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Besides breathing and sleeping, there are few things I do with as much regularity as my morning cup of coffee. Before my first cup of Joe in the morning, I am walking through the day like a zombie, and I feel pretty confident in saying I’m not alone in this.
I do my best to make my morning mug at home when I can, but most days I’m scrambling for a train, and then scrambling through footpaths with only time for a quick moment of reprieve at my morning food cart. It is not the ideal coffee scenario, but it gets the job done for me.
There are better ways to start your morning with a cup of coffee all your own, but since my daily routine is a bit chaotic, we decided to call in an expert. I recently spoke with Paul Toscano, connoisseur of all things coffee and chief marketing officer of Joyride Coffee, a company that specialises in cold brew kegs. I asked him to take me through some items he thinks avid coffee drinkers might be missing in their cupboards.
Below you can find Toscano’s recommendations, along with his reasoning as to why any aspiring barista should consider adding a bit more to their collection of coffee tools. Take a look if you’re interested in learning to make your morning cup like the pros.
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I think the best home setup is the pour-over. Unless you're routinely hosting larger groups of people at your home, it's really the best, most consistent and honestly most rewarding way to brew coffee.
My personal favourite is the Chemex, which is a tried-and-true brew method going back to the 1940s when it was invented by a German chemist. It's not only an extremely functional brew method, it's also beautiful. And that's not just my opinion...the Chemex is part of the MOMA's permanent collection.
Chemex 6-Cup Classic Series Glass Coffee Maker, AUD$43.84.
This is key for any pour-over or hand-crafted brew method. This allows for precise pour control, which is necessary when you're following brewing instructions carefully. A normal pour spout on a regular tea kettle is far too wide and imprecise for delicate coffee brewing.
Aside from the Chemex, having a smaller format brew method, like the V60
For scales, I love the Acaia scale. Not only is it incredibly appealing to the eyes, but it is extremely precise and connects to your mobile device for additional functionality. It also has a built-in timer, which is super important for hand-brew methods. It is a bit pricey, however, so a simple gram scale and a phone timer will also do the trick.
Toscano's picks: (1) Smart Weigh Digital Pro Pocket Scale, $18.25.
Grinders are generally overlooked by the coffee layperson. Many store-bought coffees can come pre-ground or can be ground at the store; but if you are going through all of the trouble to buy great beans, pre-grinding will very quickly dull the coffee, as exposure to air will cause it to go stale much faster. For the best results, you want to grind your coffee immediately before brewing. The smell of freshly-ground coffee alone should be motivation enough.
Toscano's picks: (1) Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, $123.75.
Lastly, anyone who wants a great introduction to coffee, direct trade practices, and the third-wave movement, check out 'God in a Cup'
by Michaele Weissman. It's not only a fun read, but the detail that is taken in the coffee growing and roasting process will blow you away -- just within the first 30 pages. I know it did for me, the first time I read it.
This article was originally published on 8/12/2016.
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