Welcome to Coffee Review Site!
If you’ve arrived here you must be interested in coffee and want to read some coffee reviews. You have come to the right place. We are a small group of coffee professionals and coffee enthusiasts. We have been sampling coffee for MANY years and decided to pass along some of our knowledge and humble opinions regarding coffee. We will provide ongoing information about coffee and coffee preparation, but the main focus of this site is to review commercially available roasted coffees.
First, let us start by stating we don’t believe there is such a thing as too strong of coffee. As my buddy John says, “There’s no such thing as too strong of coffee, just weak people.” With this disclaimer in mind we must disclose that we brew ALL coffees VERY strong with HOT water. The exception to this rule will be when evaluating espresso. We evaluate espresso extra strong with lava hot water (just kidding.)
Why Brew the Coffee So Strong?
The main reason we brew coffee so strong is we like it that way. Another, extremely valid reason to brew coffee so strong is to extract and dissect off flavors and bitterness. There are many a cheap Robusta blends that would absolutely RUIN your mouth if prepared the way we prepare coffee. For the aforementioned reason, we seldom review Robusta coffees. It is acceptable to have a moderate percentage of Robusta in espresso blends.
Coffee Review Preparation Method
We utilize an and a for evaluating coffees on Coffee Review Site. Espresso blends are evaluated using a and a Nuova Simonelli single group Mac 2000. We like to use the Miss Silvia to gain insight into what a typical home consumer can expect from a particular blend.
Many people have many opinions about how coffee should be prepared. Arguments abound on how fine coffee should be ground, what type of water should be used and importantly, how hot the water should be. Even the good folks from Aeropress recommend different brewing temperatures for different roast levels. For the purposes of consistency we use the same temperature water for all roast levels, with the exception of espresso prepared in an espresso machine. We also use the same grind level for all coffees were review.
Water Source and Temperature
We use tap water filtered through a Pur Water Filter Pitcher. Our water district utilizes water from a large aquifer in the Northwestern United States. It is a fairly hard water with moderate levels of Calcium and Magnesium. The Pur Water Filter removes nearly all chlorine. After filtration our water tastes as good or better than any bottled spring water.
For the previously mentioned reasons we like to use HOT water for coffee reviews. In our case the coffee is approximately 205 degrees Fahrenheit when it touches the ground coffee. Not coincidently our espresso machines use water in the 205 to 208 temperature range.
We use a for all coffees. High quality espresso grinders produce a very consistent particle size. They use knife sharp grinding burrs that shave the coffee instead of pulverizing it. They also produce less heat than other grinders which preserves the coffee’s delicate flavor compounds.
We utilize a very Fine Grind level. It is not as fine as a true espresso grind, but much finer than you would use for a drip coffee brewer. By using a very fine grind and very hot water we unlock all the coffee is hiding. If there are flaws we will find them!
Water Quantity: 9 oz
Coffee Quantity: 25 – 30 grams
We heat the filtered water to the proper temperature and THEN grind the coffee. It is important to grind coffee right before adding water. We use a 10 oz ceramic cup filled with 9 oz of HOT water. 25 – 30 grams of ground coffee is added to the Aeropress. One half of the water is poured over the grounds into the Aeropress. The Aeropress is placed on top of the mug containing 1/2 of the hot water. The coffee is vigorously stirred for 10 seconds. Our grind is so fine, and the coffee quantity so great that this creates a mud like slurry. Every particle of the coffee is immersed and fully saturated. After stirring the slurry for the prerequisite 10 seconds we begin to press the coffee into the remaining water in the mug. Since we are using such a fine grind it takes approximately 15 – 20 seconds to press the brew into the mug. This requires A LOT of pressure. The coffee preparer must press with approximately 70 lb per square inch of force to accomplish full extraction.
We evaluate coffee every step of the way. We first smell the coffee through the degassing valve in the bag (if equipped with one.) The coffee beans are visually inspected for size, consistency, sheen and other visible attributes. We smell the whole coffee beans and the ground coffee. We smell the slurry as we stir the saturated coffee in the Aeropress. Finally, we evaluate the smell of the resulting brew.
When it comes to the tasting portion of our coffee review we start with super aerated slurps of the initial super hot brew. As the coffee begins to cool we take larger and larger sips. Cooler coffee is swirled over the palate like a fine wine. We DO swallow the coffee. Whether you are evaluating coffee or wine you CANNOT fully analyze all the sensory properties unless you swallow the beverage.
To Cream or Not to Cream?
We do add milk or cream to all coffees we evaluate. This is done after evaluating the coffees straight-up. Proteins in milk and cream bind with bitter compounds in the coffee. This fining process helps smooth out the mouth feel of the coffee and in many cases dramatically changes the flavors. When we evaluate espresso blends we taste the espresso neat and then evaluate the blend in a latte or cappuccino.
We write down all of our observations pertaining to visual appeal, aroma, taste and mouth feel. After we have all evaluated the coffees we compare notes and find the common ground. If there is are clear attributes we find in common those are the attributes we use in the final coffee review. We combine all of the averaged scores to give an overall score. Please note, that our final score does not reflect the price of the coffee. In our summary we will note if the coffee is a good value.
If you have a coffee you would like us to review please use our contact form located in our navigation menu. We may not respond to every request, but rest assured that we do receive and read all correspondence. Thank you for vising Coffee Review Site!