BREW LIKE A CHAMP!

Brew Like Andrea!

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Andrea is the very first Singapore Brewers Cup Champion, co-founder and co-owner of 37waves and Lucid in Singapore, and a certified sensory judge for the World Brewers Cup Championships and World Coffee Roasting Championships.  Her introspective and analytical approach while training for and competing in her national and world competitions has made her an influential trainer and coach for competitors and national champions across Southeast Asia. 

We are filled with gratitude that Andrea is embarking on a special feature within our ICONS project where the focus would be less on which coffees are selected, but more on how you can brew (using a range of devices) in order to maximise your enjoyment of the amazing coffees that will continue to be featured.

We have wanted something like this from the very beginning of our ICONS subscription service, and we are thrilled that Andrea is helping us with this challenge!  She will definitely show you how to Brew Like a Champ!

This ICONS project that I’ve taken on with Cupping Room Coffee Roasters has pushed me to explore so much more of what a coffee can offer. I’ve had the pleasure of working with 2 coffees chosen for me by Cupping Room and I’m so excited to bring you guys through the brewing recipes that I’ve developed specially for them. To say it is just a project would definitely undermine the amount of hard work put into developing 6 completely different recipes. Personally, I think this is a challenge that I’ve set for myself and only with your help, I can complete. 50% of the success comes from developing these recipes but the other 50% is when you are able to replicate the taste profiles that I am aiming for with your individual brewing set-ups.

 

The idea that this box can reach such a wide audience scares me a little because I know I’ll have no way of speaking to each and every one of you personally to ensure that the recipes I’ve created would work well. To facilitate this project, I’ve included a brewing water sachet kindly sponsored by Aquacode. To dilute the Aquacode sachet, please add the entire sachet into 7 litres of distilled water (0 ppm) or low TDS water (less than 10ppm) to achieve a final brewing water of 85ppm. I also understand that we use different grinders so I’ve included flow rates in each recipe so you can match my grind size as closely as possible without a grind size reference.

 

To maximise your use of these brewing guides, I’ll touch briefly on how the coffees taste in general as a point of reference at the start and at the end of each recipe, I’ll include specific tasting notes. This will help us in ‘goal-tracking’ and as a means of communication since we are most likely miles apart. I’ve been a subscriber to the ICONS boxes since the very beginning and I hope that even though this box is slightly different from the rest, it will serve as a much needed ‘palate-cleanser’ that would help improve your brewing set-ups at home for the other amazing coffees to come. So while this might not exactly fit in with being an icon, I hope this truly helps you to Brew Like a Champ.

 

Please share your thoughts on these brew recipes with me on Instagram, using the hashtag, #brewlikeandrea!  I can't wait to hear about your experiences!

 

All my love,

Andrea Tan

ISRAEL DEGFA - NATURAL
Nordic Approach Special Project

Red Berries, Passion Fruit, Fruit Punch

These were the tasting notes given on the packaging so I had a general idea of the coffee being fruity, juicy and uplifted. As I worked my way through the different brewing methods, I found that with the water I was using and the brewing set-up I created, there were much more stone fruits, tropical fruits and black tea.

Recipe 1 – V60

What I used:

  • V60 01 in glass
  • Cafec Filter paper – Abaca cone (4 cups)
  • Aquacode water diluted to 85ppm
  • 92 degrees celsius water
  • Grind Size 5.25 on Mahlkonig Tanzania with SSP burrs
  • Timemore Electric Kettle
  • Ultrakoki smart scale
  • 13g of coffee

*Before beginning, make a small fold on your V60 filter paper about 1cm away from the fold then set it into the dripper and pre-wet it with about 100ml of 92 degrees Celsius water. 

TL;DR

0:00 – pour 40g of water in quick circles at a rate of 8.5g/s
0:20 – pour to 160g in slightly slower circles at a rate of 7g/s
0:55 – pour to 210g straight down the middle at a rate of 9g/s
1:20 – remove the dripper to end brewing

When using the V60 with this coffee, there was a lot of potential from the coffee’s flavour complexity that I felt could be pushed further by doing a finer grind size and a relatively faster brew time. This resulted in my final cup profile of plums, red berries, black tea, fruit punch and pineapple jam. As it transitions through the temperatures, it changes from a silky body to a juicy body. In order to achieve this, the pouring rate at the 2nd pour (0:20) has to be relatively slower in order to ensure that water comes into contact with the brew bed at the right speed so the viscosity of the coffee can be felt even as it cools. The general cup profile leaned towards being acidity-forward and was a crisp, juicy way to enjoy this coffee. My only gripe was that the flavour complexity came through quite muddled in the form of a fruit punch rather than individual fruits that I could name easily – like in a fruit basket. I would recommend this recipe for a quick mid-day pick-me-up.

Share your brewing experience on Instagram with me using #brewlikeandrea!

Recipe 2 – LILI

What I used:

  • LILI dripper
  • Cafec Filter paper – Abaca trapezoid 102 (3-5 cups)
  • Aquacode water diluted to 85ppm
  • 90 degrees celsius water
  • Grind Size 5.5 on Mahlkonig Tanzania with SSP burrs
  • Timemore Electric Kettle
  • Ultrakoki smart scale
  • 18g of coffee

*Before beginning, make a small fold about 1cm away from the side crease in one direction and another small fold about 1cm away from the bottom upwards in the opposite direction. Pre-wet with about 100ml of 90 degrees Celsius water.

TL;DR

0:00 – pour 50g of water in quick circles at a rate of 7g/s
0:20 – pour to 180g in slightly slower circles at a rate of 5.5g/s
0:55 – pour to 230g in quicker circles at a rate of 6.5g/s
1:10 – pour to 288g straight down the middle at a rate of 7g/s
1:35 – remove the dripper to end brewing

Using a LILI Dripper with this coffee gave a pretty interesting interpretation of the final cup profile. In contrast with the V60 dripper recipe, this was much more viscous on the palate and had much more ‘richness’ to it as well. This recipe brings out a lot more sweetness with red plums, black grapes and prunes when its hot. This slowly transitions into a well-brewed black tea body with citrus and vanilla intertwined amidst the viscosity. Lastly it finishes at a cooler temperature with cinnamon sugar, hints of soursop, mango and 65% dark chocolate. The combination of complex flavours and medium-high body is most likely a result of the LILI Dripper’s flat bottom and conical shaped top. If you are using this recipe with a standard flat bottom dripper, do adjust accordingly to the slower flow rate and your final cup should be more sugar-forward with less flavour complexity. If you are a fan of syrupy and sweet coffees, this would likely be the recipe for you.

Share your brewing experience on Instagram with me using #brewlikeandrea!

Recipe 3 – Origami

What I used:

  • Origami dripper
  • Kalita wave (185) filter paper
  • Aquacode water diluted to 85ppm
  • 90 degrees celsius water
  • Grind Size 6 on Mahlkonig Tanzania with SSP burrs
  • Timemore Electric Kettle
  • Ultrakoki smart scale
  • 20g of coffee

*Before beginning, pre-wet the filter paper with about 100ml of 90 degrees Celsius water.

TL;DR

0:00 – pour 60g of water in quick circles at a rate of 9g/s
0:20 – pour to 200g in slightly slower circles at a rate of 7g/s
0:45 – pour to 260g in circles at a rate of 7g/s
1:05 – pour to 300g straight down the middle at a rate of 12g/s
1:35 – remove the dripper to end brewing

The origami dripper showed off a really fun side of this coffee and was a recipe that I think about frequently and fondly. With the previous 2 recipes, they were very straightforward in presenting this coffee’s specific traits, however, the origami dripper gave much more depth to the coffee but the same time reduced the intensity of each tasting component. Straight off the brew, it was black plums, cedar and raisins. The cedar note was highly enjoyable and very unexpected as it presented itself almost like an incense. It was subtle yet lingered at the corners of every part of the liquid, a peek-a-boo flavour trait that added character to this coffee. At a warmer temperature, it was fresh yellow apricots, hints of brown sugar and honey black tea. It was, however, a much lower sweetness level as compared to the LILI dripper which was a shame. Lastly, it finished off with hazelnuts, earl grey and a syrupy body.

Share your brewing experience on Instagram with me using #brewlikeandrea!

ISRAEL DEGFA - WASHED
Nordic Approach Special Project

Earl Grey, Apricot, Lavender

Based on these tasting notes, I expected a syrupy coffee with mellow fruits weaving through a luscious liquid, however, after brewing. It turned out to be much lighter and juicier. There was a prominent tea-like trait that appeared in every brewing method and a softness that was reminiscent of ripe fruits. 

Share your brewing experience on Instagram with me using #brewlikeandrea!

Recipe 1 – V60

What I used:

  • V60 01 in glass
  • Cafec Filter paper – Abaca cone (4 cups)
  • Aquacode water diluted to 85ppm
  • 92 degrees celsius water
  • Grind Size 6.5 on Mahlkonig Tanzania with SSP burrs
  • Timemore Electric Kettle
  • Ultrakoki smart scale
  • 13g of coffee

*Before beginning, make a small fold on your V60 filter paper about 1cm away from the fold then set it into the dripper and pre-wet it with about 100ml of 92 degrees Celsius water.

TL;DR

0:00 – pour 40g of water in quick circles at a rate of 6g/s
0:30 – pour to 130g in slightly slower circles at a rate of 4.5g/s
1:30 – pour to 150g in quicker circles at a rate of 6g/s
2:00 – pour to 210g straight down the middle at a rate of 4g/s
2:30 – remove the dripper to end brewing

Using a V60, this recipe achieved a final brew that was the closest to the tasting notes provided. In my opinion, this is most likely how the roaster would have preferred the coffee to be represented so I was quite happy that I managed to achieve that. In the beginning, there was a fresh red berry acidity that came up quite prominently. It was refreshing and an enjoyable start to my journey with this coffee. As the temperature cooled slightly, it was followed by earl grey, hints of lychee and stone fruits.  The characteristics veered towards having more tea character which I didn’t mind but it was as it cooled that the juiciness really came through with this brewing method. The experience finished with apricots, lemon peel, mandarin orange rind, walnuts, and hints of starfruit. The complexity at the end truly elevated the cup for me.

Share your brewing experience on Instagram with me using #brewlikeandrea!

Recipe 2 – LILI

What I used:

  • LILI dripper
  • Cafec Filter paper – Abaca trapezoid (3-5 cups)
  • Aquacode water diluted to 85ppm
  • 85 degrees celsius water
  • Grind Size 6 on Mahlkonig Tanzania with SSP burrs
  • Timemore Electric Kettle
  • Ultrakoki smart scale
  • 18g of coffee

*Before beginning, make a small fold about 1cm away from the side crease in one direction and another small fold about 1cm away from the bottom upwards in the opposite direction. Pre-wet with about 100ml of 90 degrees Celsius water.

TL;DR

0:00 – pour 50g of water in quick circles at a rate of 7g/s
0:20 – pour to 180g in quicker circles at a rate of 8g/s
0:50 – pour to 250g straight down the middle at a rate of 9g/s
1:20 – remove the dripper to end brewing

In this recipe, the highlights for me were how each tasting note came out extremely specific and prominent. It wasn’t as complex as the V60 recipe but the longevity of each tasting sensation was truly something worth enjoying slowly. At the start it was an obvious and aromatic earl grey note with hints of bergamot dancing in your palate. This was followed by ripe yellow peaches and a bittersweet citrus peel characteristic. It ended as a juicy lemon tea with ripe cherries. I would say this was a cup best enjoyed as a sipping brew in the afternoon.

Share your brewing experience on Instagram with me using #brewlikeandrea!

Recipe 3 – Clever Dripper

What I used:

  • Clever Dripper (small)
  • Cafec Filter paper – Abaca trapezoid (3-5 cups)
  • Aquacode water diluted to 85ppm
  • 90 degrees celsius water
  • Grind Size 5.5 on Mahlkonig Tanzania with SSP burrs
  • Timemore Electric Kettle
  • Ultrakoki smart scale
  • Cupping spoon
  • 15g of coffee

TL;DR

0:00 – pour 210g of water straight into the dripper at a rate of 20g/s
|0:45 – break crust with the spoon in a North South East West motion
1:00 –begin draw down on a cup or decanter
1:30 – lift up the clever dripper to end brewing

Working my way through this recipe, I was excited to use a really simple method to achieve a pretty complex profile in the cup. It was very touch-and-go for the aroma notes and acidity but the sweetness was pleasant and flavours came through clean and crisp. This also brought out a lot more florals compared to the other 2 brewing methods which I enjoyed exploring in this coffee. It started with ripe peaches, fresh nectarine and orange blossom. As it cooled, there were fresh ripe lemons with earl grey tea. However, this time the earl grey character came through with nuances of vanilla and bergamot and ended off with cherry notes. I would say the most enjoyable drinking temperature for this brewing method would be when it was warm as it truly embodied the meaning of a comfort cup.

Share your brewing experience on Instagram with me using #brewlikeandrea!

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