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Tue, 05 Dec 2006 19:14:00

Coffee of the day - Brazil Daterra Reserve Peaberry

That’s right...coffee, not coffee pod.  In the comments to the post where I reviewed my Simplehuman A40, Orpheus suggested I get an Aeropress.  It’s like a french press but not quite.  It looked interesting, so I got one, and the first batch I’ve been running through it is the Brazil Daterra Reserve Peaberry from Jersey Shore Coffee Roasters.

Oh.  My.  God.

The reason I didn’t write this up a few days ago when i started drinking this is that it took me a few tries to get the water/temperature/grind-and-amount-of-grounds formula right.  I had some good-tasting but weak coffee the first time, and the second time the grounds foamed up out of the Aeropress.  Messy.  Third time I was close, but today...today was perfection, except that I had to drink it fast because I forgot to warm the steel mug first.

The Brazil Daterra Reserve Peaberry is amazing.  This is the writeup Jersey Shore gives it:

Medium roast, excellent body, robust, nutty and clean.

This Rainforest Certified coffee is grown on Daterra Farms in the Cerrado Region of Brazil.  Brazil Daterra Peaberry is a unique small round bean filled with intense sweet aromatics, distinctive nuttiness with a hint of soft fruit; soft but distinctive. Its distinctive fresh-nutty flavor yields a cup of coffee that is crisp but robust with a clean bright finish.

In addition to nutty I would add slightly earthy but with a sweet twist.  It smells like heaven.  Grinding the beans is in and of itself a frigging sensual experience.  Now, the Aeropress is a pain in the ass to use:  there is too much prep, it’s obviously far more complicated than single-pod brewing.  I need to worry about keeping beans fresh, about cleaning the grinder, about cleaning the scoop, the stirrer, the Aeropress, I need to use a measuring cup to heat the filtered water in the microwave, I need a thermometer to make sure it’s between 165 and 175 degrees - lower and it doesn’t extract flavor properly, higher and it draws out the bitter oils.  Speaking of bitter oils - that is the big negative with a french press.  Steeping allows even lower temperature water to extract bitter oils and taint your cup.  If you use a press, I suggest going with 175 degree water and less steeping time.

As for the Aerobie, I will say this: I won’t be using it every day.  I can eliminate the thermometer now as I know that my microwave, on high, will heat one cup of water to 173 degrees in 2:40, so one step down at least.  It’s still a lot of steps compared to throwing a pod in the machine.  But.

There’s always a but.

The coffee is so good, maybe the best cup I have ever had.  The Brazil Daterra Reserve Peaberry is, so far, the king of all coffees, but it is a medium roast and I have always preferred darks.  I also have a pound of dark Tanzinia Peaberry and a pound of medium-dark Ethiopia Harrar Horse Special.  I’m not opening them until the Daterra is gone though.  Freshness, you see.  :) The Aerobie press also makes something that so closely approximates espresso I defy most people to taste the difference.  See, if you grind fine powder, say three scoops worth, and use about 6 ounces of hot water, you get a shot so dark, so rich, so powerful that you would swear it came out of a $200 steam-powered espresso machine.  Use the right beans and you can fool the most discerning Italian espresso drinker.  :)

In case anyone wants to know, I’m using the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme grinder.  It’s a burr grinder, the only way to really grind good coffee.  If you buy your beans from the supermarket and brew them in a basic ten-cup drip maker, forget it.  Just get the ten dollar blade-style grinder.  But if you buy the good shit because you want to taste it, I highly recommend a burr grinder and an Aeropress.  I don’t mean to insult you supermarket-bean-buyers, by the way - that is leaps and bounds better than buying Maxwell House in a can.  It’s the first step toward being a coffee snob like me...one of us.  One of us.  You will be one of us…

Orpheus:  Excellent suggestion.  My mouth thanks you!


Posted by JimK at 07:14 PM on December 05, 2006
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Comments:

#1  Posted by Orpheus Australia on 12/05 at 10:43 PM -

Good Lord, you listened to me? I’m influential! Famous people respond to my ramblings! Right, it’s off to the Middle East… we’ll have that sorted in no time.

Seriously though, they’re great little devices. There’s quite a detailed review here: http://www.dansdata.com/aeropress.htm.

Orpheus:  Excellent suggestion.  My mouth thanks you!

I’ll be in touch to follow up on that…

#2  Posted by Orpheus Australia on 12/05 at 11:10 PM -

Also, for the supermarket-bean-buyers - the Aeropress is probably cheaper than the basic ten-cup drip maker, so there’s no reason not to upgrade. You get surprisingly good results from cheap beans. I ran an experiment where I got nice beans ground by the coffee shop on their ultra-expensive grinder, then chucked them in the deep freeze as quickly as I could. The resulting coffee was almost as good as grinding them yourself, but much less effort. I wouldn’t do that if I had guests over, but to start the day you can’t beat it.


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