Is pourover/drip the best method for appreciating coffee?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
exidrion

#1: Post by exidrion »

A little background on my entrance into coffee: for most of my life I didn't like coffee and my family didn't either, but I read online that as you grow older you start to like bitter things more. One day I decided to stop by this little mom/pop specialty coffee shop near my work. I tried a latte and loved it, and eventually tried everything on their menu, including americanos and fell down the rabbit hole. I ended up buying a Breville Oracle and just received a Monolith conical this past fall.

I stick to milk drinks because I have yet to really enjoy espresso by itself, or at least get anything close to what I had in the shop. My shots seem to turn out really sour or really bitter and never balanced. I stick to medium to medium-dark roasts. I'm struggling with whether or not I just don't like straight espresso or I'm just awful at it. My only basis for comparison is the couple of shots I had at the shop and I recall enjoying it (I haven't been able to go and have more because of the pandemic :( ) My question is, have I done it backwards? If someone wants to ease themselves into coffee or really appreciate the nuance, would you say that drip/pourover is the best place to start? Or should I just try and tackle the reason I can't seem to appreciate espresso?

Thank you.

User avatar
mckolit

#2: Post by mckolit »

I say keep working at it. You have a very capable grinder and a good machine. You liked the shots you had in the shop so it's now down to technique and dialing in your shots at home. Did you get the same beans as you had at the shop?

Mbb

#3: Post by Mbb »

There's many ways to brew coffee and they're all different.

I like pour over/drip better than immersion methods because they produce a more focused and cleaner taste, imo.

But there's moka, chemex, clever, french press, aeropress, turkish, etc too.

My wife likes percolator coffee.......

In the end, drink what you like. That is all thats important .

Personally, I've never had an espresso that I thought was actually what I would call " good". But some people spend lots of money on it....

BodieZoffa

#4: Post by BodieZoffa »

As mentioned, stick with what YOU like as there is no 'best' with anything to be honest. For coffee I've always liked the taste/texture I get with espresso and have never found anything nearly as satisfying. Something like a slightly gritty press will suffice in a pinch and I would like to give Turkish a shot, but have no interest in vacuum, pourover, even drip as they're too thin/clean for me. Without question over many years espresso has changed my sense of taste/expectations though as I take the same approach when I do consume something alcoholic. Gladly take several oz. of something quite pungent/straight over weak/tasteless wine, beer, even mixed drinks. Just not my thing!

henri

#5: Post by henri »

This is a good but complicated question - complicated, because so many factors affect how the shot turns out, and also because there is no single style of espresso (espresso in Italy is very different from espresso in Spain, which is very different from espresso in the US, and so on). I think the most useful general piece of advice is to start with coffees (typically, blends) that are known to be more forgiving in extraction - that have a larger sweet spot between sour and bitter. If you've only recently started making espresso, it could simply be that you need to explore more coffees to find the kind you like.

To answer your question, though, personally I don't think there is a best method for appreciating coffee. I find that different coffees suit different preparation styles. I like light roasts, but only as pourover, and have never appreciated them as espresso - the fruit/berry/acidic flavours are just too overwhelming in that concentration for my liking. With more traditional espresso blends/roasts (think something Neapolitan with lots of robusta), it's the exact opposite - I'd never, ever drink those as drip, but enjoy them immensely as espresso.

pcofftenyo
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by pcofftenyo »

An open mind is the best method for appreciating coffee.

User avatar
mkane
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by mkane »

It's not supposed to be bitter. Lemon like yes. Not burnt, no smoke. If so change you coffee provider.

dsc106

#8: Post by dsc106 »

Don't know what you have available in Alberta but the easiest way to answer this question is a coffee vacation... perhaps a trip to BC (do they have a good coffee scene?) or Seattle/Portland, visiting all the top coffee spots, chatting up baristas, sipping different brew methods, beans, bags. Just as valuable, perhaps trying to meet up with other enthusiasts here to try and compare what they are brewing at home - no doubt many home brewers are making tastier shots and drip than found at even the best shops, because they have time to dial it in.

Anyway, I say to get experience like this because there is no way to know what you like, what is possible, what you are (or are not) missing until you get out there and "taste and see". I was really happy with suburban food in my younger years, than I had a culinary revolution when Portland, OR's food scene took off. I had no idea food could taste so good. My home cooking has since transformed as a result.

Trying to chase a vague goal when you don't even know what you are aiming for is difficult. Once you have sampled what coffee can be, then you can try and figure out what to replicate. The question changes from a less abstract "what I am suppose to be tasting/appreciating here?" to "how can I achieve this taste I had elsewhere and fell in love with?".

Well, in short, V60 is a favored method by *many* because with proper form and equipment, it creates clean & nuanced cups. But there are some many variables to all of this, including subjective preferences, that it's impossible to really answer. It is much easier to answer a question such as "I had amazing pour over at XYZ shop in Seattle with XYZ bean, how can I replicate such and what kind of style is that likely?"

Mbb

#9: Post by Mbb »

dsc106 wrote:
Well, in short, V60 is a favored method by *many* because with proper form and equipment, it creates clean & nuanced cups. But there are some many variables to all of this, including subjective preferences, that it's impossible to really answer. It is much easier to answer a question such as "I had amazing pour over at XYZ shop in Seattle with XYZ bean, how can I replicate such and what kind of style is that likely?"
I prefer v60..... Because it works..... And it's simple. Some people make it more difficult than it needs to be with elaborate routines.

I've had some really interesting coffees. Just finished a geisha that basically smelled like cherries to me..... Overwhelmingly fruity. Not being somebody that particularly cares for natural coffees.......
I just have to say...... Is that what anybody wants coffee to be? Yes geishas are overwhelmingly floral and fruity particularly when processed naturally..... And their uniqueness makes them expensive...... But that doesn't equate to good coffee necessarily...... Just different. Good is what you want to drink all day everyday, imo.