I didn’t do very much this Christmas. (It was wonderful.)Â I did, however, do something that I almost never do: Â make coffee at home.
I don’t make much coffee at home for a lot of reasons – I work a lot, I have lots of lovely coffee and equipment at the roastery a mere half mile away, and sometimes its nice to be at home and not do anything related to work. Â Christmas was different, I made coffee at least once a day with some basic kit: Â a hario skerton hand grinder, a v60, a standard electric kettle. Â What did I learn?
I am lost without scales.
I had to go to work to grab some when my set at home died. Â It isn’t that the coffee suddenly tasted awful – more that it just made me very frustrated to not know what was happening.
It is good to work through a single bag of coffee.
I have a lot of different coffee available at the roastery – not just ours, but coffees from great roasteries around the world. Â Rarely do I drink the same thing twice in a row – and to be honest I hope to keep it that way. Â However, there was something to be said for working through a bag from start to finish, enjoying what it had to offer through different brews and as it matured.
The French Press is your friend
I know I said I used a V60, and I made some coffee with it that I really enjoyed. Â However, it was hard work without a pouring kettle. Â I wish I had just taken a press home, as the coffee would have been great and required little effort and work. Â I can’tÂ emphasizeÂ enough how much I love this way of brewing!
Should not be allowed near coffee without being filtered first. Â Seriously. Â At the least buy a Brita filter, the difference it makes is astounding.
Lots of lovely equipment = disconnection from consumers
Most embarrassing of all: the realisation that the way I make coffee at work isn’t easily replicated in the home. Â However, it is absolutely fundamental that people get the most out of their coffee at home so they feel like they got value for money. Â We need to share more with the consumer, but also make sure we offer techniques and advice that are practical and approachable. Â For example – I am all for pushing weighing scales as part of the brewing process, I have less interest in promoting syphon stirring techniques. Â I don’t want to compromise, but I don’t want to intimidate, bore or frustrate. Â I don’t think I’ve done enough of the education stuff this last year – I’ll try and change that this year.
I’d be interested to hear from any non-industry readers about whether the information and brewing guides online are genuinely useful? Â What is being overlooked? Â What isn’t clear, or properly explained? Â Does most of the online discussion/materials feel geared to the industry or the consumer?