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Q: How can I make the best cup of coffee at home?

A: There are three big things we find that can make a big difference-

1) Use a proper coffee-to-water brew ratio.  Many methods of measuring coffee and water are imprecise. No two coffee brewer manufacturers can agree on what a “cup” is, and no two kinds of coffee are going to have the same density, so the same scoop might measure more or less mass depending many factors. The most accurate way is to measure coffee is by weight and measure water by using a standard measure that isn’t “cups.”  Peace Coffee recommends using 60g per liter of water when brewing coffee. 

2) Grind fresh, and grind accurately. Coffee loses massive amounts of flavor when it’s ground, so if you grind it in your kitchen rather than us grinding it in our warehouse, it’ll make a big difference in its flavor.  Also using the wrong size of grounds can really mess up your cup.  If you use grinds that are too coarse for your brewer, your brew will be flavorless. If you use grinds that are too fine for your brewer, your coffee will end up tasting burnt. What size of grind is the correct size for your brewer? Glad you asked, because it leads into…

3) Knowing your brew setup.  If you just haphazardly throw coffee and water together in your brewer without paying attention to what you’re doing, you’re likely to end up with an unsatisfying cup.  But if you know that you brewed a French Press with 50 grams of coffee and 800 mL of water that was heated to 95° C and steeped it for 8 minutes and it was unsatisfying, but when you made it with 50 grams of coffee and 800 mL of water that was heated to 87° C that was steeped for 8 minutes and it was delicious, you know what the deciding factor was and you can repeat it every time. Making these notes in a $2 notebook that you keep by your brewer can do more good than a $300 grinder and a $500 brewer that are used incorrectly.

Q: How can I cut the bitter taste in some coffee?

A: Generally speaking, the more extracted a coffee is, the more bitter it will be. It’s a tradeoff: the more you extract it, the more overall flavor you’ll also get out of it. It’s tricky to find the point where you’ve got the most flavor without it being overly bitter. Generally, if you grind coarser, brew with cooler water, and brew with less overall contact time and less turbulence in your brewer, you’ll extract less and end up with less bitter coffee. It’s also worth noting though that some coffees are just naturally bitter, and that’s on purpose! Peace Coffee’s Guatemalan coffee, for example, has a big and punchy bitterness that’s reminiscent of dark chocolate, and if it didn’t, that would mean that we were roasting it wrong. It might just be that you’re not a fan of the bitterness of a particular coffee, and that’s okay! That’s why we roast different coffees in different ways, so if, maybe our Guatemala isn’t your speed, maybe our Colombian is.

Q: Do you have any tips for making foamy drinks? Latte art?

A: When you’re steaming milk for latte art, the thing to know is that milk starts to chemically change once it’s heated past body temperature (around 100° F, or around 38° C) and will start to change in texture as a result.  The process of steaming milk for latte art should involve incorporating air while the milk is still cold: hold the steam wand tip just at the surface until you’ve got that nice ½ – 1 cm deep cushion of foam that you want for building a latte, and never incorporate air once the milk is warmer than you are. The resulting steamed milk should have a glossy sheen to it and look like wet paint with no visible bubbles, and it should move and pour as a liquid without needing to use a spoon to get it out of the pitcher.  If you’ve got steamed milk that looks like dish soap and forms stiff peaks, you’ve put too much air into it and/or you’ve aerated it after the milk has reached body temperature.  If there’s no gloss or sheen to it whatsoever and the foam is not thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, you didn’t put enough air into it.  

Once you’ve got your properly textured milk, pour it into an espresso with the tip of the pitcher nearly touching the surface of the espresso. You’ll notice that the foam will lie on top of the drink, but will also be pliable enough for it to form different shapes depending on how you move the pitcher.  First, focus on just pouring in one exact spot and seeing if you can’t get a perfectly round dot in the cup. A good solid circle of white foam surrounded by brown espresso crema is called a “monk’s head” and is the foundation of all latte art. Once you can do that repeatedly, you can hit up your favorite video-sharing site and search “How do I pour latte art?” and you’ll find no shortage of tutorials.

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Chemex 6 Cup

$47
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Black and White Encore Grinders

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder

$170
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12 oz bag of organic Colombian coffee beans

Colombia

Luscious & Leisurely
$17$90
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Sure! Here is approximately how long each of our package sizes lasts, based on mugs per day.

Daily Brew 12oz 20oz 5lb
1 mug / day
Pourover
3 weeks 1 month 4 months
3 mugs / day
French Press
1 week 2 weeks 2 months
6 mugs / day
Chemex
1 week 1 week 6 weeks
8 mugs / day
Drip Brewer
< 1 week 1 week 4 weeks

Your brew strength and mug size may vary!


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