Originally Posted by scottcw
Wow, the Panama Esmeralda Gesha I just got from Sweet Marias for $28 a lb. is a bargain!
Yeah, and that's probably the best gesha, as well as the original. The Colombian strikes me as silly because gesha was "discovered" by the Petersons on their Esmeralda farm in Panama, and surprised everyone by winning the Best of Panama competition that year when it was entered on a lark. It was an imported Ethiopian varietal that the farm ignored for years or blended with their other coffees. Seeing the kind of prices the Peterson's geshas have been fetching (one year it fetched $170/lbs in unroasted form, which is something like 50-100x the price of normal, high quality coffee), coffee farmers all over the Americas have been busy planting it hoping to replicate the same financial success.
But that strikes me as a bit of cargo cultism. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of unclassified native Ethiopian varietals, and anyone who's tasted a good Ethiopian coffee knows how striking that coffee can be --- a good washed Yirgacheffe rivals any of the geshas I've had. Instead of planting the same varietal that happened to work brilliantly in one farm in Panama, why not try other Ethiopian varietals? If you're lucky, you may have something unique on your hands instead of an overpriced copy.
This is sad on another level as well. Virtually all coffee grown in the Americas for mass consumption are of 1 or 2 varieties that came from the same tree, and everything else is a clone or some kind of mutant or hybrid. The last thing we need is yet another overcopied varietal grown everywhere.
Originally Posted by lefty
I also love that Peet's actually sells me a pound of coffee. I don't know when coffee moved to the 12oz retail model, but I do not like it. Can't find the Rwanda on the Peet's site.
Do you believe pourover to be inferior to steeping in a press? A thousand coffee geeks in SanFo just had their heart's broken.
Ahh, sorry about that. The Rwanda must have just finished. Stores could still have some in stock.
I just recently decided pourovers are not suitable for coffee brewing. It was inspired by an especially acidic, sour $5.75 Intelligentsia pourover. But if you think about it, the 4 factors that you have to control for coffee brewing are very difficult or impossible to control in a pourover, even if you use fancy pouring techniques. Those 4 factors are:
1. Steep time
2. Grind size
3. Water temperature
You are aiming for an extraction of coffee solubles from the grounds such that the percentage of total dissolved solids is between 18 and 22 percent. Overextraction leads to bitter coffee. Underextraction leads to sour coffee. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.
In a pourover, 1 and 2 are related, and opportunity for 4 is limited and influenced by 2. The steep time is controlled by the grind size because there's a hole at the bottom of your pourover cone, so the water flow rate is controlled by how fine your grind size is. The finer, the slower. But finer grind size leads to more extraction. Slower flow rate also leads to more extraction. So you have to screw with your grind size to balance the right extraction due to grind size and flow rate.
And steep time isn't even that long or consistent when you compare it FP, for example. The first volume of water going through a pourover is going to be underextracted coffee, because it's the first time water is meeting the dry grounds, and they don't mix together all that long. The sweet spot comes somewhere in the middle, and then the coffee could be overextracted by the last volume of water to flow through it. So your pourover cup is a random mix of underextracted, good, and perhaps overextracted coffee. It's like using a whirly-blade grinder but slower and more pretentious.
That's why pourover people worry about things like blooming, pulsing, making their coffee mound a certain shape, and probably a bunch of other odd things when they make their pourovers. It's not to say you can't make a good-tasting cup from pourover, but I think it's much more difficult and inconsistent than many people realize.
Agitation is stirring the coffee and water together. With pulsing (where you pour in just enough water to cover the grounds, and wait til much of it drains before pouring more), you don't have much time to stir. More stirring = more extraction. Agitation in a pourover is an indirect result of the pouring action stirring the grounds around. Again, it's not the most consistent method.
With full-immersion techniques like French press or Clever or Aeropress, you can consistently control all 4 factors. If you like full-bodied coffee, use FP. If you like paper filters and clean coffee, use the Clever or Aeropress.
For similar reasons, I don't like espresso either, but if I ever say that out loud, I will lose any remaining credibility I have left.