All posts filed under: 101

Here’s the best advice if you’re thinking about getting into speciality coffee

I had a serious bout of cabin fever a few nights back. I needed to get out. So I grabbed my camera and laptop and headed to a coffee shop. The plan was to blog. When I ordered a cappuccino the barista asked me if I’d like to try their festive season blend. And after describing it to me I asked him if a cappuccino was the best way to appreciate the work that went into it. His eyes lit up and he asked if he could prepare it in a chemex. He was super excited about the idea. I listened carefully as he described each step in the brewing process. Why he was wetting the filter paper. Why he chose the grind size he did. Why he let the coffee bloom. Why the pour was a slow, circular exercise. Why he was watching the timer. And why he really appreciated me giving him the chance to brew me a chemex. We tasted the coffee together. He complimented my slurp. We talked about the tasting …

How does an Aeropress champion brew an Aeropress?

Dan Erasmus runs one of the latest and most exciting additions to the Johannesburg speciality coffee scene, Firebird. And he won the 2013 South Africa Aeropress championship with this recipe. Ingredients: Coffee: Long Miles Coffee Gaharo Hill Peaberry Coffee dose: 17.5g Coffee grind: medium-coarse Water weight: 220g Water temperature: 94 degrees celsius 1.  Bloom for 25 seconds.   2.  Fill to 220g. 3.  Steep for one minute.   4.  Then stir, put on filter cap, flip, and slowly press. Champion tip: let it cool a lot before drinking it, the flavour will be much more intense and the sweetness will grow. Photography by Creative Wei

How does a barista champion brew an Aeropress?

Ishan Natalie has been a friend of @manmakecoffee for a while now. He is a 3 time South Africa Barista Champion, a 2 time Africa Barista Champion, the South Africa Aeropress Champion 2012 & a Humans of Coffee alumnus. And this is his Aeropress recipe. Coffee: Ozone Coffee‘s Burundi, Munyinya Hill by Long Miles Coffee Method: inverted Grind: medium Coffee weight: 15g Water weight: 220g Pre-infusion: 50g water, 35 seconds Action: swirl, fill water to 220g Action: place cap, release air pocket & flip Action: press & extract Result: juicy, bright, sweet & fruity Enjoy! For more, follow Ishan on Instagram at @dodgybarista. The cover image of Ishan competing at the World Barista Championship in Seattle was taken by Pavel Zhdanov.

A guide to coffee brewing techniques

A Guide to Coffee Brewing Techniques People have been drinking coffee for hundreds of years. The earliest evidence of coffee being roasted and brewed goes back to the 15th-Century in Yemen (Weinberg et al., 2001).   They simply roast and ground the coffee before throwing it into a pot with hot water. Over the years, the methods used to brew coffee have evolved considerably. While some cultures still use very simple brewing techniques, others have developed elaborate machines that are carefully designed to create the perfect cup coffee! In this article Arik Weiss, CEO and Founder of London based Doppio Coffee will examine the most common brewing techniques that can make a delicious cup of coffee. Coffee Brewing Techniques There are several methods for brewing coffee, but they can all be classified in one of four ways: Decoction (Boiling): This is the technical name for extraction via boiling. Coffee grounds are placed in boiling water to extract their flavour. Gravitational feed (Filtering): Coffee is usually placed in a filter of some kind and hot water is …

The fundamentals of brewing coffee

The fundamentals of brewing coffee are straight forward. We complicate things a little too much sometimes. Keep the following things in mind and you’re on your way to a great brew. Water is a big factor… Water represents around 90 percent of your brew. In fact, you’re drinking delicious flavoured water. I don’t want to get too geeky and explain water chemistry, but to create the perfect cup, your water needs to be the best it can be. First, if the water doesn’t taste right, don’t use it. It’s pretty simple. As a rule, bottled spring water or a good filtration system are your best bets. I use filtered water from my Brita filter jug. Brita filters are an easy and cheap way to get great quality water both for brewing coffee and drinking. I did an experiment comparing Melbourne tap water to tap water filtered through my Brita filter jug. The results where based on taste. The Brita filter produced a sweeter and more acidic cup. Second, for most brewing methods, I recommend heating your water to …

Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, Flat White: What’s The Difference?

The choice of coffee is no longer one of whether you’ll take it with sugar, milk or black. Nowadays every local and chain café offers a wide range of coffees of which most are espresso based. While many people probably know that an espresso is a small shot of black coffee and a cappuccino has milk, the difference between a cappuccino, flat white, latte or mocha might be harder to pin down. Whether you want to be savvier at the coffee shop or replicate the drink you like the most at home, here’s your guide to untangling the differences. So, how can we make differentiate between cappuccino vs latte vs mocha vs flat white? The Basics: Espresso and frothed or steamed milk First of all, it’s important to know that all these drinks begin with a strong shot of espresso and then use varying amounts of frothed or steamed milk. A cappuccino, for example, will use equal parts espresso, frothed and steamed milk, whereas a latte will be largely steamed milk with a small amount …

You’ve been using the French Press wrong all this time

The French Press has been a household staple for a very long time. Depending on where you come from, the French Press is also known as a plunger (Australia, New Zealand), caffettiera a stantuffo (Italy), cafetière à piston (France) and coffee press (USA). Its classic design hasn’t changed much since its invention in 1929 by Milanese designer Attilio Calimani. It remains one of the most popular brewing devices due to its simple brewing method and heavier cup profile. What you will need: French Press Freshly ground coffee Hot water Goose neck kettle (not crucial) Scale Timer Stir stick or spoon Cup Method: Warm up your French Press by filling it with hot water.  I do this to pre-heat the French Press. It will help maintain the temperature once you start brewing. Weigh out 18.5 grams and grind the beans to a coarse consistency. It should feel a little coarser than table salt. Discard the hot water from the French Press. Pour your ground coffee into the French Press and gently shake it to settle the …

There’s a brand new coffee flavor wheel and it’s made me really happy

Not too long ago I did this post about a coffee flavour wheel I discovered. A great infographic that helps you identify the flavors in a coffee. It’s helped me appreciate coffee more than I have before and, more importantly, sound like an expert when debating with real coffee snobs. So I was very happy (like Pharrell-level happy) when the Speciality Coffee Association of America released an update last night. I love it. Check it out, go forth and conquer.

The best guide on how to taste coffee

The simple truth is this. Coffee is more complex than wine. The green coffee bean contains around 500 aromatic and flavor components. Roasting that bean increases that count threefold. Wine, however, at best, has around 300 – 400 components. So now that we’ve put that debate to rest, the question is how do you taste coffee. And I’ve come across no better guide than this awesome one from Counter Culture Coffee. Print it out. Keep it on hand. So that next time you taste a cup of coffee, you’ll have more to say than “it tastes like coffee”.