AW: Kaffee schmeckt manchmal bitter/scharf
I have to add, as Robin so humbly wrote: -it could very well be the choice of coffee-
The renaissance of filter brewing techniques is blooming in Germany, and here in Austria some are waking up too. Coffee enthusiasts embrace the diversity of brewing equipment, and baristas start improving their skills.
But more often than not do I come across mediocre coffees and bad quality beans being used in AeroPress, in V60 and Syphons, in Chemex and Kalita: even here on Kaffee-Netz quite mediocre coffees are being evaluated after having been weighed properly, ground to perfection, extracted beautifully and served in correct cups: why? It is like having a Wine Course using cheap cuveès and supermarket brands?!
It is impossible to make a mediocre coffee good. Yes, the roaster may label it with info and taste characteristics, but it may be a lousy product still.
Really good coffees may be quite expensive: sometimes what you brew may cost you more than 50 or 60 cents per cup of coffee in your very own home kitchen if you purchase a 250gr bag at € 12,00. That is robbery, right?
I will advice you to try none the less: try what a single origin can give.
There are hundreds of thousands of tons of Yirgacheffe in the world, but only a small percentage is Speciality Coffee.
The many roasters in the world will talk highly of old brand names like Jamaica Blue Mountain, of Hawaïï Kona and other Pacific Island coffees.
Commodety coffees knows they need to use the words of Speciality Coffee to sell their low quality coffees today, and they do.
Once you have tried some really good coffees, you understand how amazing the hand brewing equipment really is:
Attend cuppings in roasteries and small, independent coffee stores when possible: there you may get the chance to taste different varieties and see how these come out differently in the diversity of brew equipment. A middle quality coffee will not do well, it will only taste from what it is.
Most Yirgacheffes and Sidamos on the market are unclean and muddy in taste. They taste ferment and old storage. They end up being roasted slightly darker to mask this, and this way they end up tasting roast: burned, woody. Jamaica Blue Mountain is an old myth, and so is Java, Malabar and Aged Sumatra. They come in hundreds of tons, full of defects and smell of long storage. Good quality coffee should be fresh, it should be this season or the latest harvest. We are fooled to believe coffee quality is improved by monsoon rain or storage in humid ware houses.
I'm not a snob. I drink coffees at railway stations and italian highways, at airport Starbucks and in waiting rooms just to remind myself what's out there. Then I cup a lot with friends and good cuppers to find the clean, excellent cups. But i don't spend time brewing with low quality beans in equipment which can give excellence.
Have a look at programs like Cup of Excellence; read about coffee farming and read cupping notes. Then enjoy choosing a good, no an excellent coffee to bring home and play around with.
It's alchemy; it's gold in the cup.
All the best, John
Norwegian, started in coffee in 1996; runs 'Kaffee-Alchemie' coffee house in Salzburg, works full time behind a LaMarzocco GB5, grinds espressi on a Mahlkönig K30 Twin, filter on Vario, brews on 'Kalita', 'Hario V60', 'AeroPress' and 'Chemex' in the store. Is only arrogant about over-priced bad coffee. Certified World Barista Championship Sensoric Judge, Certified Cup of Excellence Judge, proud of 5th place in 2011 World AeroPress Championship. Not good in latte art, loves Cheese Cake.