I am, admittedly, a coffee snob, nay an *insufferable* coffee snob.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned …
I buy my beans green from small farms around the globe from Sweet Maria’s and home roast them to my liking (usually just short of charcoal) every month or so. Cost is around $6USD per lb. ($7-8 including shipping) and you lose about 3-5 oz per pound after roasting so cost is better than store roasted but not by much. The experience of home roasted coffee? Priceless!
I prefer beans from Indonesia because I can roast them dark, full city plus and still the coffee produces definite chocolate-y tones. Sumatra Mandheling is the most common and most purchased by Indonesian coffee lovers because of it’s consistency of flavor at all levels of roasting.
I have recently taken to buying my beans ($6USD per lb.) directly from Victor’s, a local roaster, because they seem to buy their beans from suppliers that produce a truly wondrous cup. Plus there’s no shipping applied to the overall cost per pound because I go right to their store.
If you have -never- tasted coffee that was roasted just 12 to 36 hours ago, you’ve never really tasted coffee.
The way to know if your coffee is fresh is to examine the how well the “crown” blooms when you pour water over the grounds (for drip brew, french press or aero-press methods). If the coffee is fresh and the water is the proper temperature, golden bubbles will rise to the top and form what is called a “crown”. The more vibrant and voluminous the crown, the fresher the coffee. When pulling a shot through an espresso machine, you’ll find you’ll get more crema in your cup with fresh coffee
Ever since I received an Aeropress from my daughter for father’s day I have been using nothing but this system to make my coffee. It produces an extremely fine cup. It takes some muscle to force the water through the grounds but so worth the effort.
I usually resort to drip brew for larger gatherings of, say, more than 10 people. I can aeropress cups during a smaller party making two shots at a time but I really have to like the people at my party to do that.
More coffee stuff soon