Maxwell’s Blog

Coffee curation and the pursuit of flavour


December 23, 2015

Coffee is full of surprises. In our minds eye we categorise everything, putting labels on ideas and experiences. What do we label as good and what do we label as bad? Speciality coffee is an area of the market place that often has a mild tension between exploring the new, exciting and innovative whilst also searching for a more constant, authentic idea of quality. The two are not always mutually exclusive, that’s for sure. We experience technology. In coffee that means we experience a drink that a certain piece of technology played a part in creating. The drink essentially defines...

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Catch up

October 11, 2015

I have been pretty busy, in the most positive of ways. There is so much potential for collaboration, exploration and rewarding experiences in coffee. It’s been a while since I wrote here, so I thought I would do a little summary of the projects I am involved in, a bit about each and the hope of expanding on each in the near future. I have always loved the medium of a blog to get ideas and thoughts down on paper.   Water for Coffee Several weeks ago, myself and Christopher H Hendon released our self-published book on the topic of...

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What's Your Real Dose?

June 22, 2015

Chatting away with Jonathan at Repack espresso(conveniently located near my house) this morning was the beginning of this blog. I thought the conversation provided a neat narrative for considering the impact evenness and extraction can have on how we percieve brew ratios. We chatted about the conceptual differences between an EK coffee burr espresso recipe and other grinders, in this case, his Anfim grinders. What is your real dose and for that matter real extraction? Let’s say that we both start with a 16g dose and dial a coffee in to achieve a desired extraction and strength.. Jonathan dials in...

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Pressure & Flow Restriction

May 26, 2015

It was terrific that the last post was so well received. It would seem that from others' experiences and some more of my own that a lower pressure/flow has the potential to improve extractions irrespective of the grinder. The suggestion being that lighter roast coffees are harder to extract from evenly as a pressurised pour over (aka espresso) and that a lower flow rate helps with this. The dialogue on the topic of pressure has mostly suffered and been stifled by the conceptual differentiation of flow rate and pressure. I was motivated by this misconception and wanted to explore the...

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15g baskets

May 10, 2015

We have moved over to using 15 gram baskets to brew all of our espresso in store. I have explored in other posts how our recipes and practices have changed over time. How the value of ristretto style shots became questioned , especially if the goal is the fullest character in the cup. Then how the very definition of espresso has become more malleable and ranging. Longer shots, lungos and the like have gone from being seen as travesties to tentatively and logically considered, to then being fully recognised as positive ways to brew coffee. Of course, brewing is never...

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Remarkability and Game Mechanics

February 27, 2015

A book about word of mouth, trending, and all round contagiousness was fittingly passed on to me by a customer of ours recently. I really enjoyed reading this book, and felt myself saying “Yes, that’s exactly what happens” on almost every page I read. Needless to say I highly recommend the book, and this blog is about a few but not anywhere near all of the concepts and ideas explored in the text, which is Authored by Jonah Berger and titled Contagious. The book looks a lot at social currency and influence. Using psychology and statistical research to build a...

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The Heat is On - More Grinding Puzzles

February 03, 2015

The reaction to my last post indicates the sheer amount of interest in grinding concepts. It has also presented me with some completely new and surprising information. Out of all of the concepts and speculation put forward within the article, it was actually a seemingly well-established and widely accepted idea that sparked debate. Let me summarise: As we get busy the grinder gets hot and we find that we have to adjust the grinder to a finer setting to achieve a similar extraction to what we initially dialled in, earlier that day. Without going finer, the flow rate of the...

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