Learning and sharing with the MoJoToGo

The culpable variable

A few days ago I tweeted to express my frustration with a certain “burnt” flavor I was getting from a V60’d brew of Intelligentsia’s Tanzania Edelweiss and to ask weather that flavor had any relation to a brew’s TDS rating. Chris Tacy’s first response was to suggest I clean my grinder. Given that I  am a proponent of consistent grinder cleanliness, I am surprised I didn’t simply tackle that first as a possible culprit and give the brew another go. But I didn’t. And he was right.

The next morning I cleaned my grinder and produced the best V60’d cup of Intelligentsia’s Tanzania Edelweiss I’d had since I picked up the bag. The general question – the relationship between TDS and any specific flavor of a cup of brewed coffee – wasn’t answered (feel free to release your flood of knowledge in the comments, though) but at least I was able to find the culpable variable for the specific flavor issue I was having. Again, as I’ve said before (and apparently it is something of which I need to be reminded): a clean grinder = an exponentially better chance at a tasty cup of coffee.

Coffee pedagogy

The TDS and flavor question was brought about by a most excellent post by Jesse Raub on his site, ‘Bitter Press’ entitled “Let’s Talk About TDS, and MoJoToGo’s Coffee Lite Mode” (link at the bottom). For me the piece is a perfect example of how rehashing a well-worn topic can have educational benefits. In the pursuit of the productive dissemination of information, how something is taught (aka, pedagogy) can be incredibly important.

Despite all the talk I’d heard and all of the prose I’d perused on the same subject matter, for some reason I feel like Raub’s piece is the one that had me “getting it” this time. My interest in using the MoJoToGo app at home has been rekindled.

Getting my MoJo back

Raub’s piece is a commentary on TDS’s contribution to the flavor profile of a cup of brewed coffee and a recommendation for using the MoJoToGo app’s new ‘coffee light’ mode. In the post he talks about using the app as a tool for brewing better coffee even if one has no refractometer and how the ‘coffee light’ mode is somewhat designed for this very purpose.

I splurged on the ‘coffee’ mode a while back and only used it once but Raub’s piece made me realize that I really ought to be getting my money’s worth from the MoJoToGo app. He basically gave me “permission” to use it even if my bank account doesn’t have the resources to supply me with easy access to a refractometer at this time.

Sharing my MoJo

One of the nice things about the MoJoToGo app is that it allows you to save recipes and to share those recipes via email. Sharing via email is nice but in this modern world of social apps it’s not always the most ideal route of dissemination. I would like the ability to share the recipes more easily with a wider range of people simply by pressing a button. Maybe via Twitter or one’s Google Docs account. The ability to sync up to one’s Dropbox account would be awesome as well.

Currently the app produces an attractively formatted view of a recipe in the app…

…and a somewhat less attractive but entirely practical version for sending via email…

As an alternative, it would be nice if, instead of simply producing these two formatted displays, the app would do three things:

  1. For email, continue sending a formatted message but also supply the option to include a spreadsheet document containing the same information.
  2. For Google Docs and Dropbox send that same spreadsheet file to either or both of these services.
  3. For Twitter (and this is more tricky, as I am going to just go ahead and assume that the makers of the MoJoToGo app are not at all interested in getting into the data storage business) maybe a screenshot of the view one has of a recipe from inside the app (there are already plenty of image hosting services available for use with Twitter), maybe along with a link to the recipe file, on either of the two above-mentioned services, if one chose to make one on export.

I produced a recipe for the tasty V60 brew of Intelligentsia’s Tanzania Edelweiss I made this morning and I have it shared for all to view on Google Docs but it was a bit of round-a-bout process and was greatly facilitated by the fact that I use Gmail as my email client. The process went something like this:

  1. Export the recipe via email, to myself, from the MoJoToGo app.
  2. Open the email from within Gmail and click the “Make Document” link at the top of the email.
  3. Activate the “Publish to the web” feature from within Google Docs
  4. Shorten the link (if using Twitter, this is advisable)
  5. Copy that link to whatever service is going to be used to share the link.

Yeah. Complicated.

The winning recipe

Here’s the link to the recipe I used, hosted on Google Docs: MoJoToGo Coffee Recipe – Intelli Edelweiss. As I said, I have no refractometer at my disposal from home so the TDS and extraction are merely “goals” without the benefit of measurement but, in the interest of ease of replication, the recipe includes the grind, brew time, water temperature and the specific method I used on the V60.

On the off chance you’d like to import it directly into MoJoToGo, hit me up at my ‘senddanielmail’ GMail account and I will export it out of the app directly to your email address so that you can use the “import this recipe” link that is included in the email by default by MoJoToGo.

I think the MoJoToGo app is an awesome tool even for home “enthusiast” use but to that end, it could be a bit more social. Even for the pros, though, I would think more socially oriented features would go a long way towards easing and widening the dissemination of the knowledge required to brew consistently excellent cups of coffee.


My successful MoJoToGo Coffee Recipe for Intelli’s Edelweiss

Intelligentsia’s Tanzania Edelweiss

@cbtacy says “clean your grinder”

A clean grinder = an exponentially better chance at a tasty cup of coffee

Jesse Raub: “Let’s Talk About TDS, and MoJoToGo’s Coffee Lite Mode”

Teaching Strategies: Learning Styles

What is a TDS rating?


7 thoughts on “Learning and sharing with the MoJoToGo

  1. Thanks for the kind words —

    Cleaning your grinder is typically helpful in removing excess fines. Fines trapped in a grinder will travel into your filter from time to time, overextract, and lend bad flavors to your cup.

  2. Billy mistkenly posted some comments on this post over at http://www.danielofarabica.com/links/abangakurushwa/.

    I told him I’d answer here…


    I’ve been meaning to do a post on the two pouring methods I use. Maybe it’s time.

    Basically, though, mine are based on the fairly well publicized Intelligentsia method – flat ground bed, 1 min. pre-infusion, constant and controlled circular pour – and that which I learned from a guy named Matthew at Four Barrel. In his, you make a cone-shaped indentation in the center of the ground bed, fill it up (and over) to pre-infuse (also 1 min.) and then do a very slow and controlled center pour. Matthew talks about his technical reasons here.

    Also, I recently put together a tutorial for my friend who is new to brewing on a V60. You can find that here.

  3. Thanks Daniel, that’s a nice write-up. I did catch Matthew’s post and tried out his style. He’s right, less body but more delicate aromatics. I thought he used a 30 sec. bloom? I’ll try a minute next time! Intelly as a company seems to like long blooms, really dense beans I’m assuming.

    1. Ah, yes, you might be right about that 30 sec. bloom. I’ve been using 60 sec. So many variables! 😉

      Dense beans… never thought about that in relation to bloom time. Interesting.

  4. i have to thank you for the tap water bit. huge! i think the key is having the water well-aerated, which it automatically is when fresh from the tap. freshly filtered water is equally good, but usually my filter water has been sitting around, languishing, slowly losing its coffee-making potential to my contempt 🙂

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