An Introduction to Coffee: What you need to know about Single Origin and Blends

An Introduction to Coffee: What you need to know about Single Origin and Blends

If you’re not a coffee afficianato or a barista you may not be familiar with coffee lingo. And that can make choosing your coffee a bit overwhelming to say the least. Walk into any grocery store and you will likely find an entire aisle devoted to the brew. Coffee consumers today are flooded with choices. Single origin or blend? Fair trade or organic—or both? Fruity and bright, or full bodied. Why are there so many choices? What is the difference? Single Origin…why does my coffee have such a long name?  If you opt for a single origin bean you may...


A Reformation History of Coffee

A Reformation History of Coffee

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a document containing 95 thesis to the Wittenberg Castle church door. These thesis started a reformation and set free the Gospel. Sadly, however, Luther was unable to enjoy a cup of coffee while writing his beautiful thesis or translating the Bible into German. The beverage did not arrive in Germany until 1670, only a short time after Luther’s lifetime.  By the early 1700’s coffee houses throughout Germany began to emerge, serving up the new brew. In 1735 a German composer by the name of Johann...


What a Coffee Bloom Says About Your Beans

What a Coffee Bloom Says About Your Beans

If you’ve ever used a brewing method such as a pour-over or aeropress, you may be familiar with the term coffee bloom. But, what exactly is a bloom—what is happening to the coffee during this stage of the brewing process?  A coffee bloom is simply the release of excess carbon dioxide. The bloom occurs in the first initial introduction of the hot water to the freshly ground beans.  But to understand the importance of this, let’s back up.  After coffee beans are roasted, they begin to slowly emit carbon dioxide. This is a result of the gas becoming trapped inside...


The Grind Guide

The Grind Guide

Start with the grind. That’s what I’ve learned the past few months as I read and learn about making (and improving) a great cup of coffee. The foundation to an exceptional cup of coffee lies with how and when you grind the beans.  Grind fresh. Grinding your beans fresh serves several purposes. First, it allows you to grind based on your preferred brewing method. Grind size matters. Understanding which grind size corresponds to your brewing method will maximize the taste and aroma of your coffee. If your coffee tastes bitter or sour it could be a result of over-extraction or...


Measure Twice

Measure Twice

There is an old saying, “measure twice, cut once.” When making coffee it is best to measure two times, once for your ground coffee and second for your water.  Measure your coffee. According to Brew Better Coffee at Home by Brian W. Jones, a good guide for brewing is using a 1:16 ratio. This would translate to roughly two tablespoons for a six ounce cup of coffee. Typically, I use a scale to measure the weight of the coffee beans before grinding. Measurement by weight rather than volume is often more accurate. I’ve found this method of measurement to be...