So far, experiments with pour over are going well. In a lot of ways, it feels more like a transition from an automatic to a manual transmission, except in this case it’s extracting awesomeness from roasted beans.
For my French press it’s a pretty simple equation. Coffee grounds by weight/grind, water measured to the mark, and a timer on my watch. Bing, badda, boom. Adjusting the grind or the time is about it as long as you remember to stir the top to avoid coffee-berg instead of steeping uniformly. I’ve gotten this down to a kind of science of about 50g of coarse ground coffee, 800ml of water that’s just ceased boiling, and 4minutes in the press. That makes two helpings of my larger cups. Adjusting weight to time made it easy to dial in my ideal brew with the French press.
With the pour over, since I aimed for a similarly sized beaker (rated for 6 cups), it’s hard to have room for both 50g of coffee and properly extract it. Because of the differences in extraction, losing the steady time factor takes this from an ‘awesome’ cup to a ‘good’ cup by my tastes. To compensate, I’ve started experimenting with less coffee and the greater exposure to water that extra space allows. Making this a more controlled process is a bit tricky with my old time flat/wide kettle, but does seem to be bearing fruit. If this was firing artillery, I’d probably have the target within another 4 or 5 rounds.
The downside of the French press is that it’s a bugger to clean after a brew. My Venken’s filter design lets you get all the flavor and none of the grounds, but requires proper rinsing and wiping down of the beaker. It’s such a great French press, I’d bring it to work if only it was easier to dispose of the grounds. Normally, I lay out paper towels in the kitchen sink, so that I can clean it out and scoop up the grounds without much going down the drain.
The downside of the pour over is it’s more precision to get a good brew. But the clean up is damn easy peasy. Literally, grab the beaker by the neck, walk to trash can, lift and toss filter – done! The beaker itself just needs a decent rinse. There’s also the great upside that thanks to the separation the filter provides, I can utilize it to hold the second or third cup of coffee while I’m drinking the first. Actually, when using my French press I could probably use the Chemex as a coffee decanter, saving me from needing a second cup.
I think if I could change anything it would be more precise measuring. The small bulb representing half full and the wrap representing max, while nifty is just not as precise as I’d like. Fortunately, being the kind of metric system using asshole that I am, there’s a simple solution to this. Plop the beaker on my kitchen scale, tare the weight, add the water. And guess what? The formula for water is about 1ml = 1g. Ahh, I love the metric system 😁.