Jump to content
YorkshireLion

Can’t get a decent cup!

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, MWJB said:

Hard to give specific advice now, as your preferred cups are  a fair bit weaker than I'd normally have.

But, I think I'd stick to the dose you have. Grind gradually coarser. If the cups start to get too weak, or more importantly sour/tangy/unripe fruit, go up on the coffee dose by a gram (to lift the strength) & fine the grind just a little (to get past the sour taste)? But keep a note of your last 'best cup' settings, because if you're really happy, there isn't really any need to upset the apple cart.

Keep water weight the same.

What is your ratio?

If I go finer at 12g will it taste stronger or will that just come from the dose, at 12g it was better but could have been a touch stronger. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My ratio for the Clever is 13.5g:220g, or 14.5g:240 depending on whether I am at home or work (bigger cups at work). I'm not saying that's what you need, or should do, but it seems to work OK for me & my colleagues. It may be something that you acquire with time?

If you go finer at 12g it may get stronger, but it may also get darker/drier tasting, less acidity, you may even detect some powdery silt in the mouthfeel. This will mean you are at the limit of strength that you can just get from the grind, so grind a bit coarser to lose any siltyness & increase the dose to lift the strength.

Strength is a bit of a see-saw, 12g at a coarse grind will be weaker than 12g at a fine grind...but in turn this could be as strong as 13g at a coarse grind (same water weight). We're trying to balance the strength with the flavour balance (sillty>heavy>dark>satisfying>balanced>enough sweetness>Juicy>thin>unripe>sour). Flavour balance is driven by grind setting, the strength can then be corrected by tweaking dose size, whilst trying to retain the flavour balance you like.

  • Like 1

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MWJB said:

My ratio for the Clever is 13.5g:220g, or 14.5g:240 depending on whether I am at home or work (bigger cups at work). I'm not saying that's what you need, or should do, but it seems to work OK for me & my colleagues. It may be something that you acquire with time?

If you go finer at 12g it may get stronger, but it may also get darker/drier tasting, less acidity, you may even detect some powdery silt in the mouthfeel. This will mean you are at the limit of strength that you can just get from the grind, so grind a bit coarser to lose any siltyness & increase the dose to lift the strength.

Strength is a bit of a see-saw, 12g at a coarse grind will be weaker than 12g at a fine grind...but in turn this could be as strong as 13g at a coarse grind (same water weight). We're trying to balance the strength with the flavour balance (sillty>heavy>dark>satisfying>balanced>enough sweetness>Juicy>thin>unripe>sour). Flavour balance is driven by grind setting, the strength can then be corrected by tweaking dose size, whilst trying to retain the flavour balance you like.

It seems that your settings fall into the standard 15-18 ratio, that has caused me so much trouble so far, I think that I will try 13.5g but at my 300g of water to dilute it a bit more into a 22. Otherwise I lose the taste, that where I got the 18:300g for a 16.67 ratio. 

 

I may may have to up my grind a little as it seems like the filter is clogging towards the end of the drain at the moment. 

Edited by YorkshireLion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flow always slows towards the end as the weight of the water over the grounds decreases and the bed compacts. Don't worry about this unless your brew times are bonkers long (over 7-8min?). You're likely to notice a darker, bitter, silty brew long before the grind size causes real clogging issues.

My 14.5g:240g brews can take anywhere from 2:30 to 5:00 depending on the coffee, it doesn't mean anything in itself. Concentrate on the flavour balance & being consistent in pour time & weights.

  • Like 1

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MWJB thanks for your methodical posts on technique and flavour balance. They benefit me and no doubt others in addition to the OP.
I’ve really fallen for pour over recently and I’ve started jotting down settings, doses and timings. The advice not to dwell overly on long draw downs is something I’ve discovered too.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

__

Home: La Pavoni pre-millenium + Mazzer Major. V60 + MBK Feld2. Work: V60, Aeropress + Wilfa Svart grinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not much to add to all the replies except that personally, I keep a notebook where I write down the ratio and name of the coffee used for each successful brew.

I have an Aeropress, a French Press and a Moka Pot at home. 

Keep experimenting until it tastes good for you. It is your cup of coffee after all. Enjoy!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ladycoffeegeek said:

Not much to add to all the replies except that personally, I keep a notebook where I write down the ratio and name of the coffee used for each successful brew.

I have an Aeropress, a French Press and a Moka Pot at home. 

Keep experimenting until it tastes good for you. It is your cup of coffee after all. Enjoy!  

I thought a good way to create a benchmark today would be to start the day with instant, I haven’t had any in ages. I made a cup, it was ok, not too strong and it tasted ok. Then I went ahead and made a Aeropress brew. 16g coffee to 200g of water which is a real high ratio of 12.5 just to see how it tasted and to my surprise it tasted good, I will admit that after drinking it my jaw is pretty tight which is a my go to for knowing I’ve had a decent amount of caffeine. 

Im starting to think that I just haven’t found my brew method yet, I probably would dial it down to about 12g next time I make a brew to get it more in a normal range, I really need to go somewhere that makes a coffee in a way that is repeatable at home. So I know whether I like coffee made at normal strengths, I need someone to give me a coffee and say this is typically how it should taste within reason, I know coffee taste is subjective. If anyone knows anywhere in Sheffield let me know. 

Aeropress is currently about the only thing that has made a decent cup that I own, French press and Clever haven’t produced anything good yet. My only issue is the 200ml that comes out of the Aeropress, I know you can push it 250ml so I should try that next. My typical mug is about 300ml.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you have an Americano that you enjoy, how big is the mug/cup?

How much instant did you use in your 300ml drink today, a rounded teaspoon, 2 rounded teaspoons?

The amount of caffeine you get is related to the dose size of coffee, more than the strength of the drink. If the coffee is Arabica it'll be around 1.1% of the dose. A stronger drink will be more intense in flavour mostly.

So generally speaking a 12g dose will have 25% less caffeine than a 16g dose.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, MWJB said:

When you have an Americano that you enjoy, how big is the mug/cup?

How much instant did you use in your 300ml drink today, a rounded teaspoon, 2 rounded teaspoons?

The amount of caffeine you get is related to the dose size of coffee, more than the strength of the drink. If the coffee is Arabica it'll be around 1.1% of the dose. A stronger drink will be more intense in flavour mostly.

So generally speaking a 12g dose will have 25% less caffeine than a 16g dose.

I usually go as big as I can, which would most likely mean it’s a little weaker as it would be a double shot. I do think that I have a sensitivity to caffeine though, over the course of the morning I had 3 300ml cups of instant with one rounded teaspoon and I didn’t really feel any caffeine effect. However the Aeropress after effect is intense, I think 250:15 would be more my speed as I’ve made some 200:12 before and not had the same caffeine effect.

The Aeropress was decent, could still taste it rather than the lack of taste I’ve been getting from the clever or french press  

Here is the next coffee I’m going to use, preferred method for dark roast?

 

166B0EFB-0CD5-4C65-BD66-A97E3F65063F.jpeg

Edited by YorkshireLion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so if your Americano dose was 16-18g & the drink was 300ml, likely strength is about 1% (3g of dissolved coffee, 297g water). Or a ratio of 1:17.6, to allow for absorption of brew water maybe stick to brewing at 1:20?

A rounded teaspoon of instant is ~1.9g, so a bit weaker but as it's more intense in flavour it probably balances out.

Unfortunately, I can't make any assumptions about an "Aeropress" brew, it's just too wide a range, if your grind was coarse & the steep short, you might only have got 3/4 of the coffee out of it compared to French press or Clever. But, if that's what you liked most, why deviate.

If a professional gives you a brewed coffee & tells you, "this is how it should be", this cup willlikely be around 1:15 or 17...back to square one?

 


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MWJB said:

OK, so if your Americano dose was 16-18g & the drink was 300ml, likely strength is about 1% (3g of dissolved coffee, 297g water). Or a ratio of 1:17.6, to allow for absorption of brew water maybe stick to brewing at 1:20?

A rounded teaspoon of instant is ~1.9g, so a bit weaker but as it's more intense in flavour it probably balances out.

Unfortunately, I can't make any assumptions about an "Aeropress" brew, it's just too wide a range, if your grind was coarse & the steep short, you might only have got 3/4 of the coffee out of it compared to French press or Clever. But, if that's what you liked most, why deviate.

If a professional gives you a brewed coffee & tells you, "this is how it should be", this cup willlikely be around 1:15 or 17...back to square one?

 

Basically what I want to rule out is that I don’t like a standard cup of coffee, I’ve always drank Americanos or Cappuccinos when I used to drink milk. Then someone bought me a french press at some point, however when I have had drinks using that, for whatever reason on the 3 cup we have always used one scoop of ground coffee per 3 cup press, so that is between 7/12g of coffee as I used to heap it in a 300ml cup. I did not realise that the dose should have really been 2 scoops so I am used to drinking weaker coffee for that reason alone.

When buying this equipment I have looked online and watched hundreds of YouTube videos on different methods but tried to stick to the standard 15-18 ratio, most often 16.67 to see if I like a standard brew rather than trying to make the weaker brew. I have to say that drinking the weaker french press now doesn’t taste good to me either. 

Is McDonalds coffee drip, I like that how it is perfectly fine, I’m not saying it’s great by any means but it tastes better than what I have made so far with exception to maybe one or two drinks.

Its been a good learning experience so far but also a little more disappointing that I would have liked, most of that is my own fault through chopping and changing equipment and methods. I have crossed off Espresso machines as it seems very hard to do at home without serious effort and I can’t even get a tasty clever dripper cup. I thought about buying a bean to cup espresso machine but that would no doubt not end well so I canned that off.

I am really new to the whole proper coffee brewing, I have a V60 kit coming from pact to try and at some point I would like to try a Chemex because that looks easier to use and seems highly rated. Although usually used for more people than one cup?

Unfortunately and I realise, as you may have from my various posts that I’m not the most patient person. Trying to get something that tastes good has been a humbling experience for me for sure. However I have nothing to benchmark my drinks from as I’ve never tasted a good one from a clever or french press really for that matter. Just what I used to drink before. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to make a larger brew with the aeropress, why not just top up with water like you do with your americano?


Laissez les bons temps rouler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you note, most of the recipes you see are 1:15-1:18. But the non-obvious thing is that this doesn't necessarily fit everybody. There is nothing magic/correct/standard about a brew ratio. It mostly points to a target strength, usually 1.15% to 1.50%...these all seem stronger than you are comfortable with.

It's possible to make a weaker cup with say the Aeropress & Clever (coarse grind, short steep) by under-extracting, but when I make coffee, I don't expect to get a significantly different tasting cup from different brewers, hence why you see my unusually long steep times for French press. I try to taste the coffee, not the quirks of the brewer. Manual brewers are just lumps of material, they don't take an active part in the brewing, you control it all (grind size, water, time).

Again, not trying to say the way I do it is right, your Aeropress brews seem to be hitting the mark, hopefully I'm wrong but I think you will struggle to make  similar cup with V60 especially if you follow commonly seen recipes. Of course, when you get one, maybe start a thread in the brewed forum stating from the outset your requirement, then maybe brew, by brew, we might be able to suggest a method that suits you.

Your French press experience is pretty common, a friend of mine shows me the packet then makes me a drink with 7g of coffee to 300g water, because it's "7g per cup", trouble is a traditional cup is about 125ml, less water absorbed so nearer 100ml of final beverage. People drink out of bigger cups/mugs these days, but dosing suggestions haven't kept up.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like the 1:16 ratio will be fine, not when I have 8 cups of coffee but for a normal amount I don’t think it will be an issue, however 1:12 was obviously too much, that just happened to be the what was on the recipe that I was following. 

Everyone that I make coffee for says that I make it strong with one cup for a french press, most people drink instant though so it’s no real surprise. I was surprised when realised I was making half strength brews. Will definitely start up a post on the V60 when I get it. 

The best coffee I made was with a coffee that I can’t get anymore, it was from a test sample from a coffee shop, made it a Moccamaster and it was for sure the best I’ve made, I know I used the 1:16 ratio but I’ve no idea what else, also I no longer have the Moccamaster. When I bought the Wilfa grinder it was to go with a Moccamaster One Cup, my reasoning is that I want a super consistent way to make the coffee and use that as a test platform, this was the reason I sent back the bigger Moccamaster 10 cup as it didn’t have a drip stop and it really wanted to be making 1 litre of coffee per brew.

I was looking also at the Cuisineart Grind and Brew Plus and the Melitta Grind and brew and these also have the grinder to further improve consistency when trying different strengths. However I’m not sure how well these make smaller batches either. I would love a super consistent machine so that I could just play with the variables. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure you will find a more consistent way to make coffee than manual pour over (my Clever recipe, or V60) as you have tighter control over the inputs.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, MWJB said:

I'm not sure you will find a more consistent way to make coffee than manual pour over (my Clever recipe, or V60) as you have tighter control over the inputs.

Do you have any thoughts on the One Cup Moccamaster? Do you think it will make a good cup? Or the other machines, I’m a bit more sceptical on them, quality wise compared to the Moccamaster.

Also I have just made a Clever dripper, I have gone coarser on the grind, just as a test to see how it tastes, so I have something to compare to the finer grind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no experience with the MM one cup, I'm sure it can make good cups, but equally, to make very consistent cups it will likely need a more hands on approach (stirring the bloom etc).

You still need to dose water & coffee, select grind size.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, MWJB said:

I have no experience with the MM one cup, I'm sure it can make good cups, but equally, to make very consistent cups it will likely need a more hands on approach (stirring the bloom etc).

You still need to dose water & coffee, select grind size.

Just out of interest, are you using the small or large Clever? Do you think it makes a difference when making smaller brews in the large Clever. 

I got a new coffee to try today, my first light roast from Columbia, tried it as a 250:15g normal Aeropress, tasted fruity and much lighter than the darker roasts, it was strange, almost like a tea in a way, never had a fruity coffee before. One sensation I couldn’t make out though, it’s going to be hard to explain, sort of a different taste right in the middle of my mouth, maybe a sharpness. Not sure, I haven’t experienced it before. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, YorkshireLion said:

Just out of interest, are you using the small or large Clever? Do you think it makes a difference when making smaller brews in the large Clever. 

I got a new coffee to try today, my first light roast from Columbia, tried it as a 250:15g normal Aeropress, tasted fruity and much lighter than the darker roasts, it was strange, almost like a tea in a way, never had a fruity coffee before. One sensation I couldn’t make out though, it’s going to be hard to explain, sort of a different taste right in the middle of my mouth, maybe a sharpness. Not sure, I haven’t experienced it before. 

I make smaller brews in the large Clever with a drip recipe (90s bloom, place on cup, then remaining water in fast).

Lighter coffees tend to have more pronounced acidity (the drink is essentially a bunch of acids, caffeine, tanins & a few other components washed out of the beans). If that acidity is too much, so much so that you perceive it as sour/unripe/tart/sharp (like unsweetened orange juice/grapefruit/gooseberry), this can be under-extraction (grind finer). If the acidity is pleasant, like ripe fruit, then you probably have the grind right.

It's not unusual for coffee to taste fruity, like apricot, peach, mango, plum, grape, blackcurrant, or even floral like jasmine, hibiscus. Of course it depends on origin & process, a lot of Brazils will taste like nuts, choc, caramel & toffee. Natural process coffees take up flavours from the flesh of the coffee cherry & can taste of things like blueberry, or strawberry, even at medium/darker roasts.

Edited by MWJB
  • Like 1

“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My V60 02 arrived today so I made a 18:300ml drink, started off with the Colombian light roast, tasted way more fruity that when brewed in the Aeropress, watching YouTube videos I could believe how fast time was going, didn’t seem to be pouring for long at all. It’s going to take some practise. Then I tried a dark roast, also tasted decent, had a little bitter aftertaste, but not overpowering. When looking on labels and seeing tasting notes of dark chocolate, am I tasting that in the cup as bitter?

Pour;

  1. 50g with a little stir
  2. 35 seconds in start pouring up to 170g
  3. 105 seconds pour up to 300g / Finished around 1m25s
  4. Swirl the V60

Aiming for a 2:15 to 2:45s finish, that is what I followed for both pours somewhat loosely as my technique was suspect at best. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About:

    Coffee Forums UK is the UK's premier coffee forum Started in June 2008 by Glenn Watson, we now have more than 22000 mainly UK based members, and welcome more than 3000 members and visitors from around the world each day! With strategic investment and digital expertise from the Jackson Lockhart team (Tait Pollack and Adam Bateman), we are taking Coffee Forums UK to the next level, and are delighted to share the journey with you.

    New Members:

    We are often referred to as the friendliest forum on the web and we look forward to welcoming you onboard.

    Terms of Use

    Advertising

    Coffee Forums Media Kit

    Buy Advertising Space

    Donate

    Get Your Supporter Badge (per year)

×
×
  • Create New...