This is the best scale I’ve ever used
I have a Hario one that they make especially for coffee and it’s great. It’s sensitive to 0.1g up to 100g (I think) and has a timer built in for measuring pour overs / brew times. A little pricier than the basics but it fits well into my coffee setup, which uses an Aeropress, Clever Dripper, V60, or Chemex depending on my beans and mood.
Hmm…in that case, it could be a couple things.
How you measure out your coffee: coffee’s kind of like baking in the sense that you can measure by volume, but ideally you’ll want to measure by weight, as that ensures you’ll always have a consistent measure of coffee.
But it’s probably the brewer. A problem a lot of people end up having with coffee machines is that they don’t heat up water hot enough, and that results in a ton of underextracted coffee. The high-end coffee machines (i.e. Bona Vita and Technivorms) are absurdly expensive, but the reason is because they are guaranteed to consistently brew coffee at the correct temperature. I’m not going to suggest you spend $200+ on a coffee machine, but you may want to see if there are other models out there that are better reviewed (I have no knowledge on mid-range coffee machines, so if anyone has suggestions, feel free to share!).
That Hario scale is my best friend, and I’ll love it forever!
If only the timer could function as a countdown and beep to remind me when I walk away to give my son a snack / make the rest of my breakfast / space out for 2 minutes so I don’t overbrew every third drink!
I make cold brew almost every night, by leaving the last third of my french press on the counter overnight and then chugging that the next morning while I make fresh coffee.
Yeah, it sounds like you’re ready to go! Just take it one step at a time, and you’ll be loving your coffee more than ever soon enough!
That is a NICE grinder! I use a Vario myself, and I’ll always recommend Baratzas for pourovers!
I live in an area with a ton of good small-batch roasters, which is surprising because the Shenandoah valley doesn’t seem like the kind of place where that would be a booming cottage industry, but lo and behold (also great country for beer out here)
I am a particularly big fan of Lucas and Red Rooster among the brands around here
pretty much exclusively use a hario mini grinder and aeropress, because the flavor is great and the shot is worth the forearm workout
also guilty of drinking a lot of starbucks coffee when I’m slumming it in the campus library (the library here does a 56 cent refill on drip coffee, and two venti cups for $3 is a killer deal), though I only have two days left of that and then I’m graduating
I have a trash espresso machine (De’Longhi 15 bar, definitely not really 15 bar cheap thing) which I rarely use (certainly use even less now than when it was newer) and am content to live on almost nothing but AeroPress + Able fine disc filter (give me all those oils). If I need to make a lot of coffee at once then I’ll reach for a cafetière.
The model of Krups burr grinder that I think everyone got 3-5 years ago is still doing a great job if you don’t need the very finest grind (and the AeroPress certainly doesn’t).
I drink more Monsoon Malabar than anything else (I’ve got a regular order in at a local roaster) but I’ll go through lots of beans and can enjoy the nuttiest to the most chocolately and fruity of flavours. I do put a touch of pepper (black or cayenne) in to bring out the flavours a bit more (I guess most people use sugar to bring out the flavour but I try to avoid too much sugar/would prefer to eat something that goes all out on sweetness rather than it being in my drink) for some beans that mix well with a bit of a kick.
I think my coffee evolution has reached its end with the Aeropress. I find pour-over never gives coffee the body I want it to have. There’s a ton of delicate flavors, but I’ve never had a pour-over that didn’t also taste a bit thin and watery.
I use the Aeropress and the paper filters because I got very tired of digging through the trash for the reusable filter that I inevitably tossed out. In general I find 204-206 degrees is about where I like the water, though some blends seem to really sing closer to 208-210.
As for beans, I think Blue Bottle’s Three Africas is really something special. When I’m in Boston, I lean pretty hard on Flat Black’s Peruvian beans, too.
I don’t have anything fancy at home besides a simple drip coffee machine. I drink my coffee black and just prefer a drip coffee in the mornings. I use ‘Reunion Island coffee beans - Colombia Las Hermosas’. It’s really good!
Coffee! Yes! I love coffee. I went from being entirely ambivalent about coffee to head over heels for it 4-5 years ago when I had some amazing peaberry Kenyan from a specialty roaster I worked around the corner from. I’ve since gone deep down the bean hole to the point of going to the SCAA events and Brewers Cup Nationals.
For sure! I ran a specialty coffee company for a few years and now know more than is practical to any degree.
So, aside from the particle density of your grind which will be the biggest determining factor for how you brew, the other most important variable is water/coffee ratio. The general rule of thumb is 1/16 - coffee/water. So like 25g coffee for roughly 400g water (for a 12oz cup.) You can get a super cheap digital scale on amazon, which will really be the only way you’ll get your money’s worth from your new gear.
As for technique, Stumptown’s videos, while irritating in tone, are pretty accurate. Bloom time is a variable you can play around with, but generally 45 seconds for fruity/citric coffees and 1 minute for chocolate/nutty coffees.
As for a start coffee, I’d go to your local specialty roaster (if you’re in a city) and have them prepare you a cup of a more citric African coffee so you can understand exactly how it should taste. Buy the beans. After that, try to hit that flavor by fiddling with variables. Citric coffees are really hard to nail because they very easily become under/over exposed, so they make a good teacher. I’d hesitate to get that roaster to give you their brew specs because then you won’t learn anything through trial/error.
Oh yeah. And pre-wet your filter.
Wait, you don’t happen to be in KC and buy coffee from Broadway, do you? They’re the only roaster I’ve seen in the states that do a Monsooned Malabar commercially.
Fellow ex-specialty here too! Which roaster did you work for?
Been using AeroPress for years now and I’m really happy with it.
Just replaced my old electric grinder with a Hario Skerton one and I’m really happy with that purchase too.
Current beans are a 2.5kg sack of Papua New Guinea Korofeigu from a local roastery.
Might have to get a scale and a better kettle in the future but other than that, this level of coffee snobbery is pretty affordable.
I use a 2-cup v60 and a Bodum Bistro electric grinder and find I can routinely make better coffee than the majority of proper coffee shops here in London, which is great. Currently wondering about keeping bottled water in the house to make coffee with because the water in my area is particularly hard, does anyone have any experience with this?
One of my favourite things about living in London is being able to order from a different roaster every time I run out of beans, I went to the London Coffee Festival a couple of weeks ago and came away with a big list of roasters to try in future. My current favourites are Nude and Climpson & Sons, I think.
I’m currently in the UK and it seems like Monsoon Malabar is everywhere (all small scale roasters offer it and even a couple of the big supermarkets have beans - although obviously there you have no idea how long they’ve been sitting since roasting).
How hard is it to clean? Cold brew is my jam, but I’ve just been using a big jar I swish grounds around in. It works but it can be a pain to get all the grounds out and it might be nice to have something designed for the job.