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Aerobie Aeropress
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paulbel
Senior Member
paulbel
Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Posts: 144
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: aeropress
Grinder: conical burr (cuisinart)
Drip: sometimes
Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012, 8:42am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

I would never enter an aeropress competition. I couldn't bear the mixture of pity and sneering condescension.

but, just one data point:  I have a Coava metal filter and used it for a bit, but have gone back to paper filters. I don't know why, but coffee I made with the metal filter wasn't a rich.

this could be connected to another thing I've noticed. I used to use a whirly grinder and I'd grind until the beans where almost sticky-fine. The paper took care of the fines. Now I have a sort of ok conical burr grinder (a Cuisinart) that my daughter gave me. I'm using the finest grind and it's not as fine as the mess I used to get from the whirly. I need to stir longer.

The aeropress, for people like me, is very forgiving, and especially useful for non-geeks.
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Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012, 9:52am
Subject: ...
 

...
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,737
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012, 10:50am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

I entered the world of Aeropress today.  I bought mine through Sweet Maria's and it arrived yesterday.  The day before that, my OE Lido grinder arrived.  YAAAAY!  So, today, I did a travel test, bringing both to work with me, along with some preweighed, unground beans (Sweet Maria's Liquid Amber).  I also stopped at the local top espresso bar on my way in and picked up some relatively freshly roasted Rwanda, which I plan to use this weekend.  I have two 4oz mason jars with me today, each with ~29.7g beans...well, I pressed my first cup already, so now I have one.  Anyhow, I followed Tom's instructions (10s steep, 10s stir, 10s press), brewing at the top of the "2" circle, then diluting to a total of 8oz in the cup.  My water temp seemed to read between 197-198 on my thermometer (heated bottled Ozarka water in the microwave).  Really nice results!  The cup was very clean tasting, although I think I'm going to experiment with lower dilutions, as I prefer more body - I am used to espresso afterall.  Feedback, tips, etc are always appreciated.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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nroot
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Location: San Diego
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Modded Hario Mini-Mill Slim
Drip: Aeropress, Bodum
Posted Sun Sep 2, 2012, 3:17am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

I did some more experimentation the past couple of days. Previously I had been doing this:

15 declicks on mod HMMS
15g of coffee
100g water @ 205 F
1:30 contact time


I wanted to try lowering the grind size, with the thought that even though I'd get more fines, overall the grind should be more consistent. So I tightened to 9 declicks, and brewed the following:

9 declicks on mod HMMS
15g of coffee (Guatemala El Injerto this time)
100g water @ 205F
4 different contact times: 20s, 40s, 1m, 1m20s


I tasted them each blind (let them cool to the same temp, labelled the bottom of each cup, had friend mix them around). The 20s brew was way sour, 1:20 was a little bit bitter. What was interesting to me was the difference between 40s and 1m. 40s was nice enough, but a little boring. 1 minute was a lot brigher and fruitier (plus had a much nicer aroma), and was my favorite by far.

It seems weird to me that dramatically reducing the grind size didn't dramatically reduce the brew time (I expected the 40s, if not the 20s, to be the best). Since surface area is the relevant factor here (right?), I would have predicted that the optimal brew time falls more rapidly as the size of the grounds decrease. Thoughts? I wish I had the equipment to actually test for % extraction. Could it be that my 1:30 brew time @ 15 declicks was actually mostly underextracted, but the fines had enough impact on the taste that I didn't notice it?


Now I kind of want to try to do a 1:30 brew at 15 declicks and a 1:00 brew at 9 declicks blind, and see which I like better. I'm also tempted to do a few test brews at another declick setting and try to ballpark whether the optimal brew time varies more linearly or exponentially with declicks.
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TheGerm
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jun 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012, 8:31am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

Whoa, what a blast from the past! I was looking for help with my light-roasted AP technique, and found this thread, and the posts I had made on the exact same subject one or two years ago. And NetPhilosopher is still here, as fanatically detailed as ever. Awesome!

Anyway, I joined a coffee-of-the-month club, and I was trying to brew up a light roast for the first time (Paradise Roaster's Costa Rica La Magnolia). It has been a bit challenging. Sometimes it seems that I'm oscillating between underextracted sourness (but decent fragrance and aftertaste) and a (perhaps a bit overextracted) flat and boring cup.

My technique is to use a grind that is as coarse as possible, and brew for longer times, so that the brewing "self-regulates"; that is, the water will cool off and kill the extraction at roughly the same time, so that the grind sets the extraction. But right now I'm suspecting that the water isn't hot enough for long enough for a good cup with a light roast.

Is this consistent? If you were brewing a light, complex roast and the water wasn't hot enough, what would you expect the symptoms to be? For those floral, fragrant elements, are they generally pulled out at the beginning or the end of the brewing?
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Andrew3199
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 62
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Inverted Aeropress.
Grinder: "Starbucks Barista" burr...
Drip: Malita Ceramic (102) 3 hole,...
Roaster: Popcorn popper/ West bend...
Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

TheGerm Said:

Whoa, what a blast from the past! I was looking for help with my light-roasted AP technique, and found this thread, and the posts I had made on the exact same subject one or two years ago. And NetPhilosopher is still here, as fanatically detailed as ever. Awesome!

Anyway, I joined a coffee-of-the-month club, and I was trying to brew up a light roast for the first time (Paradise Roaster's Costa Rica La Magnolia). It has been a bit challenging. Sometimes it seems that I'm oscillating between underextracted sourness (but decent fragrance and aftertaste) and a (perhaps a bit overextracted) flat and boring cup.

My technique is to use a grind that is as coarse as possible, and brew for longer times, so that the brewing "self-regulates"; that is, the water will cool off and kill the extraction at roughly the same time, so that the grind sets the extraction. But right now I'm suspecting that the water isn't hot enough for long enough for a good cup with a light roast.

Is this consistent? If you were brewing a light, complex roast and the water wasn't hot enough, what would you expect the symptoms to be? For those floral, fragrant elements, are they generally pulled out at the beginning or the end of the brewing?

Posted September 8, 2012 link

My Aeropress experiments also seem to favor a presspot type grind, the cup seems much more complex with a longer extraction. what sort of a steep time are we talking about?
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TheGerm
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jun 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012, 3:49pm
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

Andrew3199 Said:

My Aeropress experiments also seem to favor a presspot type grind, the cup seems much more complex with a longer extraction. what sort of a steep time are we talking about?

Posted September 8, 2012 link

My standard dark roast style is to grind a couple of "clicks" coarser than drip grind (with my Capresso Infinity), and then steep for like 2 minutes (by the end of that I doubt much extraction is happening). That obviously doesn't work at all with light roast coffee (SOUR SOUR). So I tried drip grind and then a couple of clicks finer than drip, playing with the steep time (60 to 90 seconds). Right now the result is pretty unpredictable, but I plan on going back to ~ drip grind and steep for 60 - 90 seconds, and trying to get the water hotter.

I use a Hot Shot to boil water, so it goes from Hot Shot -> mug -> AP, so I'm starting to suspect that the water temperature is too low or too variable, so I'm trying to get it reliably hotter (i.e. less time in mug, and I might buy an electric kettle).
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AlanAdler
Senior Member
AlanAdler
Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 695
Location: Palo Alto, Calif
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: AeroPress
Grinder: Baratza - Virtuoso
Roaster: Fresh Roast SR-500
Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012, 8:26pm
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

TheGerm Said:

If you were brewing a light, complex roast and the water wasn't hot enough, what would you expect the symptoms to be?

Posted September 8, 2012 link

I posted a few years ago that I found that light roasts brewed with (my normally recommended) 175F water tasted more sour than brews made with 185F water.

In that same post I also mentioned that I found that the sour notes which accompany light roasts were still present at higher brewing temps, but the higher temp extracted more bitterness, which helped to mask the sour notes.  I've since tried even hotter water than 185F, but there was no further improvement.

I'm puzzled by the current popularity of light roasts because when I've conducted blind tastings -- the tasters preferred medium roasts (full city) over anything lighter.

Alan
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TheGerm
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jun 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012, 6:15am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

AlanAdler Said:

I posted a few years ago that I found that light roasts brewed with (my normally recommended) 175F water tasted more sour than brews made with 185F water.

In that same post I also mentioned that I found that the sour notes which accompany light roasts were still present at higher brewing temps, but the higher temp extracted more bitterness, which helped to mask the sour notes.  I've since tried even hotter water than 185F, but there was no further improvement.

I'm puzzled by the current popularity of light roasts because when I've conducted blind tastings -- the tasters preferred medium roasts (full city) over anything lighter.

Alan

Posted September 8, 2012 link

Alan,

I understand that you've done a lot to find the best AP technique, but your logic is a little backwards here. I'm trying to get a light roast coffee to work with the AP. It's possible that my palate is still adjusting to light roasts. It's possible that I will end up not liking this coffee. It's possible that I will end up not liking light roasts in general. But if the AP can't effectively brew a light roast coffee, that's a deficiency in the AP. I don't mean that I would throw away my AP, but I would have to find some other method of brewing up this light roast that I have.

However, I strongly suspect that this is NOT a deficiency in the AP, that I just need to figure out a good technique. After all, my current technique is unpredictable but I've brewed a couple of very good cups. Even with the "flat, boring" cup that I mentioned, my wife put h&h and sugar into it, and the result was pretty wild: it tasted like she had put some high-quality fruity creamer into the coffee.

As far as "sour notes", I LIKE a few sour notes. I just don't want ALL the notes to be sour. But I'm actually more concerned about the fragrant floral notes, and the lingering aftertaste in this particular coffee. When I can't taste them I feel sad.

And besides, blind taste-testers aren't the end of the story. Certainly not everybody preferred the exact same roast, right? Some prefer darker, some prefer lighter? And the testers certainly could prefer one thing one day, and another thing another day, right? Or prefer a light roast of one coffee, and not another? I understand that many AP users will just "stick with what works", but this is coffeegeek. It's like a conglomeration of coffee fanatics and outliers. You should expect us to do weird things with the AP.

(P.S. Alan, your AeroPress is an amazingly fun coffee thing. I love it.)
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WonderClown
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 220
Location: NC, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gave away a Saeco Via Veneto...
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Zassenhaus
Drip: Buchner funnel + vacuum...
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012, 6:16am
Subject: Re: Aerobie Aeropress
 

AlanAdler Said:

I'm puzzled by the current popularity of light roasts because when I've conducted blind tastings -- the tasters preferred medium roasts (full city) over anything lighter.

Posted September 8, 2012 link

This is not a matter of light being better than or worse than medium roasts.  It is a different experience.  If you are doing a blind tasting and expecting a "coffee" flavor, you will be, at a minimum, surprised when a fresh, light roast hits your tongue.  In most situations that surprise will not be a positive one, but that depends on the taster and the context.  However, if I told you to expect to be tasting tea and instead I give you medium-roast coffee or hot chocolate or just hot water, you would also probably not rate it very highly.  If you give a cider to a beer taster for blind tasting in a lineup with beer, he'll rank it dead bottom, even if it's a fantastic cider.

What I'm saying is that light roasted coffee is a different beverage, with more tea-like characteristics, and a different experience.  I like that experience; not everybody does.  I also like the more "coffee-flavored" experience of a medium roast.  If a guest asks me for coffee, they get medium roast.  If a guest asks me "why do you roast your own beans and brew with that unwieldy contraption", I might consider having them sample a light roast, after preparing them for what it's going to taste like.  When brewing for myself, I can go either way depending on my mood (I tend to prefer light roast for my morning coffee and medium for my noon coffee), and occasionally blend both together (a "melange" blend), which often comes out superior to either on its own.
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