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On Brewing Choices

April 24, 2012

Following up on the coffee industry's big annual event--and the associated barista and brewing competitions--I thought it would be appropriate if I wrote a bit about brewing. I, along with many others, sometimes fetishize brewing technique. I'll sometimes think to myself, I'll have a syphon of _______, or a I'll do a pourover of ___________. That very way of thinking implicitly values the brewing method over the bean itself, which I think is backwards. Granted, the way that "progressive"/3rd wave coffee is generally marketed is, I think, overly romantic. You'll hear a lot of roasters--and you'll hear many serious consumers repeat it--talk about terroir, and the inherent flavors of beans, which is a very silly way to talk, in my opinion. There's no inherent flavor. There's no flavor *outside the roast* "

"I don't want to taste the roast!"

Well, if you're tasting anything tasty, it's because of the roast. You don't drink green coffee.

Likewise, strictly speaking there's no coffee beverage outside of brewing. So while it is backwards to say "I'll have a syphon of_______," it's not technically incorrect. Though the better way to think of it, in my mind is, I'll have ________ as a syphon, which puts the emphasis on the bean.

Chris Owens of Handsome Coffee spoke along these lines in an interview with Food GPS some time ago. http://www.foodgps.com/qa-with-chris-owens-handsome-coffee-roasters/

I'll be in L.A. next month, and will definitely check Handsome out. Hopefully I can get a shot pulled by a former WBC champ ;-)

And for those interested, Ceremony Coffee has a brewing guide by their brewing champ. You can read it here: http://ceremonycoffee.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/files/Brew.pdf

Though, if you've seen some of my posts, there's nothing new in there ;-) 








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