The Legend of Sun Knight Side Story #20: Blueberry Coffee (April Fool’s)

posted in: Blog | 9

“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

Recipe Instructions

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Heat up water in your kettle to boiling point.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Folding the filter paper along the crease at a slight angle such that a bit more of the paper is folded near the rim. This should help your filter paper fit more snugly in the dripper.
Wetting your filter paper with at least 50 grams of boiling water helps it stick on the dripper and heats up your dripper and cup so that your coffee stays at a consistently high temperature throughout the brewing process.
Making several indents in the coffee grounds gives your coffee a larger surface area to be wet evenly in the next step.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Swirling your dripper gently after each pour ensures that your coffee grounds are well-settled. Each subsequent swirl should be more gentle than the last. This is the first swirl.
After the initial pour (called the “bloom”), some amount of bubbles should form from the coffee bed. This indicates the presence of carbon dioxide and is a sign that your coffee is very fresh.
Try to pour at a consistent height, as high as possible but just below the point where the flow of water beings to splash. Pour in circles to cover the coffee grounds evenly. Always pour into the coffee grounds rather than directly on the filter paper.
Once the brew has completed, you should end up with a relatively flat coffee bed with few grounds stuck to the sides. This is an indication that you were able to extract most of the coffee relatively evenly.
 
Your coffee may taste different at various temperatures. Most coffees taste best around 60-65°C, but great coffees will exhibit evolving but ever-pleasant tasting notes as it cools down.

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.

Footnotes

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.

9 Responses

  1. silentghost

    😂 I love you guys. You’re why I look forward to April 1st every year. *raises mug of blueberry coffee in your honor*

  2. Shay

    Never knew blueberry coffee is a thing. Q
    Anyone actually tried this?

    *tho im stocking up piles of chapters. Every year of april fools is appreciated xD

    Just curious… are these affiliate links? If not… consider it next time for some pocket money xD

    • [PR]amgine

      Those are not affiliate links. As a rule, we do not profit from our translations and all of the above links are not in any way associated with us. Those products are just what we can honestly recommend based on our own knowledge or experience. The coffee in particular are recommendations I got from my own group of coffee friends in the US who have vouched for their quality and tasting notes of blueberries.

  3. Andi

    I don’t even like coffee, but who can resist how cool this looks? If Ecilan made it and the PR team is selling it, it has to be good right?

  4. Mizuhino

    This amount of detail… Makes me question whether or not I tend to go overboard myself. ^^;
    Ah~ It’s a shame my head injury means I shouldn’t have caffeine…

    …I wonder how it would be if I did all of this, but with my decaffeinated instant coffee…
    It would probably make a mess.
    Hmmm…

    • [PR]amgine

      Hello,

      Instant coffee is actually very different from ground coffee – the former is basically dehydrated brewed coffee and is meant to be just added to water directly with no additional needed. Ground coffee is actual coffee beans in powder form – about 75% of it is insoluble organic matter that should never make it into your cup (and the purpose of brewing coffee is to properly extract the 20 or so percent of what you want from the beans).

      If you are interested in trying to brew your own coffee, please do not try to do so with instant coffee. If you need decaf, you can find decaffeinated whole beans that you can grind yourself. I believe with proper technique and good beans you should be able to make a drink that is much tastier than the instant stuff.

      For decaf, there’s generally two types of processing that is recommended. One is called Swiss Water Processing (SWP) and is all natural with no chemicals. Another is Ethyl Acetate Processing (EAP) which uses a natural chemical compound found in fruits. These two are the best ones right now for preserving the original taste of the coffee and being super safe for consumption.

      Here’s a few decaf coffees that should be pretty good (though none I could find right now have tasting notes of blueberries):

      https://regaliacoffee.com/products/desvelado-decaf
      https://www.passengercoffee.com/products/los-suenos-decaf
      https://www.chaleur.coffee/products/decaf-ethiopia-yirgacheffe-swiss-water-process-single-origin-whole-bean
      https://www.brandywinecoffeeroasters.com/collections/coffee-magic/products/ethiopia-yirgacheffe-swiss-water-decaf-natural

      Thanks for reading!

    • Mizuhino

      I know. But thank you for explaining to unwary readers why it is a bad idea.
      Not to say that it’ll prevent me from at some point making a “things you should never do with coffee” post at some point. But it may prevent someone unwary from reading that and going, “that’s a great idea!”
      Yeah, I can just stick instant coffee in a filter with some blueberries, then that’s coffee with notes of blueberries, right?

      Thanks for the links though. I probably won’t use them since I shouldn’t even have decaffeinated coffee (still contains caffeine – it’s still coffee, less caffeine than most sodas though, and a lot less than diet Coke). Oh! I know! I can do that filter thing, but roast some kidney beans first instead. Yeah, just dark roast some kidney beans, throw in some blueberries, stick it in a filter, there we go. Or, rather than do that, since I don’t want to have to grind it first, I’ll just fry my adzuki paste, then stick that in a filter with the blueberries and I won’t even have to add sugar to my drink!

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