Getting floral and fruity from a Hario V60?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
brisbane87

#1: Post by brisbane87 » Oct 09, 2014, 3:52 pm

For a long while, I was an espresso snob. I love acidic, fruity, floral coffees, and espresso (to me) seemed to be the only brewing method able to really bring those flavours to the forefront. That is, up until the past few months which I've spent travelling northern and western Europe. Places like Drop Coffee in Stockholm, Coffee Collective in Copenhagen and The Barn in Berlin (among many others) have completely changed my perspective. Their pourovers don't smell or taste anything remotely like filter coffee, at least not the way it does in much of North America. They actually taste like the tasting notes say they should, not subtly, but viscerally. In that sense, they are much more tea-like (and they even have a lighter coloration than "black" coffee), but they still retain a fair amount of body.

How the hell do I get my own v60 to replicate this? I've tried grinding anywhere between near-espresso and coarse sand (though not nearly as coarse as french press), brewing between 85-95C (I'm getting better results below 90C than above), and brewing ratios (from 14:1 to 17:1). Nothing, though, seems to come close. I was thinking it could be the beans but I just bought a bag from The Barn and still am not there.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about and how I can do it?

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[creative nickname]
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#2: Post by [creative nickname] » Oct 09, 2014, 4:24 pm

I try and target this sort of taste in a lot of my brewing, and here are some of the things that I find helpful:

First, and perhaps most importantly, you need to use a roast that is designed for this sort of result. If you just try and get lots of high notes by under-extracting a coffee roasted to a moderate city-plus, you will end up with sourness, not sweet fruits and florals. What you want is a roast that walks the fine line where the coffee has been adequately developed but it is still in a light city-roast territory. Stretching out the drying phase and then finishing quickly can help with this. If you don't roast yourself, look into roasters who are known for executing the "nordic style" at a high level of quality; Mountain Air and Coava come to mind as good examples.

Once you have the right roast, you just need to tune the other parameters to get enough extraction to balance the coffee, without going so far that you drown out its more delicate notes. I typically start with a fairly fine grind, use water that is between 195F and 205F (depending on the roast level and the type of coffee) at a brew ratio of 17:1, and try to finish the pour within 2 minutes, so that the brew will have finished by about 3 minutes. In the v60, I typically find a grind level that gives me a nice flow rate for a given batch size, and then use temperature as the main variable for adjusting level of extraction.

I also find it very helpful to use the right size of v60, so that you don't have the water falling on the slurry from too high above. Once the grinds are fully wetted, agitation is not your friend! Try and practice your pouring until you can get a nice clear layer of water that is slowly seeping through the grinds below.
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brisbane87

#3: Post by brisbane87 » Oct 09, 2014, 4:44 pm

When you're using 17:1, how much coffee are you putting in? Do you play with grind size and amount of ground coffee? (e.g. playing with coarser grinds and more coffee, or finer grinds and less coffee) Or do you keep the amount of coffee consistent and only tinker with grind? With espresso brewing I always found there was a bit of push-and-pull but not sure if that holds true with filter or is over-complicating things.

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#4: Post by [creative nickname] » Oct 09, 2014, 5:15 pm

Dose might vary from 12g/200mL up to 36g/600mL, with grind size varying to control flow rate. For any given batch size, I keep the coffee to water ratio very consistent, and only rarely make significant changes in grind size if I can't get the right balance within a reasonable temperature range.
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NoStream

#5: Post by NoStream » Oct 09, 2014, 6:37 pm

[creative nickname] wrote:If you don't roast yourself, look into roasters who are known for executing the "nordic style" at a high level of quality; Mountain Air and Coava come to mind as good examples.
I absolutely agree that the roast is paramount. Even typical third-wave roasters tend to go too dark to get the Nordic style of cup.

Mountain Air does some lovely roasts and their variety pack is a great deal. I think Coava is a pretty good roaster, but I definitely do not think they roast Nordic-style. If anything, they roast a hair darker than their third-wave peers, at least among the handful of coffees I've tried.

I would definitely recommend Heart. Heart proved to me that coffee can be ultra light-roasted without being underdeveloped.

Also, although Tim Wendelboe and most other Nordic roasters might be a bit out of reach cost-wise, generally >$20/12oz + shipping, I heard Coffee Collective ships for free in nitrogen-flushed bags. It's around $15/9oz, which isn't that bad. If you have a deep freezer, you can throw in your coffee upon arrival and savor it.

Edit: Also, I found the Wave to really excel in terms of producing a clean, well-extracted cup. In general, you need to be more aggressive with your extraction the lighter the roast is. (Lighter roasts are less extractable.) You can also get away with more extraction because there are less roast flavors to interfere.

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Eastsideloco
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#6: Post by Eastsideloco » Oct 09, 2014, 6:54 pm

+1 to Mountain Air or Heart. (Mountain Air has a deal if you buy at least four bags of coffee, and they offer small capacity bags so you can brew it all while the coffee is fresh.)

You might give Heart's V60 recipe a try:

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0261/3 ... e.pdf?2543

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#7: Post by [creative nickname] » Oct 09, 2014, 8:08 pm

My mention of Coava is based on a sample size of one (really good) light roasted cup, so trust others rather than me on that. Heart is also worth a try.
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Eastsideloco
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#8: Post by Eastsideloco » Oct 09, 2014, 8:51 pm

I've enjoyed a number of coffees from Coava. Some of the Austin shops carry them as a guest roaster. But Heart's roast profiles seem to be pretty unique and representative of the Nordic or Scandinavian style.

Chadquest

#9: Post by Chadquest » Oct 09, 2014, 9:23 pm

What lit my fire for refining my pour overs was the same high acidity fruit forward style cups, but at a place in Chicago called Ipsento. The beans from them I get is the Natural process Panama they roast. High acid bright blueberry and lemon. I was a changed man.

I've had the same profile result from them in Aeropress, Clever, and Tiamo, with the main differences in how "clean" the cup is and mouthfeel.

I'll also say Heart is outstanding.

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Eastsideloco
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#10: Post by Eastsideloco » Oct 09, 2014, 9:58 pm

My favorite coffee of 2013 was an auction lot from Nicaragua roasted by Ipsento.