(c) photo by Christophe Jammet
Matt Perger wrote last week about Aeropress, or, better to say about Drip vs Immersion.
I was brewing today same coffee (Brazil roasted by Double B Moscow) in 3 different brewers, Aeropress, V60 and Kalita. And for the aeropress I used the recipe that won this year in Dublin (you can see the precise recipe here).
Briefly, it is 35 gr of coffee + 150 gr of water, stirred and steeped for 1 minute, plunged and then dilluted to taste (total bewerage weight is around 250-270 grams).
35 grams of coffee to make one cup.
Updosing. This is what I really don’t like in any coffee making technique, and we can talk about espresso or filter – does not matter.
To mask the problems of the roast that come up when we use just the necessary amount of coffee. My roast does not taste good when extracted well – so I’ll be just adding more coffee. To underextract it. It will be sour, but won’t taste burnt. Or will taste burnt and sour at the same time – and I’ll call it “complex”.
It happens a lot with the espresso. Those sour or burnt+sour shots you get – this is the taste of the laziness of the barista, or the absence of the connection between the roaster and the barista. Or both things. Or just lack of the professionalism.
I think when you really start seeing the full picture, you try to be as efficient as you can. It means, if you can extract the maximum (good-tasting maximum) from the, let’s say, 18 grams for your 36 grams of espresso (if you still do 1:2 ratio) – you are aiming for it. And if it means tamping more even, distributing better, being on top of the grinder all the way throughout your shift – you do that. If it means talking to the roast master about making the roast more soluble – you do that. Or, if you are the roast master yourself – you brew your coffee this way. You aim for that. This is where your professionals lays.
The same with the filter. Stop updosing. Extract from what you have. Start with the necessary minimum. Get the VST app. Get the refractometer. Brew. Try. Taste. Stop masking your mistakes in brewing technique by adding more coffee. This coffee passed a long, long, long, long way before it touched your hands. Respect it. Save it.
I am not blaming the aeropress here, by the way. I just don’t like the fact that we prize the taste so high we forget about the work, and time, and hands it takes to bring to us these 35 grams.
There are million and one recipe to make an aeropress. It is challenging, and it is not always connected with the updosing. Me myself, I am still discovering this issue, and adore it, the amount of creativity it requires, the opportunities it gives. The simpicity, the beauty of the fact that you can make good coffee anywhere.
I would just love to see that we pay attention as well at the efficiency of the recipe, not only at the taste.