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This Coffee Tool to Perfect Your Pour-Over – [A Shower Head?]

I am all for improving the brewing method and finding new ways to refine a preparation recipe. But this shower-head seems useless to me. In all fairness, I did not test it, so it’s all a presumption. But the maker of the device, Charles Babinski, swears that the apparatus is great for those looking for a cleaner cup. Not for me, again… but he says, Melodrip  gives a “cleaner cup,” since the controlled flow of water minimizes the effect and volume of fines.” If a cleaner cup is “your cup of tea”, pardon the intended pun, you should definitely try it. I have my doubts, but again, I am not a crowned barista as Charles Babinski is, so take my reluctance with a few grains of salt.

This Coffee Tool Is Like a Shower Head for Your Pour-OverThis Coffee Tool Is Like a Shower Head for Your Pour-Over

The extent to which Americans guzzle coffee — random coffee, mediocre coffee, whatever coffee is most readily available in the office kitchen or nearest Starbucks — belies the expertise and sheer nerdery that can go into making coffee. Bean varieties, grind styles, brewing timing, water quality — the number of variables at play seems endless, as does the number of methods.

Which is why it doesn’t hurt to ask an expert. Charles Babinski is the cofounder of Go Get Em Tiger in Los Angeles — which consists of several GGET coffee shop locations and a roasting operation — and the kind of coffee pro who frequents (and wins) barista competitions. These days, one of Babinski’s favorite approaches for brewing involves what he describes as “a basic, rudimentary tool,” the Melodrip.

“The Melodrip is a pretty simple design, which is that it’s a shower head,” says Babinski. The petite apparatus, which began as a Kickstarter and “looks like a little dental tool,” gives you more control when making pour-over.

“It’s basically like a little shower head on a stick — you hold it [over the coffee filter] and you can pour water into the shower head, and it makes a very gentle, uniform fall” as the water cascades over the ground beans, explains Babinski. The result, he says, is a “cleaner cup,” since the controlled flow of water minimizes the effect and volume of fines (bean micro-particles — as previously stated, coffee can get really, really technical) coming through the filter.

What makes the Melodrip particularly exciting, Babinski says, is that it’s a great for travel, when it’s easy enough to pack your own filters but hardly convenient to carry around a kettle. “You still need some way to measure your water and beans,” Babinski says, but being able to control the flow of water for your pour-over from a clunky hotel-issued kettle makes a real difference.

And for coffee nerds always looking to try a new method, “it’s one more tool that expands ways that you can brew, without being something that takes up a bunch of space in your cafe or your kitchen.”

Buy Melodrip, $45

So you probably figured out that I am not the biggest fan of this pour over shower-head. I’d rather stick to technique, (practice, practice, practice), and go that way. When in doubt, read the news on the pour over coffee winner and how she perfected her technique and she won.

How To Make The Best Coffee at Home – According to 6 Experts

I have been asked so many times what is my favorite coffee brewing method. Or what are my favorite coffee beans? I like all brewing methods, but espresso is my favorite one. But really, coffee taste is personal. Yes, I love espresso, but most readers probably don’t. Whatever your preference makes the best cup of coffee for you. Coffee beans choice is also a matter of personal preference, but here we can add the brewing method as a variable too. Some brewing methods require darker roasts, some require a lighter roast.

If we were to ignore all of the subjective factors, it comes down to using good water, a great grinder, and a scale. Anyway, the article is very interesting, you get to see what baristas think about coffee brewing.

How To Make The Best Coffee At Home, According To 6 ExpertsHow To Make The Best Coffee At Home, According To 6 Experts

For coffee lovers, there are few experiences more joyful than visiting a beloved café and enjoying a piping hot cup of godly nectar. But when it costs up to $5 a cup, depending on where you live, trying to recreate that experience at home is one of the easiest sounding ways there is to save a little cash.

Except ― it nearly never tastes as good, right? Why is that, aside from the fact that it’s a treat to have something made especially for us by someone else? In an effort to save our sanity and bank accounts, HuffPost went on a mission to find out.

We chatted with six people who would know ― they have, after all, made coffee a career. They are: Jeremy Lyman, co-founder of Birch Coffee, Michael Phillips, director of coffee culture for Blue Bottle Coffee Company, Naida Lindberg, cafe manager at Verve Coffee Roasters, Todd Carmichael, CEO and co-founder of La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Bailey Manson, education and service program manager at Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea and Emily Rosenberg, senior educator at Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

This crew of experts gave us the (evenly leveled) scoop on how to achieve coffee-shop levels of caffeination from the comfort of your own kitchen.

On some points, like the importance of proper tools, they were widely in agreement. All but one cited the pour over as their method of choice (Carmichael prefers a French Press), and they were pretty much on the same page about their distaste for coffee in pod form. But in many cases, their reasonings ― and their ratios ― differed.

What seems to be universal is that making great coffee at home is less a precious and daunting task than we might think, and it really comes down to a couple of key ingredients. Find out what they are and how to use them below.

A lot. Every single expert we spoke to agreed. “It’s a magical ingredient in that when it’s doing its best you have no idea of its impact, but when it’s at its worst you can taste it very obviously,” Phillips said.

That being said, it all depends on where you live and the quality of your tap water. “When I drink water out of the tap in any new city I go to, if it tastes nice to me then it’s good to brew,” Rosenberg said. “If the water smells a little off or leaves a weird feeling in your mouth, chances are that won’t taste great in your coffee.”

BlueBottle

Most experts we spoke to maintained that a simple filtration system like a Brita is typically good enough to filter it out, and some also praised Third Wave Water, a mineral supplement that, when dropped into water, claims it can aid in coffee extraction and provide the best tasting coffee possible. But trying a taste test side by side with bottled spring water could open your eyes to your coffee’s even greater potential.

How To Make The Best Coffee At Home, According To 6 Experts“Buy a gallon of Poland Spring and brew with that, then brew a pot with what you’ve been using,” Carmichael suggests. “You’ll either say, ‘Wow, that was way better’ or ’You know what? My water’s not that bad, but at least you can rule that out.”

Less obviously, the factor that makes a difference when it comes to water at home versus in a shop is that water’s temperature. Ideally, coffee should be brewed between 195 degrees Fahrenheit and low 200s. Most drip coffee makers on the more affordable end just can’t get up to that level, meaning you’ll get a less flavorful cup.

“Even if you’re starting with really high-quality coffee that’s fresh, ground fresh and your ratios are right, if you’re not getting to the right temperature you’re never going to extract some of the more dynamic flavors of the coffee, it’s always going to be a little more muted,” Rosenberg said. ” I think that’s why we’ve pushed, as an industry, the pour-over method because most people have a way of heating water. Even if it’s just a pot on a stove it’s going to make a huge difference.”

La Colombe Coffee

It seems everyone we spoke to varied slightly when it comes to the gold standard of coffee to water ratios. Carmichael was steadfast in his assessment of “one part coffee to 17 parts water” for hot coffee and 1:9 for a cold brew. Rosenberg called the industry standard 1:16, while Manson and Lindberg both said 1:15.

They’re close enough margins to experiment for yourself, sure, but not precise. It’s an interesting notion when you consider how precisely they all agree one should be when measuring coffee.

The biggest takeaway from talking to experts about at-home coffee is that it’s a craft, an art, and requires some level of precision. Rosenberg laid it out pretty simply:

“I liken a lot of the things with coffee prep to cooking or especially baking,” she said. “You can not follow a recipe and get different results every time you bake a cake. You can follow a recipe that uses volume measurements that’s not gonna be quite as accurate, or you can pull out your scale and really hit the mark on predicting what’s going to come out.”

“I think a scale can be really intimidating, so I understand there’s a fear or it feels fussy, but think about how many ingredients go into a cake,” she added. “Coffee is just two. Unless you’re a super confident baker, you wouldn’t eyeball ingredients, so just use some sort of measurement tool to make sure you’re being consistent.”

Verve Coffee

Final Four Guide: Best Coffee In MinneapolisAnother reason a scale is so important? Your coffee maker could be lying to you. “If you look at the carafe at the lines that say three, four cups ― those aren’t actual cup sizes, and that can be very confusing,” Lyman said. “Especially because they don’t tell you they’re not real cups. I think they’re considered five-ounce cups. I don’t know why they do it that way, they just do.”

Carmichael offered an even more colorful analogy as to why precise measurements matter. “Not that I would do this, but if you were going to go buy a bag of weed, you want it to be weighed first, right? You can’t eyeball this stuff.”

Of course, having a good, fresh product matters, too.

If you’re dissatisfied with the coffee you’re making at home, we hate to be the ones to tell you this, but it might be time to invest in a grinder.

Manson wouldn’t commit to saying it’s a downright rule, but when asked if he would use pre-ground coffee, he replied: “if I’m going backpacking.” Lyman agreed that getting the grind size right is imperative and even recommends a specific type that he swears by. Rosenberg likened grinding coffee to sliced bread.

“If you leave the loaf of bread and cut a slice each piece is going to be delicious, but the piece you slice within in an hour is going to be stale,” she said. “Grinding the coffee immediately before is going to give you the best flavor but there’s also the matter of convenience ― sometimes I buy the sliced bread.”

If you use a Keurig or another capsule brewer, you don’t have any control

Speaking of convenience, Keurigs were pretty much universally panned by our experts, though not for all the reasons you might think. Some agreed that the ratios are just too small and out of your control, most agreed that the environmental impact is enough to avoid them and a couple pointed out that when you break it down, it’s actually more expensive than buying a pound of coffee.

“I think everyone has an empty, slight disappointment after a K-cup,” Carmichael said. “You know that slight depression when you eat two Big Macs, like, ‘Why did I do that?’ That’s kind of like the K-cup.”

Carmichael and Manson both pointed out, though, that there is room for improvement when it comes to the process, and both were curious as to why it’s taken this long to figure out a better, more environmentally friendly and tasty way.

“We have these cars that are destroying the earth, but then other people are like, ‘Well, let’s just make a car that doesn’t destroy the earth,’” Manson said. “But that’s not really happening with Keurig. They’re not resolving the issue by creating something people can get on board with, but it’s only a matter of time, and it will get resolved.”

As Phillips gently reminded us, coffee extracts oil. It’s tasty but can turn your clean carafe filthy over time. “I would bet 90 percent of carafes you brew coffee into right now are dirty enough to the point of being able to taste it in the cup,” he said. “People don’t realize how often and thoroughly they should be cleaning equipment.” Rather than giving your carafes a quick rinse with water, scrub them thoroughly with soap and hot water to pull out those oils.

At the end of the day, it all really boils down to taste, and the experts agreed that whatever your preference makes the best cup of coffee for you. Things like acidity and taste vary by region, and Lindberg even offers up her recommendations for which coffees ― from Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica ― she thinks pair more deliciously than others. It’s all a matter of preference.

But yeah, good water, a grinder, and a scale seem to be pretty important, too.

Curtis Earns Energy Star Certification for Commercial Brewers

Manufacturers of coffee makers are striving to align to an evolving market. Now companies aim to get the Energy Star certification.

“At SCA, we will be introducing a new, dynamic product that will forever change the way cold brew coffee is brewed,” said Heffner. “We are excited to unveil this revolutionary new system to the industry.”

Curtis Earns Energy Star Certification for Commercial Brewers

California-based Wilbur Curtis Company has attained Energy Star certification for four of its most popular brewers. The company announced last month that its certified machines now include Curtis GemX and Gemini IntelliFresh coffee brewers, and its ThermoPro and ThermoProX brewing systems.

The announcement is the first public move the company has made since its acquisition by French conglomerate Groupe SEB in a deal that was expected to be finalized last month.

Wilbur Curtis Senior Marketing Director Marc Heffner told Daily Coffee News that the certification process was relatively swift, as there were no changes made to any of the machines in order to fall in line with the certification requirements; they only needed to be evaluated and approved.

“It took 90 days to complete,” said Heffner. “But this time period was extended beyond the normal time due to the government shutdown period at the first of the year.”

Late last year, Bunn announced that its new Infusion Series Soft Heat brewers were the first commercial coffee brewers to earn the Energy Star certification. Curtis is now the second manufacturer of commercial coffee equipment to attain certification since the EPA published its guidelines for the category in 2016.Curtis Earns Energy Star Certification for Commercial Brewers

“Curtis actually led the way in this initiative and was instrumental in getting the Energy Star Coffee Equipment category established,” said Heffner. “Curtis made a substantial investment of time and energy to work with the Energy Star organization to help set up the criteria needed for these standards. We knew our equipment would meet the guidelines as energy efficient brewers that would benefit operations.”

Energy Star certifications aren’t the only area that Curtis is focusing its energy at the moment. Following its launch of a Nitro Infuser for cold brew late last year, Heffner said the company plans on revealing an entirely new cold brewing system at the SCA Expo event in Boston next month.

“At SCA, we will be introducing a new, dynamic product that will forever change the way cold brew coffee is brewed,” said Heffner. “We are excited to unveil this revolutionary new system to the industry.”

As for whether its Seraphim, Corinth, Gold Cup single-cup brewers or other equipment might be next in line for the coveted, green-spirited designation, Heffner said that in the coming months Curtis will be submitting the majority of its equipment for review, testing and approval by the EPA.

Davis Coffee Center Tests Flat vs. Conical Filters

Davis Coffee Center Tests Flat vs. Conical Filters 1Coffee filters are more important than people care to admit. Their shape and size will alter the brewing parameters, and depending on the filter type you could possibly have completely different coffee cups. Davis Coffee Center did some tests and they have their results, take a look. Click here to view original web page at www.home-barista.com

Davis Coffee Center Tests Flat vs. Conical Filters

So, over at the U.C. Davis Coffee Center, they did a comprehensive series of tests to determine if there really is a taste difference between “semi-conical” (e.g. Hario V60) and flat-bottomed (e.g. Kalita Wave) filters. Turns out there is. The short version is

So, over at the U.C. Davis Coffee Center, they did a comprehensive series of tests to determine if there really is a taste difference between “semi-conical” (e.g. Hario V60) and flat-bottomed (e.g. Kalita Wave) filters. Turns out there is. The short version is [For lighter roast] The flat-bottom basket […] [For lighter roast] The flat-bottom basket yielded flavor attributes with more dried fruit, sweet, and floral flavor intensities, while the conical basket yielded more citrus, berry, and sour. Similarly, the basket shape affected the dark roast, with the flat bottom yielding more pronounced chocolate, cocoa, and woody flavors, and the conical yielding much more intense bitterness.

I think this means most people will prefer the flat bottom. Interestingly the grind did not make much difference. There is a thorough discussion of the methodology and results with several interesting diagrams at Flat vs. Cone: Basket Shape is as Important as Grind Size in Drip Brew Coffee.

Brewing Great Coffee – A Few Tips

We all agree that a great day starts with a cup of rich, flavorful coffee. A great cup of hot java is a perfect way to begin your day, and nothing boosts your productivity more than the dark cup of goodness. And most of the coffee lovers like it black.

What if we want to make that cup at home? We aren’t going to go into the nitty-gritty details, there are a lot of other coffee brewing tutorials on the Internet. We will assume you have the basics covered and teach you advanced tips and tricks.

  • The most important for a perfect cup of coffee is the recipe. You don’t need to understand the recipe, but you need to follow it strictly.
  • There is a direct relationship between the grind size, the brewing temperature, the amount of grounds used and the water quantity. Change one parameter, and your recipe will be way off. You can change one factor, but you will then have to tweak one or more of the other factors as well.
  • Make sure you select great coffee beans. There is two ingredients in a coffee, water and guess what… coffee beans. If your beans are average, your beverage will be average.
  • Since we got one ingredient covered, let’s cover the other one, water. Water is almost more important than the beans. Yes you heard right. Water is more than 95% of the volume of a coffee. If you use bad water, your caffeinated beverage will taste like that. Make sure you use spring water.
  • The grind. Seriously, the grind size and the consistency of the grind makes or breaks a coffee. If you grind to fine, your coffee will be murky with unwanted undertones. Grind it too coarsely, though, and you’ll get a weak and sour liquid that you can’t eve call coffee.
  • Brewing time is also important, because it will determine the strength of your cup. If you brew too long, you will over-extract your coffee and get a bitter drink. Yuk!
  • Water temperature is probably, one of the least understood factors. Some people say brew it with water off the boil. Some say 180 degree Fahrenheit, so your cup is mellow and rounded. It is your decision at the end of the day.

While brewing the coffee, the coffee maker also plays an important role. The most commonly used coffee maker is the automatic drip coffee machine and so it is essential to understand how to brew the coffee using it. A bad coffee maker will not provide a correct temperature for the brewing water, and it will not have a consistent water flow. Many time coffee lovers underestimate the value of using  well built coffee machine.

The least bothered about element while brewing coffee is water. But a bit consideration to this element can drastically change the flavor of your coffee. We suggest you to use fresh filtered water for brewing. Always add fresh and cold water to your coffee maker.

It is a misconception that it is better to add hot water for brewing coffee. Adding hot water directly to your coffee make not only changes the overall flavor of the coffee but can also ruin the coffee maker. So better add cold water only.

Another factor is cleaning the state of the coffee maker. Always ensure that your coffee maker is absolutely clean as the unwanted elements like water sediments and coffee oil can add to the brewing process and will change the taste of the coffee for the worst of it. That is why it is very essential to clean your coffee maker regularly so that nothing gets mixed up with the process of brewing coffee. Also descale your coffee maker when it’s needed.

Going back to the basics, let’s make sure we follow the recipe. A good recipe is a great start for improving the cup and tweaking it to make it your own.

The most common recipe is to use two level teaspoons for every six ounces of water. You can always adjust it according to your taste to make your coffee either darker or lighter. It is better not to a scale to measure your grounds.

Always make fresh coffee, and make only what you drink. Stale coffee is not good.

Eight O’Clock Coffee, 100% Colombian Ground, 33-Ounce Bag

Eight O’Clock Coffee, 100% Colombian Ground, 33-Ounce Bag

Eight O'Clock Coffee

  • Finest blend of award winning 100% Colombian coffee beans
  • Sold in a 33-ounce bag
  • Tastes great every time you brew because it has a century and a half of expertise into every bag
  • Enjoy this medium roast with a lingering sweet finish
  • Today Eight O?Clock is America?s best-selling whole bean coffee

Eight O’Clock Coffee: A century and a half of expertise in every bag. Every time you brew a pot of Eight O’Clock Coffee you expect it to be great. And you are not disappointed – because we put a century and a half of expertise into every bag.Eight O’Clock 100% Colombian ground coffee is the finest blend of award winning 100% Colombian coffee beans–medium roast with a lingering sweet finish. So rich and full-bodied, you will understand why Arabica beans from Columbia are so sought after.