I don’t quite know what exactly started all this, possibly just cleaning my filter coffee maker each evening and seeing all the coffee oils stuck to the inside. You’d think that all those brown stains must affect the taste. And the fact that the once white mesh filter basket is now completely black, not that it was used solely for it’s intended purpose, I just use it to hold a carefully folded paper filter.
This Kenwood BrewMaster has lasted over 4 years but a new way of brewing coffee had to be found.
I’d seen a few videos online of baristas using a Hario Ceramic V60 Dripper, with a suitable kettle and thought that at least it would be easy to clean. But I’d need the kettle, dripper and something to rest the dripper on as my cups are too big. Then I saw videos of the Chemex coffee maker being used and that seemed ideal. A quick Google later and I’d found Has Bean Coffee, a coffee equipment and roasters who are just down in Stafford. So I ordered a Chemex and a pack of filter papers.
In the past I’d heard that if you want the best coffee then you have to buy it freshly roasted and grind it yourself. There are a few coffee shops in town but I don’t know of any that roast beans themselves for sale to the public. Has Bean Coffee to the rescue. They sell freshly roasted coffee beans and also have a subscription option. You choose if you want coffee for 3 or 12 months and they send you a quarter of a kilo each week. My first batch arrived in the post on Saturday. The label on the bag denotes its origin, the cup profile and when it was roasted.
Of course the week before I received a Rancilio Rocky Grinder from Has Bean and 500 grams of beans. There’s no point having a grinder and nothing to grind. I went for the doserless model after watching the Seattle Coffee Gear Crew Review video on YouTube. There was no point having the dosing model as the mechanism would just waste coffee if I just want one shot. As they show in the video, it only works well if the ground coffee container is full and even then it seems you need 2 and bit doses for a portafilter. It works well if you have people visiting and don’t want to hear the grinder all the time. Surprisingly both the doser and doserless models are the same price.
After you’ve had a chance to sample the batch of coffee, either filtered, as an espresso shot or as part of a latte, Stephen Leighton posts a video review of it on In My Mug. He reads comments from the previous week that people have posted to the site and discusses the coffee that you have received, where in the world it’s from, the climate, how it was processed, everything you’d need to know. Episode 87, which just focuses on the Bolivia Machacarmarca De Berenguela coffee, is so informative and entertaining that it would make anyone want to drink coffee… and smoke a pipe.
There are just two problems with all this. Stephen is sniffing coffee grounds, tasting brewed coffee and describing all these flavours, my sense of smell and taste must be so poor that all I can do is tell that it is in fact coffee. Maybe I just need more practice and over the next 3 months I’ll get it. The other thing is, am I going to be able to keep up receiving 250 grams of coffee each week? Only time will tell.