BlackNerd Coffee Out In The Wild

(4 Minute Read)

What’s up Coffee Nerds?

So here’s a quick catch up from what we’ve been up to since the last time we blogged:

  • We shipped our 100th order! #CoffeeIncoming
  • New partnership alert - In a matter of weeks, our humble little creations of BlackNerd Coffee will become an essential part of the morning (or daily) routine of so many WFH employees. So cool!

Now what’s this blog really about? Well, we wanted to focus this blog post on the steps we took during one of our recent coffee installations.

When one of our partners decided to start offering our Ethiopia - Sidamo and Colombia - Single Origin whole beans as a coffee offering to their members, the entire staff at BlackNerd Coffee insisted that we help with the coffee installation.

Let’s recall the three factors that go into the perfect cup of coffee?

  • Brew Method
  • Grind Size
  • Coffee:Water Ratio

First things first, switch out their existing beans for BlackNerd Coffee. We changed nothing else in the settings and brewed a small serving. What did we notice? The coffee didn’t have the flavor that we expected to recognize immediately.

What did we do? Well, we put on our problem-solving nerd hats and began to troubleshoot their entire coffeemaking configuration.

BREW METHOD. This partner was using a conventional drip coffee maker as their brew method.

GRIND SIZE. The industrial grinder they were using came with a factory installed setting. We ran a test grind and discovered the grind size setting was turning out coffee grinds larger and coarser than what their brew method was (conventional large capacity drip). Typically, with conventional drip coffee makers you’ll want a grind size similar to what you would get from pre-ground coffee. Not as fine as say espresso or instant coffee, but not as coarse as you would in a Chemex or French press. Working with the client, we recommended changing the grind setting to a finer grind setting. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations (we read the manual online) we adjusted the grind size to produce ground coffee size grounds. First Win!

Ok, so now that we’ve got grind size right, and we know what the brew method is, the only thing left is coffee:water ratio.

COFFEE:WATER RATIO. The installed grinder, on its previous setting, was supposed to produce 4oz of ground coffee. However, further reading of the manual of the grinder said that adjusting the grind to a finer grind size and changing nothing else would probably affect the amount of coffee of each grind. That’s exactly what happened. After adjusting the grind size, we noticed that the same settings were producing 25% less coffee by weight. (The grinder is a timed mechanical sequence, and we didn’t feel comfortable adjusting the factory installed timing because that would require re-programming the controller internal to the grinder). So now that we know that we’re getting 25% less coffee because of the next step was to make sure we had the right amount of water for our new coffee:water ratio.

Remember our ideal coffee:water ratio for drip coffee brew method is 1:16.67. Which means that if we are getting 3oz (84g) of coffee from the grinder for a “small” batch and 6oz (168g) of coffee for a “large” batch, then we should be using 1400 ml of water for a “small” batch and 2800 ml of water for a “large” batch.

Are you keeping up with the math?

  • Convert grams mass to ounces mass and then
  • Convert gallons liquid to milliliters liquid

Grind size? Check. Brew method? Check. Coffee:Water ratio? Check.

Time to brew.

Woohoo! Those first cups of BlackNerd Coffee tasted just as we expected. We were finally ready to walk away from this coffee installation.

To make a long story short (we can get carried away with all this coffee nerdiness) we here at BlackNerd Coffee are willing to go every step of the way with you on this coffee journey to make sure that you enjoy our coffee that way it was intended to be enjoyed.

This partner of ours can finally say goodbye to “just okay” coffee.