Coffee notes

A few weeks ago, the main branch of the Kitchener Public Library invited Matter of Taste owners, Phong (and Dawn) Tran, to give a quick coffee-brewing workshop to a dozen or so guests. While I have experienced horrible customer service multiple times at the coffee shop itself (including with one of the owners) and have since stopped going (which saves me a bunch as we often opted to treat ourselves to Dawn’s special – the MoT pricier version of Vietnamese-style iced coffee), I commend them for crafting out time to share their insights with us.

At the end of the night, I was surprised to discover that even if you use the same beans and the same weight of grind, depending on which method you use to make a cup of coffee, the end results can be so varied in look and taste. It’s also amazing how much more fragrant freshly roasted and ground coffee is! Our samples were from Ethiopia, roasted a day before and ground that evening.

From my observations*:

  • Aeropress: coarser grind, paper filter, hand pressure
    Result: clean, no sediment, sweet after taste, dark in color, my favourite choice
    If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can get a cheater espresso with this device
  • French press (commonly associated with the Bodum brand): coarsest grind, mesh filter – push down a bit first so grounds can soak and aerate – then let it sit for a few minutes before slowly plunging it the rest of the way
    Result: sediment at bottom of cup, lighter in color, similar in body/taste as Aeropress
    So if going for the same taste as Aeropress but want to save $ for the equipment, this would do / be a happy medium
  • Pour-over: paper filter – rinse with hot water first to take out chemicals in filter and to warm up the receptacle
    Result: Tasted more acidic (“citrusy notes” was how Phong described it). Clean, but I didn’t like the taste.

Alas, I was too busy drinking up the shots, keeping mental notes and comparisons, and trying to keep up that I forgot to take photos for visual reference.

*Note: Certain flavours  may be more apparent to some and preferences may differ but the remark about different methods, different results hold true.


  1. L L (@virtualawrence)

    May 12, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    I like Aeropress very much

    1. emjaune

      May 12, 2015 at 11:51 PM

      Do you have one? :)

    2. Emily

      January 30, 2018 at 3:44 PM

      We have one too now :)

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