Vac pot brewing - II.


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Another important factor when brewing in a vac pot is your choice of the beans.
'Course, this is really up to you - it's an "anything goes", a "your beans, your tastebuds" thing. What you prefer depends on yourself, the moment, what you ate before the coffee, etc., but ....

Part II. - Which coffee

A vac pot is like a microscope for coffee tastes - it (over-)emphasizes many characteristics of a coffee & some more than others. A coffee of high quality might be quite nice in a cafetière, whereas it will stand out as excellent in a vac pot. IOW, "better" is more apparent in vac pot, than in cafetière. Vice versa, a bean of lesser quality brewed in a vac pot, will be more noticably 'flat', or 'boring', or wotever, compared to the same bean brewed in a cafetière.

At the same time some features are more prominent than others - for one thing, like with 'spresso, acidity is sort of exaggerated. If you roast a highly acidic coffee pretty light (pre-2nd crack), it doesn't do very well in a vac pot, but will often taste sour, or even sharp. If you would want to use that coffee despite its acidy taste, the solution is, of course, quite easy - just roast the beans a bit darker. Eg. if I woud want to try a Huehue in a vac pot, I'd roast it pretty dark. OTOH, a Sulawesi for vac'ed would be très agreeable at a light pre-2nd roast.

"Tailoring" would be a slighly misleading word, since it may be (wrongly) understood as saying that there is one single purpose/method for which a certain bean would be best suited & an "optimal" roast colour.
IMVHO, each variety can be roasted for any brewing method & there is a range of roasts that will suit the combination well. Vide my Huehue example, it needs a couple of clicks of 2nd to be nice, but you can go further & even roast it oily (give it a try, it'll still be excellent).

I used to think differently, especially on the point of very dark roasts, but Terry Montague's "Kenya noir" was quite an eye-opener. He uses an excellent Kenya roasted to the point where it's covered with oil. The thing is, that if you use a "good" hard bean (an SHB, or SHG) to start with, you can take it there without it losing much of its varietal flavours. On the contrary, you'll add other features that will make the resulting roast interesting & enjoyable in its own right. Of course, it does take considerable skill to properly roast a coffee this dark without burning all the good stuff.

The cool thing about home roasting, is that you have the freedom to esperiment at your leisure. That, however, is an entirely different topic…



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