EP 12: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

This mini series has come to the last episode! As mentioned, we are featuring the personal manual brewers of this Palakape. And since this is the last, then it’s the series’ end! We hope you enjoyed and learned from our simple effort to educate about coffee making.

In this episode, (a non-fancy) Ibrik is featured. The Palakape got it from a supermarket in Dubai. We assume it’s rightfully a brewer for Arabic coffee since we got it from the UAE, LOL.

The Ibrik is used for making coffee Turkish or Arabic style. From search, it seems like the typical way to prepare such drink is adding both sugar and coffee to the water and then heating the mixture up to the point where boiling is just starting. Fancy demos even make use of heated sand for gradual heating, and require more maneuvering from the barista. In this video though, the Palakape didn’t add sugar as he prefers black coffee. And out of curiosity, he measured the coffee-to-water ratio and the temperature by the end of heating. Typically, there’s no exact measurement in preparing this type of coffee.

Do watch the video and if you’re from Turkey or any Arabian state, let us know in the comments what we did right or wrong!

Also, do not follow the unsafe practice done in this video! Make sure your set up is stable, LOL! And finally, we apologize to the Turkish and Arabic coffee community for the possible blunder in the video.

Thank you all for the time and we hope you learned something from Palakape.

EP 11: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

When you think of manual brew, what do you imagine first? A dripper/pour over put on top of a cup would probably come to mind. This palakape didn’t have one of those yet till the recent Christmas season. In this episode, he’s testing out just for the second time his own Hario V60 Dripper. Speaking of second time, the twins were there to interrupt again. 😀

We think the Hario V60 is designed pretty well. Even with coffee at medium-fine grind, the brewing is not slowed too much thanks to the angle (60 degrees) of the funnel and the grooves that assist flow of water thru the coffee bed. Finer grind allow for faster extraction of coffee, so too much contact time might result to a bitter-tasting drink – perhaps due to over extraction and/or degradation of acids occurring while still brewing.

As a side note, this episode is filled with Hario products! The weighing scale used by the Palakape is actually the one paired to the brewer used and is called a Hario V60 Drip Scale. And the grinder is also a Hario.

EP 10: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

So we are adding a few more episodes in this mini series as there are a couple of coffee brewers that aren’t featured. And with the timing comes a couple of possible interruptions, like the twins in this case! 😀

In this episode, the Hario Filter-in Coffee Bottle cold brewer is featured. It’s a gift received by the Palakape from last year’s Christmas. The design of this brewer is just classy, don’t you think?

The good thing about cold brew is that it can give you a flavorful drink that’s not bitter or sour. The cooler temperature slows down the degradation and oxidation that can occur to some of the components of the coffee. Oxidation of oils leads to coffee tasting sour, while degradation of acids add to the bitter flavor. But the dissolution also occurs slowly, so you have to compensate with time, which is much longer! And of course, if you want a stronger flavor, you have to add more coffee.

There would come a point of equilibrium in terms of dissolution. One can only extract so much from coffee at a certain temperature. So even if you leave the coffee soaked for more than you intend, it won’t make much difference in flavor once the equilibrium is reached. In our opinion, you search for the sweet spot, by identifying the brew time in which the saturation is reached and then deciding if you want to saturate or under extract the coffee. Have you ever tried the Cold Brew? What can you say about it? Do you think it’s worth your time? Because we do!

EP 9: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

Who loves camping? In this episode, we feature the Moka Pot; another classic coffee maker that is an Italian icon. From experience, it is a good camping companion too! And that is illustrated in the video with the use of a portable gas stove. With the slightly more interesting set up, the little invader who showed up midway thru the recording, was extra active. 😀

Note a couple of mistakes here: when filling the heating vessel with water, the level should be below the valve. This valve regulates the pressure of the vessel for safety, and is better exposed to the vapor space. The coffee was ground to medium coarse. While this can be a subjective choice, most recommendations we saw upon a quick look up is use of finer grind.

Another topic that’s worth expounding is the temperature of water. Since the water from the heating vessel is pushed because of expanding steam, we assume that the temperature is close to the boiling point. This can be confirmed by the resultant taste of coffee, since usually, it is a bit burnt. In this video for example, some of the fruity or floral notes tasted from other brewing methods disappeared, and only a nutty flavor was evident.

This could just be a psychological effect of (wrong) expectation, but it seems like coffee brewed via Moka Pot at higher elevations tastes better. That is from the logic that lower atmospheric pressure corresponds to lower boiling temperature of water. Now this could be true for the first moments of evaporation, as the air/vapor space in the heating vessel is initially equal to the atmospheric pressure. But if the pressure needs to build up for longer than the first expansion of steam to be able to push the water up, then succeeding water should boil at a temperature corresponding to the set pressure of the valve – which is higher than atmospheric. So one could say that no matter what the atmospheric pressure is, the conditions for the Moka Pot would eventually be the same.

Whew! Let us know your thoughts!

EP 8: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

In this episode, the Palakape shows how he makes Chemex coffee, without weighing and reading temperature. Based on experience, the size of Aeropress’ scoop is good for his taste. So he normally uses that.

Another thing that could be done for manual brew is wetting the filter paper first. In the Chemex procedure, this is optional. One possible reason for that is to avoid some of the solutes to cling to your filter. That’s what’s mentioned in this video. However, this could just be speculation. We recommend testing it to see any difference in coffee flavor.

But one thing it does is allowing the filtration to occur a bit faster. This is because wet filter paper has already “made way” for the water. Through capillary action, the water and coffee solution already has a path to take in the filter, to make its way down the cup or carafe. Also, as in chemistry lab, it is done so the filter adheres to the funnel.

And if you watched the video completely, yes, he was screaming inside after THAT mistake. LOL.

EP 7: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

The Chemex was invented by a chemist named Peter Schlumbohm. When this brewer came under the Palakape’s radar, he just had to buy it! First, this glass hour-glass shape carafe with a wooden handle just speaks beauty and class. It also struck a nerdy chord in him, recognizing the chemistry lab inspired design.

Using this brewing method produces a very smooth and clean cup of coffee, thanks to the Chemex bonded filters. It significantly reduces the bitter flavor of coffee no matter how strong your drink is. In our opinion, it’s the best for dark-roasted coffee. For medium or light roast, it may not be, as the thick filter paper seem to reduce even flavors that you could still enjoy. That was the case in this episode, when the brew ratio of 1 g coffee to 18 g water was used. But remember, you can always increase the amount of coffee to your liking.

EP 6: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

The Phin, these days a mark of Vietnamese coffee tradition, is a simple metal filter assembly. This was the first brewing apparatus that the Palakape owned, after a trip to Vietnam in 2016. So it gives him good memories of coffee discovery every time he uses it.

In this episode, we showed how to make use of the Phin. 10 g of coffee was used, even though the amount of water would be less than 180 g. That amount is also checked out of curiosity, hence, the use of weighing scale.

The Palakape brewed a bit too fast though. It could be that the grind of coffee is a bit coarser than recommended, or, the amount of coffee is less. Vietnamese coffee is characteristically bold and strong. (Though boldness would be less due to medium roast coffee instead of dark.)

So, what do you think he did wrong?

EP 5: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

Just rounding up all we have to say about the Aeropress in this episode. (We know, that brewer again!) Get an idea of how you can play around the conditions till you get your preferred cup. This Palakape really prefers his drink stronger, with a practical approach to preparation.

Having seen the inverted method first, it just made sense to the Palakape to do it that way since the conditions can be more controlled. All the coffee grounds would be subjected to the same conditions. Such as, mixing at constant volume, and then pressurized extraction of coffee as the mixture is pushed via the plunger. You can also play around more with the grind and brew time. As manual grinder is used most of the time, sometimes a coarser grind is preferred to end the grinding faster.

After the surprise in episode 3, however, it’s worth considering the use of Aeropress based on its original instructions. The reduced temperature of 80 deg C is most likely the main reason for that fantastic taste of coffee. So, the Palakape would now prepare coffee in an inverted way, but at a lower temperature. With no thermometer usually, the adjustment in the morning routine is to boil the coffee earlier to allow more time for heat loss. Say, you boil it before taking your first pee or something. LOL!

EP 4: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

The Aeropress is such a good kit that allows for “customization” even for just black coffee. One way to use it is by the inverted method, as demonstrated in this episode.  The Palakape also touched upon the pressure added when brewing via Aeropress.

The added pressure to the coffee suspension aids the water to pass thru faster, as compared to just gravity flow.  With medium fine grind, there is more resistance to the flow of water thru the coffee grounds, especially if they congregate as a bed.  Adding force via your push to the plunger makes the water and coffee solution flow faster.  Anyway, since the finer grind gives more area of contact for coffee and water, allowing for more components to dissolve at a shorter time, then they kind of balance out. You can experiment with time and grind of coffee in the Aeropress, try it!

The Palakape thinks however, that this pressure doesn’t affect the dissolution of the coffee components much to affect the flavor.  Solid and liquid solubilities are not affected by pressure.  So it’s really the temperature that largely dictates what goes from coffee grounds to water.  Given enough time, whatever the grind, you can only dissolve components to a certain extent, assuming a constant temperature. 

Gas solubility however, increases with pressure.  But the pressure is not that high in Aeropress for it to capture the gaseous components of your coffee.  They must have escaped from the solution by the time you finished brewing.  Unlike in espresso, where crema is formed on top of your coffee, as these volatiles are trapped by the oily components before escaping.  So you get to catch them if you drink the espresso shot soon enough!

Okay, we got a bit technical in here – can’t help it!  What do you think? Do you agree with our statement?

EP 3: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

Have you ever not followed a user manual? 

In this episode, the Palakape’s most favorite manual brewer is featured: the Aeropress. Oddly, he never followed its user manual before.  That’s because he just adapted what was demonstrated in the barista class where he first saw an Aeropress. He usually just modifies the amount of coffee and water, and does away with instruments.

So here, you’ll witness first hand his surprise upon tasting a good cup of coffee after following the user manual. That’s what user manuals are for, right? LOL

EP 2: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings

In a more peaceful episode, the Palakape shows you how he usually brews coffee with the French Press. Already aware of his preference, instruments are not used in this video. Because ultimately, you decide on how you like your coffee!  How about you? What are your personal preferences in coffee?

As an observation/opinion, the French Press is that brewing method that could test the quality of coffee.  Here’s why we think so (could just be speculation, take it with a grain of salt): its filter is metal that is inert and not fine enough compared to a paper filter.  Water conditions being equal, most flavors would be captured when coffee is brewed via French Press.  Filter paper can capture some of the flavors of coffee, which at times could be a benefit, i.e. it can reduce the bitterness.  

Also, the brewing conditions for the French Press is close to cupping. The grind is coarse, and the water doesn’t pass once-through the coffee bed as in most brewing methods.  Water and coffee are mixed and sit for a time. So when coffee is bad, it’s really bad with the French Press and vice versa.

EP 1: Semi-Interrupted Coffee Mornings

When the first video recordings for the series were shot, the Palakape’s nephew was at the scene, curious about the activity.  The little kid is usually like that when he’s in the mood to check his uncle brewing coffee.  To add to that, there are background noise that are normal in the area, and are inevitably captured by the available microphone.  Thus, it was decided to incorporate these slight disturbances to the scene, and so, the name for this mini-series came up: Semi-interrupted Coffee Mornings!

In the first episode, learn how to prepare coffee using a common brewing apparatus: the French Press.  A few of the parameters that would generally be followed in all brewing methods were also discussed.

If you’re not yet this deep into coffee, we hope you learn something in this episode.  Do wait for the other brewing methods we’ll present!  And we hope you find this video entertaining!