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It’s not uncommon to run into folks in the specialty coffee world who are finished experimenting and exploring. What a shame. One of the joys of manual coffee brewing is the freedom to adapt different variables to your will. It’s that freedom that drives us to test, manipulate, and explore.
This Experiment and Explore series is dedicated to the journey, not the destination. Follow along for the next few weeks as I look into the joys of figuring things out for myself and the excitement if diving into the world of specialty coffee.
Some of my favorite brewing memories come from when my roommate and I first brought a french press to the dorm.
We were crouched on the floor playing with different temperatures, grind sizes, and were staring at the coffee for the entire brewing process like kids with a new toy.
We bought a bunch of beans from the local Sprouts, which didn’t turn out so well, but the experience and memory are priceless.
One of our more experienced friends counseled us to only by high-end beans and expensive equipment. Now I see that he was correct, for the most part. But he insisted on doing it “the right way” instead of exploring and figuring out how it worked ourselves. That I don’t necessarily agree with.
There was even one point where Trenton (my freshman roomate) and I tried adding fruits to the grounds in the french press, just for kicks. We recognized that it probably wasn’t going to turn out well. We recognized that most people would scold us for such an offense against specialty coffee. But we were curious.
The pineapple turned out with way too much citrus and acid. The grapes couldn’t be tasted at all. The strawberry ruined a balanced cup. Yeah it was all a complete fiasco.
But we had a blast experimenting and exploring.
Eventually Trenton and I acquired a plastic Hario V60 from Tonx in a generous offer and decided to do some taste testing. We brewed up a cup of each with some of Evocation’s Yirgasheffe and blindfolded each other. Could we taste the difference?
The french press had a very noticeable body while the V60’s was lighter and the notes were sweeter.
The thrill we experienced discovering the beauties of different brewing methods was immense and drove us to continue testing all sorts of things.
Don’t Be a Know-It-All
Life’s too short to think you know it all. Why would anybody want to know everything anyway? Sounds boring to me. Don’t be a snob, but be an adventurer. Never stop experimenting. Never stop exploring.