One by one, the names of eight fierce competitors filled the vacant spots on the PT’s Challenge bracket. Competitors spent time getting to know the featured coffee and brew method. The outcome of this hard work: one kick-ass cup of coffee and a new champion. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty: this week’s winner is Leah Shinkle.
Featured Coffee: Villa Loyola
Our featured coffee this week is a beautiful Colombian Caturra which traveled to us from Finca Villa Loyola, one of our esteemed Direct Trade partners. We’re proud to work with owner and operator Padre José. With his guidance, this farm will continue to advance its sustainable practices while improving the lives of the workers and the surrounding community.
Villa Loyola earned its way into the PT’s Challenge based on its deep molasses flavor, ripe peach sweetness, and the tones of stone fruit and sugar cane that linger in the finish. This coffee is absolutely delightful and recently received a 5-star rating from Roast Ratings.
Featured Brew Method: Bee House Dripper
This round we focused on one of our favorite pour-over methods, the Bee House dripper. Manual pour-overs are not new by any means, but they have been gaining popularity given the rise of Third-Wave coffee and the desire to taste more of the natural nuances in each cup.
There are several things that make the Bee House so great. For one, you’re able to control more of the variables involved in the brewing process than you can with an auto-drip machine. Your ability to control grind, dose, and water distribution allows you to highlight those characteristics that make speciality coffee so desirable. In terms of its design, the ceramic Bee House retains heat and the unique shape of the brew chamber with two small holes at the bottom encourage an extended brew time. The resulting cup of coffee is clean, full bodied and carries subtle, nuanced flavors.
So, who should consider using the Bee House?
Because of it’s design, the Bee House is frequently referred to as one of the more forgiving pour-over methods on the market, making it a wonderful option for a wide spectrum of coffee enthusiasts. It’s a great option for those of you who already love pour-overs like the Chemex, but are looking for a smaller yield. Maybe you just want one cup of coffee – the Bee House will get you there.
Should you replace your Mr. Coffee with a Bee House? We highly encourage it. The trade off to switching to a manual pour-over is sacrificing convenience for quality. If you ask us, it’s an easy decision. This brewing method won’t take more than a few minutes, but if you’re a “set it and forget it” coffee drinker, the Bee House likely isn’t for you.
Winning Recipe: Leah used a straight forward technique to create a bright and exciting cup that really highlighted the Villa Loyola. Here’s how to brew it.
- 21 grams coffee (approximately 3 tablespoons of beans) ground for a consistency between sea salt and table salt.
- 380 grams of water.
The Brewing Process:
- Place the Bee House, equipped with a pre-wet filter, on top of the range server. Pour in coffee grounds.
- Hit the grounds with 60 grams of water for bloom. If you are without a scale, think about it like this – you want to pour just enough water to have all the grounds wet, but not overly saturated.
- Watch the grounds expand and bubble up, releasing gas as it blooms. The raised coffee bed will deflate within 25 – 40 seconds depending on the freshness of the beans. When this happens, the bloom is done.
- Continue pouring water in a circular motion, keeping the level of water consistent within the filter. Don’t fill it to the brim – you’re aiming to fill about 3/4 of the filter.
- Maintain this level of water until you reach 380 grams of water total.
- Once all the coffee has drained, remove the Bee House from the range server. Swirl the coffee, then pour it into your cup.
- Sit back, relax and enjoy a damn good cup of coffee.
That’s it folks, it’s that easy! Make sure you check back in April for our next PT’s Challenge later when we’ll look at a new coffee and brew method for you to experiment with. Again, big shout out to our friends at Baratza for sending t-shirts for winners.
Go forth and drink great coffee. Cheers!