How to brew a good cup of coffee (and my short history of coffee drinking)

đź“… 04 Feb 2021

Let’s talk about coffee.

Good coffee is something I’m very passionate about.

Unfortunately, in recent years, I have become a daily drinker. That’s a problem because I can’t afford to drink good coffee every day. So what do I do? Lower my standards. That means cheaper coffee that isn’t as good. I should be ashamed.

I didn’t drink coffee growing up. When I started my professional career, it was almost a point of pride that I didn’t drink it. In my first job almost everyone drank coffee. It was just what you did to stay awake during the weird hours.

It wasn’t until 2016 that I started exploring the world of coffee. I did it very slowly at first. I probably only had one cup a week and I only went to the best coffee shops in Detroit, MI, where I lived at the time.

Slowly, as I started traveling more, I would include “coffee tourism” in my travels. This made traveling a lot of fun for me and took me to interesting parts of cities that I probably would have never visited.

When I moved to Louisiana, life got busy, the pandemic stretched on, and I started drinking more and more coffee. It was mainly just for something to do and helped me push through some long periods of home remodeling.

Unfortunately, caffeine is addictive, and now I find myself almost needing two cups a day. This means I go through more than two bags of coffee a month, which again, I can’t currently afford.

So, that’s my history with coffee. Now for the important part: How do you make a good cup of coffee?

First, you have to have high-quality beans. No blends here - single origin only. I personally don’t go beyond that as far as the beans go. I like buying them from a local roaster when I can and I check the date to make sure they were freshly roasted. You don’t want to drink coffee that was roasted weeks ago.

Second, you need a consistent grind that matches your brewing method. You can find guides online so I won’t go into it here. I personally use a hand coffee mill. If you want, you can spend a ton of money on an electric grinder but I don’t think it’s necessary. Plus, it doesn’t wake up my roommate.

Third, and what I think is the most important step, you need to use the right brewing method. If you are serious about coffee, throw out your Mr. Coffee. It’s garbage. Beyond that, people start getting entrenched in their preferred method. I think it can be argued that an Aeropress or a Chemex clearly superior, but I’ll leave that up to you. Personally, I use an Aeropress. It’s cheap, simple, and comes with about 4 years worth of filters. I don’t own a Chemex. When I’ve used them, the obvious draw is the presentation. A Chemex looks nice sitting on a countertop.

If you follow those three guidelines, you will taste a noticeable difference. You will spend more, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. That’s why I need to start cutting back. And honestly, feeling like you need something to get through the day just isn’t that fun if you think about it.

Here’s to good coffee. Throw that Folgers in the trash.

Day 17: #100DaysToOffload

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