Pour-over, finer grinds / higher extraction and less complexity and clarity

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
Acavia

#1: Post by Acavia »

I noticed that as I grind finer, pour over coffee is more one dimensional without varying notes. It is sometimes sweeter overall, but its taste / notes do not change as temperature changes as a coarser grind pour over normally does. Also, a sip is more uniform where the tastes remains consistent from beginning to end of each sip whereas with coarser grinds, taste changes from beginning to end of each sip.

Anyone experience this? If so, is it just how extraction works or does it maybe indicate channeling / something else?

pham

#2: Post by pham »

I've experienced this but it's grinder and water dependent for me

Ejquin

#3: Post by Ejquin »

For myself, before I started measuring extractions, I would often under extract and, looking back on it, I would sometimes confuse the sourness you can get with under extraction with acidity, or complexity. You get more "sharpness" and that stands out more. After I've started extracting more, things may stick out less, but they're "rounder" and more cohesive. I've started to think of it like the stages of ripeness of something like a peach - before it's ripe is like underextracted coffee - you have more "sharpness" that sticks out. More "edges" to the flavor. As it progresses to being ripe, the flavors come together. Things are juicier, rounder, more cohesive.

Mbb

#4: Post by Mbb »

I think what you describe is one of the reasons I prefer pour over on some coffees. It can accentuate certain flavors or sweetness. While immersion may produce a round more full tasting cup. But it all depends on what you like for a particular coffee imo. I do pour over 90% of the time but every now and then I'll mix it up just to see if I'm missing anything. Sometimes other methods might work better for some coffees, they're just too much trouble for me. Too much clean up etc. Too much time. I most often go to other methods when I'm getting some undesireable taste in a pour over and I want to see if I can get rid of it. Same reason I'll let a coffee age somewhat to see if it improves if that's the case.

Acavia (original poster)

#5: Post by Acavia (original poster) » replying to Mbb »

I am the same. Mostly, I do Stagg X and V60, then maybe 10% Aeropress or Switch.

RyanJE

#6: Post by RyanJE »

It's possibly a result of higher strength as well. As the strength goes up I think it's harder to have separation and clarity.. think about the delicacy of a pour over compared to an espresso. When a master blender noses and tastes whisky they dilute it down from cask strength to often 20% Abv or less.... It's easier on their senses and allows them to get the complexity out of it. Cask strength is a full go sensory experience focusing on body and mouthfeel etc....
I drink two shots before I drink two shots, then I drink two more....

bobR

#7: Post by bobR »

I use a V60 about 90% of the time. I experimented with various pour-over methods until settling on a bloom plus 3 pour method for the great majority of brews (draining to near grounds between pours). This method extends brew time a bit over many other methods. I also found that for optimal results it generally shifted my grind size coarser than pour-over methods that promote faster draining as you would expect. With the coffees I usually use (high grown, dense beans...Ethiopia, Kenya, Costa Rica, etc.) this improved the fruitiness, complexity and brightness in the cup over a "faster" pour-over method with finer grind. It's not a big difference. So, it's just a preference for me to grind a bit coarser and use the longer brew time method to get the best cup. I still adjust the grind some between different coffees but all the grinds are shifted coarser with the method I use. I found going to a 4 pour method did not gain me much more so I settled on the 3 pour.

Scott-ishBrewer

#8: Post by Scott-ishBrewer »

Acavia wrote:I noticed that as I grind finer, pour over coffee is more one dimensional without varying notes. It is sometimes sweeter overall, but its taste / notes do not change as temperature changes as a coarser grind pour over normally does. Also, a sip is more uniform where the tastes remains consistent from beginning to end of each sip whereas with coarser grinds, taste changes from beginning to end of each sip.

Anyone experience this? If so, is it just how extraction works or does it maybe indicate channeling / something else?
That is just how pour over works. And that is why the recent no-bypass brewer has a hard time fitting into the any brewers cup championship. Not that it is the brewer's fault, they simply extracted a lot with long brewing time as well.