So September 29th was National Coffee Day. Yup, the same day as our anniversary. Us and coffee, it was meant to be.
True Story: I haven’t always liked coffee (Gasp). It was my Josh who got me to start drinking coffee. He actually told me it was his goal to get me to drink coffee. I didn’t believe he could do it, but he pulled it off. I remember the first coffee I had that I actually enjoyed. Josh took me to Starbucks, what I like to now call the the gateway coffee shop. I don’t remember what I ordered, but I disliked it. In the usual Josh way, he encouraged me to go talk to the barista to see what they might suggest. The gal was so nice, and suggested a white chocolate mocha frappaccino. Yea, of course I liked that one.
When I lived in Eugene, Oregon for a year while Josh finished law school, I worked at Starbucks. Then I worked at Starbucks in Seattle for half a year as we got settled. By that time I was an official vanilla latte drinker. Now, I can even get a plain latte, but I prefer it with vanilla. For better or worse, now that I have lived in Seattle for six years, I am now officially a coffee snob.
Sadly, lattes are expensive for everyday. Le sigh. My everyday drink is a nice cup of brewed coffee sweetened up with creamer and sugar. Maybe sometime I will be able to drink it plain, but I am happy with where I am at with my coffee drinking.
When I found out I was pregnant, I quit drinking coffee cold turkey. Yikes, that was tough! But, then my doctor said I could have a cup a day. Hello, coffee, I’m back! I had my daily coffee in my traveler mug that I drank on the bus to work. Now, as I am nursing, I have still have my one cup of caffeinated coffee a day. I look forward to the days when I can drink a second cup again!
I want to share the coffee love, so here are some tips on getting a great cup of joe.
- Water – Do you like how your tap water tastes? Well, good water is important for good coffee.Water is a large part of the drink, so it better be good! If possible, try to use filtered water. We use the water from our Brita and it works pretty well.
- Beans – Try to get some fresh, whole beans and grind them as close as you can to when you plan on brewing the coffee. Resist the urge to keep your beans in the freezer. Resist the urge to drink weeks old beans. Also, keep them in an air tight container. We buy whole beans from local coffee shops every week. Play around with different types of beans to find the type you like best. We enjoy a medium roast with fruity notes like blueberry. Some favorite beans are from Slate Coffee, Caffe Umbria, and Valhalla.
- Grind – Different brewing methods require different grind size. The size that you grind your beans makes an impact on how the coffee turns out. For example, espresso is a super fine grind while French Press is a course grind. Even the type of coffee machine for your brewed coffee can have different grind sizes. One factor is if you use a cone or basket shaped brew. Check out your machine’s manual to find the right grind size.
- Ratio – The water to bean ratio is important. We have a small kitchen scale we use to measure out our beans. Generally, a good proportion is 10 grams of coffee to 6 fluid oz of water.
- Equipment – If you want to get serious, then you will want the following: a coffee brewer, kitchen scale, coffee grinder, and water filter. We use a Bonavita for our coffee machine and Encore burr grinder and both work great.
There’s the basics! Now, be sure to have a nice cup of coffee tomorrow morning!
P.S. Starbucks has a nice resource for how to brew a great cup of coffee using different methods if you're interested.