Tasting a competition standard coffee

I’m currently subscribed to a roaster in my city called Imbibe’s coffee club. Every month they try to bring a couple interesting coffees to their subscribers’ cups, and in April they went all out with a coffee from award winning producer Ninety Plus in Panama. It was a more expensive month than usual, but I was keen to try my first competition standard coffee to see just how much different it is.

They call the coffee Drima Zede and it’s processed via the hot anaerobic process. Tasting notes were: dark chocolate, fig, and clove.

Imbibe roast their coffee club coffee on a Friday and then ship on the same day. With shipping delays over the weekend I usually get the coffee on Mondays. When I got the competition standard coffee on the Monday, I opened it right away and brewed in my AeroPress.

Initially, I’m not going to lie, I really didn’t like the taste. Any initial flavour was really strongly overpowered by an awful after taste and that’s all I could think about.

However, as the bag got more air to it after being open and released its built up carbon dioxide, I really started to enjoy it. This coffee really hammered home the need to sometimes let your coffee rest after roasting for a few days.

After a couple days it started to taste strongly like Turkish delight on initial sip, and then slowly transitioned through a marmalade-y flavour to something more savoury. It honestly went from one of my least favourite coffees that I have tasted to my favourite. It was very much an acquired taste. The mouth feel was incredibly silky, and it tasted amazing no matter how I made it (AeroPress, V60, Chemex, French Press). My favourite method was AeroPress, and tends to be overall for coffee for me.

Overall it was a complete mind fuck of an experience and one I would definitely love to do again, just maybe not every month.

Thoughts on James Hoffman’s ultimate AeroPress technique

James Hoffman recently finished his AeroPress video series with his ultimate AeroPress technique video.

I quite like his no nonsense approach to it, it’s a great way for anyone to learn how to make a great cup of coffee from an AeroPress in as few steps as possible.

It differs a little from my AeroPress technique, but the underlying principles are the same:

  • Use boiling water for the greatest amount of extraction.
  • Steep for at least 2 minutes, again for greater extraction.
  • Gently press when plunging to avoid channelling and get a more even extraction (extraction, extraction, extraction 😂)

I’m going to stick to using the inversion method as it means all of the water is in contact with the coffee for longer, and I just prefer it because I don’t have to rush to re-add the plunger to stop too much water leaking through, but it likely has little affect on the end result.

Updates to my AeroPress technique

I’ve recently been watching James Hoffman’s AeroPress series on YouTube, and wanted to share what I’ve learnt from his experiments that I have adopted into my own process before he shares his ultimate guide to AeroPress in the coming days. I’ll share the pieces I have adopted, and then list out my own technique after it.

Continue reading “Updates to my AeroPress technique”

My new coffee blog

I recently started working in Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce, and other online tools aimed at “making the web a better place”.

It’s been years since I ran my own tech blog, but since joining Automattic and getting used to how they work, I’ve learnt to enjoy writing again and I’ve decided to setup this blog to get up to speed with WordPress and share thoughts on a new hobby that I have gotten really into since lockdown started in April 2020: Coffee!

I’ve enjoyed artisanal coffee for many years now, but rarely made it at home myself, preferring to leave that up to the experts. I also lacked the equipment to make a good coffee at home for a long time, but when we went into lockdown I decided to start investing in some equipment incase we were in it for the long haul (a bet I’m sad to say came true!).

On the blog I’ll post about what I’ve learnt about coffee in the last year, the tips and tricks I’ve picked up on how to make a great cup of coffee, and whatever else I think people who enjoy coffee might reading!

That’s it for now, hope to see you again soon!