I don’t mean Klekolo’s. It’s just a sad day. I asked last week if anyone had cause to blend their own beans. Today I am drinking such a blend, using the last of my Café Mam and Papua New Guinea beans. Also a refinement from last week, I found an old glass coffee carafe at the back of a cupboard that fits the filter cone just dandy-like, and holds 32 ounces with amazing grace. Making two cups at once is a boon for both visitors and me on the greedy days. When I got thinking about it, though… I realized I could increase my economy of bean. Figure it – 8 oz. of coffee needs 1/4 cup of beans and 16 oz. needs 1/3 cup. Okay I might not really grasp exponentialism (the philosophical principle behind “more is better”?), but I can see this – more coffee in my tum from fewer beans.
So my inner superhero, Spreadsheet Man, jumped in the cell phone booth and donned his pocket protector and got to work, resulting in the graph presented here. To wit: doubling the water from 16 to 32 oz. requires increasing beans from 1/3 to about 1/2 cup. If water is the return and beans the investment, well… this is good.
As it happened, between the remaining beans, I had a slightly rounded 1/2 cup, about 33% Café Mam and the remainder Papua New Guinea. Given the monumental increase in return indicated, I thought the slight rounding a good idea, If you really want to geek out, the BIF (Bean Increase Factor) went from 1.32 (8 oz. to 16 oz.) to approximately 1.6 to achieve 32 oz. Coincidentally, this is about all the beans my grinder can take comfortably. Not simply comfortably, the grind was much more consistent than the smaller amounts with little evidence of powdered grounds sticking to the bottom. Nice. Bloom of the grinds as water hit happened faster as well, indicating more flavour to come from the efficiently ground beans.
The proof is, of course, in the proverbial pudding. It was a damned fine cup of coffee. The strength of the brew was comparable to the 16 oz. ratio, though a BIF of 1.75 would likely be closer to an exact match. Certainly there is no need to move to 2/3 cup of beans, the next most convenient measure. Heap that half cup and you are rocking.
That does it for brew, and it is a success. That carafe is going to see some work. The blend, though, it wasn’t as successful. Oh, a month ago I wouldn’t have known the difference, and it is still worlds away from the maxswill I used to drink. Listen to me. Hoity-toity for the basic Java Imbecile I am. Coffee dork or not, I found it telling that the aftertaste of this blend is one-dimensional compared to either bean on its own.
Here’s what I know: Nuthin’. I will continue to blend leftovers, and maybe I will get better at it, but I will stick to calculating stuff. That’s easy. I will leave the art to the artists.
Drinking: Café Mam/Papua New Guinea blend
Listening: How Bad’s The Coffee? – John Hiatt