Hi all, yes I was supposed to post this a month ago haha.. but thought I'd share some observations and things I've learned into coffee I've had over the past year, just for fun. Nothing groundbreaking hehe, and keeping in mind, they're not universal truths or anything, but just things specific to me that I've realised, so if it helps anyone else in the process that's a bonus
Here we go!
-Keeping it simple: I got very wrapped up in and obsessed with the process and lost sight of outcome. Moreso relating to what you're trying to do with coffee. ENJOY it! Letting taste be my guide was pivotal. I got very caught up in the best distribution method, timing, ratios, whilst all very important for sure, but sometimes it can lead to overanalysing how something looks rather than the actual end product. Sometimes even mentally dismissing a shot because it wasn't 'perfect-looking' (whatever that means..), and whilst sipping it even thinking of how the pour 'should' have looked. Ridiculous haha..
Of course guidelines are great to go by, but it makes sense to let taste be the guide as to what variables should change. I've had funky looking shots that tasted just incredible!
Better to find a distribution method that makes sense, understand what its purpose is, and keep things consistent with that while altering other variables like grind/flow rate, timing etc. Finding something that has repeatability and consistency led me to focus more on taste.
-Latte art: stretching the milk slightly less than what I was doing got muuuuuch better results. Also relaxing whilst steaming and pouring helped a great deal.
-I get the feeling that ground coffee stales or changes in structure/molecule-bond-adhesiveness/SOMEthing potentially much quicker than I thought... The second shot of the day always ran quicker, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why.. even within 10-20 minutes after the first. I get the feeling ground coffee oxidized faster than I thought, and only a slight amount of older grounds mixed with the new can cause confusing results... (up for discussion though
). Quick sweep out the chute of old grounds and purging about 2 grams of new coffee before my next shot seemed to sort that out.
This also goes with beans.. I'm putting less in my hopper, only enough for the total amount of shots roughly (plus bit more so that it has a bit of weight pressing down), and also any leftover beans from the morning's usage I put into their own separate zip lock bag to use first before the others.
-Resting roasted beans has become more and more important! Sure they can be tried early, but for consistency sake it definitely helps to rest them. Still great to note the changes over each day.
-Roasting: measuring temp and temp changes is seeming to be quite important! I'm only just starting to get into measuring temp (fiiiinally) after years and years of using sights, sounds and timing as my guide, so looking forward to this part of the journey.
That's it haha, but feel free to share any insights or anything you've learned the past year, this was good reminder and reflection for me personally, but others may get something out of it too
. So feel free to add your own, would love to hear them!