Spotlight Coffee

Mean Mug Coffee Roasters | Papua New Guinea Kunjin

Mean Mug Coffee Roasters | Papua New Guinea Kunjin

Spotlight Coffee

Mean Mug Coffee Roasters

This week Jacob, @N7CoffeeLab, headed to Northshore in Downtown Chattanooga at Mean Mug Coffee Roasters. This is their second location. It has been open little over a year now. Their first location on Main Street has been a huge hit since 2011. Their shops give the authentic coffee shop vibe with a warm feel from the old vintage building. They have an excellent selection of sandwiches, coffee beverages, and everything in between. It is always a very welcoming ambiance at both locations. If you are lucky, certain days at the North location you can catch Tyler, head roaster, roasting up a batch giving the shop that wonderful coffee smell.

Papua New Guinea Kunjin

Kunjin is the name for coffees processed at a centralized plantation mill called Kindeng, in the Kindeng region of the Western Highlands. We decided to try Papua New Guinea on the Syphon Brew Method. We will go into more detail on the Syphon shortly. When we tried the Papua New Guinea Kunjin that Tyler roasted on a V60, it had a heavy caramel aroma, a citrus taste of a grapefruit and a bright acidity. So, we tried Papua New Guinea on the Syphon to see what it would yield.

Syphon Brewer

A quick overview of the Syphon, Syphon is traditionally a brewing method done mostly by hand, requiring precise temperature, attention, and skill. The results are well worth the effort. A Syphon coffee maker has two chambers. The bottom one is filled with water. As the water is heated (usually by a burner or open flame), vapor pressure forces the water to rise into the top chamber where it mixes with coffee grounds. Next, the heat is turned off and the loss of vapor pressure causes water to drop back into the lower chamber through a filter placed at the bottom of the upper chamber. This drop is due to gravity and a vacuum effect (which is why Syphon coffee is also referred to as vacuum brewing).

The bottom line is that believers in the method state that it tastes better. Boiling water is often accused of killing coffee flavor and even though it may look like water is boiling in a Syphon coffee maker, it’s not. It is literally just a few degrees shy of boiling. Watching the process piques visual interest and awakens your senses more than a drip coffee maker does because you can see art and science in action.


Although the process of brewing any coffee on the Syphon is always exciting, we were left a little unimpressed with our results. The V60 definitely hard to beat when it comes to extracting the most flavors. The Syphon takes a lot of work to master and so many variables can make the coffee off tasting. What we ended up tasting seemed like a watered down version of the V60.

Final Thoughts

All in all, what makes coffee so amazing is all variables to making the perfect cup. That day we didn't dial it in. However, the Syphon Brew Method is a fantastic way to brew and enhance your knowledge of coffee. It may seem like a long brew process, but it is actually shorter than most other brew styles. So, have you tried the Syphon? What are your thoughts? Let's discuss!

Jeremiah Kinser

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