Hey everyone, usually when I write up a coffee review I go through and do a number of cups. One of the key reasons for this is to practice my brewing skills, and work to find the consistency in the cup of coffee. Consistency is key, I want to make sure that I am getting the full flavors of it out. Usually I keep notes and sum it up in a review. This time I am going to use more of a diary or log book method. Let me know what you think of the formatting.
A member brought in some coffee for the girls at work. A 1lb bag of Starbucks Christmas Blend. I was asked to bring in a coffee grinder so they could taste it. So after grinding up some beans for them and getting their coffee brewing in the machine at work, the coffee was well, deplorable at best.
You see every step of the coffee making process matters. You cannot overly skimp on any one part of it. For example at work, we have those Bunn coffee makers. They are designed to produce coffee FAST. And I do mean FAST. It can brew a full pot of coffee in literally something like three minutes or less. This provides no immersion time, no time for extraction to the proper degree needed to produce good coffee. Also at my workplace and many others, water is an issue. Then of course coffee is also an issue. My work place provides Maxwell house. If there was ever a coffee to make you appreciate good coffee, that would be it.
You cannot brew a full pot of coffee in three minutes and have it taste worth a darn. Life does not work that way, somethings, take time. Coffee is one of those. I make one cup with my clever in about eight minutes total if I don’t have downtime. That is fast coffee. You must take the time to get things set up and lined up properly for your home coffee brewing to be a success. The Starbucks suffered mightly from this. It was weakly flavored. There was no body a watery taste and a real lack of desire to even finish the cup.
I used 350 grams water to 30 grams coffee. This produced a drinkable decent cup of coffee. I got some of the spicy notes they talk about, a bit light on the body though. Nothing special about it.
Starbucks went a little too dark on the roast, at 350grams water to 35 grams coffee I am getting an ash component. That should not be. Their proffered flavor notes are spices and I would assume an earthy body since they state they use Aged Indonesian and Central American (the central american component?)
Central American beans bring a balanced act to the earthy nature of the Indonesian. I can taste some acidity. Again the ash component is too much. This is the problem with dark roasts. Especially dark roasts they do in bulk like starbucks does.
Later I will trim the coffee to 30 grams to a full 384 grams. Not much I can do beyond that. I had a cup last night with 350w to 30c that was not bad.
284w to 30c ash taste gone. Gone are any spicy notes, body and much flavor. Oh it has some flavor and it is better than say, Maxwell House or Folgers.
11/27 01:10 am
384w to 35c medium grind. Bitter, bitter and more bitter. Not sure what the issue is. On previous cups I had used a fine grind so I wanted to see if I could get a difference in flavor. I certainly did. Not really one that I would care for though. This afternoon I will use the same measurements as above but switch back to a fine grind. Scratch that, this evening I will switch back to the 350 grams of water and 30 grams coffee. I want a drinkable cup to report on.
11/27 6:30 pm
Sadly using the 350w to 30c just did not really work out as well as I was hoping.
So let me sum this up. It was hard to get a consistent cup of coffee out of the bag. Overall I have to say it was a bit of a let down. I could try a batch of drip from Mr. Coffee in the morning, but the Clever is a far superior brewing method and in all cases thus far has provided a better cup. So, If you want some advice, skip the starbucks this year. Order a pound of freshly roasted coffee from your local roaster or your favorite roaster online.