I LOVE COFFEE. LIKE REALLY REALLY LOVE COFFEE.
I get headaches when I do not have my daily coffee. So it's fair to say I take it pretty seriously.
However, it has not always been this way. When it comes to Coffee, like all things in my life, I was a late bloomer.
During my college years and all throughout my 20's, energy drinks were my go to when it came to caffeination....It was well, a bit BROey...
The sweetness of an energy drink was a much more attractive option when compared to the the burnt flavor I experienced from the occasional sip of a shitty cup of coffee.
It was not until I got into the corporate world that I noticed no one drank energy drinks.
I quickly became embarrassed of my "bro beverage" and resorted to chugging them in my car before work every morning in hopes that no one would see me. This was the first sign of my guilty pleasure. Times were bleak and the caffeine rush was real. Much love to Monster Nitro Super Dry lol.
After a couple of years of shotguning energy drinks in my car before work I had my annual doctors visit, I got word that my cholesterol was mega high and I needed to cut back on sugar, red meats, etc. Basically, it was time for me to graduate from that College Hot Pockets diet and start eating more leafy green stuff and that weird textured stuff they call Quinoa. Pretty much all the things Gaby had been blogging about for the past 5 years. It was around this time that I made the decision to retire my energy drink consumption and search for a healthier alternative. I was like a child who no longer got a pacifier.
Why does everyone loves coffee so much? What am I missing in this burnt flavor?
My quest started with Starbucks and the ever famous Frappachino, a Caramel Mocha Frappachino to be exact. This was a great way to dip my toe into the coffee world and it did introduce me in a very subtle way to the overall "flavor" of coffee. I also enjoyed the caffeine boost that came with it. With that being said, the Frappachino was not great for my Triglyceride count because of well the caramel, the whip cream, the milk, and the syrup. 54 grams of sugar in a 16oz drink was not going to help my cause. However, it was delicious.
Ok, so now that I had a slight appreciation for the general flavor of coffee, it was time to explore the world of the straight stuff. One of the guys that I worked with, was doing this crazy pour over thing every morning in the office. I always questioned who would want to spend 7 min making a cup of coffee. Seemed like a lot of work. One morning he asked me if I wanted to try this new bag of beans he just got. Not knowing anything about coffee, brewing methods, or beans, I said yes.
He did some crazy science chemistry lab type stuff with his pour over and 10 minutes later (it felt like an hour) we had our cups of coffee. I still remember that first sip like it was this morning.
Instantly the fireworks went off in my head and I understood why people love coffee. What made this cup so different? My entire life the plain black coffee I had tried was either foldgers, gas station coffee, Starbucks, Petes, etc. All of these coffees skewed towards a darker roast coffee. Hence the burnt/bold flavor that would crush my palate with each sip. The coffee that I just consumed was a light roast from Ethoipia and was like nothing I had ever had. It almost had a sunbrewed ice tea flavor to it.
From that day on I quickly learned "the chemistry stuff" for how to make a pour over. I would spend the 10 min each morning making my coffee. I became that guy. The task of heating the water, weighing out the beans whole beans, grinding them down to the right texture, blooming the coffee, and pouring the water through the gooseneck in a clockwise fashion became my morning ritual. A perfect way to start the day. The extra effort and energy put into the cup was always paid off by a consistently delicious good cup of coffee.
Over the years I developed a passion for trying different types of beans from around the world through various roasters. I have learned that lighter roasted coffees not only have more caffeine that darker roasts, but that light roast coffees consistently win coffee flavor awards internationally. My argument for light roast vs dark roast is simple. In my opinion the burnt flavor of dark roasted coffee blocks all the other amazing flavors in the bean. With a light roast you can taste so many more notes like a wine.
Due to my love of light roasted coffee beans and my distain for dark bold coffee, I started making espresso with non espresso beans. You read that correctly. I use light roasted coffee beans for my daily shot of espresso. So much more flavor and fun when you do it this way.
Anyhow, that about covers my love for coffee. Here is the gear I use. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to hit me up on Instagram.
When in doubt I always choose the lightest roast that skews more fruity. Thats just the flavor I enjoy the most. If you have a grinder ALWAYS get your beans as a whole bean. It stays fresh longer. With that being said, I like to explore and try different types of beans from different roasters. I have a coffee subscription that comes every 3 weeks. When you sign up they asks you a variety of questions surrounding what flavors you like, how much you want to spend on a bag, and how often you want to receive new coffee from different roasters around the country. Simply put its amazing!
Pour Over Setup:
Dripper - There are a ton of drippers out there and they mostly to the same thing. I like the ceramic because it heats up quickly which is important for the flavor of the coffee. This is the dripper I have been using since day one.
Pot - This is really not super necessary but looks good. Most of the time I substitute the pot with my mug.
Scale - This is a great coffee scale that does not break the bank. It gives you weight and time which are the two basics for a great cup of coffee.
Kettle - Find yourself a good goose neck kettle that you can SLOWLY pour in a targeted fashion over the beans.
Grinder - One of the most important parts about great coffee is the grind. This grinder is my all time favorite and has withstood the test of time. It also does not break the bank and has a ton of useful options.
Filter - This filter goes with the dripper listed above. Make sure to always wet your filter before you add your dry coffe beans to the dripper. It removes the paper flavor.
Weigh out 25 grams of beans and grind down
Bloom: Zero scale out and pour in 50 grams of water in slow small circles for 30 seconds
Post Bloom: After the bloom phase slowly pour in the rest of your water in small circles. Do not hit the edge
Espresso Machine - this is one of the more basic espresso machines Breville makes. It has all the options you need to customize your shot which is great. I think the two best features of this machine is the visual pressure gauge and the tamp holder/tamp.
Scale - Until recently I was using my Pour over scale to weigh my coffee beans. The espresso machine listed above lets you control how much coffee to grind but I have found its not consistent. So, instead of relying on the machine I rely on my scale. This scale is the best on the market. Its also very expensive and unless you are a huge coffee nerd, I would suggest to go with the other scale. The reason I got this scale is because I can now fit my portafilter on the scale (with the portafilter accessory), its a smaller footprint that fits better with my espresso machine, and it auto starts and stops upon first and last drip. It also looks super rad.
Weigh out 18 grams of beans for the double basket
Tamp down until you feel counter push back on you
Razor your Portafilter to get a solid seal
Attach portafilter to machine and aim to get 30 grams of espresso out in around 25-30 seconds