One single origin bean. Three brew methods. Challenge accepted.

Tuesday, 21 August, 2012
By Mel Winter

I knew it was going to be a good day when I saw that the Coffee Club package had arrived at the office. Decisions, delicious decisions. Where to begin? Six single origin coffees to choose from.

Instantly I was drawn to the India Plantation A beans. Possibly because I had watched Eat, Pray, Love with my mum on the weekend, but I like to think though I had more educational goals in mind. Indian coffee is still rather exotic and undiscovered and I’ve been hearing about these beans a lot recently.

The challenge was to compare if the flavour of the beans varied when preparing the coffee in three different ways.

I was salivating while the kettle boiled. Holding out for that first cup of the day is always difficult for me. Even more so when I know a new taste experience awaits. I cupped a handful of the slightly over medium-roasted beans and stuck my nose in there. Biltong! Cured meat tingled my nostrils, rich and inviting.

First method: Moka Pot.

We used a coarse-ish grind and packed the basket tightly. The resulting extraction did not disappoint. A new brewed aroma: hot cross buns! The label promised spiciness. We got it! We literally used the spice rack to identify that it was closest to all spice, touches of nutmeg and cloves. The brew was full-bodied, filling my entire mouth with smooth, smoky clouds.

That sorted the morning work session right out. Around 10am, a second hit was necessary.

Second method: Aeropress.

The beauty of the Aeropress is that is guarantees you a consistently smooth brew. We used a slightly more fine grind, steeped it for 30 seconds and plunged. A certain sweetness was found, but a wealth of aroma was lost. But still very satisfying.

Late afternoon. An espresso for the road. Bob Marley in the background.

Third method: Espresso machine.

Grinding the beans for espresso we were struck by the sandy aroma. The shots gave us a deep, dark crema and pulled the savoury aroma through again. Braai in an espresso cup. We couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Whether you like it or not, it’s certainly an interesting flavour experience.

One down, five to go. Bring it on!

Have you tried an interesting single origin bean recently, share the love!

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