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Extraction, Grinding and Blooming – Daily Blog #4

Today I want to introduce you to a very special, meditative part of my day. Something that helps get me moving in the morning, allowing me to start the day off controlled, focused, and productive. That something is making my morning coffee.

Like a lot of Irish, I used to exclusively drink tea. Even the smell of coffee back then used to make me a bit sick. For the longest time I really didn’t see the appeal with the black stuff and I used to avoid it as best I could.

The only issue I had with tea, though, was that there wasn’t many ways to mix it up. You can either have it with sugar (bleugh), or without, with milk, or without (get out of town you heathen). That’s pretty much it.

Coffee however comes in a plethora of variations – cappuccino, lattes, flat whites, flavored, iced – even the most basic café’s will have a handful to choose from. This annoyed me; us tea drinkers were getting left out of the cafe experience.

That’s right – this deep love I now have for coffee started off as nothing more than jealousy.

I decided the only solution was to power through. Sometime during the summer of 2006, I forced myself to drink enough of the stuff until my palate adjusted. I’ll not lie, it wasn’t enjoyable.

Slowly I upped the “intensity” of the coffee I was drinking, moving from half a measure of pre-mix cappuccino all the way up to a double measure of instant Maxwell house.

Now, I’ve gone so far in the other direction that not only do I love a cup of hot Joe, but am regularly called a coffee snob. Most of my time on Reddit is spent on r/coffee and I’ve invested a considerable amount of energy experimenting with my brew method to hone in on something that works for me.

Here’s what that method looks like:

Equipment: 

Brewing Method:

  1. Boil some water and pre-heat your Aeropress in the inverted position.
  2. As it’s preheating, grind up 15 grams of coffee on position 6. I find a medium-fine grind size works best.
  3. Add a single filter to the filter basket, lock it onto the Aeropress and plunge it into your mug. This serves two purposes – it pre-heats the mug and wets the paper filter, getting it ready for use.
  4. As you’re transferring your ground beans into the inverted Aeropress, set the kettle to boil again.
  5. Once boiled, start a timer for 24 seconds. Unfortunately I don’t have a temperature controlled kettle so I rely on time to get the temps consistent.
  6. As soon as the timer hits 24 seconds, restart it and transfer 60 grams of water to the Aeropress, being sure to wet all the coffee. This is called the bloom of the extraction and helps prep the beans for the next steps.
  7. At the 30 seconds, add more water from the kettle until the total volume of water added is 220 grams.
  8. At the 60 second mark, stir for 10 seconds.
  9. Let the coffee continue to extract for 30 more seconds before repeating the stirring process. This should have you sitting at the 1 minute and 50 seconds mark.
  10. Once the second stir is complete, replace the filter and basket onto the Aeropress, flip it onto your mug and start pressing the plunger. The pressure you apply should be such that the entire plunging process takes 20 more seconds.
  11. Once complete, at a further 200 grams of hot water to your mug, sit down, and enjoy.

So, that’s it, that’s the method I used to brew my morning coffee. If you decide to give it a shot, let me know what you think. Although coffee will always be a very personal thing, and there’s no one “best” method, I think this one ain’t too bad!

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