looking, that's over extraction and we don't want it in our cup.

Enjoy!



Hario V60 Brewing from Tom P on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Hario V60 that my Grandma sent for Christmas. 

Sunday, January 03, 2010


My favorite Stumps.

They came to visit me at Porch Light today.

Friday, January 01, 2010


Grand Canyon in winter.