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So my roommate and I have been a bit intrigued by brewed coffee after watching tokyo ghoul (lol)

We got some BonCafe grounds(southeast asia brand) at a supermarket and brewed it with a filter. Have to get sugar and milk inside.

He bought some whole beans (looks medium roasted) and grinded it and also drip brewed it. Even more bitter than the seemingly darker BonCafe.

And in Aeropress with a AbleBrew disk fine metal filter it taste even more bitter and sour than the drip brewed variants.

Then I got an idea from turkish coffee where you directly mix coffee grind with water without filtering. (well there is further boiling involved in turkish coffee but whatever)

Then after pouring in water and mixing it with coffee groind with a spoon for like 10 seconds, and letting the ground set, it tasted (to me and him) surprisingly better than drip brewing and aeropressing.

And to me there is coffee taste inside.

Recently I got some old (2014 September) lavazza qualita oro ground coffee, tried aeropress and direct mixing, same thing happened.

So is that the “what you are supposed to get from coffee” taste quote the connoisseurs? Or is it underextraction or something? But why isn't I seeing any recommendation on this brewing method? Am I doing anything wrong with the aeropress and drip brewed ones? (to me they taste both sour and bitter)

  • Welcome to Coffee and thanks for moving this question over here from Seasoned Advice :) Questions should live only on one site, so please feel free to delete the other question on Seasoned Advice. – hoc_age Jul 9 '15 at 16:13
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    You're talking about three types of coffee beans, different roast levels, three different preparation methods... perhaps too much for one question! I'd like to help you refine this question to focus on one topic. Paper filtering should reduce the bitter and sour taste somewhat, but there's many factors including fineness of grind, temperature, roast level, etc. In one sentence, what is your question? If you have several questions, please feel free to ask them separately! – hoc_age Jul 9 '15 at 16:32
  • @hoc_age sorry for making it wordy and not clear. In one sentence, my question is why the directly mix with water method tastes less bitter and sour than both aeropressinng and drip brewing? Notice we used the same coffee on all three methods (well, at least direct mixing, with one of the other methids, so at least two methods) of brewing and the results are somewhat consistent. (I think my method of brewing is somewhat like unfiltered french press, but I don't have one so I'm not sure) Is it OK for you to edit my question? Thanks. – dennis97519 Jul 9 '15 at 16:35
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I'm not exactly sure if this is accurate, but I think it has to do with flavor extraction.

When you brew with a filter, the water is going to fall through the grounds too fast to actually develop good flavor. Sure, you'll get coffee, but you're only giving the water enough time to take the more bitter tastes with it. I have this same problem with my coffee.

When you brew directly into water, all of the water is in contact with all of the grounds for a considerably longer amount of time. The water will extract the bitter tastes AND the more flavorful aspects of the grounds, which is why you thought this tasted better. It wasn't just bitter, it was bitter and flavorful, and that's coffee.

You're not doing anything wrong with the filtered methods, it's simply a matter of opinion among coffee tasters. Some people enjoy the convenience of fast, filtered, and bitter coffee because it's what they know as coffee. The reason the Turkish method isn't suggested is because, the way you describe it, it sounds like the grounds stay inside the coffee, and many people loathe having to deal with that--even though it produces much better coffee.

So no, you're not doing anything wrong; however, the reason you're finding flavor differences is that the extraction of flavors is far different between the two methods!

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    I see, thanks. Yes, it is problem with the extraction process. This morning when I left the coffee mixture in Aeropress for 10 minutes to steep(is that the right spelling haha) before I pressed it, it tasted as good as directly mixing it, albeit better as it is filtered through a metal filter and is easier to clean up. – dennis97519 Jul 10 '15 at 1:52
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This is coming a bit late but I hope it helps others. First off, I've tasted coffees made with both Lavazza Quality Oro and BonCafe beans. Both are rubbish. Honestly. Try some freshly roasted coffee and you'll know the difference. Having said that, let's move on.

What you've described in the question is talking mainly about extraction. Coffee gets extracted as below.

Sour > Flavour > Bitter

If it's sour, it's underextracted. If it's bitter, it's over extracted. Now this does not mean there will not be any sour or bitter notes in the coffee. There will be but it needs to be balanced. The roasting of the coffee plays an important role too. Some coffees are roasted for far too long and they come out tasting bitter. This is usually the case when the roaster is either inexperienced or is trying to cover up poor quality beans.

To adjust extraction, you can adjust temperature, grind size and brewing method. Some like drip causes the water to flow over the the grounds at rate that's proportional to the flow of water into the drip brewer (like Hario V60) and the size of grinds. Some others, like Aeropress, lets the grinds steep in the water with a little bit of agitation. You need to pick one method that you're comfortable with, then adjust the parameters for that brew method.

You can try increasing and reducing water temperature too. So how will you know you got a good cup? Taste it. When you start to taste flavours that you've never encountered with that coffee before, you know you're heading in the right direction.

Hope this helps. Enjoy brewing and enjoy sipping the cuppa.

  • Welcome to Coffee SE, please feel free to take the tour. – MTSan May 11 '16 at 10:44

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