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The Fickle Bean

May 07, 2012

While drinking great coffee at home is pretty easy to do when you pick out a good roaster, or some nice green beans to roast on your own and then brewing it fresh getting it's easy, BUT that exception cup of coffee can be fickle. I was reminded of this over the weekend while at the get together of other coffee enthusiasts at the time no one was restricted by the pressures of everyday life, i.e. no big deal to toss a few shots until you got one that was acceptable. This is why coffee can easily become an obsession it can be a fickle bean.

There are some very easily repeatable ways to make coffee, the french press, a good auto drip machine, mellitta cone, all very good ways to make coffee and I have had the pleasure of using them many times over to get that cup of coffee in the morning. The reason why these methods are so easy to use is that for the most part pouring of water is regulated to the point of not having to think about it. There is one less thing for the fickle bean not to like.

However, there are other things that can go wrong or not as right as they could be when brewing coffee that are harder to pin point at times. The Hario V60 that tempting brewing device that it is throws into the mix the pouring of the water to mix of variables to making the perfect cup of coffee. Why does one use a device that is harder to use? Because it makes a different cup of coffee, since the water just rushes past the ground coffee you get a "cleaner seperation" of flavors than other devices like described above. When hit dead on it can be very very very good with some coffees. However, if you don't get it right the fickle bean is going to punish you with a sour or bitter cup depending on if you under or over extracted the coffee and then it might be beacuse of your grind!

So not only can the coffee bean be fickle with you when brewing, but roasting too! I had bought a bag of coffee that I previously really enjoyed from a roaster, however this tim e it was not nearly as good. Gone was the brown sugar floating off the bag, it appeared that it was roasted a litte differently this time, much more acidic flavors in the cup, good but not nearly as good as it was before. I only have the most peripheral knowledge of coffee roasting so it is only my guess that either one of two things happened with this coffee, it was an single origin so no blend changes, it either got a little long in the tooth and the green beans lost the flavor I enjoyed soo much or the roaster missed the mark by just a fraction. Next bag please.

Now while I may be able to make a good cup of coffee almost every single time it's getting that amazing cup of coffee that keeps me coming to these websites like Roaste. I am always waiting for the next cup or shot that is going to blow my socks off, and so when I looked around on Saturday at the other coffee geeks I could see why we drink so much coffee it's because this little bean is fickle if it was as easy as a nepresso machine no one would care.






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