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?
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!
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?
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
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.
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!
Brewing your own coffee can make drinking it, better. We are preparing a simple mini series, where we show how to brew coffee manually using the personal brewers collected by one Palakape.
Making coffee in the backyard, the Palakape encounters a few interruptions from time to time. The sound of the neighbors’ chickens or dogs, airplane and motorcycle noises, and sometimes, a curious little fellow visits the working table! Watch the teaser to get a glimpse!
For some people, coffee is not just a drink, but a way of life. Happy International Coffee Day! What is coffee to you?
In this video: believe it or not, such is a typical coffee time for one palakape, LOL
So it came to an end… quickly.
The last blog entry was more than 6 months ago, about us putting up a stall at a food park. Unfortunately, we couldn’t sustain our stay there. We were only able to ride the wave for some weeks, and then it started dying down. We could say, the time we posted that blog was almost the beginning of the end.
We absorbed losses, as we didn’t want to give it up early. We are a start-up after all, with a long-term vision for the company. We tried ways to promote not just our stall of course, but the food park. But ultimately, we caved in, upon the conclusion that holding on wasn’t worth it anymore. And yes, we recognize that we also had shortcomings.
Did we make the wrong decision? You can comment below! But, here’s a list of the things that made the attempt worth it.
We may make the right or wrong decision, but it’s what we do while at it and after it that is important. Perhaps the key to no regrets is learning and its application. What’s next for us? You’ll know later. The dream is still alive!
The featured image at the top is a farewell photo during our last day of operation, February 28, 2018. Thought we could just shower ourselves with coffee as a goodbye, ha!
Also… the food park as a whole has just closed, less than 1 year since its opening. So…
Is it just a bandwagon, or will food parks be here to stay?
Food parks are a thing in the Philippines recently (or in Metro Manila at least). They are sprouting everywhere! They seem to work for Filipinos. With a laid back, non-intimidating atmosphere, and a variety of food choices (ideally), it sure is inviting to give you or your friends a good time satisfying whatever cravings you have.
Recently, as a next step to our growth, we decided to put up a small store in a food park. Localle Food Park in BF Resort Village, Las Piñas City. So if this thing is a bandwagon, then yes, we jumped on to one.
The challenge with food parks is providing good value for money. Some tend to be expensive, understandably so, as rent can be pricey in such places. We see some food parks open and maintain the hype. Others would eventually close, or lose concessionaires. And it gets more challenging when competing food parks are near each other.
With the appetite of Filipinos increasing and evolving, food parks are a good venue to explore. As a young chef or someone who just loves cooking, it’s a good venue to test your recipe. As new entrepreneurs, it is a platform to test the waters. At Localle Food Park, we met a lot of first-time entrepreneurs. Together, we are learning how to run a business, and develop our product. We aren’t sure if food parks are here to stay. Whatever the case, it’s a new learning experience for us.
Is it just a bandwagon, or will food parks be here to stay? We do hope it’s the latter.
Oh, and in case you’re in Las Piñas area, do visit PALAKAPE at Localle Food Park!