The Woodneck Brewing Experience

Over the next several months, we want to introduce you to friends we’ve known for a long time, as well as new friends we’re making along the way! Our journey is just beginning and we cannot tell you how excited we are  that you’ve joined us!

Is a Tiny House Practical?

Is a Tiny House Practical?

Today I want to introduce you to my friend, Devin Balram (@devinbalram). Devin is my go-to friend for all things related to food, music and drinks, specifically coffee. He is the type of friend who divides his free time between Kristen (his girlfriend) and finding new, exciting, delicious ways of experiencing life. He constantly seeks to improve himself through the food he eats, the music he creates and the coffee he brews. To give you an example of his most recent self-improvement idea, Devin decided he was paying too much for rent and his current apartment allowed for too much clutter in his life. As a result, he started exploring alternatives.  He researched the cost of a “Tiny House” and has even gone as far as to create a floor plan for it. Though he hasn’t built it yet, he is searching for land to place it on, clearly making this a futuristic plan.

Devin brewing possibly perfection with the Woodneck

Devin brewing possible perfection with the Woodneck

Devin is considered a “Foodie” in his circle of friends, and often exhibits key characteristics of “Schmidt” from the TV show “New Girl.” Watching one episode might give you a good understanding of Devin. While some of his thoughts and ideas are quite eclectic, what is true is that once he has it figured out, it works/tastes/sounds exceptionally well. You might be interested in listening to some of his newer music!  He is a man of many talents.

This past weekend, coffeedorks.com introduce me a “new” method of brewing coffee, the Woodneck drip method. I was surprised to learn this method of brewing coffee originated in Japan. Often the country’s that most often come to mind when thinking of perfecting a type of brewing method are generally Italy or France. During Devin’s expert tutorial, the Japanese method was evident in the meticulous and precise attention weight and temperature that must be given. Just like my trusted 1992 Camry (RIP- 2010), this Japanese method of coffee provides all the quality and richness of the finest “luxury” cup of coffee.

Pouring 205 degree water to brew over delicious beans.

Pouring 205 degree water to brew over delicious beans.

In brewing the Woodneck method, you use a “wet” filter. Devin carefully ensures the filter stays wet at all times, which keeps oils and other flavors in. He weighs out 30 grams of coffee, then grinds it to a medium-to- fine texture. (He uses an inexpensive scale to measure the coffee and water.)   About 480 milliliters of water at 200-205 degrees is used, and carefully poured around the edge of the filter. The brew time is 3 minutes.

This filter always stays wet, being placed in a damp container after each use.

This filter always stays wet, being placed in a damp container after each use.

The small amount of time it takes to make a quality cup of coffee shocked me when I first discovered it, and continues to AMAZE me today!   With my regular coffee maker, I spend about 3-5 minutes waiting for it to completely brew what I need for a full cup of Joe. Plus, I lose flavor, so I then revert to adding cream!   When I use that same time frame (and same type of coffee used in a regular coffee maker) with a quality brewing method, such as Woodneck or Chemex, I have the pleasure of walking away with a cup of coffee that has a sweet, nutty chocolate richness (due to the roast and bean we used)!  This cup of coffee requires no masking! Side note: A good point is to first understand is types of coffees and then learning Brewing Methods – Adam has a great article written on Arabica Coffee.

Woodneck Brewer

In my own coffee journey, Devin has supplied significant inspiration for me. I once thought that coffee was coffee!  “Extra cream, please”, always accompanied my request!   All coffee tasted the same to me….bitter with the needed boost of caffeine I needed. I used cream to mask the bitterness!  Now, with Devin’s expertise and instruction in brewing methods, I drink my coffee black- but black with amazing flavors. Because of him, I appreciate coffee more than I ever have!

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