Friday Tasting Series - Brew Bar Basics

Starting back on Friday December 13 we’re hosting a new series of Friday tastings called Brew Bar Basics. Tristan Mapstone leads the tasting event every Friday afternoon at 2:30pm within the roastery. Our goal is pretty simple, by hosting a series of clinics on some of the most standard brew methods, we give home baristas a chance to ask questions and learn new brew methods. Coffee pros can also join in and discuss variances in the techniques Tristan will demonstrate and share their methods as well. Here is what Tristan had to say about last Friday's event.

Today I intended to cover some basic home brewing. The first arriving guest chose what we would focus on – brewing with the French press. The French press tends to lower acidity and add chocolate notes, enhancing the lower end of the profile. This is simply due to the metal filter allowing fine sediment through that ends up in your cup. Spoiler alert - those are the reasons I choose not to brew with a press. I enjoy acidity and clarity and I don't prioritize body in my brewed coffee.  So, since I don't add cream or sugar I don't need a heavy flavour to punch through all that. But this is just one barista's perspective; you need to find the process and methods that really matter to you.

My starting point for manual brewing is at a 1:17 ratio so I used that method. Wetting all the coffee as quickly as possible is the first step, then just filling to the desired mass of water. In about a minute a crust will have formed floating on top, which I then break with four stirs. After four minutes I gently press the filter down and empty the coffee into a preheated carafe.

We found the El Salvador, finca Las Nubes had the solid acidity I am used to but missing the clarity or sharpness it had when brewed through paper. But still the result had the lovely nut flavours that I have enjoyed in this coffee with the heavier bottom end that I would expect from a press.

What do you think? Preferred methods, indignant opposition? Questions? Bring them out on Friday December 13 and join the coffee culture at Fernwood.

Walk-ins welcome or follow us on twitter @Fernwoodcoffee to RSVP and get event news and updates.