Has your brewed coffee got Mojo? Maybe. Just how would you know, anyway?
By measuring it, of course. Let’s face it: you can tweak your coffee-to-water ratio, temperature and grind ’til you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t know the total dissolved solids of your final brew you’re pretty much driving without a map. And there’s a lot of unmapped territory out there.
I’ve recently been a beta tester for a nifty system that gives direct and immediate feedback on your brewed coffee technique. It’s called “ExtractMoJo” from the George Howell Coffee Company, and it has helped me to brew the best non-espresso coffee I’ve ever made.
The software is available now as a free trial (yeah!) but the hardware — a pocket refractometer — will set you back a cool $339 beans, and may prove a little hard to swallow if you’re looking to calibrate your brew at home.
Each year Roast makes two awards, one for a large (macro) roaster and one for a small (micro) roaster. And each year I think the competition gets steeper. There have been some seriously great coffees “discovered” in the past year, a direct result of countless trips to origin, conversations with growers, and canvassing the auction lots. Both of these coffee roasters are helping to lead the way forward with their sourcing and roasting of premium small-lot coffee offerings.
While I haven’t sampled any Coffee Klatch offerings — at all! I think I need to fix that — I tasted some of PT’s Kenya AA Kieni Auction Lot last year and found it pretty darn wonderful. It looks like they’ve got a stable full of still more exciting beans even now, so I expect I’ll have more on that front soon, too.
Ah… so much coffee, so little time.