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Loosening Up

April 10, 2012

Back in my coffee geek days, I would get pretty doctrinaire about coffee preparation. That water's not hot enough! That grinder produces way too many fines! And so forth.

But I'm still digging through a bag of pre-ground coffee--granted, not the usual sort from the super-market, but a bag of Intelligentsia's Rugerero pre-ground on a Ditting--and it's been delicious. According to 3rd Wave orthodoxy, any coffee ground more than 5 minutes ago is no good. Well, after seeing that myth broken, I've decided that in the coming days I'll rethink some other 3rd wave myths. Such as...

 Pouring kettles. Truth be told, I'm awaiting a fancy pants pouring kettle from Japan, which I'm guessing will perform slightly better than the standard Bonavita or Buono. Really, I bought it for aesthetics--it's cute as a puppy. But the most relevant kettle comparison for most folks is not Bonavita vs. Hario, it's Bonavita versus the non-gooseneck kettle I already have. I've actually only used a non-gooseneck kettle on a pourover once, a Chemex, and it didn't turn out so great. But this is something to revisit. I should also mention that the thing with pouring kettles is not merely that they provide a better result (more even pouring, and what's often overlooked with drip, more GENTLE extraction--this is why a Walkure German Pot has a built-in dispersion screen...gentle drip is better drip in my experience) but that they feel so good in the hand. Sure, you can write with a Bic or a Caran D'ache, and you'll get a similar result, but the experience with the latter is so much better. And pourover coffee is not just about the end-result, it's also about the aesthetics of the experience.

Freezing coffee is another 3rd wave pillar I'd like to challenge. There's an old Home Barista thread that claims that freezing, within certain parameters, is OK, but most roasters will tell you to just buy fresh beans and keep them at room temperature. Use them up quickly. The Barista thread was about espresso though, and I'm mainly interested in brewed coffee. I'll do some informal tests on freezing beans.





And...I can't think of anything else at the moment. Any "progressive" coffee ideas that you feel should be challenged a bit? 






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