Welcome to a 7 Day Manner x Revolver Coffee Chronicles, where you're going to have 7 different coffees from 7 different roasters from Canada, the USA, and Europe.
The goal of the box is to showcase a variety of flavour profiles, coffee origins, and processing methods. Some will be familiar and taste like 'coffee', others will be pretty out there and break some boundaries of what you think coffee tastes like.
As the name of the box states, this is all about 'Slow Mornings'. You've got all the ingredients to starting your day off just right – a cup of coffee, a tasting journal, and of course, the morning. We find the ritual of hand pouring a cup of coffee in the morning often as enjoyable as the cup itself. So have fun with it, enjoy it!
Take your time.
Carve out 20 minutes and put on a favourite album – or keep it quiet and enjoy the silence if you'd rather. But we encourage you to be deliberate about it. Embrace the stillness. It doesn't mean we're not going to get a whole bunch of things done today. On the contrary! – who knows what the day holds and for some of you you've no doubt got a TON going on. But this is all about starting off right. You're an athlete, going through your pre-game ritual, getting into the zone. Game time is coming, of course. But not yet.
First, you'll have this nice cup of coffee and enjoy some time to yourself, thank you very much.
Okay so that's the main idea.
For a lot of you, this is probably the first time you've held the equipment to do a pour over coffee. There are hundreds of recipes online that can guide you through the cup, but here's some fundamentals:
Brewing Ratio – or more simply the ratio of coffee to water – we recommend a 1:17 ratio, or 1g of coffee for 17g of water. Each portion in the Chronicles is already pre-weighed at 25g, so you’ll want 425g (425ml) of water. Any ratio of 1:15-17 is the sweet spot.
Brew Instructions – As mentioned above, there are hundreds of recipes online, but we like this one from James Hoffman as a starting point to give you an all around idea of hand brewing: Hario V60.
How should I evaluate the coffees? First, we encourage you to focus on enjoying each coffee and their nuance, as opposed to being highly critical. These coffees were chosen to provide you with an interesting set of differing varietals, regions, processing methods, and roast profiles.
You'll notice the coffees are likely much lighter in colour and have a matte finish (rather than being oily / glossy) than what you might expect or are used to. This is because they are roasted lighter – which allows the natural and unique flavours of the coffees to be showcased. My favourite analogy for this is cooking a steak. You will showcase much more of the beef's natural flavours if it's cooked rare or medium rare, compared to if it's well done. Roasting light is like cooking a steak rare. Roasting dark is like cooking it well done. Most cuts of meat will taste similar when cooked well done, as most coffees will taste similar when roasted dark. But to really showcase the coffee, light roasting is the way to go.
Taste them blind. We encourage you to brew and taste the coffees “blind” — meaning you don’t know the identity/origin of the coffee until you’ve had a chance to taste and journal it.
There are some very unique coffees in this collection. You may be surprised to learn what you like. We hope you can find a few minutes each day to sit with each coffee, take it all in, and enjoy the experience.
Here are a few tips we suggest to engage with each coffee:
- When you open the bag for the first time, what do you smell?
- Before grinding, examine the beans. Hold them in your hand in bright light. How do they look? Are they big or small, long or wide, rounded or flat, rough or smooth? Is the colour dark or light, how consistent are the shapes. Over time, you can start to get a good feel for the coffee’s variety, growing region and processing just by the look.
- By grinding you are unlocking a huge amount of aromatics. Savor the dry aroma — take a nice sniff with your mouth open a bit (like a cat) to engage those olfactory sensors. A coffee’s aroma can give you a preview of what you may taste, and the aromatics are a big factor in the taste experience.
- While brewing, watch the way coffee blooms and how dark or light it is. The roast level, roast date, and sealed packaging can all have impact here.
- After brewing, swish the around your cup or carafe. Take a look at the colour, how translucent or opaque it is, the viscosity of the coffee. Brew method, coffee quality, grind quality can all have an impact here. (Many “basic” coffee drinkers often consider pour-over coffee to look too light in color. NOT you!)
- Finally, taste the coffee at different temperatures. Most coffees tend to open up and show their true character as they approach room temp, but tasting it on the way down is enjoyable. Try and describe what your tasting: is it sweet or tart? Is it vegetal or fruity? You can even try and get more specific like, “green apple” or “Oreo filling”. It can be surprisingly hard to connect what you’re tasting with a descriptor, so some find that using a coffee tasting wheel to spark ideas is handy. Here’s a nice, freely available one from Counter Culture.
And what about my Coffee Chronicles paper journal? – You’ll notice the coffee evaluation isn’t overly specific. There are many formal, more quantitative ways to evaluate coffee, but that’s not what we’re here for! The Coffee Chronicles Journal is about keeping a log of what we drank, what we thought of each, and if it might be something we want to drink again. Tasting many different coffees is the key to discovering what your own preferences, and hopefully you’ll discover some flavors, coffees or origins you haven’t experienced before.
No matter how you decide to brew these coffees, and whether you drink them over the course of a week or all in one day, we hope you enjoy the experience!
And if you like what you're brewing, we've got a whole lot more at revolvercoffee.ca