Ever since I discovered a genuine appreciation for coffee, I have looked for ways to find out and learn more about coffee. Most of this education has come from reading in books, the internet and also talking with those I meet along the way. But there is also another source of information that I have gained from attending some different events.
The most recent event that I have been able to attend is a Brew at Home Class at Grinders Coffee in Woolloongabba. It is the second such class I have visited here, and I would be quite inclined to participate in another in the future. In the class, they take one particular coffee and go through tasting that coffee brewed in six different ways.
If it sounds interesting to you and you are in Brisbane I know Grinders at Woolloongabba have some dates for this course. I am unsure if other Grinders locations operate a similar class, but you could find the closest to you and ask the question. You can find their cafes on their website Grinders Coffee.
The Brew At Home Class
The first time that I undertook one of these courses I understood it to be a coffee tasting session. However, have now found that it is more a course to help guide you on brewing your coffee at home. While some of the brewing methods do require having some more expensive equipment, there are some that don’t need much at all.
The coffee that we would get to try today is a single origin from Ethiopia. The coffee comes from the Oromio Region, which would seem to be the origin of the name of this coffee. The process used for the coffee is the Washed process. With the tasting notes listing Red Apple and Dark Chocolate.
The Brew Methods
There were a total of six different brew methods that they cover as part of the class. With a small taster for each different method. So let’s take a look at the various brew methods that are included.
The traditional espresso shot or short black is quite possibly the best way to get the purest taste of the coffee. In saying that I found it to be the strongest and most body of the six different methods. Maybe a reason why it was first, to talk a little about the tastes that coffee can bring. The short black is probably the closest to my regular drink, the long black, which is mostly the same just with more water.
In the past, I never thought twice about drinking milk. However, that was also the days before I started drinking coffee for the most part. Although my original cafe drink might have been the hot mocha, I was not drinking this for the coffee. In fact, in the beginning, I did not even realise a hot mocha had coffee in.
So when it comes to milk coffee, I do not partake except on a rare exception. Milk is not exactly a problem for me; I just choose not to drink it unless I need to. Today for the sake of science I made an exception to try the full range of flavours including the flat white. Although I do think that it might be the first flat white I have ever drunk, and I was not all that impressed. It is going to be different for everyone, but I found the coffee completely lacked any distinct flavour once the milk is added.
The Hario V60 is a pour-over brew method for making coffee. I would say that this is one of the most accessible methods for making coffee at home. While it might be reasonably quick, it is not entirely straightforward. Rather than try and explain the technique here I found a video that does it quite well in four minutes (How to brew Hario V60 Coffee)
I have only had a chance to try coffee made with a V60 twice, both times at the Grinders Brew Class. The first time I did quite enjoy it, but the one this time was considerably weaker than I expected in flavour. Again that could be a personal preference, similar to my dislike for coffee with milk.
If you are looking for a quick coffee option, cold drip is not the right option for you. Well, it could be, but you need to spend a bit of time up front preparing to have coffee ready at hand. I, unfortunately, don’t have a photo of a cold dripper, but they can vary from reasonably affordable to expensive for a more elaborate setup.
The ornate cold drippers that many cafes have are a series of three glass jars. The top jar is where you put cold or iced water. The jar has a dripper that you can restrict to one drip every two or three seconds. The second jar contains a ceramic filter at the bottom, and the ground coffee goes on top of this. As the water drips from the first jar into the second, it soaks the coffee in water. Gradually the water works it’s way through the coffee, slowly extracting it and drips into the third jar. Depending on some factors you have a put of cold drip coffee after 12-36 hours.
That is a somewhat simplified look at the process, but I hope that it gives you the basic idea. If you want to purchase a cold dripper they are available in every shape and size. From the small options to make 2 cups right up to more commercial models that can make 25-30 cups at once.
Cold Brew + Cold Brew with Milk
Cold brew is another method for making coffee that is rather long and slow. However, it is quite possibly the easiest of all options. In fact, after a small amount of research, I have managed to get some going in the fridge tonight.
You take the coffee and immerse it in water for 10+ hours. The amount of coffee to water will differ depending upon your usage. A different ratio was suggested depending upon if it was to be consumed as black coffee as opposed to with milk.
Most of the online sources that I can find suggest a mixture of 3/4 cups of ground coffee to 4 cups of water. However, that is also somewhat subjective to your taste and whether you like a stronger or weaker coffee. The approach I have taken is around 40grams of coffee to 500ml of water. I can either increase or decrease the coffee in the future to suit tastewise.
The most significant challenge comes when you are removing the coffee grind from the liquid. If you have the right equipment, it is easy, but there are numerous suggestions around the internet for alternative options.
Plenty Of Coffee
All in all, I had a good time in the hour trying the coffee six different ways, and I would happily come back to try another coffee the same way. The session is rather good value for trying the coffee, learning about the brew methods and you get a 250gram bag of beans to take home.