Stirring: the brew method

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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Postby Marc » Dec 16, 2010, 4:07 pm

It's well known that stirring the coffee increase the extraction yield when you brew coffee either it's syphon, aeropress, french press...

What's frustrating about stirring is that it varies with the strength, turbulence of water, the evenness of the stirs. As an example, I tried making aeropress using Tim Wendelboe technique and Coffee collective technique.

Grinding on a Vario, it seems that when using both technique, the stir at the beginning was giving more bitterness and an unbalance cup. I was getting a more even brew with only a final stir to debloom the coffee and well much weaker. And I think it came from some of the fines overextracting

How could you make a brew that is very consistent considering that it influences the extraction that much. Maybe a Ditting or Malkhonig high end grinder produce less fines and for professional use it's not an issue.

So I came to thought that in cupping the extraction is very even and the only stirring, except the even wetting of the water, is from the break of the crust, very minimal. How about doing it for other brew methods?

I know that James Hoffman did a video on his last french press methods only deblooming the coffee as in cupping and scooping the grounds for a much cleaner and no bitter notes.

What do you think? What's your brew method?

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Postby another_jim » Dec 16, 2010, 6:08 pm

4 minutes is 4 minutes is 4 minutes. If you want consistency; don't stir, just wait longer.

The cupping method is to agitate the water stream as you pour to wet all the grounds, and then to leave them be. This produces a consistent brew whose parameters you can control exactly by varying grind fineness, the steep time, and the initial and final temperature (via the pour water temperature and the insulation of the vessel). If you want a clear coffee, you can decant it through a paper filter after steeping.

Stirring adds an extra variable which is difficult to keep consistent. It may be that current market conditions require cafes to do a 2 minute drip/stir tango rather than just handing people a press pot with a 4 minute timer. But, IMO, this creates a duller brew than unagitated steeping.

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Postby cannonfodder » Dec 17, 2010, 12:41 pm

I was doing something similar to the skim on the French press a year of so ago. At the time I was using my LaCimbali MAX espresso grinder for drip and French press. I always had issues with bitterness in the brew due to the fines produced by the grinder. I decided to reverse the process and instead of pressing, I pulled since I did not want to go through the time needed to skim the grinds off the top. The improvement was dramatic. Since then I have gotten a non espresso preparation grinder, a BUNN bulk grinder, and the coffee has improved even more. You can read about both in these two threads.

Turn your French press into a French pull

Why do bulk grinders produce a superior grind for non espresso preparation?
Dave Stephens