I always enjoy good coffee, but I love it more when I make some myself :P. For the last few months or so, I have been making coffee at home. I first started of with a cheap coffee maker, and some beans pre-ground from the grocery store. This was okay for a while, but things changed when I began to try pour over coffee at different coffee shops. This slowly turned into an obsession. I started reading more about coffee beans, where coffee comes from, different brewing methods, science behind making coffee etc. I was quite convinced now to throw away my cheap coffee maker. It was finally time to begin investing into my own little coffee setup at home. I decided on one fact that I should never be compromising on quality for my equipment setup.
- The first step to making good coffee at home was to buy a good burr grinder at home. There are plenty of choices for this and you can get them as cheap as 30$ to a few thousand dollars. I ended up picking up the Baratza Encore grinder based on multiple recommendations from colleagues at work and online reviews. It costed roughly around ~139$. This was good enough for me. It’s simple, straightforward and intuitive to use. It has a simple on/off switch and a way to specify your grind size. The grinds are great so far!
- The next thing was picking up a pour over equipment and I chose the Chemex as an option to begin with. The learning curve is easier on this one based on my findings.
- Making good coffee at home is basically performing a chemistry experiment. You need to get the measurements right. The perfect amount of coffee and it has to be brewed at the right temperature. I picked up a goose neck kettle from coffee gator which had a thermometer with it to measure the temperature. For the weighing scale, I picked that up from coffee gator too. There are popular brands like Hario which is awesome too.
This is a huge topic of discussion by itself and a single post is not enough. I myself do not understand the technicality of the whole coffee beans market. I am still learning about this. The origin of the bean, region from where it is grown, the roast etc influences how your cup tastes. I have tried beans from South American countries like Guatamala, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru to beans from African countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia. There is a unique distinction between this beans and each have a unique characteristic to them. It’s like they have a story to tell you :)
Each roaster is unique and have a speciality of their own. The most important thing I often look is that they have fair trade practices and source their beans directly from coffee farmers around the world. Some of the roasters who I like and have tried so far are:
- Round Hill Roastery
- Monmouth Coffee
- Verve Coffee Roasters
- Andytown Coffee Roasters
- Onyx Coffee Lab
- S&W Craft Roasting
- Contraband Coffee Bar
- Sightglass Coffee
Once I had all this setup, it was basically about experimenting and figuring out what worked best for me. It took me multiple attempts to learn and understand whats the correct grind size, the right temperature, the perfect coffee to water ratio and the pour time. I now think I have a decent recipe which I feel comfortable with. Making coffee is a very therapeutic experience for me right from the sound of grinding the beans, watching the coffee breathe during the bloom phase and the aroma of fresh coffee in the morning.
This whole experience of making good coffee at home has now turned into a ritual. Every single day, I religiously grind my beans, and make coffee in my pour over device of my choice for the kind of coffee beans I have. This has been very rewarding and has had a very positive impact on me. I have invested more and added the Fellow Stag Kettle, Kalita Wave and Hario V60 dripper to my collection. Each of these different brew devices produce different kind of coffee. The only thing which is currently missing in my collection is a good hand grinder. I am currently eyeing at the Comandante which is deemed to be the best hand grinder in the world and its made in Germany!!
Cover Image: The cover image is shot by me and it shows coffee brewed in a Chemex and Fellow Stagg Kettle.