This morning my wife text me (from the other room) as she was on a Zoom meeting for work. About 10 minutes prior, I had made a pot of French press coffee, no tricks or risks, 4 min steep, filtered water, the usual recipe that we drink most mornings. She said, “WHAT Coffee IS THIS?!?!” Now, I could take that one of 2 ways, being the ever optimist, I said “wow, that good, I have not had a drink yet” Anxiously, from my desk on the other side of the house, I took a sip anticipating another great cup of morning coffee. Sometimes, even with the same recipe, you can get a particularly great cup of coffee. I don’t always know exactly what happens, but sometimes you just get an amazing cup! Well… this wasn’t that, I took a sip and immediately spat it back in the cup. I now knew what she meant.
Amber doesn’t share my LOVE of coffee. She would SAY she loves coffee, but she is more a fan of the caffeine and not the pursuit of the next best cup. I’ll admit it, she has her own Kcup machine. I usually try to keep that under wraps. As the owner of a coffee bean business and owner of a dozen different brew methods the fact that my wife prefers the calm, uninteresting bland world of the kcup isn’t great news. Many mornings, I save her from the bland and make her a pour-over with our Gold Roast its her favorite. We also frequently use a French press, for our morning cup. But what went wrong today?
I got back to the basics and reviewed my grind. I grind fresh for each brew using an old hand grinder from the 1960s. It is adjustable and the grind looked great. I recommend a coarser grind for French roast as it is in contact with the water in extraction for a longer time. Something that looks a little chunkier than kosher salt in size. I tasted the water, the water in North Texas isn’t the best, it tasted fine. I checked the kettle; it was clean with no taste altering buildup. I ground a fresh batch of Texas Gold and tried again. Stir, steep, 4 min later an amazing tasting cup of coffee. Confused, I started cleaning up, I made a terrible mistake. I have a stainless-steel canister that I keep any extra grounds in as sometimes I grind a little too much. I save this and every couple of days I’ll use it up. I also have a stainless canister that I dump mismatched grinds from all sorts of roasts, blends and experiments, this is to later spread in the garden. You can see where this is going… in my morning fog, I made coffee from a mixed bag of junk discards. While the grinds were only as much as a few weeks old. The taste of this concoction was awful! Lesson learned, maybe get a little more sleep. It is always good to reflect on your process and look for a problem, so no time was wasted. I hope you take some risks in your coffee journey and I hope your next cup of coffee was better than the last one!
Make sure you are following us on Instagram @txp_coffee as I am giving away some coffee makers this month and next.