December 30, 2011
I’ve been playing around with a couple different techniques lately – starting with the recipe used by DCILY’s Brian Jones in his bid for the World Aeropress Championship gold medal. See his recipe and recap here: DCILY Aeropress Technique
Brian, and many others, use an Inverted Aeropress technique. By simply flipping the Aeropress over and leaving the cap and filter off, you can immerse your coffee for a longer period of time.
Keep in mind, I still have a lot to learn, and I’m sure my preferred recipe will change quite frequently. After trying this method a few times, getting suggestions from other Aeropress users, and adding a bit of my own personal preference, I landed on the following recipe that I’m quite pleased with. I made this with Papua New Guinea from Stauf’s Coffee Roasters in Columbus, OH.
- Boil your water
- Measure out 18.5 g of freshly roasted whole bean coffee
- Place a filter in the Aeropress cap.
- Invert your Aeropress (plunger sticking straight up, all numbers on your press should be upside down).
- When water in the kettle is hot, pour a bit of water into the Aeropress, secure cap with filter, and flip on to cup. Press. (this rinses your filter and heats up your press. I think it’s best to do this pretty close to when you’re ready to brew, so the press is heated).
- Remove the cap, make sure the filter is fit snug. Pull the plunger down so the top is just below the “4” mark. Put the press (inverted) on the scale, tare to zero.
- Grind your coffee. Place in the press, tare to zero.
- Start timer/stopwatch. Once the water has cooled to about 196 degrees Fahrenheit, pour 100g of water of the grounds, give it a quick stir.
- Slowly pour 115g of water over the grounds. Scale should read 215g. One more quick stir to make sure all grounds are saturated. Cap the press with the filter.
- At about 1:25, flip the press onto your mug, and begin pressing. Leave the last bit of water unpressed. Finish pressing at about 1:55.
December 29, 2011
Brew Methods: the Ultimate Collection
If you want to know how some of the leading coffee companies brew their coffee using all sorts of methods, this is a great site to bookmark.
December 26, 2011
Thanks to a combination of instructions from Intelligentsia (whom I discovered through DCILY.com) and Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, and a bit of inspiration from Nate Okuley (follow him on twitter @ndokuley), I’ve doodled and produced a brewing guide for the Chemex. As of now, this is dependent on the fact that you have a scale to measure your goods. Soon, I will produce one for those measuring with tablespoons and ounces. For now, enjoy the photo and the instructions below:
Brewing Guide: The Chemex
- Measure out 48g of fresh, whole bean coffee
- Start your kettle – you’ll need at least 740g of water (play it safe with 36 ounces of water)
- Put your filter in the Chemex – remember that the three layers face the spout
- Rinse the filter with hot water – you’d be surprised how much of a “paper” taste the filter can add to your coffee. Plus, this heats your Chemex up. One you’ve rinsed it, dump the water out – make sure to leave the filter in place while dumping.
- Put the chemex and rinsed filter on the scale, tare to zero. Grind your beans, and add them to the filter – if the scale says 48g, tare it to zero again. If not, add or take away grounds.
- Once your water boils, let it cool (a minute or so?) to 200 degrees fahrenheit. Pour 100g of water over all of your grounds. Then, watch it “bloom” for about 90 seconds.
- Once the bloom has settled, begin pouring your water in a circular motion over the center of the grounds. Avoid the sides. Keep the water level well under the top of the chemex. Once the scale reads 710g, stop pouring.
- Coffee time. Enjoy a great cup of coffee and share with others.
If you want to see the doodled guide, you can click here: Doodled Brewing Guide: the Chemex
December 26, 2011
With it being Christmas, I’ve heard a lot about the Keurig. I’m not going to do a full out review, because there are plenty of them out there – the coffee blog DCILY.com has a great one with some fantastic visuals: http://www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com/love-keurig-nope/
Here’s my thing – I get that the Keurig is convenient and that not everyone likes to get involved in their coffee. That’s fine. If you don’t care about the quality, then get the Keurig. But honestly, it is nothing special- and as DCILY points out, you can get a burr grinder, hot water kettle, and an Aeropress for about the same cost as the cheapest Keurig ($79.50). If that’s not revealing enough, and you’re looking for something that doesn’t take time, you can brew a cup of coffee with the Aeropress in 30 seconds.
You can read up more on why brewing single cup and ditching the overrated Keurig is worth it on DCILY.com. < If you’re looking at a Keurig, might I suggest looking elsewhere? You can brew your coffee using fresh, quality beans, a quality brewing method, and in a short amount of time for about the same cost. No one is impressed with frozen dinners or pre-wrapped, processed baked goods, so why be impressed with the Keurig?
December 23, 2011
One of the things that got me interested in exploring coffee beyond simply drinking it was my very first blade grinder.
Having a grinder opened up a whole new world of coffee- I started to care about the freshness of the beans. Once that happened, I realized that coffee was a complex adventure that I’d be learning about for a long time.
Since then, I’ve been through a few different grinders, ditched my underachieving blade grinder, and landed on a pretty decent burr grinder.
The obvious benefit of a grinder is being able to brew fresh coffee- but to even justify purchasing a quality grinder, starting with whole beans is a must. There is a significant difference between freshly ground, whole bean coffee and pre ground, stale coffee. Once the bean has been ground, the lifespan of its freshness is significantly reduced, resulting in substandard coffee.
Beyond that, there is a significant difference between freshly roasted coffee and stuff that’s been sitting on a shelf in a grocery store. Even though grinding your own coffee takes a bit more effort, the end result is a more quality cup of coffee. I would compare it – to some degree – with buying fresh baked goods from a local bakery rather than a box of individually wrapped, who-knows-how-old snackcakes from Wal-Mart. Who wants old stuff that’s been sitting around?
There is so much more to coffee than the over-stereotyped notion that it simply jump starts your morning. One of my biggest pet peeves is people telling me that I’m addicted to coffee. For me, its more about the quality of my coffee than it is about the quanity. I’d take one cup of coffee that was freshly roasted, freshly ground, and brewed well than a whole pot of anything else.
Buying a fresh, locally roasted bag of coffee beans is a great way to start exploring coffee, and to truly start enjoying it.
Grind your own coffee. You won’t regret it.
December 22, 2011
Columbus, Ohio is a great city for people of all types. With a thriving art scene, a healthy arena district that pulls in top-notch shows, and suburbs full of their own unique personalities, it can compete with the best of small-market cities.
One of the things that really helps make Columbus “pop” is its coffee scene. There are some great local shops and roasters in town with plenty of diversity to satiate any coffee-related craving you could have.
For me, one of them stands above the rest: Stauf’s.
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters in Grandview Heights is my first love. It’s where every bit of love and appreciation I have for coffee started. They do a little bit of everything here: single cup brewing, specialty drinks, teas, sandwiches, desserts, and it doesn’t hurt that Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is right next door. They roast their own coffee, and have been doing so for over 20 years – before coffee shops became as trendy as they are now. So, as far as quality and technique go, its hard to top Stauf’s.
Stauf’s is comprised of a two-sided shop: the left side houses the bar where you can order food and spcialty drinks, while the right side holds most of their beans and equipment. There are barrels and barrels of fresh roasted beans and the walls are lined with top notch brewing equipment, filters, mugs, and plenty of other accessories. If you really love coffee, make sure you get a cup of coffee (pick from any barrel) made in the Clover brewer.
The clover takes everything we love about full-immersion and vacuum brewing (french press, vacuum pot) and combines them. The final result is an amazing cup of coffee that you won’t soon forget. Some have called the Clover the best coffee invention since the Espresso machine. Starbucks caught wind of the machine a few years ago and snatched up all the rights to the machine and absorbed the company who produced the machine. Not many shops are lucky enough to have a Clover machine because of this.
All in all, Stauf’s is a quality shop that sources good coffee and roasts to perfection. Now that they’ve grown a bit and have started doing wholesale for other shops, they do most of their roasting across town – but if you can get yourself there on a Saturday morning, you might get lucky and catch Stauf’s founder roasting in the old gas-fired drum roaster.
Even though Stauf’s is a little out of the way from the typical Columbus hot spots, it’s worth the trip.
Be sure to follow Stauf’s on twitter (@staufs).
December 19, 2011
A doodle inspired by coffee and a Whirlwind trip to Europe back in 2009.
Dublin, Paris, Belfast, Amsterdam, Prague, Brussels, Rothenburg, Gimmelwald, Rome.
December 9, 2011
Here’s something: Just because I love coffee, doesn’t mean I’m a caffeine addict. For me, coffee is about Quality over Quantity.
I prefer good coffee. Not lots of it.
…if there happens to be a lot of good coffee laying around, though….