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Drink Wed Sep 05 2012
Converts criticized cafes that relied on selling drip coffee. It was all about the precious ritual of the pour over method, which involves pouring hot water through a swan-necked kettle over coffee grounds cradled in a Clever Dripper, or something that looks like a large beaker.
But is there a notable difference, really?
No two coffees are the same, nor should they be made the same way. Pouring coffee brings out more of the delicate notes in a brighter, fruitier coffee (think Ethiopian) that, unlike a chocolatey-caramel flavored cousin, would get lost in a French press. The result is a cleaner, well-rounded cup. This is what I learned while sipping my way through a "caffeinated adventure" with Caffentures Blue Line Coffee Crawl, organized by Jenn Chen. The tour explains the science behind the bean by giving enthusiasts access to seasoned baristas at three stellar cafes. Participants get to critique samples made by the baristas, who discuss subtle differences between washed and unwashed coffees, the length of your pours, and the different tools you can use to make a damn good cup of coffee.
Here are some great tips I gleaned from the pros:
Run hot water heated to 210℉ through the filter to get rid of any paper taste, and it also warms up coffee vessel. You want to make sure the coffee stays warm, preserving its flavor. It's not going to taste good if it drops between 40 to 70 degrees.
You can make iced coffee using the pour-over method. Simply follow a recipe one-third ice at the bottom of your carafe and pouring two-thirds of the hot water through your V60, Bonmac or whatever cone you're using. Bonus: The ice preserves the coffee's volatile aromatics.
Stick to using pouring your water softly and slowly, saturating all of the grounds so carbon dioxide is released from the coffee. The "bloom" effect is when the gas busts out of the grounds and starts to bubble. A standard bloom should last 75 seconds. A lighter roast needs less bloom time than a darker roast. If the bloom time is too short, it will taste watery; and if it has a longer contact time with the coffee grounds, it's going to taste burnt.