Coffee Review: Beanly's Pour-Over and Dip Bags
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Beanly Coffee Co. doesn’t sell whole bean coffee. What they sell is speciality coffee that can be brewed without any equipment. A position in the Indian coffee industry similar to Sleepy Owl. This movement of offering easy-to-brew coffee is being called the 4th wave of coffee.
In their store, they have the single-serve pour-over bags and tea bag style dip bags. Both of these come in two blends, their master blend and the slightly higher priced organic blend. Along with all this, they also sell a ‘Sweetened Creamer’, which is condensed milk and sugar.
First Impressions and Details
The package I received contained all their products. The box and packaging were impressive. Not that it matters. But still, it's a plus.
As of now, both their Dip Bags and Pour-Overs come only in blends. And, both are medium roasts with the same intensity label. That is 3 on a scale of 1-5.
The pour-overs are 9 grams each. The packet says they brew 180-220 ml. The Dip coffee bags are 14 grams each and brew 200-230 ml.
The packets are nitro flush-wrapped. This helps in keeping the coffee fresh.
For freshly roasted speciality coffee they have a rather long shelf life. I don’t know the roasting date of the batch of the one I received (it wasn’t mentioned), but the best-by date is almost 6 months away.
I brewed both of them in a ratio of 1:17 (1 gram coffee for every 17 grams of water). This gave me a total of 155 grams. The brewing was pretty quick. Total brew time was around 1 minute and 47 seconds.
Now, measuring the water gram to gram, sticking to the ratio and being so precise wasn’t isn’t necessary at all. This, in fact, defeats the purpose of such a product (something I’ll talk about in the latter part of this review). The only reason I did it was for the sake of taste assessment. For racking it against other coffees, in terms of taste.
Here I brewed using the French Press ratio of 1:15. I will talk about the French Press bit in a bit. This ratio gave me a total of 210 grams. The immersion time was 4 minutes, just like the French Press.
Again, being this precise isn’t as necessary. Eyeballing and guessing the amount of water and brew time should give you good-enough results.
Taste Test and Results
The taste was surprisingly good for pre-packed and pre-ground coffee. The packets said that both the blends were medium roasts and the intensity was the same, 3 out of 5. But clearly, the organic blend was more intense. In fact, it seemed to me that they were dark roasted coffees. They lacked the slight fruitiness and acidity of medium roasts.
I liked the master blend more. It was more pleasant to drink. The taste was very balanced and traditional. Something the Indian market would highly appreciate. The creamer partnered with the coffee profile very well. I even made my family taste it, who clearly preferred it with the creamer.
The caveat though, is that the coffee didn’t extract evenly throughout. This is because of the design of these pour-over bags. There was definitely channelling and dry spots. Now, this problem is not unique to Beanly. It persists with the whole industry since everybody uses this same design. The bottom flaps were the key problem areas.
To minimize the effect of this problem, blooming should be a must. Although, I am not sure if even that will counter the whole of it.
Also, I couldn’t help but notice that the coffee seemed too fine in grind size. Almost Moka Pot fineness. This could have been the reason for the little notes of bitterness. Maybe, they had dialled in the coffee according to the profile. The team would know better.
One more thing, you also have the option of leaving the bag as it is, after pouring, for some time as it steeps. This would happen more and more in shorter mugs. I don’t really see leaving the bags in, an option for myself. You can give it a try. It would result in a more bitter or bold cup.
This was the first time I tried the dip bags. And, I found them better in taste out of the two. But, this is only my personal preference.
Where you might get away with pouring a little too much water with the pour-over. Here, the chances of making your cup watery are much much higher. This is because the steeping time is not so adjustable. Steeping longer would only result in more bitterness.
Since convenience is what you would want with a product like this, it clearly wins over the pour-overs.
What I particularly liked was the taste of am immersion brew, with almost no sediment. Basically, French Press without the sediment. Some people will scoff at this since the sediment and the earthy-ness makes the French Press so unique. But I’m not that big of a fan. I prefer a much cleaner cup.
Just like the pour-over, the coffee seemed ground too fine for French Press standards.
The creamer was quite sweet. The texture was very rich. It tasted a lot like condensed milk but diluted. The edge it will have over milk is that it doesn’t add volume to the coffee. Moreover, it makes it thicker than adding milk.
I think, the quantity seemed too much for a single serving. But this wouldn’t be the case while making a latte or some other drink.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Let’s talk about pricing. The master blend pour-over 10 pack is priced at Rs. 350. And, the organic blend pour-over 10 pack at Rs 400. This makes them Rs 35 and Rs 40 per bag respectively. The master blend dip bag 10 pack is for Rs 310 and the organic blend is for Rs.350. This makes each dip bag Rs 31 and Rs 35 respectively.
Now, I’m sure with some coupon code and discount you can get it for a lesser amount.
At these prices, I think, a cup of fairly good coffee is quite affordable and worth the money.
Who and What Is It For
This is one of the most important questions that need to be addressed.
Clearly, this is not for everyone, neither should it be.
First, I think it would be fairly good as a starting point for anyone who would want to brew speciality coffee. The low cost and effort would allow you to experiment.
Second, it is great for travelling, or wherever I can’t bring my equipment. Someone could argue that an AeroPress has much more versatility and makes great-tasting coffee. But these take even less effort than an AeroPress.
I personally would carry a couple of these in my bag.
One last thing, the idea that products like these can replace the experience of brewing a real pour-over or french press, is completely out of the picture. Neither is that the purpose of such products, nor are they at par.
This review is not sponsored. Although the coffee was still sent to me by Beanly Coffee Co. Despite this, I’m under no obligation and my review will be honest and authentic.