I am obsessed with coffee as nearly everyone who knows me can attest. This post will be a primer of my coffee preferences and setup to achieve coffee perfection.
I typically make 2 cups of coffee at home before work while I read. Since my coffee setup is — intense — I cannot bring it with me to work so I may suffer through a Kuerig during the day. I have been trying to cut back my coffee consumption anyways so mostly it’s just 2 cups a day
The fundamentals of quality coffee are simple: brewing temp, grind size, fresh coffee.
The advanced techniques are really not that complicated but come down to timing, a bit of pour technique, and weighing your coffee/water for consistent ratios.
Variable Temperature Electric Swan Neck Kettle – Necessary for control of both temperature to brew and precise pouring technique
Baratza Vario Coffee Grinder – Simply the best home grinder on the market. 440 distinct grind settings. Ceramic burrs for low heat transfer and long life. Produces a consistent grind every time with minimal coffee leftover in the chute (stale coffee grinds == bad)
Hario V60 Ceramic Drip Cone – Quality drip cone for 1-2 cup pours (I find the larger ones tend to over extract) Ceramic is nice to hold heat and have some weight for stability.
Hario V60 Coffee Filters – Natural (vs white bleached) is crucial here. Perfect fit for V60 drip cone helps make for smooth brew process.
Hario Coffee Drip Scale/Timer – 2 for 1 product for the technically savvy coffee enthusiast. Measuring your ratio of coffee to water as well as timing the water contact puts you in the coffee fanatic camp. This product feels a bit cheap but has lasted me ~2 years now with no signs of failing soon so I’ve been happy.
My coffee of choice comes from Intelligentsia – a roaster out of Chicago. http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/
Really fantastic coffee with decently quick standard shipping. If you’re going to buy a nice setup like the one above you need quality beans. That said I have augmented with a bag of beans from the grocery store in a pinch. You can make a pretty incredible cup of coffee with Dunkin Donuts Whole Bean Original. But compared to fresh roasted Intelligentsia — it’s still an order of magnitude off. I really like their House Blend as my standard and usually order a smaller amount of their seasonal blend and a single origin (these change frequently so I dont want to recommend here). House Blend goes for $18 a pound.
OK so yes this is quite the setup for coffee. I will address the common criticisms I hear:
1. Time to brew – once you have the process down it takes me ~5 mins to brew including boiling water. 3 mins to boil with electric kettle (during which I measure and stage the coffee). ~2 mins to brew via the pour over drip method (video below). Sure it’s not Keurig fast but really not that time consuming.
2. Price – Yes the initial costs are expensive. If you total the price of the equipment I listed you get: ~$725. Intelligentsia House Blend costs 18 bucks per pound (pound yields 26 cups at 17grams per 10 ounce cup) The per unit cost of the filters is ~7 cents. So material costs are ~0.77 cents per 10 ounce cup. For my daily 2 cups thats $1.54. The grande (16oz) at Starbucks costs ~2 dollars. So a 46 cent differential per day yields approximately a 4 year break even point on my initial investment assuming no breakages (I am 2 years in currently). This does not take into account coffee quality and gas to drive to Starbucks and convenience of brewing at home and reading in bed whenever I want with an incredible cup of coffee.
3. Are you OCD? — Probably
Technique Video: Easy than explaining it via text
Russian Translation: Как я делаю кофе» http://stoodio.org/kak-ya-delayu-kofe
Как я делаю кофе translated by Coffee health benefits