Pouring Kettle

April 15, 2012

So I ordered a pouring kettle directly from a Japanese shop. It was fun! As far as online shopping goes. It was a bit of a minefield navigating those address boxes but somehow, and for a mere, $20 bucks or so, it arrived here after 3 (!) days! Faster than UPS Ground, and even after that shipping charge, I saved about 30% off the typical US retail price. Oh, and about 500% off the Blue Bottle price. Blue Bottle being Blue Bottle.

 The kettle came with some instructions embodying decades of Japanese pour-over wisdom. I was pleased to discover that it basically aligned with the stuff I picked up through experience.

* Pour as closely and as gently to the grounds as possible.

Totally agree with this point. This is partly why you want to brew as close to full capacity as possible. Allows the spout to get closer to the coffee bed, allowing for less disruption, or something. Coffee just tastes better this way.

* Pour spirally.

Spreads that turbulence around.

* Always keep water in the dripper.

This one is important. You can accomplish it by pouring continuously, or pulse pouring while ensuring that there's always water in the dripper. I prefer the latter, and so does the person who wrote the instruction guide. Essentially, you should be pouring into *water* not onto the coffee bed directly. Water absorbs the turbulence and the whole process is more gentle. 

There are some other instructions, but the above points are the most important I think. 

  Ancillary points:

You can change extraction by changing pour speed, which is common sense I think. Slower pour leads to a different extraction, but pouring more slowly also, perhaps, means lower-temperature water. So you could get a technically "fuller" extraction that nonetheless doesn't have the density of flavor of a "weaker" or "lower" extraction.

Sadly, it'll be a while before I get to put this thing into action. LIDO grinder won't be shipping for another coupla' weeks.

It's okay. Pre-ground coffee isn't that bad. In fact, it's a test of one's palette. Coffee doesn't go stale as milk goes stale...it simply loses intensity (in the "short" term...within a month of roatsing). So I'm still getting great flavor from my coffee; I just have to pay closer attention. It's been an interesting experience. As far as coffee goes. 

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