Brewer’s log: Handsome’s ‘Scout’s Honor’

From Downtown L.A.'s Arts District's shiny new toy, Handsome Coffee Roasters, "Scout's Honor"


A little reconfiguring of the Brewer’s log format—it’s a work in progress…

Instead of a comprehensive and chronological play-by-play of every. single. thing. I. do. with a particular coffee, on the front-end of the post, I’m placing all of that verbosity behind a link at the top and bottom of the post.

This leaves the front-facing content—what you see when you are perusing the blog from the front page—to reflect only the best-of-the-best of each particular brew method and batch size and, even if you’re looking at a page dedicated to a single Brewer’s log post, it’s easy to avoid a lot of possibly irrelevant information, as all of the best brews are right at the top.

I’m aiming for this group of posts to be, first and foremost, useful. It’s a record and I want it to be relatively easy to use for future me (and so, I’m thinking, future you).

Having to trudge through each and every brewing session to find the one that worked isn’t useful.

So, below, the best, as they happen. And here’s a link to the play-by-play.

Sort-of a best-rises-to-the-top type of thing. We’ll see how that goes. Onward…

The best brews

V60–355g batch

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve made a V60.

The best V60 of “Scout’s…” I’ve had so far is the very first batch I made. Imagine that…

  • Brew method: V60
  • Grind: Btw. ex fine and fine
  • Brew ratio: 13:1 = 355:27
  • Temp: 93°C
  • Time: 3:50 (1:00 preinfuse)

It was surprising because I don’t make 12oz./355g batches very often. And yet I hit it on the first try.

Full body, Kenya-like concentrated dried-fruit/brown sugar sweetness down low, with berry—like a sweet cranberry—notes up high. That brown sugar stays with you long aftar a sip is over, while the high notes drop off quick. It’s juicy, yet dry.

V60–444g batch

Another good one, also in the V60, but this time my usual larger batch…

  • Brew method: V60
  • Grind: 1st fine
  • Brew ratio: 13:1 = 444:34
  • Temp: 92°C
  • Time: 3:36 (includes 1:00 preinfuse)

Again: juicy. Intensity is up….Spice is in. Crisp apple acidity. Dry and crisp and juicy. And curd—a milky sweetness.

Chemex—621g batch

For me, a larger-than-normal batch. For three people.

  • Brew method: Chemex
  • Batch size: 621g
  • Brew ratio ratio (grams): 13:1 = 621:48
  • Grind: 2nd Medium (Capresso Infiniti)
  • Temp: 93.4 °C
  • Time: 4:54 (includes 1:00 preinfuse)

This is a good one. Juicy berry. Black-tea-like fruitiness. Concentrated sweetness and a dry finish.

The play-by-play

Round 1

([see “The best brews” up top])

Round 2

More V60. This time a larger batch (it’s m’lady’s day off).

  • Brew method: V60
  • Grind: middle fine
  • Brew ratio: 13:1 = 444:34
  • Temp: 95°
  • Time: 3:18 (1:00 preinfuse)

Dusty. Fruity. Mild apple-like tart-sweet. And berries. A little diluted, though. I wavered between grinding on “fine” and middle “fine”. I think the ratios are fine. If I do this batch size again, I’m going finer.

Round 3

  • Brew method: Chemex
  • Grind: mid fine
  • Brew ratio: 13:1 = 355:27
  • Temp: 93°C
  • Time: 3:36 (includes 1:00 preinfuse)

Sweetness is caramelized and light. Concentrated sweetness is mellow. Integrated. A little “filtery”.

This is another instance where a tighter grind might be just the thing.

As with the V60, I’m not accustomed to making batches smaller than 444g. This was an experiment. I was about to say I got lucky with “Round 1” but in truth it’s lessons learned—[“Brewer’s log”] is already paying out dividends.

Round 4

([see “The best brews” up top])

Round 5

So close…

  • Brew method: Chemex
  • Grind: 3rd fine (Capresso Infiniti)
  • Brew ratio: 13:1 = 444g : 34g / 15.66 oz : 1.2 oz
  • Temp: 94.4 °C / 201.92 °F
  • Time: 4:02 (includes 1:00 preinfuse)

Damn! Juicy! Concentration over flavor, though. I’m not sold on this one. Same everything next time but less coffee.

Round 6

It’s Round 5 with less coffee…

  • Brew method: Chemex
  • Grind: 3rd fine (Capresso Infiniti)
  • Brew ratio: 15:1
    • grams 444:30
    • ounces 15.66:1
  • Temp
    • 94.4 °C
    • 201.92 °F
  • Time: 4:24 (includes 1:00 preinfuse)

Certainly more nuanced. But not what I had in mind.

For next time

  • back to a 13:1 ratio
  • and use a coarser grind (I usually use a grind, on the Infiniti, set right at the middle, between fine and medium)

Round 7

([see the 621g Chemex in “The best brews” up top])

Round 8

  • Brew method: Chemex
  • Grind: Between med and fine
  • (Capresso Infiniti)
  • Brew ratio: 13:1 = 444g : 34g
  • Temp: 94 °C
  • Time: 3:20 (includes 1:00 preinfuse)

Slight filter snafu. I failed to drain the filter-rinse water before I put the coffee in the Chemex. Rookie move. I removed the filter and, well, they just don’t re-fit correctly after being wetted.

Regardless, a good brew, but one I’m not willing to commit to the top of this post until I try it again without the aforementioned issues.

Tasting notes are… sweet, toast, subdued berry.


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