As part of a new series of blogs, I want to take a brew method that I feel I have really got the hang of (the Aeropress), and use this blog as a way of experimenting, and, at the same time showing other people how to experiment and provide artisan-level coffee at home, with relatively basic equipment. Whilst being educational, the posts will also provide a basic exposition of the wealth of flavours that can be found in high quality coffee beans. This post will look at Limu Kaffa, Square Mile’s latest offering.
First off, I’ll run through the process of making an aeropress coffee. For those of you that just want to see how to make it, follow these instructions. At every point where there is room for experimenting I’ll highlight in a different colour. Take a look at the correspondingly coloured paragraph to read about ways I experimented to get everything out of the coffee.
Before you do anything else, switch on the kettle. You want the water to have boiled and be cooling by the time you pour it in the aeropress. Set up the aeropress upside down (as in photo 1) and then move on to your beans. You’ll need to measure out 17g for the Limu Kaffa and I would recommend you weigh it with scales for max effect. Then grind, using whatever grinder you have at your disposal (a hand grinder is perfect, and cheap), on a very coarse grind. You should be able to see the detail of the coffee, with many different shades of brown. Add this to Aeropress and try not to lose any, this is expensive coffee! Finally, pour the water from the kettle over until it bubbles to the top of the Aeropress. Lock your filter over the top: the filter paper should be wetted and clinging to the filter. Wait for one minute thirty (don’t guess) and then place your mug over the top of the filter, upside down. Flip it all together and it shouldn’t spill, then plunge for roughly thirty seconds.
And you’re done! The Limu Kaffa is a very complex coffee, and you should find that each cup you enjoy has different tones. Square Mile say that it tastes like Coco Pops. Must say I didn’t get this, but I did get the kiwi-like acidity they talk about, as well as a spicy kick as well. Let me know if you have any questions about this method. Otherwise we’ll move on to….
17g is just a guideline. Try 16g, and try 18g if you’re really rock and roll. I found that raising the weight, whilst decreasing brew time was worthwhile, and helped me get more chocolatey tones, whilst giving a bit more of an overextraction.
Grinding can be the most difficult factor to take into account, as the effects of changing the coarseness have to be measured in conjunction with water:coffee ratio. Generally though, increasing the surface area will lead to quicker extraction. With the Limu Kaffa, I found it responded best with the coarser grinds.
You can at this point give different ‘bloom times’ where you pour half the water into the Aeropress, wait and stir, and then pour the other half. The trend at the moment is away from this, and letting the flow of the water do its work.
Timing is everything. The Limu Kaffa was very temperamental for me when I was as little as five seconds out, and immediately led to both under- and over- extraction in different cups. Any attempt at changing the sit time had to be matched with alterations to grind and weight, but the more time I was able to leave it for, the closer I got to ‘Coco Pops’. Unfortunately Coco Pops also led to overextraction.