Summer is here and most of us are feeling it. Hot weather accompanied by humidity can make it difficult for coffee lovers to enjoy their favorite beverage during the summer seasons. One alternative is cold coffee. Some true coffee enthusiast could never go down this road, and I argue they haven’t spent much time in Atlanta, Chicago or Phoenix in the middle of the summer. People who prefer their coffee in the summer over ice can rest easy because it is perfectly acceptable to enjoy the iced beverage. This also presents a new question: iced or cold brew?
For those unfamiliar that there is a difference between the two, think of cold brew as the new café on the scene. Many of us when we were younger knew about iced coffee. Gloria Jeans (yeah that far back), and smaller coffee shops would just pour ice over your beverage, and you could only find cold brew in trendy restaurants and café’s for the summer or during warm weather. Now major companies such as La Columbe and Starbucks, offer these year-round and in bodegas and grocery stores and there are now plenty of recipes for you to try at home.
What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? They are almost the same, just how they are made is different. Iced coffee, if made right, isn’t just espresso or coffee over ice and more of a carefully constructed blend of coffee and milk or water over the right temperature. This prevents the drink to become watery. Cold brew is a longer process. Typically taking between 12-24 hours, cold brew needs time to express the unique flavors present in the blend. In the end you can taste the flavor of the coffee really well and the caffeine content is higher removing a lot of the bitter qualities you taste when served warm. Next time its warm out and you want to have some coffee, try an iced beverage and let us know what you think. You may be surprised.
If your espresso feels like they have running shoes on, then we have to make some adjustments. It can surely be frustrating trying to figure where to start. The first thing you want to consider is the machine you are using. If you have something that is steam powered, it will be more difficult to get a lot of crema because of the water temperature. If your machine is a manual lever, the speed may not be consistent, so pay attention to that. Now that we got that out of the way, there are 4 things you should look when your espresso shots are running marathons: The grind, the tamping pressure, the amount of coffee and is your machine clean.
The Grind. Each espresso machine is unique. As you use yours more, you begin to understand which grind setting you need to use to get the right extraction. If your shot is pulling to fast, that means that your grind is too coarse, and the water doesn’t have enough time to extract goodness of the beans. Thus look at using a finer grind (refer to your grinder) and then pull another shot and adjust until the flow is much more smooth.
Tamping? When tamping down your espresso shot, the general rule is to apply 30 lbs of pressure to the grinds in the porta-filter (this is that nice silver thing where the grinds go). Let’s be honest, who knows what exactly 30 lbs is? You are going to have to feel around a bit to see what that feels like, and this specifically is practice, practice and you know what else, practice. My issue when I started out tamping was that I was tamping to hard, thus a slower pouring shot. Here are a few things to help you out. First take tamping arm and make it approx. 90 degrees, rest the porta-filter on the counter and press down. Some also have tried tamping lightly, about 5 lbs, to make things event and then another tamp of about 27-30 lbs. This should help. All else fails, you can buy a calibrated coffee tamper.
How much coffee is in there? The amount of espresso grinds you put in will change how the shot pours. Too little and it’s off to the races, too much and paint may dry faster. General rule is 14-18 grams depending on the grind and the coffee. Now don’t go running off to get a scale just yet. Your porta filter should be filled to at least a little more than ½ of the capacity tamped to start. Then add or remove the amount of grinds as you figure out what is the right amount.
Is your machine clean? One of the basic things to always check is to see if your machine is clean. A dirty machine can chance how much or how consistent the water pressure is along with many other issues. Check your manufacture’s instructions on how to and how often should you clean your machine.
In the past, most coffee drinkers bought their coffee in big tin cans or bags and brewed them using that iconic Mr. Coffee coffee maker (try saying that five times fast). It was a big thing that your coffee maker had a timer on it. Just leave the beans or grinds in the coffee maker overnight (I know, I know) and voila, when you wake up in the morning, the smell of coffee would fill your home. People would store their coffee in the cupboard, on the counter or the freezer to keep their coffee “fresh”. The idea is that coffee stored in the freezer would be preserve the coffee’s flavor. Fast forward to today and if you mention the freezer, you can seem out of touch or not even care about how your coffee tastes. Somehow this way of storing coffee is accepted by some and a cardinal sin by others. Let’s take a look at what happens when you store coffee and why others still swear by it.
Supermarket coffee, you will notice, has a best before date instead of the roasting date. This is because that coffee may be months old. Large coffee roasting companies do need to roast way ahead of time in order to keep up with demand globally. To preserve their coffee for consumers, it’s likely that they are freezing it to preserve it. Just remember a fair amount of coffee that is sold in the supermarket isn’t specialty coffee.
What happens when coffee comes in contact with moisture or precipitation, the cell structure (bring out your science book for just a little bit) of the bean starts changing and thus the flavor does too. There isn’t much moisture in the freezer you say? That is right, however putting them in the for a lengthy period of time (say more than a month) just like other food can damage the beans. Additionally, defrosting beans is the challenging part. If defrosted and brewed correctly, then you are pretty good to go and won’t lose much flavor in your coffee. The other important thing to remember that coffee is fantastic for absorbing odor. If you have something with a strong odor in your freezer, expect your coffee to absorb it and you are likely to have some surprising new flavor notes when you taste it. I for one am not a fan of catfish coffee. Yes, take a moment and then let that thought go.
In the end, if you are looking at enjoying your coffee at its “peak brewing time” then freezing your coffee shouldn’t be an option for you. Store beans in an airtight container, with no light or moisture. If that peak time isn’t important to you, then you can surely store your coffee in a nice container in the freezer for 1.5 months. I would highly encourage you to try testing frozen and non-frozen beans yourself. Put some beans in the freezer for 2 weeks, and then brew them side by side with some fresh roasted beans. You might be surprised with what you discover.
When someone is talking about acidity in coffee, they are referring to the range of flavors the coffee offers and not pH levels. Acidity consist of citric, malic or tartaric acids the bean expresses when you brew it. The quality of acidity shows up in the flavors you taste. Lighter or Single-origin roasts are more likely to express smoother flavors while darker roasts are stronger and often mentioned as brighter.
How coffee is roasted can change the perception of that bean’s acidity. Darker roasts can show caramelized sugars as lighter roasts show more fruity or juicy flavors.
If you want to really see the difference in acidity (pH wise) then try putting a cup of soda, orange juice, wine and water next to each other. This will make it easy to tell how coffee’s pH level of acid is lower than most beverages you consume on a daily basis.
Your beloved coffee wants to taste its best. Open the bag and smell the aroma of coffee is like no other, yet your coffee has an enemy. This enemy takes the freshness out of your delightful treat and the flavors start tasting flat and unrecognizable. So lets talk about the 5 different things that reduce the freshness of your coffee: Air, moisture, heat, light and grinding (yes grinding. Give us some latitude here and hear us out).
To preserve the flavor of your freshly roasted beans store them in an air tight, opaque container at room temperature. Be careful and avoid your beans being close to appliances that may heat up your beans or storage containers that that allow a lot of light. Like wine, coffee likes a cool place where the temperature is consistent and not humid. Avoid clearcanisters that make your coffee look great and will compromise the flavor and make sure the canister is air tight. Grind when you plan on using the beans and grind only what you plan on using. As soon as the beans are ground, they start loosing their flavor immediately and you will taste the difference within hours if not sooner.
Who would have thought that instant coffee would rise faster than Tesla stock and be more popular than espresso? No one. Welcome Dalgona coffee. What is it? Named after a South Korean actor, is instant coffee with sugar and water, whipped until it creates a fluffy frothy delight. What is happening, well when you place these three ingredients together, and whip them up (I highly recommend using a mixer to do this faster, it aerates the mixture into the fluffy delight that is taking over social media. Add it to the top of a glass of milk and you are all set.
If you haven't tried it you should. its very good, especially with iced milk and complements perfectly with the weather warming up in the next few weeks. Think early afternoons. There are many versions of this such as replacing or adding matcha, or adding chocolate to the mix. Either way its hard not to enjoy it. Here is a simple recipe below that you can try.
Recipe | Combine in a bowl 3 Tablespoons of instant coffee 3 Tablespoons of sugar 2.5 to 3 Tablespoons of water Put it all in a bowl and start mixing * Note we HIGHLY recommend using a mixer. Once fluffy, pour your A2 Milk in a glass and with ice then scoop your fluffy delight on top and enjoy!
We currently are still closed, respecting social distancing and will resume events only when we feel it is safe to do so.
In the meantime we have launched our online store for the first time so you can have moments of normalcy in the morning and throughout the day. We are excited and humbled that we can be invited into your home to experience our coffee. Our roasting process and partners respect current guidelines and respects those we work with to keep everyone safe.
We will keep our blog going so you can brewing your favorite cup of coffee at home.
Stay safe. Stay Connected with friends and family.
We are experiencing an unsettling time with a future we will soon see. The emerging COVID-19 pandemic is causing challenges and hardships for us all locally and around the world.
First things first, our thoughts are with those who are directly affected and their families, and we hope they have a speedy recovery. Those who are healthy, please be careful and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones. Following the health and prevention recommendations from the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventionalong with local government restrictions, we will suspend our mobile coffee truck service until further notice and appreciate all those who have supported us thus far. We will continue our blog and you can stop by and take some time out of your day stop by. We would appreciate it.
We will soon start selling our coffee beans direct to you. Once we figure out how to do this in a safe way, we will announce it on our site. Be safe and take care.
When you mention decaf you can get mixed reactions. Every decaf coffee lover wants their drink to taste just like their caffeinated cousin. Some people feel coffee isn't coffee without caffeine and that the experience just isn't the same. I personally have had some amazing decaf coffee and didn't see much of a difference. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience what I did and give decaf a try, even though it is made differently To better understand decaf, you should know the different ways decaf beans are made.
Coffee beans are naturally caffeinated and have been used for their invigorating quality for centuries. These seeds from a fruit of a tree, can have the caffeine extracted from them in one of three ways. Using organic chemical solvents (methylene chloride or ethyl acetate), using carbon dioxide, or the Swiss Water method. A decaffeinated coffee bean has almost all of the caffeine removed from the bean. At least 97 percent compared to regular coffee. This is important for those who are sensitive to caffeine to know.
In the end, we know that decaf can be just as enjoyable as other caffeinated blends and deserves to be on the menu. Next time you want to try something in the afternoon and don't want the caffeine kick, try decaf, especially an Americano. You may be surprised by the flavors you taste.
When we think of coffee it is normal we believe it to be dark, bitter and aggressive. When we think of coffee being sweet, we associate that by adding sugar or cream to subdue the bitterness and easier to drink. We have some news for you, some of the best coffee tends to be sweeter and the higher quality coffee beans express this often. The Italians knew this all along.
So what are you looking for when we mean sweetness in the coffee? Similar to flavor, you first start with the tastes of caramelized almonds and other sweet nutty flavors. Some blends offer strong hints of fruits or even maple and yes we cannot forget brown sugar. An easy way to experience this is to have two or three types of coffee, that are different blends beside one another and taste them. To get the most out of this experience, taste each cup 3-4 times and make notes of what you discover, sharing what you find after each sip. To have some real fun try coffee from different regions of the world to see how the flavors differ from one another. This is something that will surely expand your knowledge of coffee and enlighten your appreciation of coffee.
Learning about coffee for the first time, you would think baristas spend more time on the process. Grinding the beans, tamping the grinds correctly, and extracting the most out of your pull. That is all true, and at the same time they learn about flavor. Understanding why flavor contributes to how we enjoy coffee is like wine tasting. References to the country of origin, descriptions of dominate and subtle notes, and the sharing of single vs various beans that make the coffee's unique blend are always up for discussion.
In the beginning, if you are not use to coffee or are not paying attention, people often say they can only taste if the coffee is a light, medium or dark roast. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Yet if you take a moment and space out your taste in 3 sips, you will notice there is a difference. When you taste something new or for the first time that day, your taste buds will pick up different flavors. As you continue to taste your coffee, more flavors will emerge that you didn't notice before. They are slight at first, yet become more noticeable as you enjoy your cafe. Use food that you know as a baseline to describe these flavors and that will help you identify them. This can help you pair your coffee with your favorite meal or snack.
Pour overs have been great for many coffee drinkers for years. You have seen them rise more frequently in large and small coffee shops with a variety of methods and mastering those methods can take time if unless you follow some simple tips. Today we will talk about how to get the most out of your Hario V60. We will cover other styles another time, pinky swear.
First you will need to grind your beans. When referring to grinding there are 3 things you should always keep in mind: How, size of the grind and when. 1) Thinking you may not have a grinder at home, you can ask your local coffee shop and let them know what you are using it for. This will help make sure that you have the right size for your brew. 2) The grind for V60's is more coarse (bigger) than espresso, yet smaller than drip. 3) It is best to grind just before you brew to get the fresh taste of the beans. Coffee ages more quickly and oxidation begins as soon as you grind it.
Next you need to place your filter in the V60 and your coffee pitcher or coffee cup under it. Then heat the water to around 200 degrees (F) and pour the hot water over your filter. This rinses out the paper residue (removing the paper or wood like taste some get) and warms up your V60 brewer and seals the filter. Make sure you use clean water. If you have access to filtered water, it will show in the coffee's taste.
Now to the first pour over coffee. After you have placed the grounds in the filter, you will experience what is call the bloom pour. Pour just enough of water to cover all the grounds around the filter in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. This allows for the grounds to sodden and unlocks the coffee's flavor. Let it sit for about 30-45 seconds and then begin pouring in the same circular motion (clockwise or counter clockwise, your choice. I have had great coffee either way honestly) until it almost fills to the top. Do this slowly and let the water do its magic. Look at the cup below and see the desired amount of coffee you have in your cup or pitcher. Once complete, take a sip and enjoy.
A few things here to remember. If your coffee comes out sour, then grind your beans finer, and if bitter then a coarser grind is necessary. If it is soapy, then either the temperature of the water is not hot enough or needs more time or a slightly finer grind.
There you have it! With the right technique you can always brew fresh coffee and be ready for the day, every day.
Have you ever had a cup of coffee that is just off? It’s more common than you think. Sour or soapy (yes soapy) flavored coffee has something to do with how you are extracting your coffee. Let's address the problem of soapy or sour tasting coffee and give you some ideas of how to to these unwelcome flavors happen and ways to resolve it. Soapy
Sour coffee normally happens when you are under-extracting when brewing the coffee. This can be due to the incorrect grind. The coffee may be to coarse and make a finer grind will help reduce that. Next I would look at the water temperature. Rising the temperature will increase how much is extracted from the beans. Too hot will make it bitter or a burnt taste. Too cool will result in soapy or sour coffee. You can control this by adding a thermometer to your kettle or getting a water boiler/warmer. Rule of thumb is to set the water aside for about 30 seconds before pouring . The third way to can adjust is brewing time. If you brew the coffee longer, you will have a longer extraction time. If your grounds are finer, the extraction time is longer. If this is off and you have a less time brewing, you can get soapy or sour taste. Last but not least is the ratio of coffee to water. If you are adding to much or too little water, it can come out sour in the end.
With practicing these minor adjustments on brewing your coffee correctly, you'll be brewing your coffee on the daily in no time. Enjoying the pleasant flavors of the blend you purchased.