After yet another terrible coffee in a hotel, yes Nescafe redcup again, I decided it was time I take the portable pour overs seriously. I went to Big C and grabbed all the single serve pour over coffees (aka: drip coffee) they had, which was two of them: Doi Tung and The Coffee Bean.
I recently brewed both of these drip coffees and here is my humble opinion.
Doi Tung’s Drip Coffee
The Doi Tung cost 180฿ for 6 pour over coffees (for you math nerds out there that is 30฿ per cup of coffee – coffee math). Doi Tung instructs you to use 120ml to brew your coffee, which is a small cup, I usually brew around 380ml for my morning cup – which would be three of Doi Tung’s drip coffees or 90฿ – coffee math!). The sachet holds 10g of coffee, meaning we are brewing at a 12:1 ratio (for every gram of coffee you put 12ml of water). This 12:1 ratio is actually quite high, meaning a lot of coffee, because most pros suggest a 15-17:1 ratio for pour overs.
Okay, enough of the calculations let’s get into the product. Doi Tung is a single origin coffee from the mountains around Chiang Rai and 100% Arabica. Opening the foil sachet released a mild coffee scent, nothing like fresh ground coffee, but not bad. There was an almost chocolaty aroma when I stuck my nose in the little bag and sniffed. The drip brewing device setup easily and fit well on my cup, but I would not recommend using a very wide mouthed cup because the paper filter may fall and it may also sit in the water rather than letting the water drip through.
Doi Tung instructed to pour some hot water on the coffee grounds to soak them and let the coffee “bloom” for 20-30 seconds. The bloom gives the ground coffee an opportunity to release its CO2 so that it will have a better extraction. The coffee brewed nicely and dripped through at a slow and steady rate. The total brew time was around 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
The first sips of the Doi Tung drip coffee were rather bright and acidic. The roast level is not indicated on the packaging but I would say this was a lighter roast due to the acidic play on my tongue. A nice aroma and clean mouth feel both enhanced this choice over ANY instant coffee. I really enjoyed this coffee because I usually brew dark roasts and it was fun to have something a little different without having to buy an entire bag of it.
The Coffee Bean Drip Coffee
The Coffee Bean brand came with 10 drip coffees at a price of 240฿, so a little cheaper per cup than Doi Tung. But there were only 8g of coffee in The Coffee Bean’s sachets and recommended brewing with 150ml of water (18.75g:1ml). So, Doi Tung had a higher concentration of coffee than The Coffee Bean which may account for the price difference.
Overall The Coffee Bean provides more information about their coffee such as the roast and tasting notes – apparently this coffee should have more pronounced bitter and aroma characteristics. However, they did not say where the coffee comes from just that it is 100% Arabica.
Upon opening the sachet the coffee scent did come out but not as strong as the Doi Tung. This coffee smelled “flatter” and slightly burned. It seems like the same coffee filter is used for both coffees but on closer inspection they are not and it showed in the rate of brewing. The Coffee Bean did not say to bloom the coffee in their instructions, so I did not. I poured the hot water through and the total brew time was a little over 1 minute, much faster than the Doi Tung and in general your pour over target should be 2.5-4 minutes depending on the roast level and the amount you are brewing.
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My first sip of The Coffee Bean drip coffee was underwhelming, but much better than an instant coffee. It did not have much in the way of distinct flavor rather it reminded me of diner coffee. I will say, as the coffee sat and cooled it held up better than the Doi Tung. The Doi Tung got very sour very fast, whereas The Coffee Bean remained about the same even as it cooled.
Drip Coffee Wrapup
|Doi Tung||The Coffee Bean|
|Aroma||Stronger||A little flat|
|H2O/Coffee||12:1 (stronger)||18.75:1 (weaker)|
I prefer the Doi Tung because the roast, bloom, and slower brew time brought out a more complex and deep coffee flavor, perfect for a morning cup while on the go. However, Doi Tung or The Coffee Bean were not good enough to replace a standard pour over coffee or my trusty cold brew.