Yesterday afternoon, I was one of the dozens of participants at the Juan Valdez Café Avenue K Workshop. This is the most recent activity organised by Avenue K for their Neighbours Card members. I have to compliment Avenue K for taking the initiative of engaging their Neighbours Card members in an informative and enjoyable workshop and hopefully there will be more of such workshops in future, it’s a good way of connecting customers with Avenue K tenants and introducing customers to what the tenants have to offer. I had no idea Juan Valdez offered pour over coffee (only at their Intermark outlet) until I attended this Pour Over Coffee (Brewing) Workshop conducted by Juan Valdez Coffee Expert, My Calvin Yap.
The first method of pour over coffee demonstrated by Calvin was the paper filter method, invented in Germany and which has become central to Japanese coffee culture and connoisseurship. Brewing with a paper filter produces clear, light-bodied coffee. While free of sediments, such coffee is lacking in some of coffee’s oils and essences; they have been trapped in the paper filter. Filtered coffee is cleaner since it has little oils. The filter method is recommended for beans with a higher acidity.
In my opinion, the siphon method of pour over coffee is stylish and reminds anyone of chemistry experiments back in school. I have tried siphon coffee a few times overseas and it’s expensive! A siphon has 2 chambers (upper and lower) with a filter in the centre. The hottest brewing method is the siphon. It’s so hot that one is advised to drink the coffee one minute after it has been poured into a glass. The siphon method uses a cloth instead of a paper filter so the coffee is finer. Most of us agreed that the coffee brewed this way is more robust/stronger than the filtered coffee. For the purpose of this workshop, the same coffee beans were used in all 3 methods. The longer you brew it in the siphon, the stronger the coffee produced. The siphon method is recommended for beans with a higher body.
Last but by no means least, there is the French Press method which most people would be familiar with because we see plenty of this type of device in shops selling coffee paraphernalia. The French Press was patented by an Italian designer in 1929. It is believed that the optimum time for brewing the coffee is around four minutes.