In the heart of the FlatIron District, surrounded by fitness boutiques and doughnut shops, tucked away on 21st, you will find Joe Coffee‘s Headquarters. In the front an espresso machine, grinder, drip brewer, and a lot of talent will serve you amazing single source coffee–a different kind each day! In the back, behind a half glass wall, Joe Coffee conducts training and classes in the art of coffee–from origins, to cupping, to brewing and latte art.
Andrew and Chris led myself and seven others through a tour of home brewing methods. Even before introductions we were asked to taste a Coffee A and a Coffee B, which turned out to be the same coffee brewed well and poorly, respectively. The lesson was immediate, Coffee A was bright and a little acidic with a long finish. Coffee B was simply flat with no length and no depth.
Then we introduced ourselves with our names and how we brew our coffee. Most of the bunch were automatic drip brewers with a French Press thrown in. I was the one with the V60 addiction. A few people were out for a fun day, a few people were doing investigative work for potentially opening their own coffee shops. I was probably a bit of the odd man out because I already knew some of the brew methods.
Yet whether you are a Chemex queen or a newbie, Andrew and Chris’s class was a so much fun! All of the methods involved pouring hot water into various vessels. Here are some of my take-aways:
- Make sure your water is HOT, like 205 degrees Fahrenheit hot, but not boiling.
- Measure your coffee and water in grams using a scale. Use a 16g water to 1g coffee ratio.
- If your coffee is a bit too acidic or bright for you, grind it finer, which will increase water contact with the surface of the beans and lead to more of the coffee flavors to seep into your brew.
- Bloom your coffee by pouring some water over the grinds, waiting 30 secs and then continuing to pour.
- Time how long your coffee drips for and aim for different brew times from first pour to final drip: 6 cup Chemex: 5 minutes, French Press: 4 minutes, and V60, 2.5-3 minutes.
As a final treat, we looked up the championship brew method for an Aeropress and followed the recipe. This extra credit lesson encouraged us to experiment with the different variables: grind, water temp, gram measurements, time of brew.
Overall, the class was a great way to spend a couple of hours, tasting coffees, and linking different tastes to different brew methods. The coffee was delicious and the geekery was first rate. Thanks for a great class!