Page 9 of 12 FirstFirst ... 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast
Results 81 to 90 of 119
  1. #81
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    332
    I find it interesting that when asked about the best cup of coffee you ever had, you can't recall the "flavor" aspect of it. Yet in all your comments you seem to be looking for more flavor. I recognize your desire to eliminate bitter and sour tastes. That makes sense. But you seem to be chasing "flavor" yet can't recall having a real flavorful cup of coffee. In contrast, the time in that diner that I recall having what may have been my best cup of coffee ever, I can vividly remember how noticeable the "flavor" was and how it hit me. It's one of those moments when you say to yourself, "Now THAT is a good cup of coffee." While i can't tell you what made up the flavor or point out different flavor notes. But I can recall in my mind that full bodied taste that translated to me that this is what coffee is supposed to taste like. I will add that my sister in law makes a mean cup of coffee as well and recall similar flavors in hers as to the diner coffee I remember. I've asked her what she did to make such great coffee and I always get unhelpful responses. I can't stand her anyway. Ironically, when I made a few batches of my french press brew last Xmas she came to me and gushed about how amazing my coffee was. So there you go. Anyway, back to your adventures. I suppose you're chasing that same "flavor" that I have been. It's indescribable yet you'll know it when you taste it. But I wonder if you've ever tasted it since you mentioned the best cup you've had flavor isn't part of your recollection. Just an observation. I know you seem to have an issue with the Hoffmann approach and insist on steeping for a set time and that's it. Why not do a few pots by doing a 4 minute brew and then letting it rest after scooping the crust, foam and floaties off? Frankly, it's that part of the process that I think made the different for me in making my coffee taste so good. Anyway....
    Absurdity is the only reality - FZ

  2. #82
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    78
    Thanks for your help MntnMan62. I appreciate your sticking with me on this as I experiment and learn.
    So far as the flavor I didn't talk about, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you can't tell me what made up the flavor or point out different flavor notes, but just that was what coffee is supposed to taste like. That's what I thought. I wasn't much into trying to taste any particular flavor in the coffee; just what I expected coffee to taste like.
    You are right about my getting overly concerned about the particular flavors the roaster claims to be in my beans. I should be looking for what I consider a great cup of coffee, regardless of the flavor.

    I have been having a similar experience with the beer I drink, except that I am not doing any brewing - yet.
    Before I got into premium beers (espeically IPA's), I could enjoy any decent beer, such as Fosters. But after I began drinking Brooklyn ales, my tastes became more discerning. I found that I really enjoy the IPA's, especially the fruity ones like Dogfish Head 90 and 120 minute. So now I'm not just enjoying a great beer; I'm enjoying tasting the complex flavors in these beers.
    With beer, and I expect coffee as well, smell plays a very important role in the flavor you taste. When I drink my beer, I always pour it into a glass and wait for most of the head to drop. Then I stick my nose into the glass and inhale as I take a sip. It makes a big difference from drinking out of the bottle.
    So I'm thinking that, since I am able to detect the aroma in the coffee I am brewing, I should be brewing more, so that my cup is at least full enough to pull in the aroma as I sip it. Perhaps I am making a mistake by drinking less than 8oz of coffee from a 12+oz cup. I should be drinking this amount of coffee from a much smaller cup, or brewing more. But since I am still experimenting, I don't want to 'waste' coffee, so I'm sticking to 240g of water for each brew. I had been brewing only 120g water, but decided that there was too much cooling of that small amount of liquid once it hit the pot, and the results I was getting weren't a good representation of my brew method.

    Funny that you should mention the James Hoffman method. Before I came back here and read your post, I had exactly that thought. I want to try his method, but I think that first I would like to determine how fine a grind I can go with, as he says to use a medium grind. I don't know what 'medium' is on the JX Pro grinder. If I want to assume it's halfway between the finest and the coarsest, then it would be a setting of 25. My last brew was at 35, so I'm already headed in that direction.
    My French Press seems to be of high enough quality to have a fine screen, so I can go with finer grinds than generally recommended for this method.

    I won't do any more brewing today, as I have had enough caffeine for one day, but will resume tomorrow morning where i left off today, and probably try the JH method by noon.

  3. #83
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    78
    Well, I changed my mind. i decided to do another brew today.
    I changed the grind size to 30 (from 35) and left everything else the same.

    What I have noticed with the finer grind is that the coffee tastes smoother. I detect a very small amount of sourness, which seems to increase as the coffee sits in the cup.
    One thing I did with this cup is I did not start sipping until the temperature in the cup dropped to 148F. I had been taking small sips much sooner after pouring, and came to feel that it was too hot, and possibly burning my taste buds.

    With the setting of 30 on the grind, my first brew tomorrow morning will be the JH method. I'll follow his instructions to the tee.

  4. #84
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    78
    Had another thought:
    How much does brew size (total quantity of water and coffee) affect flavor and taste in general. What I'm thinking is that perhaps my brewing small batches of 240g water to 17g coffee is too small a brew.
    Last edited by Ultrarunner2020; 09-16-2020 at 08:10 PM.

  5. #85
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    332
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultrarunner2020 View Post
    Had another thought:
    How much does brew size (total quantity of water and coffee) affect flavor and taste in general. What I'm thinking is that perhaps my brewing small batches of 240g water to 17g coffee is too small a brew.
    I don't think it matters. I usually brew enough for two mugs of cafe au lait. So I'm doing 23 g of coffee to 300 g of water. I do this in a 8 cup carafe. And I have been pretty happy with the coffee I've been making. It shouldn't matter since all the coffee is in contact with all of the water, total immersion. I don't think that's the issue.
    Absurdity is the only reality - FZ

  6. #86
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    78
    So I did two brews using the JH method. I used 240g water and 18.5g coffee, ground at 30 on the JX Pro.
    The water I poured from the kettle was at 205F.

    For the first brew, I mistakenly stirred immediately after adding the water. JH does not stir at this point.
    After 4:00, I scooped off the foam. There wasn't any crust, as I had stirred it down at the start. The foam was pretty light, tiny bubbles. I scooped off as best I could using two spoons.
    Then I set the timer to 5:00 and waited.
    I plunged only to the top of the liquid (when I could feel the resistance to my plunge I stopped)
    The coffee was OK, but not great. There was a hint of sour or bitterness (I can't really tell). I did detect some flavor, but cannot really describe it. I guess it tasted like coffee.

    For the 2nd brew, I made another mistake.
    I followed JH instructions until the 4:00 had elapsed. Then I started to pull off the foam and crust, but remembered that he stirred slightly to submerge the crust. I hadn't actually scooped off anything at that point, so I stirred slightly, then scooped off the foam.
    I set the timer for another 5:00 and waited.
    Unfortunately, this cup of coffee was terrible. I guess it's bitter now, and of course that masks any flavor. It did smell nice though.

    So I really don't know what's going on. Perhaps the beans I am using do not lend themselves to this type (the JH method) of brewing. Maybe a lighter bean would work better.
    I am nearly out of beans, so will be going to buy more tomorrow. Maybe I'll try a lighter variety.

    I am going to return to the short method I had been using, and beginning to get satisfactory results from. That would be a grind of 30 and 5:30 steep.
    For my remaining beans, I am going to try starting with cooler water; 200 instead of 205, although I really don't expect any significant change.
    Perhaps I should shorten the steep time from 5:30 to 5:00 while keeping everything else the same.

    There is one more factor that might be throwing me off: my sense of taste. It is possible that the really strong, dark coffee that JH gets with his long method is simply not to my liking.
    Again, I think I'll try the lighter roast next time.

  7. #87
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    78
    And now for something completely different...
    After feeling bummed by my failure with the JH method this morning, I quit brewing and went out for a run.
    While I was running, I had an idea: How would my beans taste if I put some in my mouth and chewed them?
    So that is what I did. I took a small amount of beans and popped them into my mouth and started chewing.
    My first sensation was of sweetness. Then, there was a nutty flavor. While I chewed and swallowed the beans, I had a pleasant experience. There was no sourness or bitterness. There was plenty of flavor.
    So, why aren't I able to taste this flavor when I brew the beans?

    So I start to cogitate...
    The best cup of coffee I have had from these beans so far was yesterday when I ground finer (setting of 30) and brewed for 5:30 with water at 205.
    It occurred to me that after going to a finer grind, I never tried shortening the brew time. Perhaps with the finer grind I should go back to 4:00.
    It could be that all the while I was really tasting bitterness from over-extraction, not sourness from under-extraction.
    It seems that what made the most difference was to grind finer.

    So, what I am going to do tomorrow morning is brew very small amounts so I can gain the most information from the small amount of beans I have left.
    I will start with keeping the grind at 30, but going back to a 4:00 brew time. I'll take it from there.

  8. #88
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    332
    First, you didn't make any mistakes. Stirring immediately after pouring the water is what you are supposed to do to make sure all of the grounds are submerged and immersed in the water. So your efforts on the first attempt were just fine. And for the second batch, whether you stir or just scoop off the stuff on top should not make much difference. As for the beans, I use a dark/medium roast from Sumatra. I like it. But everyone's taste is different. Maybe you just haven't found the right beans for you.
    Absurdity is the only reality - FZ

  9. #89
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    332
    Question. When you get coffee from a coffee shop, do you always drink it black? Or do you drink it with milk or sugar or both? If you don't drink coffee black normally, then it's possible you just don't like black coffee. I'm in that camp. I never drink my coffee black. Always with milk, most often skim. So I judge my coffee based on how it tastes the way I normally drink it.
    Absurdity is the only reality - FZ

  10. #90
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    78
    Good question. No, I don't usually drink it black. I have only on a couple occasions; one being that Denny's I mentioned earlier. If it's in a restaurant or diner where I add my own milk, I will first try it black, and go from there. I never use sweetener though. My sister uses not one, but two envelopes of Truvia and Coffee Mate in her Kerug swill. I had been drinking it with only Coffee Mate before I decided to go "barefoot". It was then I realized how bad Keurig coffee really is.

    I did something today that I should have done when I first bought the fresh beans at the local barista/roaster. I bought a cup of the same coffee I was buying as whole beans.
    it is pour-over, not french press, but I now have an understanding of what the coffee is supposed to taste like.
    While the cup of Legender I bought today was better than what I have been brewing (most of the time), it was not as full of flavor as I had for some reason come to expect. You pointed that out to me earlier when you asked me to describe what a good cup of coffee tasted like, and I never mentioned anything about flavor.
    What I had today at the barista tasted like good coffee. I could detect hints of the flavors they talk about in its description, and I didn't taste much of the sour or bitterness I have been experiencing in some of my brews.

    I talked with the barista for several minutes. He seemed to be quite knowledgeable. This is what he told me about French Press brewing:
    Water temp: 194-195F
    Grind: Medium/Coarse. On the JX Pro, setting of 45 (out of 50) and no finer than 40. I had been grinding as fine as 30.
    Steep time: 3:30. I had been going from 4:00 to 5:30 (I had tried 3:30 early on, but had my ratio too low, so the coffee was too strong for my liking).
    Ratio: 1:15 to 1:17. I had gone as low as 1:12.2.

    Looking at my database where I am recording my brewing, I see that I have been all over the place. I seem to be too quick to change grind size rather than stick with one grind through different timing, water temp, and ratio.
    I see that I did use a grind size of 45 with a time of 3:30 early in my experimentation, but I recorded that brew tasted 'bitter' and too strong. Now I'm thinking that it was just too strong, but at 3:30 it should not have been too bitter, unless water temp was way too high. But then I look at the ratio for that brew, and see that it was 1:11.87, which explains the 'too strong' comment.
    Also, I did some calibration of my electric pot, and found that when its temp display was reading 194, the actual temperature was 203. That display is inaccurate, and even inconsistent. It is very slow, so always lags the actual temperature until it reaches boiling; then it always reads 212. So I have been using the Klein Tools MM200 thermocouple probe to measure the water temperature before pouring into the FP.

    I bought another 1lb bag of the Legender Brazil Med/Dark roast beans, and a 1lb bag of 'Timor Indonesia Med/Dark' beans. (They were having a sale; $25 for two bags priced at $15 each) I was at first concerned about buying 2lbs of coffee at once, but the barista assured me that so long as the bag remains sealed, it will stay fresh for quite a while - much longer than it will take me to use up the first bag. These bags have the CO2 valves on them.

    So tomorrow, I'll start again with the recommended values and take it from there.
    If I finally decide that I don't enjoy the coffee black, I will add a small amount of milk.

 

 
Page 9 of 12 FirstFirst ... 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast

Remove Ads

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-12-2016, 07:59 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-13-2016, 11:51 AM
  3. BEST FRENCH PRESS
    By cuppED in forum Coffee and Espresso Machines
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-19-2008, 11:15 PM
  4. Which french press should I buy?
    By Ron in forum Coffee and Espresso Machines
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 08-16-2006, 04:19 AM
  5. French Press
    By in forum Coffee Drinks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-11-2005, 02:46 PM