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In the blogging, twittering, and generally-interneting specialty coffee world, there seems to be a renewed interest in not just the way we brew coffee, but particularly in the specifics involved in the ways we brew coffee. Take, for instance, the french press: it allows coarsely-ground coffee to be saturated with hot, almost-boiling water for roughly four minutes to create a brew that is then filtered by the pressing action of the french press, thereby separating the grounds from what has now become brewed coffee.
A week or two ago, Kyle Glanville of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea shared a thought on Twitter: many high-end coffee shops that pride themselves on the quality of their espresso serve downright mediocre filtered coffee. This is not a sentiment I can agree with based on my own personal experience, as I've not been able to frequent many such shops in person, but I do agree with it in principle.
Last week, I wrote about what I perceive to be one of the most common misconceptions in all of coffee, the myth of the french press. This morning, I got a text message from my buddy Justin telling me that he's becoming frustrated with the fines he's getting in his french press brews. Mind you, he's currently borrowing my Zassenhaus grinder, so it's not as though he's grinding coffee with something terrible; it's just that he's appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of that particular brewing method with that particular equipment.
This morning, I pressed a batch of Panama La Berlina Estate Typica. I remember it having a wonderful, full and round mouthfeel, quite viscous and pleasant. I go back and forth between thinking it's a bit syrupy and a bit hefty, like whole milk. No chalkiness, either, which is extra nice. And its taste? Brightness like a Central American coffee often has, with citrus fruit notes that fade into a graham cracker finish. It's a somewhat juicy cup, too, in that it doesn't give off too much of a drying sensation.