Black Oak Blog

Another fantastic Ethiopian Single Origin: Kochere Natural"

Another fantastic Ethiopian Single Origin: Kochere Natural

by Bobby Cochran | February 04, 2017 | 0 Comments

This month's Coffee of the World comes from the Werka Bauka mill in the Gutiti sub region of Yirgacheffe. You may already be familiar with "Yirgacheffe" because the coffees that come from there have wowed more than a few palates.

This beautiful coffee features a bright, ripe, sweet fruity aroma with distinct notes of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry. Have a taste. If you've liked our recent Ethiopian Gold Winners (Gedeb, Banko) you'll want to compare and contrast this roast.

Read more about Kochere Natural in our store. 

Kochere Natural is a wonderful intro to our Coffees Of The World Club. Members get these coffees delivered freshly roasted to their door before we offer it for sale on our site. They also get a discount, enjoy free shipping, and 10% off ALL online orders.

Tagged: coffees of the world club, ethiopian coffee, single origin, yirgacheffe

Black Oak Brew Tips: Keep Your Carafe Clear & Clean"

Black Oak Brew Tips: Keep Your Carafe Clear & Clean

by Bobby Cochran | February 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

There is nothing worse, in my opinion (judge me as you will to my priorities in life) than tasting old, stale, rancid coffee flavors when drinking a cup of coffee.

Many coffee makers, particularly the thermal carafes, will stain due to the buildup of coffee oils and improper cleaning.

There is a simple tool you can use to combat this: oxygen cleaner.

For my daily routine I add a ¼ teaspoon of Joe Glo (available for $5 on Amazon) to the coffee maker brew basket after rinsing my carafe, brew, and let the cleaner sit in the carafe overnight.  In the AM, simply dump and rinse before brewing.  If you have a dirty coffee maker you may need to hit it a bit harder with a brush to remove all of the rancid oils present. 

You'll definitely notice an improvement in taste... thank you for being a part of our coffee journey. Happy brewing!

Tagged: best way to brew single origin coffee, clean coffee carafe, coffee brewing advice, coffee brewing tips, how to brew coffee, single origin coffee brewing advice

Black Oak Brew Tips: Fix a "

Black Oak Brew Tips: Fix a "sour" coffee taste when brewing

by Keith Feigin | January 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

Sourness in coffee can be a side effect of a light roasted coffee brewed in conditions that don’t extract enough sugars from the roast. We don’t want our coffee to taste sour; however, we do want to preserve the acidity to give the coffee finish, structure and complexity. 

A coffee plant uses its organic acids as defense system from pests. The variety of those acids will vary based on soil type, variety, altitude and many more factors.  It is this acidity which makes each coffee unique.  In the roasting room, we try to develop the sugars during the roasting process to balance the acidity from the plant so that we don’t notice it as a prominent flavor. 

All that digression is to say that if you are getting prominent sour flavors, try a finer grind, longer brew time and make sure your water is HOT.

Black Oak Brew Tips #1"

Black Oak Brew Tips #1

by Keith Feigin | December 08, 2016 | 0 Comments

There is no single way to brew coffee that works for you, but we thought we’d get the conversation going on some ways we think you can up your coffee game. We hope this will be an ongoing series and encourage your input.

The following are some thoughts to keep in mind as you perfect your brewing technique, especially if single-origins and lighter roasts are a new adventure for you. 

The method of brewing can depend on the type of roast

For light roasted, single origin coffees, french press typically isn't our first choice for brewing. We prefer manual and auto pour over methods, chemex, or for the more ambitious - syphon pots. We find that these brewing methods, when using correct recipes, water temps, and proper techniques, produce superior cup clarity, aromatics, and body compared to french press.

For our darker roasted coffees we do tend to prefer french press.

Picture perfect doesn’t necessarily mean best flavor

A lot of our most delicious roasts could be described as looking "raggedly." While beans should have a uniform color and appearance, the small, imperfect beans are totally normal. This is typical for lighter roasted coffees especially with some of the heirloom light roasted coffees from Ethiopia.

Also, the hotter the beans get, the larger they get in size. Lighter roasted coffee simply doesn't expand in size like dark roasted beans do.

Leaving a bad taste in your mouth? It may not be the beans.

Light brown or otherwise tea-like appearance and thin flavors can mean brew water temperatures are too low. Lighter roasted coffees are less water soluble and this means proper brew temp is especially critical to avoid insipid flavors, and if you happen to combine that with the grounds sitting a little too long in contact with your liquid coffee in the press (more than 5 or 10 minutes) you can definitely experience some bitter flavors and lighter, less dense colors as the water starts to extract less desirable components as the coffee sits.

Your brew water should be at least 205 degrees f. which should lead to the slurry (ground coffee and brew water mixture) being somewhere between 199f and 202f after you pour from your kettle. If you don’t have one of these fancy temperature gauges, you can basically bring your water to a rolling boil, turn off heat, let sit for 30 seconds, then pour.

Different Roasters for Different Folksers

Buying a specific coffee like Yirgacheffe from one roaster doesn’t in any way mean that same bean from another roaster will taste the same. Our philosophy behind these special selections is a very light, hands-off approach in the roaster. This means we are focused only on showcasing the flavor of the coffee rather than the roast. We understand that this flavor profile isn't for everyone, and for someone used to a darker roast, sometimes our coffees may be perceived as sour, acidic, or otherwise distinct.

You aren’t alone

The quest for a perfect brew is an ongoing one, but it’s a worthy pursuit. We love talking coffee, almost to a fault, just ask our significant others! We’d love to talk with you about getting your brew routine dialed in.

Leave a comment here, on our facebook, in the twitterverse, or come by the cafe!

Tagged: best way to brew single origin coffee, coffee brewing advice, coffee brewing tips, how to brew coffee, single origin coffee brewing advice