“Ecilan, how’s it going? What are you up to and what is this that you’re drinking?” Grisia sauntered into the Ice Knight’s room, nose tilted, sniffing the fragrant aromas of coffee in the air.
“Storm is currently sick after working six days straight dealing with the paperwork caused by that last stunt you pulled at the Kingdom of Forgotten Sound! I’m helping him out with these documents while he — hey don’t drink that!” Ecilan’s complaints suddenly turned to panicked shrieks as Grisia reached out for the coffee mug next to him and took a sip but quickly spit it all out in disgust. “Sigh, that’s why I told you not to drink it, you sweet-toothed freak! That stuff is coffee, it’s what I drink to have enough energy to keep burning the midnight oil. Speaking of which, can you help me with some of these documents, Grisia?”
Backing away, Grisia quickly thought about how to weasel out of this predicament. “W-well, I’d love to help, but I would need some of that coffee stuff you’ve been drinking as well so I can power through the night dealing with all this paperwork. And you know me and my obsession with blueberries and sweet things, there’s no way I can drink that strong bitter stuff!”
Ecilan fell deep in thought, recalling the coffees on offer at the cute little pastry shop he passed by earlier that day. A smile crept up on his face. “I have just the thing for you…!”
Description from Pastry Recipes: This is not a pastry per se, but nothing goes better with our scrumptious pastries than a delicious cup of coffee. This month, we are offering a unique and unforgettable filtered brew with notes of blueberry, blackcurrant, and red grape. If you aren’t able to visit us at Pastry Recipes, try to find a local specialty cafe that offers other unique coffees instead of going to S*@%bucks, and you may be pleasantly surprised!
Ingredients / Equipment
- A bag of fresh whole bean coffee, with blueberry notes if desired1
- Kettle for boiling water, ideally gooseneck shaped2
- Coffee Grinder, ideally with burrs and not blades3
- Scale capable of measuring to 0.1 grams4
- Coffee Pourover Dripper5
- Coffee Filter Paper6
- Mug or cup
Editor’s note: There’s many ways to brew an excellent cup of coffee. This is just how we do it at Pastry Recipes! You may need to adapt this recipe to fit your own setup and your own coffee.
- Measure out 18 grams of whole bean coffee and put it in your grinder. You can use more or less, but the dose would affect how the coffee behaves in a pourover, so you may need to make additional adjustments besides just scaling the amount of water accordingly.
- Heat up water in your kettle to boiling point.
- Fold the filter paper along the crease, then unfold and place the filter paper in your dripper and place the whole setup on your cup, resting on your scale.
- Once boiled, pour at least 50 grams of water to wet the filter paper in your dripper and warm your setup. Allow water to drain and discard.
- Grind your coffee beans into a medium-fine grind. It should be roughly between the texture of coarse sand and sea salt. Pour coffee grinds into your dripper.
- With your finger or a chopstick, gently poke a large hole in the center of your coffee grounds, and 5 or 6 smaller holes around the sides.
- Let your coffee cool down slightly to ~95°C, or about 30 seconds with the lid off the kettle. The optimal temperature for each coffee will vary. Generally lighter roast coffees are best from 93-99°C while dark roast coffees taste better from 86-90°C. Tare (zero out) your scale, start a timer and immediately pour about 40 grams of water into the bed of coffee, making sure to wet and cover the grounds with water evenly.
- Gently swirl the entire dripper setup three revolutions to help all of the coffee get wet evenly. Wait 40 seconds for the coffee to settle. If your beans are fresh, you should see little bubbles forming and popping from your coffee.
- Pour another 125 grams of water into the coffee bed in steady, even circles. Aim to complete this pour in about 20 seconds, around the 1 minute mark. Gently swirl the coffee again, making two rotations to help the coffee settle and any grounds stuck to the sides to fall. Wait for the water to drain partway through, but before it’s completely dry before starting the final pour, roughly 10 to 15 seconds depending on the paper and grind size.
- Pour the remaining 125 grams of water into the dripper in gentle circles, this time even slower, aiming to finish pouring in all the water around 30-40 seconds, or around the 2:15 – 2:30 minute mark. Feel free to use more or less water depending on your preferences and to taste.
- Give your setup a final gentle swirl to allow the grounds to settle evenly and let the water finish flowing through the coffee bed. This should complete around a total time of 2:45 – 3:15. If it falls outside of this range and you are not satisfied with the taste of the coffee, consider adjusting the grind size – finer to make it slower or coarser to make it faster.
- Set aside the dripper and enjoy your coffee! Generally, it’s best to wait about 5-10 minutes or so for your coffee to cool to around 60-65°C for the most enjoyable cup.
A good cup of a modern light roast coffee should have a delicate, floral, fruity, winey or tea-like fragrance, a pleasant juicy acidity like a citrus fruit, a sense of mild sweetness without needing to add sugar or milk, and a lingering aftertaste that leaves you wanting another sip. For those who haven’t tried it before, it may feel closer to drinking fruit juice or black tea than a cup of coffee. When roasted and brewed correctly, There should be very little to no notes of bitterness / burntness or vegetality / harsh sourness. If experiencing the former, try using lower temperature water and/or less water overall, with small adjustments each time. If experiencing the latter, try higher temperature water and/or pouring a bit more water for the same amount of coffee. Light roasts are generally the most demanding in terms of gear and technique, so be patient when “dialing in” your coffee – hopefully you’ll find the sweet spot after a few attempts that makes the effort worth it.
A medium roast coffee should have primarily notes of nuts and milk chocolate, with perhaps still a hint of florals or fruits. It may be somewhat more bitter and taste closer to what one may traditionally associate with coffee. If you regularly drink and enjoy regular coffee, a medium roast may be a more approachable and less demanding start if the description of a light roast doesn’t sound appealing to you.
Good specialty-grade dark roast coffee is hard to find these days, just as high end may object to serving a steak well-done. Nevertheless, dark roast coffee still appeals to a considerable populace that also demands a quality product, so a select few roasters still cater to this market. Expect to find notes of dark chocolate, spices, smokiness, noticeable bitterness and very little acidity.
1. If you can, find a local speciality coffee roaster who can recommend a coffee you like. If you specifically want a coffee with blueberry notes, you can consider for example, this one from Vibrant Coffee Roasters or this one from Passenger Coffee, or even this more affordable alternative from Happy Mug. Feel free to make or request recommendations for good coffee roasters (esp. if you aren’t in the United States) in the comments below. There’s many different quality coffees out there, some with floral notes, fruity notes, nutty and chocolatey notes to suit a wide variety of tastes and preferences. Be sure to get a bag that was roasted within one month of purchase, as stale coffee would lose much of its best flavors and aromas.
2. Ideally, you’d want a kettle that lets you pour a controlled amount of water with a temperature gauge, which looks something like this product. If that is out of your budget, consider a model without the temperature control and use a separate thermometer to check its temperature as it cools down from boiling. You can try to make do with a regular kettle, but it would be difficult to control your pouring flowrate.
3. While you can buy pre-ground beans, you would lose the ability to change your grind size, and you would be losing out on the best flavors and aromas of the coffee, which tend to be released within a few hours of grinding the beans. If budget is a concern, consider using a manual coffee grinder. For example, this model or this model should give you great grind consistency at the entry-level, and it would be difficult to find a cheaper option without compromising significantly on quality. I would highly recommend to avoid using any sort of blade grinder for your coffee as you would likely end up with pieces of coffee that are either too large or too small, which will make your brews taste both sour and bitter, as compared to a good grinder that would let you make a sweet, balanced cup of coffee.
4. There’s lots of scales that can do the job. They typically look something like this, with a button for taring (zeroing out) the scale, and another for setting a timer. If yours doesn’t come with a timer, you can use the built-in one from your phone or similar.
5. There’s a couple of good drippers on the market. The classic one that is cheap and works well is the v60. The one shown in the photos above is the Origami dripper.
6. Make sure to get filter paper that fits your dripper. For the v60 and Origami, you would want ones that are cone-shaped, for example this one which I personally prefer.