Why do these coffee recipes keep turning up in the booklet?
Each month, we go through an extremely rigorous coffee selection process culminating in each selected coffee being profiled on our standard equipment under lab conditions. We do this for both filter and espresso coffees.
The reason we do this is simple. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that frustration of getting an exciting new bag of coffee that we just can’t wait to get stuck into… and then we end up spending the first 3 or 4 coffees working out how to get the best out of it.
To help alleviate this most frustrating part of the coffee experience, we have standardised our testing approach, providing you with a better frame of reference to help you start dialling in from more educated position… hopefully reducing the number of wasted dialling in attempts and ‘sink-shots’ in the process.
We absolutely don’t expect you to be able to recreate our exact recipes – there’s just too many variables for that – but each month you will hopefully have found a setting that works for you with a particular coffee that you can compare to our recipes.
Now, here’s the important part – for our profiling recipes to help you, you also need to keep records of what settings you used for each coffee as well as what settings we provided. That way when the next month’s coffee arrives, you’ll be able look back over your list and find a comparable coffee’s settings to start your dialling in process with.
So how does it work in practice?
To give you an example, in the February and March 2020 subscriptions we will have shipped 9 different filter coffees (if you happen to be a 4 bag filter subscriber you will have received all of these).
Below you’ll see our list of grind settings used and extraction rates hit. As you can see with the colour coding, you could group these together into very similar grind settings that we found made a nice cup of coffee (remember that niceness is subjective whereas the extraction numbers are objective).
So when you received the February subscription and dialled in the Cocora Honduras, you would then know that you could keep the same settings to start with for the Roastworks, then set the grind a touch finer for the Atkinsons Rwanda and then keep those settings for the Plot Peru.
The March subscription is a little trickier as there were a wider range of grind settings needed to get the best out of that month's selection. You can see that the Quarterhorse China needs a much finer grind setting than the previous coffee (interestingly, Nathan does roast a touch lighter and we always tend to head for a finer grind when we start dialling in Quarterhorse). Now, if you’ve been with us a while, you could check your notes and use the settings you found for the Chipp Coffee El Salvador from the October ‘19 subscription or the Gentlemen Baristas Honduras from the September ’19 sub. Once you’ve dialled in the Ou Yang you know you need to go a touch coarser for the Moonroast Kenya (or check your notes for the Neighbourhood Nicaragua from November ’19).
Finally, once you’ve ground coarser still and dialled in either the Echelon Ethiopia or Plot Peru you know that you can use the same settings for the other one.
Obviously, the longer you’ve been with us, the more reference points you’ll have to help you through the process and we are always here if you want to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org