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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Categories: Personal, Coffee
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