This is a coffee layman’s experience in coffee training class offered by Sightglass in San Francisco. The author candidly delineate his finding and mistakes in the pursuing of making a perfect cup of coffee.
A training class for brewing coffee? It actually doesn’t sound all that weird if you follow the coffee trend or are particular about your cup. After all, coffee is not that simple.
I found some quotes memorable in the article to save you time reading the whole thing.
Ant (Tristan Walach), the trainer in Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco:
“People like you are the best to train,” “You don’t have bad habits or preconceived notions. You’re a blank slate.”
“It’s the most complicated beverage we consume,”
“The difference between a good barista and a great one is the great barista has the courage to toss a shot.”
However, if you read it, I have to bring some points I think you have to take with a grain of salt. One of them is the implications about how to make your morning coffee.
“I make drip coffee (in the morning).” That’s because making a good espresso requires preparation and cleanup. Even when it all goes right, it takes time. Like making a good meal.
In a word, the pursuing of making a perfect cup of coffee takes a great commitment. As the last quote says, it’s a journey heading down the rabbit hole.
Oliver Stran’s last blog post in Ristretto on T Magazine introduces a scale for coffee brewing for the first time. He talked about many drip gadgets. But scale is the first time. It is not that scale is the least important thing in making pourover. It is that not until this scale, there’s no scale designed to cater all the needs in making pourover.
Hario V60 Drip Scale
If my posting arguing the importance of using scale to make pourover right, you may want to take a look at the scale recommended by Olive Strand: Hario V60 Drip Scale.
Hario is an established Japan coffee gadget maker. In my opinion, this scale is a long cry-for essential in their coffee making products line.
Here are the things distinguishing it from the crowded generic-use mini scales:
—Style. Only missing is the white version to choose from.
—Integrated timer . It clears the clutters on your kitchen countertop.
—Accurate reading. It measures to the .1 gram for the first 200 grams; 0.5 after that.
—Two kilogram capacity. It’s enough for home brewing use.
—Full five minutes auto turn-off. Other scales turn off in 90 seconds after the last activities. And there were times you have to turn it on again when you were about to start pouring water.
Only thing about it may turn you off is its price. It will run you from 50 to 90 bucks. I actually think it’s not that bad considering it’s a timer plus scale and boosting your brewing mood with its minimalism style.
I will let you know more details when I got a hold of it. The $35 mini scale I have? I probably will put it away as part of my travel kit in plan.
I just came back from a trip swinging by Monterey, San Francisco and Napa. But the eight coffee shops my friends and I visited within 24 hours are really exciting and inspiring.
And I think I had one of the greatest coffee moments of my life in San Francisco. It happened in a sunny afternoon in Blue Bottle Coffee on Mint Street.
I was waiting for my cappuccino at the waist-level counter. The barista started pouring milk foam into the cup. His move was shrewd, precise, and steadfast. No hesitation, no jiggling. That was a breathtaking performance. When it’s done, with three fingers of both of his hands, he push forward the cappuccino across the desktop of the counter. The moment the cappuccino stopped in the front of the counter I think I missed a heartbeat.
That’s art, dedication, craftsmanship, and cordiality. The combination of all of the above.
Cappuccino on the counter, Blue Bottle Mint St
For all the coffee shops we hit, they all stand out in different aspects: craftsmanship, proclamations made through the interior and service, and, of course, the coffee. Except for two shops, all these local coffee establishments roast the beans they serve there — this is something the frenetic New York coffee scene is short of. These coffee shops are: Blue Bottle Coffee, Sightglass, Four Barrel, Ritual, Philz Coffee.
January 20th is the National Coffee Break Day. It’s announced so on the Official Blog of the National Coffee Break website.
Here’s a wrap-up of the related events in New York City. Hope it’s not too late for you to catch them
Café Grumpy’s Chelsea location will have several promotions throughout the day starting with early morning espresso. Start your day with an espresso shot on the house between 7am & 9am. Between 11 am & 1 pm, take a coffee break with a friend and buy one coffee beverage and your friend gets one on the house. Finally from 6 pm to 8 pm, Cafe Grumpy is hosting Home Brewing for the Coffee Enthusiast Class, ($15 per person) Limited class size please sign up online here: http://tinyurl.com/29wz3ho
Financier Pastries. Originally from Financial District, this coffee house franchise offers a free small coffee with any pastry or savory purchase on National Coffee Break Day at all six locations. Listed as below:
Stone Street – 62 Stone Street (Bet Mill Lane and Hanover Sq)
World Financial Center – 3–4 World Financial Center (Battery Park City)
Cedar Street 35 Cedar Street @ 10 Liberty Plaza (Bet Pearl and William)
First Ave (at 54th St) – 983 First Avenue (at 54th Street)
Sixth Avenue (at 48th Street) – 1211 Sixth Avenue (at 48th Street)
Grand Central Terminal – 87 East 42nd Street (in the 42nd Street Passage)
The Randolph at Broome. 349 Broome Street, btw Elizabeth and Bowery
2 for 1 coffee cocktails on Jan. 20th from Noon to 3PM. The Randolph’s coffee cocktails have been featured by the NYTimes Diner’s Journal in their “Morning Joe with a Jolt” article. They specialize in augmented (spiced) coffee, available to go or at their slow bar, where each cup is individually prepared and made to order. Customers can choose their brew method (press or pour over) and even their bean, from among the 5 roasters they carry at any given time. It’s a unique and customized coffee experience.
Juan Valdez Cafe. 140 East 57th street between Lexington and 3rd
“Bring a Friend” promotion and offering all groups of two or more people 15% off their total check on National Coffee Break Day. Cafe open from 7:30 am to 8 pm.
Root Hill Café. 262 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
It will be offering a free coffee with any purchase of a sandwich or soup on National Coffee Break Day.
A lot of coffee houses are missing here? It’s a shame, isn’t it? I guess we won’t get one extra cup for our friend until this day being officially made official. Huh?
The procedures used to evaluate coffee beans.
Coffee beans prepared for cupping were roasted so light that most people would be driven away by the sourness from its brew. The precisely weighed coffee ground are kept in the handleless glasses for cupper to evaluate its fragrance. Afterward, rightly-proportioned hot water is poured in the glasses for aroma evaluation.
Four minutes after steeping the coffee ground, cuppers will spoon down the floating ground to bring out the nose and the brightness of coffee. Until this stage, cuppers only sniff above the glasses — no sipping, no holding the glasses. Scooping out the floats, cuppers deliver a spoonful of liquid out of the glasses into their mouth with maximum aeration as possible — slurping the liquid with noise. The purpose is to bring the liquid back to the nasal cavities where the olfactory membrane resides. It is important because noses are actually a much more sensitive sensor than tongues. The flavor, body and aftertaste are evaluated in the slurping stage.
At last, cuppers will give coffee scores base on a 1–100 point scale. Although the perfect is 100, scores are rarely higher than 90. In many regions where the cupping are joined by buyers, professional cuppers and local judges, the coffee scored above 85 are qualified for auctions to fetch higher prices.
The coffee new wave sanctuary, with Clover on the altar, is this local coffee shop in New York City. As the faithful enjoys an aromatic caffeinated afternoon, a devoted Barista knocks a jar of beans to the floor, sending the precious pods a-scattering. What comes of this? Smite, wrath, agony among the masses! Diving, aghast, to save the loot!
Nay. Last Saturday at Café Grumpy, said sacrilege threatened an uprising; when the humble but imitable Barista stood up and saved the day by announcing “It’s okay, it’s only decaf.”
Most of us burst into laughter. But, the age-old question that remains is not, can a society really be judged by how it treats its least; but: Is decaf the lesser after all? In no one’s’ mind has decaf ever been honored in the Hall of carefully processed Specialty Coffee Fame. Nor has decaf ever been praised in terms of flavor, aroma and body, but considered the lackluster cousin of the time-honoured traditional Practice of the Bean.
Is the decaffeinated bean so worthless a servant to warrant mention? Does the delicacy known as Coffee lose its essence or endurance with the lack of caffeine? » CONTINUE READING
Snap 1: time to combine the upper bowl with the lower one when bubbles become medium size.
I had plans for what I was going to write here: brewing methods 123, elaboration of the pros-and-cons of them, and ultimately, helping you find the solution to your daily decent cup.
There are methods that I think would be a good starting point because of their friendliness: low-cost initial investment and full control over the variables factoring in a cup of excellence.
It would be interesting to talk about them especially since they seem exotic to many people here. At the same time, it’s kind of challenging to explain everything since coffee lovers have never seen them in person.
Fortunately, before got my hands dirty, a showroom of these coffee brewing methods is arriving to let you take a peek at them and save some work for me. Blue Bottle Coffee is scheduled to open today in Williamsburg, New York City. They stockpile a hoard of 19-century-style coffee brewing gadgets: “pour over” and “iced coffee dripper” according to the preview of The New York Times. » CONTINUE READING
New York City is a fascinating place in the way that it’s hyper-congested. How so? Walking on the street, with all kinds of things passing by, you actually enter another world by passing another block. Hence, everything is within your reach — as long as you know where to find it.
Bongs, bongs, bongs… and mini scale
Today, I am strolling on St. Mark’s Place looking for this “thing” to elevate my coffee profession. St. Mark’s Place is a busy street lined up with Japanese beer houses, restaurants, souvenir shops and tattoo shops, but not a coffee shop. (Puerto Rico Importing is beyond 2nd Ave which I don’t pass often, so that doesn’t count:) I come here for yakitori and Japanese beer all the time. But today, I passed by all the restaurants and headed to the tattoo shops… Yeah, if you want to name people Japanese, Goth or Punk by where they go, today I am a punk. But labeling me won’t deter my determination to hunt down the “thing”: a mini scale.
I have seen a lot of baristas use a mini scale to weigh coffee grounds for brewing. No doubt, that’s a promising scene no matter how the cup ends like later. » CONTINUE READING
The mixture of beans from different corners of the world in comparison with a straight or single origin coffee, which is coffee from one region. Blend can be of the same roast or at different roasts to create desired flavor.
Historically, blend originated from the need to create various “flavors.” Blending beans was developed in early coffee drinking history to work around the limited roasting knowledge and facility in pre-industrialization. Blend is also important in compensating each year’s crop variability to keep the flavor consistent. » CONTINUE READING
The beans of one country or a region within it. See “single origin.”