“Add as many strawberries as you can fit in your cupped hands.” – Richard Olney
“You know, frankly! Do we have to write to the late Mr. Olney’s executors to ask how big his hands were? What if children decided to make this jam? Or circus giants? ” – Julian Barnes, “The pedant in the kitchen”.
I find it curious to think about how our measurement system works. We have certainly heard recipes that are based on “a little bit of this” and “a handful of that”, and it’s only when it’s time to get our hands dirty that we realize that not knowing exactly how much flour can fit in a handful can make it difficult for us to life.
Source: Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Coffee is no different. Those who paid attention to chemistry classes will certainly remember that there are objective measures for concentration, solubility, granulometry, etc. Of course it was not my case, so I am still learning to deal with all these indices and results, and trying to apply this to the coffees I make. 😛
Julian Barnes and I think that the more objective a measure is, the more possible it is to become universal. Objectivity does not exclude the poetic beauty of subjective measures (like the handful, the little bit and so many others), but it does make life a little more practical. So I prepared the translation of a painting that I found on the page of the American micro roasting The Black Bear Micro Roastery. This table proposes a recipe for what would be a “standard preparation” of filtered coffee. The proportion, according to the table, would be 16 parts of water for each part of coffee. Just choose how much drink you want to prepare (in cups or milliliters) and follow the same line to see the amount of coffee that should be used. Just see more or less how it would look:
The original picture in English is more complete and is available here: The Black Bear – picture of happiness.
Of course, we may not be able to talk about “standard preparation” of coffee, but this is a looong topic we can talk about another time. Still, it is worth the usual tip: follow the recipe but try, change, try again, change again, repeat several times. Only then can you reach a result that you like, regardless of the size of your hands.
A hug and see you soon!
Cover photo: Ecowatch