Okay, Dad. As promised, here’s a post on how to use that Aeropress I sent you. I’m not kidding about the taste either. It will knock your socks off. Of course, make sure you use freshly roasted beans from your local roaster . Here’s the link if you forget where they are located: Walla Walla Roastery. And don’t forget to use the Hario hand grinder I sent (muy importante).
For those of you that have not partaken of the fruits of the Aeropress, please observe, but note that there are other techniques for taste extraction. In fact, that is the second reason I am posting. For those of you who do have an Aeropress, I hope you’ll feel free to share how you Aeropress.
You will need a kettle for warming water. If you can control the temperature, heat it just above 175 degrees F (80 C).
The reason I do this is I like to warm my cup or the receptacle into which the coffee will go and set them aside. This also allows the temperature to adjust down a bit while I grind 2 spoonful of beans on fine-drip grind with my grinder.
After grinding, I immediately pour the grounds into the Aeropress. I am using freshly roasted Ethiopia Sidamo beans from Dark Horse Coffee Roasters in San Diego.
As you can see in the photo above, the chamber has already been assembled. I use a carafe I have, but this will fit right on top of any standard coffee mug. Assembly is simple and straight forward if you can read (Dad, I know you can read).
It is time to add the water, which should have cooled slightly to the correct brewing temperature. It’s time to pour. I am doing a basic one serving for a typical mug of American Coffee. This means I’m just going to fill it to the #2 mark. Add steamed milk for a Latte or drink as brewed for a Double-Espresso (I like it all three ways).
Just a little bit more…
Perfect, now stir for 10 seconds. Wet the rubber seal on the plunger. Gently press down about a quarter inch and maintain the pressure for about 20-30 seconds until the plunger bottoms on the coffee grounds.
Pour into your preferred drinking receptacle like so:
I recommend sipping it in this form before topping off to preferred strength with the rest of the hot water in your kettle.
“I love coffee because it doesn’t judge me. It picks me up when I’m feeling down, and on rainy days it makes a nice hand warmer. I can’t say that about most people. Usually people are quick to judge my relationship with coffee as co-dependent at best. And I die a little inside whenever I see a Costco-sized bag of beans, or worse, ground coffee, in their freezer. Oh, and go ahead and TRY to get a stranger to stand still long enough when your hands are freezing. This is why I love coffee.”—San Diego Joe
Table For Two Organizer, Mayumi Uejima-Carr (left), Nikki Nakashima of Bird Rock & Owner, Chuck Patton (right).
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is teaming up with Table For Two whose mission it is to address both the obesity and hunger issues faced by over 2 billion people on the planet simultaneously. It does this buy incentivizing healthier meal options while dining out, or in this case drink options in the “over-nourished” world, with a donation to the “under-nourished” world of just .25, which is all it takes to feed a hungry child one healthy meal a day in regions facing food crisis like East Africa.
Right now, you can purchase a pourover from Bird Rock’s pourover bar of their Kenyan Makwa, which they encourage you drink without cream or sugar, and they will donate .25 of your purchase to feed a child in East Africa. In addition, Chuck Patton, the owner of Bird Rock Coffee will match each donation, so you’re actually ensuring a meal to two children that they otherwise would not have.
Patton is a Direct Trade Roaster, which means he prefers to work directly with the farmers who produce the beans he buys to ensure not only that the farmer is paid fairly, but consistently rewarded more directly for quality beans. He often directly invests in the farms to ensure a sustainable relationship both with the people of the farms and the environment. This desire for more socially responsible trade practices through a direct relationship with the farmer has drawn other Roasters to this approach.
Currently, East African—Ethiopian, Kenya and Rwandan—coffees are filtered and processed through Mills. There is no lot separation, so it is difficult to determine what beans come from which farmers, and which farmers are producing the highest quality beans. This is something that after two trips to East Africa, Patton is hoping to remedy in the company of other Roasters, such as Klatch, Temple and Portola seeking the same direct relationship the third time around come January 2014.
The norm in African Coffee, Patton explains, is to have one Mill that serves roughly a thousand farmers. The Mill owners buy the coffee cherries and do all the processing, but do not separate lots. This means most coffees are a blend of beans from as many as 1000 lots. The Mill owner negotiates a price with importers/exporters or the beans simply go to auction. Right now, Direct Trade establishments, like Patton’s Bird Rock Coffee, must choose based on the general happiness of the farmers doing business with the Mill, and how transparent the Mill is about its books. The goal, however, is a direct relationship with the farmer.
Currently Patton has relationships with Mill Owners and is hoping on his return trip during mid-harvest to be able to cup coffees at origin from separate lots that identify which farms the beans came from. This will be a huge step toward creating a more direct and sustainable relationship in that region. Enamored with how easy it is to feed a child and give back to the people of Kenya and East Africa through the Table For Two program, Patton decided to implement Coffee For Two.
Having witnessed the most abject poverty he’s ever experienced first hand in Nairobi, even compared with anything he’s seen traveling to origin in Central and South America, Patton felt instinctually compelled to do such a simple thing to give back when approached by San Diego Organizer Mayumi Uejima-Carr.
One warm meal a day means the difference in whether a child will attend school according to Uejima-Carr. In fact, in many cases children attend school because they know they can count on that one meal. Table For Two was kind enough to share some of the smiling faces of the children in Western Kenya receiving one of these meals. Since Table For Two began serving East Africa, over 16,718,495 meals have been shared. Buy a healthier beverage or meal in San Diego with participating restaurants or cafes, and .25 cents goes to feed a child.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting my next Pour Over at Bird Rock and drinking it black. I won’t just be delighting in the subtleties of their Kenyan coffee, I’ll be delighting in the thought that a warm meal will produce smiles like these.
Photo provided by Table For Two.
If you’re a restaurant, cafe owner or local roaster, and you want to implement Table For Two or Coffee For Two at your establishment, write Mayumi Uejima-Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time San Diego, Stay Classy, Happy, Healthy and Wise!
Yes. The rumors are true. In an earlier interview with Caffeine Crawl founder, Jason Burton, he indicated that plans for a San Diego Caffeine Crawl were, then, underway. Now that we have a date, momentum is building! Can you feel it?!?! I can. Oh, wait. I was sucking awfully hard on my iced coffee just then. May have just been a rush of cool caffeine hitting my frontal lobe…
According to The Espresso’s John Rippo, there are over 428 cafes and coffee houses in San Diego County. It would be impossible to crawl to each of those in one day, so Caffeine Crawl does their homework looking for artisans of coffee, tea, soda and chocolate who are as excited to bring the full industry tasting experience to the public as they are. Yes, that’s right tea lovers. It’s not just about coffee. I’ll turn around and let you break into your happy dance. It will be our little secret…
So, mark your calendars my little caffeine lovers because come January 25th, your beverage experience in America’s Finest City is about to be amplified. Tickets, I’m told, will be available in November. I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop on updates as they come.
Concerned About the Local Economy? Buy Local Coffee.
If you’re like me, and most likely you are, since you happen to be reading my blog, you spend a god-awful sum on coffee each year. It’s okay, break out the calculator and let the lower jaw relax and give into the reflexive drop it’s about to do.
If you look up the average price of espresso calculated by StatisticBrain.com, it is clear they buy their espresso at gas station machines because I’ve never purchased espresso for that little in 2008, much less 2013.
Let’s get real. If you take the price of a grande anything espresso drink at Starbucks, the average price hovers just above $4. So to calculate this number, I used $4, the demand for what you like to drink during the work week (5 days), considering you buy your own coffee and brew at home 2 days a week (this cost not included). In fact, some of us brew at home, then get another while at work if we’re being honest, am I right? And I’m not talking about drinking the sawdust wanna-be coffee your company provides. Gag.
Without figuring in the cost of K-cups or whatever you brew yourself at home, this puts total cost of your espresso loving habit at $960 a year [$4x 5 days x 4weeks x 12 months]. Higher if you count the afternoon pick me ups and coffee dates on weekends with friends or while you’re out shopping. I’m just going to round this number to $1000 for simplicity. For college students, this number may be admittedly higher.
Let’s just assume a very conservative number of you behave this way. So I’m going to take 1000 coffee lovers in the Greater San Diego area and multiply that out. That’s a 1 MILLION DOLLAR impact. This is a very conservative number given that the total population of San Diego County is brimming just above 3 million people. Now imagine what that money could do for our local businesses, if you chose to spend it locally?
There’s a growing list of stellar coffee cafes, coffee houses and coffee roasters from which to choose from in San Diego. In fact, if you like a particular Roaster, such as Bird Rock, voted 2012’s Micro-Roaster of the Year, ask them where else there coffee is served.
They have loyal customers that make the trek from East County to buy their beans. Bird Rock, like many other Roasters, train cafe owners near you to deliver the same quality espresso you can expect when ordering in-house at their location. Many of the cafes and coffee houses that work with local roasters, also concern themselves with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, like chocolate for syrups and organic milk.
The increase in demand for local coffee keeps those funds here and ultimately helps grow San Diego’s burgeoning coffee culture, which needs workers, roastmasters, baristas, sales, equipment, delivery, IT, software, etc., etc. to grow and thrive meaning more funds ultimately stay in San Diego. Not too mention more places pop up where you can get reliably yummy local espresso.
Below are a list of local Roasters. I want to challenge you, as a consumer, with the power you have in your own pocket to effect change, to seek out these Roasters, their affiliated cafes and make “Change.” Pun intended.
Until next time, stay classy by tipping your Baristas San Diego! Happy Coffee-ing!
So what happens if you buy a suspended coffee and it doesn’t get used the same day you might ask? Easy. Robin gives you a choice at the time you purchase: You can have it carry-over to the next market or at days end designate it to go in The Fund For Animals donation can she has at her booth. Either way, you’ll spread the warm and fuzzies or it will go to the warm and fuzzies.
I’m a huge fan of suspended coffee. If your cafe or coffee house has adopted this pay it forward act of kindness, contact me. I’d love to let San Diego know!
Since I began searching for great coffee as an alternative to Starbucks and Coffee Bean, which are the more visible chains in Southern California, I’ve been very successful at finding exactly what I set out to find. And thankful for it. What I didn’t set out to do on my consumer centered journey was end my previous relationship with coffee, which really was a relationship with cream and sugar, not coffee. In fact, when my Dad poured my first cup of coffee I would openly joke about liking a little coffee with my cream and sugar.
In those days, “coffee” was defined as anything you’d pull off the supermarket shelf labeled as such, or the late night coffee available at Denny’s long before they introduced clubs for teens. We could stay out late and talk all night with a group of friends without needing a designated driver. That freedom on top of all the caffeine, was a great high in and of itself. I know, I’m a cheap date.
When I went off to college at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, my dependency and expectations would climb a few notches. I spent many nights studying in Stuart’s Coffee House in Downtown Bellingham sipping latte after latte and mocha after mocha. I eventually discovered I liked the taste of coffee with a ‘little’ sweet always asking for less and less sugar until lattes and cappuccinos without sugar became my favorite.
Fast forward 10 years, and I found myself a home owner in San Diego County. I also found that I no longer desired to continue climbing the corporate ladder in the Financial Industry. So I started a blog, really as an experiment to learn about online marketing. What I found was that I not only loved taking pictures and writing about the ‘feel’ or experience of a particular cafe or coffee house, but it seems others were interested in reading about it too, or at least looking at the pictures (that’s okay, I just buy a new pillow after the screaming and crying fits). I picked coffee because I selfishly wanted alternatives and I refused to believe that San Diego was devoid of Coffee Houses or Mom & Pops that could make grabbing coffee feel and taste like it did when I lived in the Northwest. I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised at my findings.
This new examination of coffee, especially at the Roaster level, meant I had to educate myself on what is necessary to get the best out of the coffee I was taking home in order to give each a fair shake. Also, sustainably grown fair trade specialty coffee tends to be more expensive than store bought coffee and I didn’t want to waste it, but also I honestly wanted to know what goes into brewing coffee so I could have the same taste experience at home.
Proper brewing meant paying attention to a few things: Seasonality, the date roasted, storage, grind, water quality, and water temperature as well as the specific brewing instructions for each choice of brewing mechanism whether a Hario Pour Over or traditional French Press. Just as Roasters taste or cup each coffee they decide to buy and offer their clientele, it was necessary to start tasting the coffee, not just tasting it but examining it in terms of aroma, acidity, body and finish, much like those who taste wine do.
And in the same way, I began a journey of understanding coffees by region, just as there are wines from Australia, such as Shiraz, there are coffees from Indonesia, such as Sumatra. Wines are often described for the type of grape used and beans are described by origin, process, and often times the farmer or farming cooperatives who produce it. Just as certain grapes take on certain qualities depending on the elevation and environment in which they are grown, coffee cherries also respond in terms of taste to these variables.
With this new journey and understanding, I began to forge a new mind-palate connection, and to do so I had to THINK about what I was smelling, tasting and feeling on my palate. What I found is that once you taste an amazing shot of espresso (minus cream or sugar), your whole consciousness on what you like about coffee shifts. The same goes for a wonderful pour over, just like tasting a superb Petite Syrah, your brain, whether you like it or not, automatically creates a standard on which all others must now be measured.
Your personal preferences in coffee, just like wine, emerge. You realize that while you like chocolate, caramel and berry notes in your coffees, others may not share your preferences. Others may like earthy, tobacco notes in their coffees and will never be happy with natural processed Ethiopian coffees, for instance, with their natural infusion from the coffee cherry of berry flavors. Just like I appreciate jammy, fruit-forward reds with a spicy or smooth finish, others like reds with earthy mineral qualities or hate reds and will only drink white.
This is why I may seem to clam-up when someone asks me, “Who serves the best coffee or shot of espresso in San Diego?” The truth is, only the taster can answer that question for themselves. I can give you a few places to try, but ultimately, you may decide you like the more European style espresso served at Caffe Calabria over the edgy espresso blend that might add a little Ethiopian into the mix at Coffee & Tea Collective resulting in a shot of espresso with nuanced berry notes. I may love the latter and you think it’s weird, and that’s okay.
In the same way, I may not want to drink any “Fucking Merlot" and reach for the Syrah and Pinot every time. You may say you only like late harvest white wines like Rieslings, and I may only drink red, but as I learned at the Le Metro Wine Underground kick-off this past month via my hosts Uva Buena Fine Wines and Protocol Wine Studios, who curated a collection of wines that completely turned what I ‘thought’ I liked on its head, I would encourage you, to find someone you trust in coffee and keep an open mind.
Many of you may not know that coffee has peak timelines shorter than the peak timelines for drinking certain wines, that is why seeking out someone who can speak to seasonality in coffee is so important. If you don’t know what is meant by that, it is likely that what you ‘think’ you like in coffee is about to change. Simply by hitting up a local roaster who concerns themselves with this alone, you are likely to have some eye-opening tasting experiences. Likely, if they’re concerned with seasonality, they’re concerned with the farming practices that produced the quality bean they are offering for sale to you. Once people find what they like, they can be fiercely loyal, and that’s okay too.
But I will leave you with this. At one time in my life there were a lot of things I didn’t like and it took a very special foodie friend of mine to prove to me that if I just stay open-minded and agree to try something new or prepared in a new way, I might be pleasantly surprised. This was a leap of faith that I am fortunate enough to say has resulted in some of the most memorable dining experiences of my life…
I would like to talk about closing the coffee-wine divide when it comes to cost too, but I think if you keep an open mind and set out on your own journey to search out great coffees, you’ll also experience a consciousness shift on what you’re willing to pay for coffee that automatically makes the moment you sip it memorable even if the rest of your day is not…
Until next time, I wish you adventure and discovery on your own journey, happy coffee-ing my friends! xox
Just a quick note. I don’t create a blog post on everything I do, but for more daily pictures and updates on life and coffee in San Diego, you can follow me on Instagram at sdjoecoffeeblog, and share your pictures with me too :). I’m also very active on Twitter with Facebook coming in a close second and Google+ coming in a close third.
That’s right. The rumors are true my coffee loving friends. Caffeine Crawl is coming to San Diego! For those of you who do not know what Caffeine Crawl is, allow me to elaborate. Jason Burton, the Founder, took some time to do a Skype interview with me yesterday to talk about this revolution sweeping the coffee world giving everyone, not just industry pros, an inside peek into the specialty beverage world, specifically the still somewhat mysterious world of specialty coffee.
While wine and craft beer have successfully indulged their fans in events both educational and experiential, specialty coffee’s big events are still largely preaching to the choir, according to Burton, aimed at people in the ‘industry’ rather than the folks that buy coffee for consumption.
"That’s messed up. It shouldn’t be that way… I go to beer festivals and wine festivals and it’s the complete opposite. It’s mostly consumers. So, we brainstormed and I guess it would be two summers ago now on how to solve that… at the time we were doing a lot for the cocktail world and I was traveling around the country going to cocktail bars and also coffee shops…"
After working on branding in the high-end restaurant and cocktail scene, Burton began working with Roasters in the Midwest like The Roastery. He immediately saw the lack of events geared toward coffee lovers as a missed opportunity for Roasters, and in 2009, Caffeine Crawl was born.
Ordering coffee is such a rushed event, there isn’t time, really, for the Barista to talk about the coffee or what they are doing for a perfect extraction, unlike when you order a beer or a glass of wine, says Burton.
“[With] cocktail bars one thing I really noticed was that you have time to interact with the bar tender—they’ll tell you a little bit about how they made the drink. The pace is slowed down. And in coffee, I don’t know if it’s more of a routine, but [we] don’t appreciate how much it should cost… and the time factor and people are in such a rush… and I think it does two things: I think it puts the Baristas in kind of a bad mood sometimes because they’re passionate about it and they don’t have a chance to articulate what they’re doing… even if someone cares… it’s eight fifteen in the morning, they’re trying to get out the door, and the other thing is the consumers are sometimes too shy to ask a question…they don’t want to ask, or ask a dumb question or bother the Barista… so that was the whole origin of doing this to break that barrier…”
Caffeine Crawl strives to slow things down a bit in order to engage the senses, educate and demonstrate in a way that is memorable and gets people thinking about the beverage in a whole new way. Don’t worry tea lovers, unlike some coffee events that forget all about you, Caffeine Crawl includes teas as many Roasters are also purveyors of specialty loose leaf teas. Burton and his team also partner with craft beer and other specialty drinks to create an overall ‘backstage’ experience for specialty beverage lovers. Don’t like coffee, tea, craft beer or wine? There’s chocolate. Burton explains why chocolate was such a natural offering to include:
"We figured instead of doing just coffee…tea always gets ignored…and there’s a huge movement with bean to bar chocolate…and American craft chocolate makers or chocolatiers…there’s so much of an overlap in their process and how they work with origin in the same way that coffee roasters [do]…"
Burton and his team at The LAB in Kansas City have grown the events year over year starting in the Midwest, but reaching as far as Vancouver, B.C. and Denver. This year, they’re going Coast to Coast; they were just in Boston, and are shooting for San Francisco in June (date TBD).
When I asked Burton whether San Diego could expect them to do a Crawl here anytime soon, his answer was YES. I wanted to slam my coffee cup down as if in the in-zone and start doing my happy dance. I was sure it was my cyber stalking that had finally paid off, but as it turns out, I’m not the only one in San Diego who reached out to them requesting that they do one here. Oh, and eat your heart out City of Angels! America’s Finest City beat you to the punch…or rather to the Crawl. Our coffee culture may just be brewing, but what we don’t have in L.A. Time’s and New York Time’s reviews, we more than make up for in community enthusiasm. Don’t worry, we’ll send you an invite (wink).
It usually takes about 6 months to organize such a large scale event, says Burton, so San Diego can expect Caffeine Crawl in the first quarter of 2014. A lot of work goes into communication and logistics. Working with many independent, small businesses and brands has unique challenges, but the events that have come together as a result, Burton says, have been worth it.
Recently, Burton’s noticed a cross-over in the Coffee and Craft Beer worlds, so we can no doubt expect to see that organically grow together in San Diego and hopefully be a unique offerring at Caffeine Crawl San Diego in 2014.
Part of the reason we’re primed for an event of this scale, acknowledged Burton, is the enthusiasm people like me have for our growing coffee community. He wouldn’t even know San Diego had a coffee culture or community brewing under the ‘surf’, if I hadn’t reached out to him and let him know what was happening in coffee here. For me, it’s a great feeling to know I’ve been a catalyst of sorts.
Speaking of good feelings. Caffeine Crawl caught my interest not just because it is an awesome event, but also because it gives back to the communities it comes into contact with. An event with coffee that gives back to the community? Hello, that’s how this girl defines s-y-n-e-r-g-y.
Each Crawl closes with a raffle of 8-20 items via an after party, with the main prize donated by Baratza out of the Bay Area; a Burr Grinder that retails for $400 and change. All the proceeds go directly through the chosen charity; in most cases, local food banks. The only time they did a giveaway rather than a fundraiser for charity was during their last event in Boston; the weekend of the Boston Marathon and the Annual SCAA Symposium.
"It was a tough weekend for a lot of people…" Burton noted solemnly.
If you’re as excited as I am about Caffeine Crawl coming to San Diego in early 2014, shoot Jason and his team a “HELL YEAH!” via Twitter or Facebook.
That’s all the coffee news that’s fit to print this hot Friday afternoon San Diego! Until next time, happy coffee-ing!
Did you know that if the coffee you buy does not mention from which country the bean was sourced, it is likely it could be upwards of a year old? Also, without a “roasted on” date, the coffee could be way past its prime drinking period of 2-3 weeks after roasting.
Coffee that is old must be dark roasted, or in many cases burned to cover up the tainted flavor associated with old beans. What you get when the bean is burned, is not the taste of the coffee, but the taste of the inside of the Roaster. It is then not a surprise to many in the Specialty Coffee industry that some people say they like the smell of coffee, but do not like the taste. The truth is, if all you’ve ever tried came to you via the grocery store, via Costco in a “gy-normo” bag, or via Starbucks, you’ve likely been drinking old burnt coffee, so you might say, you haven’t really given coffee a try.
The bean (or seed of the coffee cherry) is extremely age and taint sensitive. It can be ruined by sitting in a shipping container for too long, if it gets too humid or wet, or by being stored in a warehouse with other food stuffs. It will absorb any scent it is stored alongside. Great care must be taken to get the bean, as fresh and preserved as possible to the Roaster. Once the Roaster has the bean, they check it for taste and freshness by roasting, cupping (industry speak for taste testing), and scoring it. If it meets their standards of quality, they order it and roast it up for you and I to enjoy.
However, once it is in our hands, there are ways in which we can ruin it. Some of us think that we’ll be able to preserve our coffee by sticking it in the freezer or refrigerator. This is wrong on so many levels. Freezing grabs the moisture from the bean, which hijacks the flavor, and storing it with other food stuffs will also taint the flavor.
First and foremost, coffee is NOT meant to be stored, it is meant to be drank. Seasonality can change with introduction of new crops, but if you really care about taste, you’ll want to know if the coffee you are buying is in season. Coffee isn’t a corked fine wine. Think of it as a screw-top wine, meant to be drank immediately. It will NOT become better with age.
For optimum flavor, you should always buy your coffee when it is in season as whole beans within 24 hours of roasting, store it in a light resistant, air-tight container, grinding just before brewing to preserve taste. As much as 80% of the coffee’s aroma or taste is lost in grinding, so that is why fresh ground coffee is strongly encouraged by your local Roasters.
As mentioned earlier, it is best to drink the whole bean coffee you buy within 2-3 weeks max of the “roasted on” date. This is aimed at those of you who buy a “gy-normo” bag from Costco that lasts you several months or longer. You might as well take caffeine pills every morning because if you think that coffee tastes good, well honey, we need to take you to get a real cup of fresh, properly prepared coffee. Once you taste it at its optimum, you’ll wonder how you ever stomached the other stuff. Some of you may actually find you can drink it without drowning it in heavy cream and sugar—I know—who’d a thunk?
Other ways coffee may get ruined, despite the best efforts of Farmers and Roasters: Grinding, water quality, water temperature, and timing.
As many of us learned in Science back in the day, friction produces heat, so if friction is applied too long to the coffee beans being ground, they are actually being heated and may burn as a result prior to brewing. Burr grinding systems are designed specifically to minimize heating during grinding. They will cost you $85 or more, but with proper cleaning and care will last you a long time and most importantly will not burn that bag of expensive specialty beans you just brought home.
If your tap water is heavily chlorinated or has any other taint, it WILL affect the taste of your coffee. Just keeping a little purified water around shouldn’t be a challenge, and HELLO, we live in earthquake country. It could save your life.
In addition, it is worth buying a $4 or less temperature gauge to be sure the water is at the optimum temperature for the brew method you choose. If the water is too hot, it will burn the grounds and have a negative affect on taste.
Finally, timing. Use the stove clock, the microwave or clock on your cell phone to keep track of brew time. If French Press coffee sits for too long after being pressed, for instance, it can cause the coffee to become bitter. It is recommended to pour the freshly pressed coffee into a carafe just after pressing to minimize contact with the sediment.
All of this may seem complicated, but after the first few diligent attempts, you’ll find it becomes second nature. Besides, when you taste the fruits of your labor, there will be no going back.
Another great way to get the most of the coffee you take home from your local Roaster is to ask them best extraction practices for the brew method you are planning on using.
For instance, Daniel of Dark Horse Coffee Roasters suggests using 20% more coffee when brewing his Guatemala with a French Press. This made a huge difference in taste. So don’t be shy. Roasters and their staff love to talk coffee. Take advantage. Many will take the time to show you. After all, their livelihood depends on you getting the most out of the beans you take home.
If there is a subject, like coffee seasonality, you’d like to see discussed here, just drop me a line at email@example.com. Also, if you’d like to join the conversation about local coffee, share coffee events, pictures or ideas join the “Coffee San Diego” community on Google+.
“I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.”—Jack Kerouac (via sellyourcleverness)