Latest Posts

  1. Choosing a Pour Over Brewer

    Choosing a Pour Over Brewer

    Three questions you should ask yourself.

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  2. Aeropress Plunger Cleaning

    Aeropress Plunger Cleaning

    If your Aeropress plunger is excreting some sticky stuff. Don't worry, it's harmless but you probably still want to know how to clean it off, right?

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  3. Video: Metal Aeropress Filters

    Video: Metal Aeropress Filters

    Have fun pushing coffee through these metal Aeropress filters.

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  4. Moka Pot Brewing (Stovetop Espresso)

    Moka Pot Brewing (Stovetop Espresso)

    These are some basic instructions that you will, undoubtedly, adapt and refine to suit your purposes...

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  5. Espresso: Choosing the Right Coffee for Espresso

    Espresso: Choosing the Right Coffee for Espresso

    Usually, an espresso blend must be blended for balance, or particular varietal qualities that would be favorable in a drip coffee might overwhelm the espresso extract.

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  6. Espresso: The Grind

    Espresso: The Grind

    It's often said that a good grinder is the most important piece of equipment for making espresso, and I tend to agree.

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  7. Espresso: Almighty Crema

    Espresso: Almighty Crema

    The presence of crema, the foam on your espresso, means you are in the ballpark ...

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  8. Cona Vacuum Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!

    Cona Vacuum Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!

    Cona brewing is a wonderful visual experience that just happens to result in perfect coffee.

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  9. Chemex Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's

    Chemex Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's

    The Chemex Coffee Making System was developed by a chemist to achieve one result: brew a perfect cup of coffee every time.

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  10. Ibrik Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!

    Ibrik Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!

    These are intended as a "starting point" for Ibrik brewing - ultimately you will figure out the best and most convenient ways to use these brewing devices, so please remake, twist, turn, distort, decompile, torch, grind and brew these instructions to suit your own needs!.

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  11. Bodum Santos Brewing Instructions

    Bodum Santos Brewing Instructions

    Here are Bodum's instructions for using the Santos.

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  12. Clever Cleaning

    Clever Cleaning

    Here are a few ways to give your Clever Coffee Dripper the proper care it deserves

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Espresso: Freshness - Fresh? Too Fresh?

Espresso: Freshness - Fresh? Too Fresh?

The freshness issue for espresso is different than for other brew methods. Over time, I have come to believe that homeroasted espresso needs a lot more age on it before extraction, more so than infusion and drip brewing techniques. Carbon dioxide rapidly degasses from coffee in extraordinary volumes after roasting, especially in the first 24 hour after roasting. During this time, espresso will be less flavorful and thin. Gas emerging from the coffee will prevent water from thoroughly percolating through the grinds, resulting in underextraction. You will notice fast brew times and light-colored crema. It will also have a specific taste from the gas, a tingly, baking soda effect (not the flavor of baking soda, but that effect). This unpleasant taste can persist for up to 72 hours in my experience, and it depends on the degree of roast, and the specific coffees in the blend. You can rush the degassing process by grinding coffee ahead of time and letting it sit a few hours; a coffee "sin" by all measures, but sometimes we all get desperate!

If a specific type of coffee or type of roast doesn't agree with you, let it rest in a sealed glass jar. Sometimes after 5 or 7 days it turns a corner and becomes quite wonderful, but after 10 to 14 days it will degrade as it moves into staleness. And sometimes as little as 10-20 seconds difference in roast times has a huge effect on the espresso, so don't bash a coffee until you have tried it under a range of roasts.

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